Thursday, February 24, 2011

THURSDAY-COURTROOM REPORT - Installment #1/ Part 450 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

COURTROOM REPORT - Installment #1

It's 12:00 PM and we have a lunch break until 1:30 PM. When we return, the Judge has already told us that she will not revisit the Bayne case immediately, but if at the end of the day there is time then she will hear it.

Outside the courtroom is a list of the cases that Judge Arthur/Leung is hearing today. There may be 100 or more cases. There are expeditiously processed with very little time spent on each one. That is anticipated. The Bayne case was second or third on the list. We began close to 9:30 am. By “we' I mean at least 50 Bayne supporters all wearing black. The Judge, upon entering, could not have known we were all with Paul and Zabeth. She assumed we were there for one of the many cases scheduled during the morning hours. She expected as well that all these cases would simply move smoothly along without contest.

We were not in the court room very long. The Judge sent us out. That's right, sent Lawyer Doug Christie and the Baynes and all supporters out at around 9:55 am. This is the way it happened. A young confident lawyer introduced the Ministry case to the Judge, as well as Kim Tran, social worker who removed Josiah from Hospital. Doug Christie introduced himself and was permitted to speak to the matter. It became immediately clear to the Judge that he was contesting the facts that the case concerning Josiah was before a court in a different registry from the one where the prior case concerning the three siblings was heard, when in fact, the presenting reasons for this child's removal were the identical material heard by Judge Crabtree with regard to the three siblings.

Judge Arthur/Leung said she was not prepared to listen to this case if it was going to be contested because there were many cases to be dealt with today and her court room was packed, and of course she didn't want all of these people having to wait to listen to the one Bayne case. So she dismissed us. The entire observer gallery stood and walked out. That was a bit of a surprise to the court I am sure. But also an indication of the public awareness and the network of support behind these parents. We all waited outside the court room.

At 11:30 AM we were permitted to come back inside. Doug Christie presented the Judge with a letter from Judge Crabtree that informed the court that Crabtree would deliver this coming Monday, his ruling concerning the three. In was a current matter soon to be settled. Christie pointed out that there was no new or different evidence presented in this new affidavit to justify taking the baby Josiah. He went through the Ministry affidavit paragraph by paragraph to emphasize that everything has already been heard by Judge Crabtree because all of it relates to the case concerning the three siblings, not this newborn child. He questioned how a Judge could be expected to rule upon such content when it was already heard and being deliberated upon by another Judge, and not just any judge but this judge's boss, the Chief Justice. Christie contested that in fact MCFD did not use a less intrusive means of protecting Josiah, which clearly would have been to leave him in hospital since his weight is 4 lbs. without an adequate immune system, but instead, Ministry has taken him outside in a car seat, placed him in a foster home where one of the other children has severe cold/flu symptoms. And why? Not for any justifiable reason that pertains to the parents with Josiah, but wholly because of MCFD's dealings with the parents concerning the other three children.

Okay, well back to the court house... stay tuned. I am not confident I will be happy with the outcome today.


  1. Making sure its known that it is Josiahs sibling that is "one of the other children who has severe cold/flu symptoms" This could also have happened to the Baynes had the children been in their care. Every effort was made to keep Josiah safe by keeping the home sanitary and keeping the children apart until his sibling became well. It is likely the home poses less of a risk of passing on something to Josiah than the hospital!!

  2. My heart goes out to you all and a wish for the safe return of the Bayne children to the loving home of their parents on Feb 28.
    It's been a year and half since my own kids were taken, and Feb 28 is D-Day for them too.
    Hopefully our CAS will choose to let them come home to parents who love them and are waiting for them.
    If not, then our main trial to contest the application for crown wardship won't even start for another 6 months, resulting in even more waiting apart except for the limited supervised visits the kids share with Mom and Dad.
    I am very sympathetic to the trauma and pain the Bayne's have been going through.
    To hope and happy endings for all.

  3. Thanks for the update! While unable to be there in person, I have been thinking of the Baynes today and praying for justice.

