Immigration consultant Liang Chen was found in contempt of court Tuesday morning for failing to comply with court orders in a civil dispute with former client Shengtang Wang.
Based on Chen’s fourth absence for court dates – and for his non-response to orders to produce documents – lawyer Christopher Buchanan, representing Wang, argued the delay of court proceedings caused by Chen’s non-compliance constitutes serious mischief or injustice.
Buchanan said he was not surprised by Chen’s absence in court again Tuesday “considering his non-responses to calls and notices.”
“Chen has been given many opportunities,” Buchanan told Supreme Court Justice Karan Shaner. “He has simply ignored them.”
Buchanan said the absences are more than a simple misunderstanding and that Chen is “actively avoiding the litigation process.”
Given the evidence, Shaner said to find Chen in contempt of court is “the only conclusion I can draw.”
Chen was again paged for his presence in the courthouse Tuesday without response. There was no record of his signing into the courthouse in the screening process at the building’s front doors.
Shaner noted that, ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, Buchanan sent Chen a copy of the docket to again notify him of of the proceedings along with a letter explaining what’s gone on in court in previous proceedings in this case.
The judge said she would give the defendant one last opportunity to comply by no later than Friday, May 14.
After that date, the plaintiff, Wang, can file an order to have Chen’s statement of defence and counterclaims struck and take the necessary steps to secure judgement, whether Chen or a representative appears.
After their business relationship fell apart, Wang is suing Chen for $425,000 in damages over an alleged breach of contract, failure to return a deposit and exemplary damages for outrageous conduct.
Chen, in turn, is suing Wang for more than $4.6 million in exemplary damages. He alleges that Wang spread lies about his personal and professional conducts and that he has cost Chen a loss of work and future income.
Chen also claims that Wang owes him over $1 million in stock commissions after the two allegedly engaged in a verbal agreement concerning Wang’s purchase of shares in Fortune Minerals Ltd. stock under the promise the company would then hire Wang as a skilled worker and help him obtain his Canadian residency.
While Wang made the stock purchases on Chen’s advice, he denies the two ever engaged in a verbal agreement.