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Girl Taken Without Cause
November 22, 2005 permalink
In the following case, CAS attempts to prevent a single mother from associating with a man. According to professor Stephen Baskerville, the first objective of the state in gaining control of a family is removal of the father. In this, and many other CAS cases, they also endeavor to prevent the reentry of a father substitute into a family. Also, while the police and child protectors are legally separate agencies under different ministries, in practice they act together as a single unit. This is not the first case where police enforce the unsubstantiated word of a social worker in preference to an order from a court.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Dear Chief McElveny,
I am the agent for a complainant who hand delivered her complaint on October 3 and then on October 4, 2005 when the officer in charge of Brantford police refused to give her the information she needed to make her complaint on October 3, 2005.
The complaint is not complicated. Officers of Brantford City Police threatened her with arrest if she did not hand her daughter over to a CAS worker. The complainant is a single mother who had a court order which placed her daughter in her care and neither the CAS nor the police had any order from a Justice of the Peace or a Judge. And, further no paperwork, not even a receipt for her daughter or an officer's card, was left with the complainant. The reason given for apprehending the child was that Ontario Works had informed the CAS that she was living with a man who the court said she should not live with. There was no evidence to support this statement and if there was any doubt in the mind of the CAS that the complainant's daughter was at risk there is a court procedure set out in the Child and Family Services Act that would have allowed the matter to be before the court without the trauma that was caused this little girl.
The complainant hand delivered a copy of the court order to you through the receptionist at headquarters on October 5, 2005 and you were asked through our organization to have the child returned to the mother in accordance with the court order. You failed to respond. The matter went before a Judge on October 8, 2005 and the little girl was returned to her mother but not without cost to the emotional health of the child who now believes her mother gave her away to a stranger. She had no idea that her mother was threatened with arrest if she did not do so and that the CAS would have taken her anyway as her mother could not look after her in jail. Coercion invalidates any action that is seen as voluntary and a threat of arrest is I am sure you will agree coercion.
As I am sure you are aware our Criminal Code protects children under 14 from being removed from the supervision of their parent without lawful reason. In this case there was no lawful reason. The matter could and should have waited until the Monday and a court application made if there was any concern. However, as we know possession is nine tenths of the law and in many cases these children are not returned for months, if at all, regardless of the CAS concerns being groundless, which many of our audits show is the case. We have been involved in many such cases throughout Ontario and the safeguards built into the Child and Family Services Act are simply not being adhered to.
I have also been involved as agent for dozens of police complaints throughout Ontario and I can truthfully say none of the complaints, except one, worked out as an appropriate means of obtaining what was desired - a change in how police do things. I was not surprised, therefore, when I got a call from Inspector Scott Easto saying that all correspondence in this matter was lost and he required the complainant's copy to proceed with the complaint. Inspector Scott Easto inferred that I am being unco-operative in this investigation because I don't believe it is our responsiblity to furnish Brantford Police with the complaint and the correspondence, most of it hand delivered, yet again.
I wonder if after reading the attached November 7, 2005 publication of our organization you can suggest some means of bringing about the desired change when it comes to Brantford police assisting in the apprehension of children when there is no paperwork to suggest it is a legitimate process. Perhaps this could be a successful resolution to the matter and could prevent the trauma that faced this little girl being prevented for others in Brantford. I look forward to your response.
Anne Marsden (Mrs.)
The Canadian Family Watchdog
#308 - 1425 Ghent Ave
Burlington Ontario L7S 1X5
Agent for complainant in complaint registered at Brantford Headquarters October 3, and 4, 2005
Addendum: From the same source:
UPDATE - BRANTFORD CHILD ABDUCTION
By Anne Marsden
Discussions with Brantford City Police regarding changes that need to be made to have their officers comply with the law and not be seen as aiding and abetting CAS child abductions are proceeding. Readers will remember that October 1, 2005 a police complaint was filed by a Brantford single mother who had been threatened with arrest, that day, if she did not hand her child over to the CAS. Mom knew this was neither lawful nor in her child's best interests. The mother had a bona fide order of the court placing the child in her custody and a requirement under the law to act in the child's best interests. CAS and police had no warrant and no evidence that the child was in any way requiring protection. However, they did have the power to have the child believe her mommy gives her away to strangers.
Mom faced obstruction of justice at Brantford police headquarters when laying a justified complaint October 1, 2005 given the officer in charge refused to give her the names and badge number of the officers involved. October 2, 2005 saw the single mother return and file two complaints with the new officer in charge. On October 3, 2005 the Brantford Chief of Police was provided with a copy of the order of the court that showed the child's lawful right was to be with her mother. On October 3, 2005 The Chief was requested, through our organization, to determine the whereabouts of the child and have the child returned home immediately, in the best interests of the child. The Chief refused and left the child, breaking her heart and believing her mommy gave her away to strangers.
The first court appearance saw the child immediately returned to mom. The second court appearance saw the CAS withdraw their application that the child become a permanent ward of the CAS and be adopted as there was no evidence to support the child being a child in need of protection. However, not without cost to the child's emotional health and secondary of course, the public purse.
Mom has been informed that the police complaints are "lost" but they are working on changing things within Brantford City Police so this never happens again to her 3 year old child or those like her who live in Brantford. Hopefully, it will happen before any more Brantford children unnecessarily suffer from the trauma like this little girl does.
A December 5, 2005 Auditors Publication