Yesterday Paul and Zabeth Bayne were in court again as they were last Thursday, and it was again to deal with the apprehension of their youngest child, Josiah who yesterday was 2 weeks old. Ministry of Children took custody of him on the day of his birth, February 10th, five hours after his mother welcomed him into the air-breathing world. Last Thursday, the social worker who wrote the supporting affidavit did not appear in court. Neither did MCFD lawyer Finn Jensen, although it appears he requested the assistance of a Surrey based lawyer to represent the matter. The Judge chose to adjourn the case until yesterday. Yesterday Judge Kimberley Arthur-Leung presided. Ms. Arthur-Leung was appointed to the bench of the British Columbia Provincial Court in the Lower Mainland and took her seat effective March 31. 2008. She has a distinguished career working in private practice in family and civil law since being called to the British Columbia bar in 1989, and has been active in assorted community activities in Delta and in 2004 was recognized with a BC Achievement Foundation Award. She is unquestionably qualified to hear cases such as this one.
I mentioned in a post yesterday that her court room schedule that day contained perhaps 100 cases about which she was required to make some judgement or set some date. It is customary that the majority of these take less than ten minutes. The Bayne case was listed about third. When it became apparent that Doug Christie, counsel for the Baynes intended to contest the apprehension of the baby, this did not fit in with her perceived mandate or schedule for the day. Such a contest usually takes place at a presentation hearing. MCFD desired merely the customary judicial approval of an order to apprehend Josiah, which MCFD had already affected two weeks earlier.
When she allowed Mr. Christie to introduce himself and make a statement, he immediately expressed to Her Honour that the affidavit supporting the apprehension was filled with the same allegations against Paul and Zabeth, allegations which were already the subject of another case. The other case of course being that which required a year of time to conduct and over which another judge had been presiding. In fact, Christie pointed out that Judge Crabtree by virtue of a letter, a copy of which was handed to Judge Arthur-Leung, was going to deliver his ruling on that case this coming Monday, February 28th. Most importantly, those allegations had nothing to do with Josiah, and further the new affidavit contained nothing new in respect to Paul and Zabeth and their relationship with Josiah. And Mr. Christie said this is nothing less than an abuse of process. At that point, ten minutes after we began, Judge Arthur-Leung said that if this was going to be contested, it would not be now. She would stand it down. As she looked at a courtroom packed with people, she assumed that the benches were filled with people related to the many cases on her schedule. She announced that if she will hear any more of this case today, it would be after the other cases had been heard because it wouldn't be fair to all these parties to have to wait through a long contest over this removal which had not been scheduled as a hearing of this kind. She told Christie to leave. With that, the entire court room of spectators all dressed in black, quietly and respectfully filed out into the expansive lobby. That was a statement. This is an important case. This is not the usual expedite-it-quickly case.
More to come at 11:00 AM