Amended Directions For Conservatory Measures to Tammy Turner—November 1, 2010
What is a conservatory measure?
The Superintendent of Bankruptcy puts in place conservatory measures when a bankruptcy or insolvency estate needs protection. It might be in cases of Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) malfeasance or if serious wrongdoing on the part of a LIT puts estate files at risk. Conservatory measures may also be put in place if a LIT becomes ill or dies without a valid succession agreement. Finally, conservatory measures may be put in place if a LIT, for whatever reason, has allowed the administration of his or her practice to become substandard.
In the matter of: Diane Elizabeth Couture
Amended Directions For Conservatory Measures
(Section 14.03 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act)
Whereas the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the Act) provides the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (the Superintendent) with the general power to supervise the administration of all estates and matters to which the Act applies;
Whereas Diane Elizabeth Couture (the trustee) is the holder of an individual license as trustee in bankruptcy;
Whereas Ms. Emily Beckerman, Senior Bankruptcy Analyst, Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB), as well as the Outreach and Complaint Section of the OSB, received several complaints from bankrupts to the effect that they were unable to contact the trustee for some time;
Whereas on May 13, 2009, Ms. Beckerman and I attended the trustee's office and ascertained that neither the trustee nor any staff member were present;
Whereas the trustee's voicemail box was full and was not accepting any further messages, the email address of the trustee (firstname.lastname@example.org) was full and not accepting any new email communication and no response was received from an email sent to the alternate email address of the trustee on May 11, 2009 (Dcouture1@hotmail.com);
Whereas after an incident in April 2009, where the trustee was unavailable for a period of time, she was informed by Ms. Beckerman that she was required to designate a backup. The trustee informed Ms. Beckerman that she was working closely with another trustee, Alison Petrie. On May 11, 2009, I contacted Ms. Petrie, who advised that her offer of assistance to the trustee had been declined by a staff person in early 2009, and that Ms. Petrie has no access to the trustee's files or office;
Whereas officials of the OSB met with the trustee on Wednesday, May 20, 2009, and informed the trustee that the OSB would seize the files under the trustee's administration, unless the trustee could obtain the services of another bankruptcy trustee by close of business on Thursday, May 21, 2009, who was acceptable to the OSB and was prepared to act as co-trustee;
Whereas the trustee, despite having contacted the OSB for other reasons, has not obtained the services of another bankruptcy trustee prepared to act as a co-trustee;
Whereas the trustee's file inventory totals 254 estates with an aggregate amount of approximately $210,000 in the trust bank accounts;
Whereas I believe on reasonable grounds that the estates require protection;
Whereas the Superintendent may, for the protection of an estate, exercise the powers set out in subsection 14.03(1) of the Act, in the circumstances referred to in section 14.03(2) of the Act;
Whereas the Superintendent has delegated to me, in accordance with section 14.01(2) of the Act, the powers of the Superintendent as specified at section 14.03(1) of the Act, in the circumstance referred to in section 14.03(2), a copy of which delegation is attached, along with copies of sections 14.01, 14.02 and 14.03 of the Act;
Whereas paragraphs 14.03(1)b) and (c) and 14.03(2)(b) of the Act apply;
I, Karen Smith, in my capacity as delegate for the Superintendent, direct:
Tammy Turner, trustee, as agent of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy,
- To take the necessary steps to administer the estates previously administered by Diane Elizabeth Couture, including any closed estates requiring further administration;
- To keep the property and records, deeds, books, documents, electronic data and bank accounts related to these files, to make an inventory of them, and to preserve them in accordance with the provisions of the Act;
- To complete the administration of these files in accordance with the duties and responsibilities incumbent on a trustee in bankruptcy according to the Act.
- To, at her discretion, elect to perform the minimum duties and responsibilities incumbent on trustees in bankruptcy in order to preserve and administer the files pending their transfer to an eventual replacement trustee.
That these directions take effect immediately and will remain in effect until such time as the undersigned is satisfied that they are no longer required;
That in accordance with section 14.03(3) of the Act, these directions bind their addressee, who must comply with them;
That, pursuant to section 14.03(4) of the Act, a person who complies with this direction is not liable for any act done by that person only to comply with this direction.
Signed at the City of Toronto, Ontario, this 1st day of November 2010.
Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy
- Date modified: