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February 19, 2011 permalink
The case of newborn Josiah Bayne came to court for the first time on Thursday, February 17. Social worker Loren Humeny, whose schedule was flexible enough to seize the baby five hours after birth, could not find the time to get to the courthouse. MCFD lawyer Finn Jensen was also unavailable, so the hearing was postponed to February 24. Ray Ferris (below) has an opinion on why they played hooky. Enclosed is the blog entry by Ron Unruh along with the comments giving facts. Other comments on the original blog contain a debate between supporters and opponents of the Baynes.
I AM APPALLED / Part 436 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne
I am appalled to learn that just hours after Josiah's birth into this world, the director of MCFD social workers for Chilliwack ordered the case worker to take authority of Josiah.
I have been on the other side of the globe, without communication and therefore unable to engage this story, personally sympathize with Zabeth and Paul or express myself to Bayne supporters and to MCFD practitioners. I am grateful to all of you who have contributed comments to the Bayne Campaign Facebook page and to numerous other websites that have carried this distressing story.
It is certainly within the parameters of the director's authority to do what he did. However, from an emotional standpoint I view it as 'criminal'. But he was legally supported. Nevertheless, it is nothing short of 'slander' to infer that Paul and Zabeth are a danger to this infant for whom they have been eagerly waiting. On the morning of his birth, it was a virtual thievery of their joy to have that custodial interruption - the epitome of heinousness and stupidity. Heinousness because it suggests that all child protection is heartless, cruel and malicious. Stupidity because it will serve to castigate the director and his piteous employees in the public opinion but also fuel a judge's determination to make an example of this inept crew. I would love to write something commendable about public servants but how can you with this behaviour.
This is power gone mad. This is protocol without good judgement. What must some of you child protection workers be thinking of your superiors when you are required to follow orders that violate conscience and good faith.
I heard of other similar stories but naively believe it couldn't happen here. The Baynes are one of nicest couples one can know. Their case is high profile. The director did not need to do this. He will defend his action as imperative. He cannot do otherwise when his affidavit alleged that the Baynes are a risk and that is why he wants the Judge to give him control of the other three forever. So this deplorable, absurd, unreasonable apprehension of a baby is what was done to Zabeth and Paul.
That Mary Polak and Leslie du Toit have maintained solidarity with this director's case handling puts this entire ministry further under the darkest cloud of suspicion of ineptitude. Don't tell B.C.'rs that transformation is the goal of MCFD. It is tainted.
Ray Ferris said...
Welcome back Ron;you have been sorely missed. You have rightly used the verbal scourge, so more from me would be superfluous. I will heed the legal term "res ipse loquitor" and let matters speak for themselves. Here are some facts.
- Baby Josiah was born very small and must remain in the special care nursery until the end of February.
- He is perfectly safe in this environment and his parents have unrestricted access to him
- The physicians want Mrs. Bayne to breast feed her son and this is in his best interests, so she must have complete access.
- Obviously the child is already in a safe and non-disruptive situation and no action is necessary.
- The ministry has had an action against the other Bayne children for the last three years and all evidence was completed by August 13,2010.
- Provincial chief judge T. Crabtree was the trier of fact in the case and he has said that he will make his ruling before the end of February.
- There is no new evidence on Josiah Bayne and the only evidence that the director can claim to have is directly linked to the case on the other children.
- Should his honour Judge Crabtree rule against the director, their case about Josiah will collapse.
- Knowing that baby Bayne was in a perfectly safe environment, the social worker could have and should have awaited Judge Crabtree’s ruling before taking any further action. To do otherwise is unnecessary, hostile and a waste of court time.
- As Judge Crabtree has heard many days of evidence about the Bayne family, he is very familiar with all the circumstances. It is obvious that he would be the most suitable trier of fact for Josiah. He might well wish to reserve the case to himself if told about the situation and he should have been asked if he wanted to be seized. The director had ample time to do this and can still do it before Josiah is discharged from hospital.
- Under the circumstances the apprehension was not needed and interim custody to the director is not warranted. The child can quite safely be left in the custody of his parents and the judge should so order. The situation can always be reviewed after Judge Crabtree rules.
NOTE WELL. Humeny must swear an affidavit and a check box will show that no less disruptive plan was available. This is simply untrue and he did not even consider the matter. If he swears to this it will be tantamount to perjury. I will have much more to say later.
Rachel K said...
Good to have you back blogging Ron!
In Ray Ferris' comments, he spoke truth to the waste of time and money by the MCFD with drawing this court case on.
