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Aylmer Church of God appeal dismissed

March 1, 2005 permalink

A Superior Court judge dismissed the appeal of an Aylmer Ontario mother. In 2001 Children's Aid seized her seven children, and (pdf link) Judge Eleanor Schnall ruled that the agency acted legally. Today the appeal against the decision was rejected without even hearing it. The reasons for the dismissal have not been published, but the reporter suggests the judge thought the case moot because of a settlement reached after judge Schnall's ruling.

In addition to showing judicial contempt for parents, the ruling limits appellate protection to parents willing to relinquish control of their children for four years. But in such a case the issue is also moot, since lost childhood cannot be restored on appeal. The courts simply refuse to give parents any protection from abuse by social workers.



Tue, March 1, 2005

Spank appeal tossed


A CASE that drew international attention when seven children were dragged from their Aylmer home by Children's Aid workers over spanking allegations wilted yesterday before an appeals court. Rev. Henry Hildebrandt of the Church of God had gone to bat for the family, one of many incidents that had lent a circus atmosphere to the case.

The children were eventually returned to their parents.

Yesterday there was barely time for argument, leaving the parents' lawyers stunned when their appeal was dismissed before it got going.


"I'm just in a daze," said lawyer Valerie Wise, who represented the mother.

Her co-counsel, Mike Menear, arrived minutes after lunch to an emptying courtroom as Superior Court Justice Lynne Leitch had dismissed the appeal that questioned in part whether social workers had the right to interview children without parental consent.

Leitch didn't discuss her reasoning, saying she would prepare a written order to be released later this week .

Leitch questioned if there was even a basis for an appeal since the parents had settled their dispute with Children's Aid.

Yesterday's decision was a victory for children, said Family and Children's Services lawyer Alf Mamo.