  4. Just wondering what happened in court today if anyone knows please post

  5. What a circus. An absolute friggin' circus.

    With respect to the Report to Court first appearance after a removal, this “due process” is an incredible joke on the rights of everyone impacted by a removal of a child, especially the child involved who has no representation.

    If there are no charges or derogatory history on the parents, no bruises or other parent-originated damage that are medically supported and seconded, and a proper risk assessment is done, this is the information that should be reviewed by the judge before the parents turn comes up, THEN, properly informed, the judge would give oral reasons for their decision whether or not to return the child. The first step is supervision, not removal.

    As it is now, the threshold for removal and deciding whether or not to return is practically nonexistent. Meaning, that any child can be removed virtually at will. Few people believe this happens, but we are seeing it front and center right now.

    What should be apparent to onlookers, is that judges do not care about this due process. They just care about how they are going to get through 100 names each day. I would really like to hear of ONE judge who has ordered the return of a child at this stage. A Freedom of Information request on this point is possible because courts keep these records and compile statistics.

    Removing workers should be required to put in the effort to compile evidence to obtain a warrant from a judge, where that information can be later tested.

    There was a case in the U.S. where parents appealed a ruling because of the fact that removing workers did not use a warrant, and the ‘immediate danger’ aspect did not exist as a basis for a no-warrant removal. Another class action suit exists as well (again in the U.S.) succeeded on the same point. (I just can’t find these cases at the moment.)

    What I am hoping is the Ministry suspects the three children will be returned, and wanted to get one last shot in at aggravating the Baynes by removing their newborn.

    My greatest fear is the judge is being politically influenced, and he may order the children retained. The Baynes would appeal and they and their followers will use all their free time to become anti-MCFD crusaders.

  6. To Anon 1:17

    While it is commendable that "Every effort was made to keep Josiah safe by keeping the home sanitary and keeping the children apart", IMO, it is still reckless to remove a 4 pound infant from a special care nursery (which would have policies prohibiting anyone entering who had known cold/flu symptoms)and DELIBERATELY place him in an environment where someone was quite sick with the flu (it really doesn't matter whether or not it was his sibling). It still unnecessarily exposed him to a significant risk. Of course, children in families get sick around each other, but purposely exposing a small newborn to the flu is what the issue is here. Consisten, regular breastfeeding would increase Josiah's immunity too, but that has been taken away from him.

    We hope and pray for good health for Josiah and the other children...and for restoration to their own parents. It's way beyond time for them to go home.

  7. Anon at February 24, 2011 7:08 PM:

    You bet your life that Bayne support is only going to get bigger and stronger. Once people find out about this horrific injustice they become very committed to ensuring that it stops. MCFD is actually being stupid by playing these games, because it is only inciting more outrage and a desire to expose their corrupt ways.

    And to pretend that Josiah's case needed to be in the Surrey courthouse is just a joke, they are kidding anyone. This is just another sleazy tactic designed to draw out the process. Keep it up, MCFD, because more people find out about your corrupt ways every day. Take a look around the world and you will see David and Goliath scenarious occuring in situations where there is much more oppression than this province. Your arrogance in thinking you can get away with murder forever is quite astounding.

    Only a consummate bully would order a tiny 4 pound premature, breastfeeding baby out of the hospital, away from Mom and Dad, and into foster housing. Despicable.

  8. I don't think the intent is to ridicule the placement or the worthiness of the foster parent...I think it was designed to advise that a baby this small would be in a more medically suitable place to garner treatment if needed if in the hospital. I will agree that the chances of getting germs in the hospital are much greater than at a home. I would also contribute that only the healthiest food of breast milk can be obtained from the mother.

  9. To Anonymous (7:08pm) - while it is certainly valid and necessary to closely scrutinize public entities and their use of power, it is a little far fetched to assume that the motivation for MCFD to remove the newborn is based on a desire to "get one last shot in at aggravating the Baynes". I highly doubt that Ministry officials are motivated to utilize the time and resources to remove a child based on some personalized attack on a family.