Today was another example of this waste of money. Today was the scheduled hearing for the application of the temporary custody of baby Josiah by the MCFD, but guess who didn't show up? That's right the social worker, Loren Humeny, and MCFD's lawyer, Finn Jensen, were not "available"! Unreal! They have time to show up and remove an infant after birth but cannot keep their appointment that they set to legalize their actions! Pathetic and obvious stall tactics!
The only redemption today was the look on the presiding judge's face when the whole packed courtroom stood and left as she adjourned this case. She was surprised to see so many people and questioned her staff why this was even in her court when it is really should be where it started....in Judge Crabtree's courtroom!
Ray Ferris said...
OOPS! OOPS! OOPS! TRIPLE OOPS!
HERE IS THE VERY LATEST ON THE BAYNE CASE'
When the MC&FD rushed in to snatch the Bayne baby on Feb 10th, they locked themselves into having to go to court and file presentation papers within one week. The case was set down for hearing this morning in the Surrey court. Conspicuous by his absence was the worker who swore the affidavit. This means that he could not be questioned on it.When the Baynes got to court they found that the director had already arranged to have the matter adjourned to Feb 24. The judge refused to let the Baynes speak, so once more the system is stacked against them. The judge did say that she recommended the case should be heard by Judge Crabtree, so someone is listening to me. Now I will tell you what is really happening here. The answer is simple DAMAGE CONTROL
You see it goes something like this. When director Bruce McNeill spent months and years trying to decide whether to follow his lawyer's advice to return the Bayne kids, he painted himself into a corner. If he backed out after all that time he would look bad. No matter because the Baynes had no more money for lawyers and would be defenceless. Then that darned Doug Christie ruined all the plans and people were saying unkind things on the Ron Unruh blog. People are so heartless you know. Then that wretched Bayne woman makes life even more complicated by getting pregnant again in the middle of the trial. Not only that it was a planned pregnancy! How could she do that to him? In defence of Mrs.Bayne, she feels that she has a lot of mother love to give and she always wanted another child. Nobody could believe that the trial would go past September and she would be delivered long after it was over.
Anyway, this left poor Bruce McNeill with a terrible dilemma.How could he possibly rant on for three years that the Baynes were totally unfit parents and then ignore this new child. He must show stern resolve and remove it at birth. If he did not, he would look weak and nobody would respect him. However, he is of course a man of profound compassion and he sought a way out for himself and the baby. If the parents would would work diligently and sincerely with his staff and allow them to help her with her pregnancy, then they might be able to agree on a parenting plan which would avoid apprehension and also demonstrate his benevolence.
This might have worked fine if that dreadful man Ray Ferris had not interfered and Ron Unruh had not backed him up. He actually told Mrs. Bayne to have no contact with him or his staff because it would put too much stress on her during her pregnancy. What a terrible thing to say and that wounded him deeply. What choice did that leave the poor fellow but to apprehend at birth?
So he summoned his trusty obedient servant Mr.Darth Humeny and said "Go to that hospital, grab the Bayne baby and do not come home without him." So Humeny jumped onto his black stallion, and galloped off to the Royal Columbian Hospital. He stormed into the nursery, spurs jingling and loudly announced that he was apprehending the Bayne child and that from now on he was Josiah's daddy.
Ray Ferris said...
Triple oops continued.
He paused only to drop by Zabeth's room and tell her what he had done.He asked her to understand that he was only obeying orders. Oddly enough, Zabeth was not in the mood for a chat.
He next went back to the nursing station and asked how soon he could come in with a foster mother to pick up the baby. It was only then that he found out that Josiah would take at least a couple of weeks to gain the necessary weight. OOPS! DARN. If only he had thought to ask on the way in. He could have phoned the boss for instructions, but now he had announced that Josiah was in care and he could not back out. The best that he and the boss could come up with was to try to see how they could restrict access to the Baynes in the special care nursery. Obviously the best thing for Josiah was mother's milk and the medical staff favoured breast feeding. Because he was so small Baby Bayne had to drink expressed milk for a few days. Bingo! They put a ban on expressed milk. These dangerous parents would probably poison the bottle.
