We are in the midst of a Continuing Custody hearing which according to Section 50 of the 'Child, Family and community Services Act' is the ruling by which the Court may make an order placing all three Bayne children in the continuing custody of a director. The director then becomes the sole guardian of the persons of those three children and the director may consent to the adoption of these children. Defending against this is a very serious even desperate endeavour.
Fifteen days of evidence and testimony by the Ministry counsel has already been conducted and transcribed. Then we went into a delay in late February and ever since we have been waiting for a new dates in which to conclude the hearing. We learned that August 9-13, 2010 have been reserved. Judge Crabtree expressed his desire to locate earlier dates if possible.
On the last day of the primary hearing on February 24th, Judge Crabtree permitted Baynes' attorney Doug Christie to present an application to have the boys returned to Paul and Zabeth under a supervision care order persuent to the terns by written document produced during the trial and marked exhibit 3. It is the mediation agreement from May 16, 2008 which the Ministry claimed was breached when Global TV ran a story. It was an unusual step in the midst of a Continuing Custody hearing. Mr. Christie provided several salient reasons for this action.
Ministry lawyer Finn Jensen had his opportunity to oppose this application on April 29th, 2010 essentially arguing that Judge Crabtree was not in a position to make a ruling on a matter of this nature at this juncture in the CC hearing. .
Yesterday, May 7th was the scheduled day for Justice Thomas Crabtree to deliver his ruling on this application for custody of the boys. I was there. Ministry personnel Berhe Gulbot and Loren Humeny were observers. Mr. Christie was listening via telephone connection. The Baynes had a few supporters present in the court room. As a matter of fact this same application for the return of the boys has been presented by the Baynes on two previous occasions, once before Judge Crabtree and another time before Judge Maltby and in both instances the application was denied. Judge Crabtree informatively provided a background of the case, time lines, key events and decisions. He then recited Doug Christie's grounds for granting this petition as well Finn Jensen's objections. Judge Crabtree demonstrated that he had studiously processed Mr. Christie's points and one by one he was compelled to decide that to issue a ruling on this application in the middle of the CC hearing would be an error in law. In making this response he was very careful about his remarks lest there be any hint of bias in one direction or the other.
The judge then permitted the Bayne's to introduce their application for increased visitation privileges. The papers were received and the matter will be heard on some time between May 25th to 28th.
Zabeth' and Paul's faith, composure and courage continues to amaze me.