Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Index of My Previous Posts about Judge Crabtree's Reasons / 484

(Tomorrow I give you my version of Judge Crabtree's two-stage decision)

In a series of posts following Judge Crabtree's release of his reasons for his decision on March 2, 2011, I highlighted several aspects of that 39 page ruling. I read the 39 page document and I quoted certain sections of it but primarily interpreted its content. The series provided a fair synopsis of his thinking and decision.

For example I gave the straight up concluding facts of the decision. The judge did not accept the shaken baby syndrome premise put forward by the Ministry and he found inconsistencies in Zabeth's explanation of an accident to account for her daughter's injuries. He did not return the three children to them but he also did not grant the Ministry its applied for Continuing Care Order.
Part 464: The Judge Rules – Not Good News
Part 465: The Last Word

I mentioned the window of opportunity that the Judge inferred was available to the Baynes, and that was a six month period when as foster care of the children continues, the Baynes may work with the Ministry according to an agreed upon plan whereby MCFD can be satisfied that the Baynes are no longer a risk to their children. That's the point down to which it comes. During this Interim Care Order time, make it happen.
Part 466: In the Hands of the Parents (first of numerous Synopses (Judge Crabtree's actual wording is in quotations. Everything else is my understanding of the statements for the ruling.)

I described the Judge's written processing of court-presented information by which he sought to determine whether there was continued risk to the children in returning them to their parents. His conclusion was safe and perhaps fair. He didn't deem them to be much of a risk but there was still some, i.e. 10% probability of risk because the injuries were not adequately explained to his satisfaction.
Part 467: Is There Need For Protection
Part 468: Children in Need of Protection

In one post I pointed out the considered error of not having Paul take the stand and to testify as did his wife. In the end, the judge while entitled by virtue of legal precedent to infer something negative to this failure to testify, chose not to do so, allowing that it was simply a choice the legal counsel had made.
Part 469: Failure of the Father to Testify

Then I summarized what I believe is the Judge's inevitable intention, which is to have the Ministry and the Baynes successfully cooperate during these next months with a view to returning the children. I do not think that Judge Crabtree wants to hear that the Ministry has messed this up, and he will be disappointed if the Baynes don't do everything in their power to enhance their reputation with the Ministry. Is it a tall order? Absolutely! But not impossible with two focused and determined parents as Zabeth and Paul are - essentially good people, with integrity, hard-working.
Part 471: The Judge Intends Returning the Children
Tomorrow: My detailed summary of Judge Crabtree's written reasons for coming to the conclusion that he did and why he ruled as he did.


  1. Anyone with no bias for either side can see that, as a legal issue, there is no case for the MCFD. It is clearly not a medical problem but a power/authority problem. In this regard, though an unrelated subject, Spielberg movie, Amistad is excellent. The Baynes haven't been charged with anything, ever!! Think of it. Where is this country going?
    Many areas of law in Canada, which are slowly being forced on the populous, are being brought in through the back door of the courts. Law is not steering court decisions but decisions of judges with social agendas are steering the legal system. Bureaucratic systems outside of the rule of law steer the nation. What kind of a democracy allows one man so much power that only the minister of MCFD can overrule or fire the director of an area the size of Fraser Valley MCFD? These people are ruling like kings. Where's the Magna Carta?
    It is all good until you, or someone you know, is abused by the court or MCFD.
    Who decides what is unacceptable or acceptable parenting? Where is the rule book? It is being written and constantly revised in the back room offices of zealous social engineers. A class action suit surely is what is needed.
    Are there enough people willing to line up and firmly support these abused families if Doug Christie is willing to put himself out there?

  2. I am praying for this family to get there kids back. I would try as hard as they are when you are innocent.

  3. The judge in coming up with this ruling has thrown down the guantlet and set a clear standard of how interaction between MCFD and families will be dealt with in the courts.

    Having attended several days of hearings and then reading the ruling as well as the 3-day transcripts of Finn Jense, I am absolutely appalled at the process and the result.

    The belief was by the majority of readers of this blog, that given a finding that shaken baby syndrome did NOT occur, the logical outcome would be to return the children. The worst case, a supervision order to permit an orderly transition with monitoring.

    I would take some issue with the previous commenter's assertion this is not a medical issue, it is because the doctors and hospitals involved are more likely than not responsible for Bethany's worsening condition over the period of a month, and likely broken Bethany's femur bone in forcing her into position onto a scanning table. Lawsuits have been filed over a delay of mere hours, let alone weeks for diagnosis and treatment. This is what the judge glossed over.

