When Will Our Judges Speak Out Forcefully Against Perjury?

Ngo v. Do, 2017 BCSC 83 (CanLII)
by Georgialee Lang BA JD FCIArb

In yet another British Columbia family law decision, the court fails to denounce, in the strongest terms, a litigant whose testimony is rife with lies. Yes, this judge addresses credibility, but in the same anemic way that permeates most family law cases, namely ” I accept the evidence of the claimant where it differs from the evidence of the respondent.”

That’s it, no rebuke, no censure, not even an award of special costs, despite the litigant’s devious conduct requiring untold extra preparation and court time to present a narrative that is flagrantly false, requiring a robust defence….yes, a rebuttal to a pack of lies.

Ngo v. Do 2017 BCSC 83 focuses on the breakdown of the marriage of a Vietnamese couple who agreed they married and immigrated to Canada in 1994. From that point on the parties’ evidence is sharply divergent.

He said their marriage ended two years later, in 1996, while she maintained they lived together as husband and wife in the family home in East Vancouver until their separation in 2012. When asked where he lived after 1996, since he alleged he did not live with his wife and children, he was unable to provide a single address, except to say that he lived in East Vancouver with a friend.

When asked to explain how it was that he and his wife added three additional children to their union after his alleged departure in 1996, he acknowledged that despite the shattering of the bonds of matrimony, they remained intimate with one another.

The date of separation was critical to a determination of the wife’s interest in two homes, a crab boat, and a license to catch crab. Ms. Ngo testified their first home was purchased in 2000 and became the family home where she and her husband raised the children, for all but one year of their marriage. She believed the home was registered in her husband’s name. Not so, said Mr. Do. He testified that the home’s owner was Mr. Den Van Ta, who he said he barely knew, although he had earlier said Den Van Ta was”like a brother” to him.

A second home in Maple Ridge was purchased in 2004, however, Mr. Do said it was purchased by his cousin, Kevin Phan. He testified that he lived with the children in the home from 2004 to 2008 rent-free and that Ms. Ngo was not permitted to live there. Ms. Ngo gave evidence that her husband told her the second home was rented out, but in 2006 he moved the family to the second home for a year, advising her that it was a more convenient location to travel to his employment in Maple Ridge.

Eventually the Maple Ridge home was registered in Mr. Do’s name. He explained that his cousin took pity on him and gifted the property to him in 2007. However, land title documents described the transaction as a cash sale for $445,000, subject to his cousin’s existing mortgage. Mr. Do sold the Maple Ridge home in 2009 netting $145,000 in profit.

Mr. Do’s lucky streak continued. He advised the court that the first home in East Vancouver was later gifted to him by Mr. Den Van Ta. The statement of adjustments described the transfer as a “gift of equity from the seller to the buyer in the amount of $269,000.” He also purchased a vessel and crab license sharing the cost equally with Mr. Den Van Ta, who, no surprise here, later gifted his one-half interest in their crab business to Mr. Do, gratis, for free.

The parties’ two eldest children corroborated Ms. Ngo’s evidence, while Mr. Den Van Ta was called to back up Mr. Do’s version of events with respect to the first home and the crab business. He was less than impressive. Mr. Phan was not called to testify leaving the court to draw an adverse inference.

The outcome? Mr. Do’s evidence was rejected and all the family property was shared equally. However, nowhere does the court suggest that Mr. Do’s perjured testimony is an abuse of process or of such a character as to bring the administration of justice into disrepute. Can anybody reason why Ms. Ngo was not awarded special costs, which is a full reimbursement of every penny she paid to her lawyer to respond to her husband’s pernicious lies? The court’s apparent trivialization of perjury by failing to award special costs to Ms. Ngo sends a strong message to litigants that perjury is acceptable.

Pulitzer prize-winning author James B. Stewart succinctly writes in “Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America”: “Our judicial system rests on an honor code: “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Perjury is not acceptable behaviour.”

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

4 thoughts on “When Will Our Judges Speak Out Forcefully Against Perjury?

