In thinking about the "family" cottage and our lifelong experiences growing up in Lakeside it is clear that simply driving in from the main road, our rose colored glasses appear automatically. It is magical. It starts with the first smell of pine air. It overwhelms our senses as we catch that first twinkle of the lake, notice the small changes here and there, a tree down, a smoother road, a new car at someone's cottage and then, home. Wherever we come from, the cottage is home. Our happy place. Like an old friend, the doors open and we are welcomed back into the fold. Or are we? Taking off the rose colored glasses isn't easy. And now? In these new economic climates, you must take them off and take a serious look at reality.
In the late nineties a law review article referenced by the late author of Saving the Family Cottage, Stuart J. Hollander revealed that 130,000 potential partition disputes will arise. That number was predicted to rise substantially as the baby boomers generation acquired second homes, cottages. With the current economic climate, everyone will face new challenges. No one is exempt. Take off the rose colored glasses and do it quickly.
Our unfortunate experiences with partition and the perils of tenants in common should serve as a real life example of what not to do. Or better yet, what to do now to save your family cottage. There are no winners in partition.
And so... after two failed facilitations, one held on January 15, 2007 and another held on February 23, 2007 the plaintiff, anxious to push this mess through quickly filed a motion for imposition of costs and sanctions and injunctive relief. This motion (I've lost count now) was filed on April 2, 2007. It was scheduled for hearing on April 9, 2007 and it was a doozie. I will be happy to share the full version of this "mean spirited and vindictive attempt to close the cottage down and bar access to the cottage until the sale of the property" with you. Our attorney, Gary Campbell also stated to us in his correspondence in regards to this motion, "The motion contains a number of insulting and spurious claims that are attempting to inflame the court. This is another attempt by plaintiff to try to convince the judge that the parties are so opposed to one another that sharing the cottage this summer would not be practial." This motion will be the focus of my next post.