    Exactly under what conditions is a supervision order appropriate versus a full removal? Minimally, how about consideration towards the grandparents instead of a $10,000/month foster care? The judge didn't infer anything about them not testifying as he did the father.

    As the previous poster pointed out, exactly where are these guidelines and thresholds of appropriate parenting? Just TRY and discover details.

    We have drug and alcohol-addicted parents, parents who hit each other and expose their children to violence, yet they have children in their care with the knowlege of the Ministry. We hear of examples of the Ministry providing respite care to "cooperative" parents so they can drink while a babysitter watches their children.

    We have people who have "failed" the same Project Parent the Baynes have been ordered to go through with, and who exhibit relapses into substandard parenting, yet they have children in their care.

    This situation exists simply because the Ministry lacks resources to incarcerate all such children that don't meet their undocumented, and varying standards of parenting.

    What has to be pounded into the thick skulls of these public servants we are dealing with is the inappropriate treatment of just ONE family cannot be tolerated. Letting it slide opens the door to create multiple instances of what the Baynes are going through.

    The violation of human dignity, human rights, as waste of public resources at the expense of children and families who truly need help is simply massive. This is the central issue of general public concern. The problem is this is not widely known. Yet.

    I am very glad to hear the Baynes are appealing. They may not win the first round in BC Supreme Court. They will go to BC Court of Appeal, even that may not work. This is an immense hurdle, but if the Rahman family succeeded in reversing a CCO, the Baynes have a chance also in completely exhonerating themselves of implied guilt.

    This family is sending the Ministry a message. The Ministry believes in it's heavy-handed tactics it is "educating" this family and the rest of the public to toe the line so they don't mess with the government.

  4. I heartily agree with most of what anon 1.41 PM has said. Perhaps you missed my blogs on how to do parental capacity/risk assessments etc. I really doubt whether any of the workers or the judge have any idea what a good parental capacity assessment is like. These assessments should be in the range of social work skills and there is no need to farm them out to psychologists, whose normal training makes them no more equipped than are social workers. These are learned skills and do not come with the degree.
    Be that as it may, Doug Christie was quoted in the Chilliwack paper and on Hawk radio as saying that the ruling was nonsense. I thought that was so well put. As a matter of fact I had a hundred dollars which said that if no CCO was made, the only sane alternative after three and a half years was to return the kids---with or without supervision. That will probably go towards filing the appeal now. I was originally critical of the appeal, because it is only a temporary order and it will expire anyway and it would costs thousands. Apparently you can start the process without having to pay for all the transcripts. The appeal is being filed as insurance, in case the director tries to play sillybuggers again and restart a quest fo a CCO. Negotiate in good faith, but trust no-one.
    The judge turned a blind eye to many things, including no inference from ripping the kids from the grandparents. The ministry thinks that doing a risk assessment is to snatch kids from the parents and when it turns out that they really look like quite decent people, dig up any dirt you can on them and if there is none, find some way to smear them. In my view, the kids were obviously in much greater risk in care than they were at home. At 110% risk of attachment deficit syndrome. The decision was political and meant to save the director's bacon and the ministry from a media scathing. I found it veeeery interesting that the director had the nerve to snatch the Bayne baby just before the ruling came out. This would have been reckless and foolhardy, if they did not already know the outcome. I think it was leaked. That case is now a total mess and nobody knows which judge will hear it, or when. One thing that I will absolutely guarantee, is that no attention will be paid to what is required by law. After all why should they start doing that now?

  5. If Doug Christie is going to bat...we're in.

  6. I say we all get the word out: CLASS ACTION AGAINST MCFD. PAYBACK TIME.

  7. And I don't see how anyone could have ever have thought NOT appealing was a good idea. Not appealing is tantamount to trusting the Ministry. They will never give back the children unless they are forced to.

  8. These judges have way too much power and are abusing it in horrendous ways. They need to be exposed. They aren't acting in the child's best interests. Just the opposite. I bet they wouldn't do this to their colleagues' kids, even if they KNEW the parents were abusive. They do this because they think no one in their circle cares, and they are right. But they underestimate the power of the people. And the people are getting very irate. These judges are ruining people's lives - we have to stand up to them, and fight back.

  9. To Anon March 24, 2011 11:49 AM

    You said, "A class action suit surely is what is needed. Are there enough people willing to line up and firmly support these abused families if Doug Christie is willing to put himself out there?"

    You may not understand the nature of a class action law suit which is primarily monetary rather than challenging an existing decision and recovering children in an MCFD case. The class action involves numerous parties each of whom may have a complaint against the same MCFD but each is a different one with different circumstances and outcomes whereas the class action must have the same complaint supported by all parties and that one complaint must be provable or established.


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