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Chris Carter Arrested
February 21, 2012 permalink
Chris Carter of Court Watch was arrested for Obstruction of Justice February 21, 2012 in Chatham. Carter had been protesting the CAS when he was arrested on a matter unrelated to the protest. Photo Danage.com
Source: CK Review
The Chatham Daily News reports on the arrest and Blackburn reports on the rally:
Outspoken opponent of children's aid societies arrested
No word on specific charge laid
An uneventful protest against the Chatham-Kent Children's Services (CKCS) took an unexpected turn when an organizer was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
Chris Carter, a member of Canada Court Watch, was arrested near where a group of protesters was gathered on Grand Avenue West at the roadway leading to the Chatham Courthouse. It's where the Chatham-Kent children's aid office is located.
Lee Bolton, a local member of Canada Court Watch, told The Chatham Daily News Carter was carrying someone's child back to a vehicle for a parent when he was arrested.
Two uniform officers and a plainclothes officer took part in the arrest, she said.
"They didn't want to say what they were arresting him for," Bolton explained, adding some protesters asked police why Carter was taken into custody.
Carter, a vocal critic of the child protection system, arrived in Chatham last month with the intention of helping local residents navigate the legal maze of the children's aid society.
Tuesday marked the third protest in Chatham-Kent organized by Carter through Court Watch. The grassroots organization is pressing the province to allow for the Ontario ombudsman to be allowed to investigate complaints against children's aid societies.
Attendance at Tuesday's protest was less than the first protest in January. Organizers said a candlelight vigil held Monday night at the corner of Grand Avenue and St. Clair Street attracted about 50 people.
Chatham-Kent police told The Daily News a male was arrested near the protest on an "unrelated criminal code matter."
However, information about the specific charge laid against Carter wasn't available.
Bolton believes the charge has been "trumped up" because of Carter's activities in the community.
"He's doing a lot of damage to children's aid, he's exposing them," she said.
Dave Burgess was among the members of the Sarnia-based Canadians for Family Law Reform who attended Tuesday's protest. He said the group came to Chatham to support Canada Court Watch, as both groups have similar issues with children's aid societies.
"I'm not surprised to see people start getting arrested because we're starting to get on their case," he said. "They know what we're saying is right and they don't like the attention."
Burgess said the attention is "way overdue," noting there are thousands of people across the province using the power of social media to put their issues in the public eye.
The Sarnia organization is fighting for anyone with family law issues to have the right to bring in a recording device into their court proceedings. This has been denied at the Sarnia courthouse.
"It's an open court, it should be clear and transparent," Burgess said Tuesday. "Anybody should be able to use (a recorder) anytime they walk into a court."
Source: Chatham Daily News
Group Wants CAS Changes
A group calling for the Ontario Ombudsman to have the power to investigate Children’s Aid Societies held a demonstration in on Grand Avenue this afternoon.
Chris Carter of Canada Court Watch says the group believes the agency unfairly takes away children from parents, and says information used should be subject to public disclosure.
“Ontario spends more on child protection than any other province in the country by far,” he says. “Yet the government refuses to make the necessary changes to allow the Ombudsman to investigate Children’s Aid Societies.”
Police made an arrest during while the demonstration was going on and released a statement saying they arrested a 46 year old man near the demonstration on an unrelated criminal code matter.
Source: CKSY Blackburn News
Addendum: Carter was arrested for impersonation, identifying himself to CAS with a name other than Chris Carter. On Wednesday February 22 he was offered a release subject to conditions, but refused to agree to staying away from children's aid offices. He remains in jail and will have a bail hearing on Thursday. Four reports are enclosed.
Publication ban for Chris Carter
At the Chatham courthouse today, 425 Grand Ave. W, Chris Carter of Canada Court Watch appeared before a judge, facing a charge of personation. Earlier reports said the charge was obstruction of justice and that was either changed or never happened.
On February 21, 2012, at about 1:30 pm the Chatham police arrested Carter near the same address. Carter was involved in a protest that demanded Ombudsman oversight of the CAS. We cannot report the details of the case as they took place in court as a publication ban is in effect. We can report that Carter had temporarily left the protest to help another protester bring a small child to a vehicle, presumably to warm up.
Outside the court two of his supporters I spoke with both said Carter had attended a CAS meeting while trying to help a friend. They said CAS workers had already been banned from speaking with Carter. Carter went to the meeting with his friend and introduced himself by his middle name and his mothers maiden name. They said Carter was originally charged with obstruction of justice.
Supporters on a Facebook group, called “Stop the Children’s Aid Society from taking children from good parents“ praise Carter’s efforts. They point out that the law for personation states “Every one who fraudulently personates any person, living or dead”, to which there is no such person living or dead. In the court of public opinion he has already been exonerated.
When I spoke with Carter, at the CAS protest on Grand Ave., only an hour before his arrest, he asked that I video events as they unfolded. Two Chatham-Kent Police Service officers were approaching. When the police arrived they said they had a complaint about protesters waving their signs too close to the roadway, and merely asked that protesters stay on the sidewalk. Once they left I had no sign from Carter that a video camera would be of use or that an arrest was imminent. It appears the police waited until Carter was away from the protest to arrest him, so as to avoid aggravating the crowd of protesters.
Friends indicated Carter had supporters from Canada Court Watch from as far away as Peterborough coming to Chatham to help him, and join in the protests against CAS.
Source: CK Review
Chris Carter of Canada Court Watch Arrested
Chris Carter who is a local CAS activist was arrested at Chatham Kent Child Aid Services on Grand Avenue West and charged with Obstruction of Justice, later the charge was changed to Personation. Chris has been trying to contact Mike Stephens Executive Director of CKCAS, Mr. Stephens communicated to his employees that if Chris Carter attempts to speak with anyone to direct Mr. Carter to Mr. Stephens. A local family requested Chris accompany them to a meeting with CAS, Chris not wanting to be thrown out of the CAS building just for being an activist gave a false name. Upon leaving the building due to not being able to prove his false identity CKPS arrested Mr. Carter. Today in court The Crown offered to release Mr. Carter under conditions of:
- $1500 bail
- No communication with CKCAS employees direct or indirect except through legal council and such communication will be in writing, email, or during review court proceedings.
- Not to attend or be within 100m of CKCAS with the exception for court proceedings.
Mr. Carter profoundly refused the conditions and demanded to be read the line from the criminal code that defines the law he broke. The court repeated the accused charges and did not read the criminal code definition.
Court proceedings begin at 1030am stay tuned for more information.
Chad Wells I went to Chris's court case today....The Judge and lawyers were shocked when he staretd citing case law and parts of the criminal code that the crown did not even know.....at one point appulase broke out inside the court room for Mr. Carter. I wish I could write more but they'll be at my door to arrest me with the publication ban.
Source: Facebook, Stop CAS
Handcuffed defendant goes into lawyer mode
LAW: Chris Carter held in custody for second night
It's not uncommon for someone to represent themselves in court, but it's typically not done while standing, handcuffed, in the prisoner's box.
Chris Carter, a member of Canada Court Watch, went into lawyer mode in a Chatham courtroom Wednesday. Carter was arguing against the conditions of his release, after being charged Tuesday with personation with intent by the Chatham-Kent Police Service.
The Crown agreed to release Carter, who was held in custody overnight after being arrested at a protest rally against Chatham-Kent Children's Services (CKCS). But only if he agreed to certain conditions.
The conditions included abstaining from communicating directly or indirectly with CKCS employees - except through the agency's legal counsel - not to attend or be within 100 metres of the CKCS office, and to live at his current residence.
"I'm not going to agree to any terms or conditions for bail," the 45-year-old man told the court. "That's my final offer."