  1. I would love to talk to you if you really believe that judges should start speaking out about Perjury?. Not all men are horrible and lie. Women get on the stand and also lie in fact women seem to be better at lieing. tell me is it that the courts have a man guilty and hung as soon as they walk into a court room??. the past five years I have watched a women lie over and over and with no poof or facts to back her lies. Watched her destroy ever thing that was built during the marriage. Watched a great company go into bankruptcy due to her lies. How does a women afford a $450.00 an hour lawyer and the guy who worked 16 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week end up with no lawyer because he does not have a penny for one. Guess what the wife was the book keeper for the family run Business. The woman worked though out the marriage ran a daycare for 13 years then did books for the company for 12 years , also had her own Pamper Chef business, worked for the kidney Foundation. After the marriage she landed a $43 an hour job at the local mine driving Haul Truck for a couple of years has made more money since the marriage break down. She received her book keeping while married. This woman has a grade 12 , 2 U.B.C certificates for Early Childhood Education. This woman was making $92,000.00 a year , making way more money then when she was married. On April 17 , 2019 finely got the divorce judgement. She went to work on the 18 night shift 6pm start at 145 am she had her 3 indecent at work and was let go.This woman has made more money then the man sense the separation. the man did get a job at the mine a year and 1/2 later he went that long with no work only made 9,000 in 2016 she made 77,000 in 2016 the man could not get support the Judge said he could fine work. This women went to school in November 2019 and took her care aide course she now works at the retirement home making 25.33 per hour then up to 3.50 an hour for weekends and nights bringing it too almost 29.00 an hour. this women and her lawyer delayed the divorce order and has taken this man back to court for spousal support. This man makes 5,000 a month basically the same amount as the woman who on the stand last week admitted that when she lost her job she did not apply for any jobs with E.C.E or her book keeping. she just decided to take the care aide course , she also said she was not looking to work any where else but at the home she is working at now in town and has no plans on looking, that she wait till she gets on full time. She had made the same as the man for the past two months. This woman did perjure her self on the stand and we have poof solid poof. She claim that she went to Human Resources and asked to go on stress leave and the company told her no and she went to work and crashed. She claim that she was being harass by her x husband and partner. She was asked for poof it but did not know day or time of the incidents nor ant records. Well we got the judgement yesterday and guess what this poor guy who has lost everything from a women lieing so well to the courts that he has to back pay her 2,000 a month from the time she was let go to when she started school and the 1,100 per month for the rest of his life. This women was also collecting employment of 2,202.00 a month when she was let go. The judge stated in his judgement that she did not lose her job and that the company did not let her go on stress leave there for causing her to fall asleep while she was under stress due to her x and partner. This man now has no way to support himself. What happens on the first of the month when his check is no more then 2,300 take home Rent is 1,800 on October the first and he has to give her 1,000 ???? . I”M A WOMAN WRITING THIS…. I can not for the life of me understand how someone can lie so bad and get away with it…. I differently do not trust the courts or Judges. I just want people to know that it isn’t always the men at fault. This couple did not have kids together this was not a traditional marriage this was very much a Modern marriage. IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE THAT CAN HELP A GOOD MAN WHO HAS BEEN GIVEN THE SHIFT BY THE COURTS?? I would really like to talk to a news person to look into how the courts treat men. NOT ALL MEN ARE BAD.

      1. Why are men treated so bad then? Thought everyone is to be treated equally . This woman never brought anything into court to poof her stories and the Judge even let her get away with saying that she was not going to look for work any where else and just wait till she gets on full time , which could take 1 year 2 years. We are looking at appealing this on the fat that she perjured herself and the judge made a judgement on her lie.The H.R. lady at Copper Mountain Mine said she would go to court and testify that this women never went to her at all about being stress and needing time off.

  2. Here is a case example of extreme perjury where the wife fabricated tones of false evidence in BC Supreme Court. Yet there was no punishment to deter her or future litigates, not even an hour of community service. This only encourages perjury in family law. J.M.C. v. Y.S., 2017 BCSC 59

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