Friday, February 25, 2011

THURSDAY-COURTROOM REPORT - Installment #4 / Part 453 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

In the lobby following our early dismissal, the fifty or so supporters appeared willing to stay. Mr. Christie gathered into a large group so he could speak to us. This was an informal debriefing to make sure we understood what had just happened. The judge would call Mr. Christie back into the court room some time during the day. He would not know when. He simply had to hang out and be ready. He spoke to the supporters about the importance of their presence, their faces, their support. He stated that it speaks out that the public is very involved in the outcome of this case. These people, the public, pay the judge's salary, he siad. We have a right to hear the proceedings. If we cannot hear what is being said, then we should say so. We have a right to know what is going on. It can be assumed that Judge Arthur-Leung took note when 95% of observers left the room.

Mr. Christie re-entered the courtroom at 11:30 am and the 'public' dressed in black, the Bayne Train came with him. Again we packed the court room seats. We listened to several other cases handled speedily and then the judge permitted Mr. Christie to speak. This time Judge Arthur-Leung wanted to see Paul and Zabeth, so they stepped forward. Josiah's name was stated and spelled out 'Josiah Magnus Ider Bayne' and his birth-date, February 10th was given. Mr. Christie then sought to establish the quandary that occurs that an affidavit containing the identical material used in another case in another Registry (jurisdiction) could be used in this Registry when the prior case had already been heard by another judge (Judge Crabtree), and in fact was going to be ruled upon by him within four days, February 28th. Further Christie pointed out that there was nothing in this affidavit that alleges any misconduct by parents against Josiah. This should not even be heard and specially in this Registry. Her honour made it abundantly clear that this baby resided in Surrey and the case would be heard here and in that sense it was different from the other case where the three siblings were resident of Hope when the said allegations took place. Christie methodically but with some haste went through the Ministry's affidavit paragraph by paragraph while pointing out how irrelevant to Josiah all of this was as a justification for his apprehension. Christie underscored that the affidavit attests to using removal because there was no less intrusive means to protect this child but that this was patently false. The baby was premature, not weighing four pounds, and would have to remain in hospital for some time, at least until after Judge Crabtree had delivered his ruling on the worthiness of the parents to parent the other three children, a verdict which profoundly speaks to this case. Then he pointed out that the Baynes had presented a parenting plan to MCFD which is not even a requirement in this province to be a parent. He mentioned the huge network of support within community that they have. He said this removal should not have happened. There was no basis for apprehension. This is an abuse of process.

Then shortly before noon, the judge indicated that instead of getting back into this case, she was going to give the staff their deserved break and she would return at 1:30 pm, but again she made it clear she would not attend to this item until she cleared her morning list of cases.

There's more at 2:00 pm


  1. Can you clarify something for me please Ron? I have read here that MCFD removed Josiah from the hospital. And the following opinions by some that this put Josiah at risk. But, did the hospital not release Josiah? Or was it a case of MCFD removing the child via CFCSA, and then taking the child from the hospital AMA? If the hospital approved the release of Josiah from the hospital why would MCFD be blamed for this and thus putting child at risk? They would have been following medical advice - and I can't see a physician approving the release of a 4lb premature baby if it was going to put that child at risk - can you imagine the liability? I understand the discussion is more about Josiah not needing to be removed at all. But I just wanted some clarification on the actual decision to take Josiah from the hospital. Was it supported by the physician or was it not? Please note, I am not condoning or disapproving of the decision. I am simply asking for the clarification of the medical decision to release Josiah.

    Impressive support at court. Well organized. I wish I could have observed the display.

    I wonder, Ron, where this blog will go post Decision Day on Monday?