Carter argued he shouldn't have to agree to any conditions because "you're violating my charter rights. I did not commit any Criminal Code of Canada violation."
The statement of facts read into court by assistant Crown attorney Heather McIntyre, outlined how Carter had contacted the CKCS on a number of occasions in January "hassling" staff for information.
When Carter went to the CKCS office earlier this month to assist a local resident, the court heard that Carter was asked his name by a CKCS staffer.
Carter gave a different name than his legal name, but couldn't produce identification when asked by the CKCS worker. Court heard the worker identified Carter from a photo on the Internet and police were called.
Carter demanded that the section of the criminal code for the charge of personation be read in court.
"That's really pathetic," he retorted, after the section was read.
There was a lengthy discussion between McIntyre and duty counsel lawyer David Sandor, who was representing Carter, about the parameters of a publication ban to be imposed.
McIntyre expressed concerns the facts of the case could identify people involved in a children's aid society matter.
Sandor could appreciate that concern, but noted Carter believes there is public interest in the matter and wanted details of the allegations reported in the media.
Court was recessed for more than an hour Wednesday, to give both sides time to further research the matter.
It appeared there was an agreement reached to not include the names of some witnesses, but Carter insisted the publication ban not include the identities of CKCS staff.
"We either have an agreement or not," said a visibly agitated McIntyre, noting it was getting late and it was the third time Carter has been before the court that day for the matter.
The acrimony continued as Carter steadfastly refused to agree to any conditions for his release.
This resulted in him being held overnight for a bail hearing, scheduled for Thursday.
Before being remanded into custody, Carter demanded a free copy of the transcripts from Wednesday's proceedings. He also told the court he didn't want to be held in the cells at police headquarters, noting he would prefer to go to the local jail.
Source: Chatham Daily News
Addendum: Chatham This Week covered the rally.
Protesters call for more oversight of government agencies like CAS
Three protesters demonstrated in front of the police station in Chatham Feb. 23 to decry what they see as a lack of oversight for governmentfunded agencies such as Chatham-Kent Children's Services.
Members of the group were also among those who demonstrated on Feb. 21 in front of the Children's Services office on Grand Avenue West.
Tom Verburg said they are calling for the Ontario Ombudsman's office to have more authority over the activities of what he calls 'MUSH' - Municipalities, Universities, Schools and Hospitals.
In particular, members of the small group that demonstrated last Thursday were upset over the actions of Children's Services because of issues they have had involving the custody of, and access to, their children.
Verburg said he was allowed almost no contact with his two young daughters for a period of about three months last fall because of allegations that he said were false.
"The system needs to be held accountable," said Verburg, who addressed passersby with a megaphone and quoted from a copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - legislation he says government organizations routinely violate against innocent citizens.
The group also protested the arrest two days earlier of Children's Services protester Chris Carter. Carter was arrested during the Grand Avenue West protest and spent two nights in jail. He has been charged with personation - giving a false name while inside Children's Services.
While Verburg was being interviewed, a passing driver honked the horn at the protesters and Carter, seated in the front passenger seat, waved to them as he passed. The group expressed pleasure that he had been released.
"He didn't give his legal name," said Verburg of Carter. "He went to support a friend who was involved with Children's Aid and he was asked his name. We have a right to refuse giving our name."
Verburg said he has learned more about the flaws of the system from Carter and from his own experiences.
"I want to raise awareness for the public," he said.
Two women also protested with Verburg in front of the police station. Although they were willing to talk to the media, both declined to identify themselves.
One of the women said there must be more oversight of organizations like Children's Aid. She said money is being wasted. She also said parents are often victims of false accusations and can have their children taken away from them without a legitimate reason.
The other protester said she is not a drug user or alcohol drinker, but had her children taken away from her for more than two years before getting them back. The protesters say they are members of Canadacourtwatch.com - an organization that is attempting to expose what it says is abuse of the system by government agencies.
Source: Chatham This Week