    Whether one agrees with the Ministry's decision or not, it appears to be based on their interpretation of "likelihood of harm" as laid out in the CFCSA. If their actions were not congruent with the legislation the ultimate accountability falls within the jurisdiction of the court, and one has to reasonably believe that the vast majority of Judges are in fact concerned about due process in this regard.

    You may want to consider that making generalizations or assumptions about the motivations of judges or ministry officials is just as unreasonable as only trying to paint Mr and Mrs Bayne with one brush as well. Both extremes are unjust, and it is vital not to have one's disagreement with a course action provide a license to make unfounded characterizations about those who don't happen to act in accordance with how you think matters should unfold.

  10. My Responses to the Above Comments

    Yes, MCFD has thoughtfully placed Josiah in the foster home where his siblings enjoy temporary residence. Yes, a child could have a cold in the Bayne home when the baby is present. No one, certainly no me, is questioning the kindness and care, the cleanliness and the nurture being administered in this foster family home. What I and others question is whether it was necessary to apprehend the baby in the first place, and most emphatically the wisdom of taking a 3 lb, 15 oz baby out of hospital at all until having gained proven viable weight, and placing him in a car seat to transport him not once but frequently.
    And WOW you who commiserate with Paul and Zabeth because your own children have been gone for 18 months and your decision day falls on the 28th as well – we wish you the happy resolution and reunion that you have extended to the Baynes. You should keep us informed.
    Yes, thanks Sharla and all others who while unable to attend today were nonetheless thinking of us.
    Yes, circus it is and that's an understatement. This was a place streaming with lawyers, one or more for each of the hundreds of clients involved with MCFD over some measure or issue that was presented by another steady complement of legal counsels.
    Yes, any child can be removed almost at will, at least initially, although supporting reasons must at last be given, but the killer is the speed with which judges accept and grant the orders that legitimize the apprehensions and often forbid contesting parents to say a thing. Their opp comes much later, after agony and grief are well entrenched.
    No I don't view Josiah's removal as one last shot at the Baynes. I believe it was a genuine attempt to do what is technically safe to protect a 4th child where there is question about the safety of 3 others, but it has been directed and practiced by people unskilled in emotional diplomacy or applied good sense.
    Yes you are justified to fear that the Judge may be politically influenced although you do not have evidence that this is so nor will you ever have. But say that was true. We would all be hopeless. No, I do not believe that the scenario is plausible or actual.
    Yes, I believe that the perfect storm is rising. I don't like storms. I am not encouraging one. I believe the Ministry of Children's performance is so abysmally deficit because of the ACT that empowers it and the people who apply it, that it will be the spontaneous reaction of the conscience of the increasing body of people that will smash the pattern of miserable casework.
    Yes, I agree that unhappy people are prone to generalizations about all vocations associated with the administration of the best interests of children and express this with vitriol sometimes. Yet, I am appalled that the education and the salaries reflected in the suits and slacks does not translate more predictably into compassion, warmth, genuine concern, committed care, and restoration of families. I suppose that is a generalization too.

  11. To anonymous 8:53

    Wow!!! look at all the anonymity here... Are we afraid or What? and of Whom?

    I am so impressed with your professionalism in your description by your justification of the removal of little Baby Josiah Bayne. "ie: likelihood of a harm"
    Come on... You people are the Educated Professionals. These parents have been monitored for almost three and a half years for every second while visiting with their children. Obviously, their parenting skills have Not come in question, else they would not have been granted the increased time with their visitations.

    Sadly, I have lost so much faith in your/our System of Care. I have taken an interest and have started to read up on the History of Care in our Province. I'm just a newbie though - so please don't challenge me yet:)
    Why is this System still so broken? Do you not know that this Family represents the Boundless Good in our society? The majority of people supporting them have a vast history with them.

    If you sit down at dinner with your family every night and share the thoughts of your day, like the rest of us, then I'll know that you could look Beyond your JOB and find some compassion for this dear family that We All Love So Much!...
    Cheers E

  12. To Anon February 24, 2011 8:53 PM:

    You say you "highly doubt that Ministry officials are motivated to utilize the time and resources to remove a child based on some personalized attack on a family."