  2. Hello CW
    Thanks for dropping a line with some questions and thoughts.
    You have written to me so I will do my best to respond.
    MCFD did remove Josiah from hospital this past Tuesday. On the day of the child's birth, the Baynes were informed that this was the plan. Affecting it depended upon Royal Columbia’s paediatrician's approval to release him. That was contingent one expected upon this 3 lb, 14oz infant gaining some weight. There was initial weight loss and then he regained some to near birth weight connected with monitoring devices. One would think that there was no rush. Yes, of course, the paediatrician approved the release. One would also then have to say that MCFD was in good faith removing the child in accordance with its own safety plan for him.
    Of course the removal was in accordance with the CFCSA and that was written into the affidavit by Loren Humeny, (Hope office) and presented to Judge Arthur-Leung this week when the order was sought.
    With your next couple of queries I am compelled to interpret facts as they have come to me and as I understand them but I am also dancing on surmisal with regard to a few matters. For instance, I have no idea whether discussion occurred between social worker(s) and pediatrician to disclose where the baby would be taken upon release. It was the MCFD plan to place Josiah with his three siblings in foster care. That is commendable enough. Who can know whether the paediatrician was informed that the eldest child was ill with cold/flu symptoms, had been ill even during a Saturday visit with his parents, had to be taken to his foster home early, was sick all weekend even with a reported 104 degree temperature, and still somewhat ill early into the week. So, some respondents will regard this as careless at the least and risky at the worst to place the infant with undeveloped immune system in that environment. It is not speaking to the housekeeping or care-giving of the foster family at all. It has to do with the wisdom of the child welfare staff at this point, and queries whether medical advice was sought.
    Car seats are customarily not designed for preemies and yet this tiny baby was tested in a car seat and then placed with padding for transportation. We cannot know the answers now but respondents question how prudent this was. How can we know whether there was medical counsel with respect to this procedure?

    Where will the blog go following Monday? No idea. It feels at times like a full-time job. Salary leaves much to be desired. Benefits are well worth it if in a small way, it helps to see the family reunited.

  3. Thank you for your studious response, Ron.

  4. Question: Will the hearing on March 3rd still go ahead regardless of Judge Crabtree's decision on the 28th? Also, will Judge Arthur-Leung be presiding on March 3rd or will that be Judge Crabtree? I'm guessing that it's the actual presentation hearing that he will be ruling on, not next week's hearing to 'fix a date' for the presentation hearing.

    I apologize if this sounds confusing...It's hard to keep track. Thanks again, Ron for setting us a little straighter with this information.

  5. Laybugg,
    You ask, "Will the hearing on March 3rd still go ahead regardless of Judge Crabtree's decision on the 28th?" - There is no way for anyone to know before we read all of it. Crabtree was aware of Josiah's imminent birth throughout these closing months of his deliberation. He may have anticipated this in his ruling if he is giving all of the children back to Paul and Zabeth. If he is not returning them, of if there is some kind of contingency clause, then Josiah may remain separate from this decision.

    You also asked, "Also, will Judge Arthur-Leung be presiding on March 3rd or will that be Judge Crabtree?" - I am unclear about this right now. My understanding was that Crabtree was dealing with this Josiah case from now on, because this is the same family and affidavit content. How he can afford time for this commitment next week makes no sense to me. Perhaps I can find out.

  6. By the way, these court workers don't really have that long and hard a day, not like the judge makes out, that's for sure. They get two breaks and there is a long lunch break as well. And the judge can order the lunch break shortened, or an earlier start time, and they will do it, when it suits their purpose. If I worked at the courthouse, I wouldn't mind in the least working overtime - and I wouldn't even expect to get paid overtime - if it meant reuniting a family. The problem with government workers is that they won't budge an inch sometimes, even if a child's life is at stake. There are some good ones, but they act - for the most part - like they are doing you a big favour, forgetting who their employer is, and who pays their salary - we, the people.

  7. And you can just tell from the demeanour of the gov't lawyers (MCFD lawyers), social workers and some of the court staff, that they don't really care about the fact that lives are being destroyed. They joke and smirk and flit around in their lavender shirts and pink satin lined suits; you can see the lack of substance in their shallow gaze. They just don't care. If they did, they wouldn't be on the wrong side, swearing false affidavits, yanking premature babies out of the hospital, making money making other people's lives hell.


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