They seemed to be back in control, but all hell broke loose. Facebook news travels fast.Soon the Rep for children and youth was being swamped with letters. Members of the legislature were getting an earful and so was the minister and the deputy minister. I was writing to everyone pointing out that there had been no less disruptive plan explored as requred by law. The child would be perfectly safe until Judge Crabtree ruled at the end of the month and the parents had unrestricted access to their baby and he was bonding with his mum. Now if the judge rules against the ministry, they will look even worse than they did before. The child was already in a safe and non-disruptive plan and all they had to do was sit tight and wait. That is why I told the rep for children and youth that the apprehension was reckless. I told Humeny that he could salvage the situation, by simply withdrawing his complaint and making up the sort of feeble excuse that they do so well
So this morning's court was an exercise in damage control. Everybody was saying to the director that he should get out of this before he did any more damage. Of course Bruce could not risk losing face by withdrawing the complaint, so he dashed off to his trusty lawyer, pleading for rescue. The lawyer did what all lawyers do when they are in a jam. You ask for an adjournment. So they got an adjournment with no change in the status quo. No interim custody order of any sort. Legal limbo. Judge Crabtree has given himself until the end of February to announce his ruling. There are only two more working days left after the scheduled court date, so it is virtually certain that the ruling will be out by then and all will be resolved. If the ruling is against the ministry there will be a media storm and this last piece of stupidity will be buried in the waves.
If only McNeill had listened to me in mid December when I urged him to be cautious and not to move before Judge Crabtree's ruling. If only Leslie Dutoit had followed my request to her to urge prudence on her director. As the due date drew nearer, I urged them again to be prudent. This reckless action gained them nothing and only added more difficulties for the Bayne parents When the Baynes are so distressed, all their supporters are also distressed.
Ray Ferris said...
Oh we all knew that Bruce McNeill was itching to get his hands on baby Bayne as soon as he was born. He had to do this to justify his three year campaign against the Baynes. However, to do it without reviewing the immediate conditions was reckless. When the baby would be in safe nursery care until the judge rules was just plain stupid. He was not compelled to apprehend, because the child would be totally safe. So he could have kept his hands off the child, remained true to his obsession and still stayed on the side of the angels. He should have used what little brain he had and come out ahead in every aspect. Instead he sent a man of very limited ability who rushed in where angels fear to tread, anxious only to please the boss. Any social worker with half a brain would have made an up to date assessment and sought a consultation before going ahead. Now they are into big time damage control and it was quite unnecessary. He did not have to give up any of his bizarre allegations and he would have saved a little bit of the sting when Judge Crabtree rules against him. I agree the apprehension was predictable,but safely avoidable for his nibs and exceedingly stupid. Darth Humeny dutifully swore that no less disruptive method was available, which was of course a perjury, but fortunately for him, approved by his boss.
Source: Run Unruh blog
Addendum: When radio station CHWK 89.5 Chilliwack tried to get the ministry side of the Bayne story, they got an email response showing that the Baynes are embedded in the boilerplate:
Got your media request re. MCFD process on child apprehensions – also, if you are asking about the Baynes case, we can’t comment due to privacy concerns and the fact this matter is before the courts.
That said, the safety and well being of any child is the ministry’s first priority and the first step to any child protection case is to assess and investigate if the child is in need of protection.
If it is deemed that a child needs protection, MCFD, through its legislation, must go before the courts within seven days, where a Judge will determine if a child is in need of protection. The Judge would then make a decision whether a child would remain in Ministry care or be returned to the parent.
Ministry of Children & Family Development
Source: CHWK Chilliwack
Addendum: The only newspaper coverage:
Child protection hearing adjourned
A court hearing mandated by legislation for the possible return of a newborn baby to a former Hope couple already fighting the B.C. children’s ministry for custody of three older children was abruptly adjourned last Thursday.
“I was prepared to argue a few points, but the ministry wanted it adjourned,” Zabeth Bayne said in a telephone interview Friday.
However, a ministry spokesperson said in an email Monday that in fact it was the judge who adjourned the hearing after receiving a report from the ministry director that included the circumstances that caused the removal, and an interim care plan.
“A copy of this is shared with the parents,” the spokesperson wrote. “It is the judge who makes the decision to adjourn a case.”
The Baynes could not be reached for comment by press time Monday.
But during the Friday interview, Zabeth said the Thursday hearing was adjourned for seven days without a request for an extension and without any ruling on who has custody of her infant son in the interim.
“There was no court ruling given ... it was crazy,” she said. “I don’t understand. We’re left in limbo.”
Bayne also said she and her doula were “cut off” from talking to the pediatrician who is looking after the baby, born premature on Feb. 10 and removed by the ministry several hours later.
The ministry refused comment on the latest removal because the Baynes are already in a court case with the ministry involving three older children, who were removed after allegations were made that an infant daughter was shaken causing brain injury.
The Baynes claim an older brother, a toddler at the time, tripped and fell on top of his sister. The couple has enlisted the support of medical experts to back up their claim in court hearings over the past three years.
A ruling from Chilliwack provincial court judge Thomas Crabtree is expected by the Baynes sometime this month.
Source: Chilliwack Progress
Addendum: On February 22 at age eleven days, Josiah was removed from the hospital and placed in foster care.