    Let me ask you this: How long have you been studying this ministry, or its counterparts around the world? Because I can tell you for a fact, that the more you learn about them, the more their corrupt and vindictive ways are evident.

    And it's common sense, even if you knew nothing about them, that because they are the government entity that has the most power, and the most secrecy - which is always a recipe for disaster - there will be horrible abuses of power.

    They are the government entity that attracts those who can be bullies and get away with it, for the most part. Very few get caught, and even fewer face consequences. Until now.

    Instead of trying to do damage control for a Ministry that is clearly out of control and has caused untold suffering (even if you only looked at the Bayne family suffering, and the suffering has been so much more than theirs), why aren't you feeling, and expressing, the outrage that so many other - very human - people on this blog feel?

    MCFD and their counterparts get patted on the back and reap the benefits of their false reputations every day of the week. You don't need to come to this ONE blog devoted to supporting the Baynes - who have been brutalized by this Ministry - and do PR work for MCFD.

    And remember, this is the Ministry that - after the Baynes went public - cruelly took their two boys while the Bayne family was in the middle of celebrating a birthday party, cops and social workers spoiling what should have been a special day.

    But I guess that was "just business" too.

  13. Go to Google and put in "child protective services" and "vindictive" and this is what you'll get:

    "About 23,200 results (0.15 seconds)"

    They've spoiled a lot of birthday parties, count on it.

  14. to Anon at February 24, 2011 1:17 PM

    You said...
    "Making sure its known that it is Josiahs sibling that is "one of the other children who has severe cold/flu symptoms" This could also have happened to the Baynes had the children been in their care. Every effort was made to keep Josiah safe by keeping the home sanitary and keeping the children apart until his sibling became well. It is likely the home poses less of a risk of passing on something to Josiah than the hospital!!"

    So, now that a (less than) 4 pound baby has been cruelly taken from his parents, when there was NO risk of harm, we are supposed to be thankful? And your statement - "This could also have happened to the Baynes had the children been in their care" - is very disingenuous. If the children had been in their care, they would all be together happily, not fragmented and tortured as they are now. Please don't pretend that the Ministry and their workers are doing the Baynes a big favour, or any favours. What they have done to this family is awful, cruel, and massively unjust.

    Please don't try to make it look like it's "for the best" that they've had their hearts ripped out by an unaccountable, out of control, power hungry, corrupt government entity and it's employees or contract workers.

  15. To Anon (4:36 am) - You reinforce my point perfectly. Your comment is filled with generalizations about " bullies" and government with their "corrupt and vindictive ways". Again, it is certainly valid to disagree with decisions made by a public entity and hold them to account, but it is irrational and unwarranted to make vast generalizations about these systems or the individuals within them simply because you don't agree with them in this particular situation. The outrage experienced by the "very human" people on this blog about this particular family is valid, though it also seems to provide justification for some to put forward slightly hysterical and conspiracy laden rhetoric without any factual basis to back up their argument. Remember, there are also some other "very human " people out there who can actually hold a different opinion than you not need to be painted a certain way just because they don't fit neatly within your preferred paradigm.

  16. Anon at 10:01 am,

    I recognize your rhetoric, but suffice it to say this is not about - as you put it - "opinion." And it certainly isn't irrational, and unwarranted to make a generalization that MCFD is corrupt, when what they are doing in full public view (never mind what they are doing in the thousands of thousands of cases that aren't in public view) is so harsh.

    The fact is, a baby, just a few days old, still vulnerable, still breastfeeding, was taken from his mother and father, stuffed into a car seat, some cursory tests were done to make sure he could survive that transportation to foster housing. That "removal" was totally unnecessary, and unwarranted. And cruel. And if other people didn't agree with me, they wouldn't have been at the courthouse to show their support for the Baynes.

    I didn't by the way, hear of any members of the public coming out to support the Ministry or any of its employees or contract workers. Maybe you could organize such a group? I'll leave it up to you to decide what colour might suit their cause.


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