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March 31, 2010 permalink
Canada Court Watch reports on a case in which court personnel, including her own lawyer, refused to attest an affidavit for a girl in family court. She took it to the judge in person at her hearing and got relief notwithstanding the legal obstruction.
Duty counsel and Office of the Children's Lawyer obstruct justice in Court in an attempt to silence teen's voice
Canada Court Watch received a report from citizens who reported that Duty Counsel and the lawyer from Ontario's Office of the Children's Lawyer (OCL) all refused to witness the signature of a 16-year-old teenager on an affidavit which she wanted to have put before the court so that she could get CAS to step threatening and harassing her and go back home. According to the teen and her family, the court officials seemed almost afraid of the teen's affidavit.
The teen's lawyer gave a lame excuse by saying that because he had not written the affidavit for the girl himself that he would not witness it and that he wanted nothing to do with the affidvait. While the Ontario Government pays the lawyer to represent the girl's interest it would seem that the Office of the Children's Lawyer is not up to the task of competently representing many of the persons it is supposed to represent.
In the teen's affidavit, the teen reported how she had been threatened, abused and her rights violated by CAS workers and by court related authorities. CAS workers (who are private citizens under the law) even gave the police orders which the Toronto police seem to have foolishly followed.
In the end, the teen had to stand up in the court and to tell the judge that she had an affidavit for the court which her children's lawyer did not have the guts to do for her. The judge listened and took the affidavit into chambers and after a short recess returned to the court with a court order which ordered that the child be allowed to go home with her father. Standing up on her own two feet and speaking for herself, the young teen put all the high priced lawyers in the room to shame. Her actions show that having a lawyer can sometimes have more liabilities than benefits. The judge should also be commended for putting the family law rules aside regarding the commissioning of the teens affidavit and listening directly to the teen.
Those at the court who outright refused to simply witness the teen's affidavit, in effect, were obstructing justice and preventing this teen from having the truth put before the honorable court. While the family courts in Ontario all claim to be doing what is best for children as this case clearly shows, officers of the court are actually trying to silence children and to ensure that the truth from teens does not get before the courts.
Those lawyers who did this today to this teen are only hurting themselves and adversely affecting the administration of justice in Ontario. The actions of these lawyers are only alienating more and more Canadian children and families who ultimately will be the voters who will through legislative changes put the Law Society of Upper Canada out of business one day.
Source: Canada Court Watch