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February 23, 2012 permalink
Chris Carter, arrested at a Chatham rally two days ago, is now released. There are three enclosed articles giving the circumstances (he has onerous bail conditions), one of them includes a video message from Chris himself.
Chris Carter Released
Chris Carter has been released into the body of the courts, he looks to the audience that has gathered to observe and shouts “You see what they are doing!?” What they, the courts are doing to Chris Carter is a shame, misuse and waste of the justice system. To understand and appreciate this story you really need to get to know Chris Carter, he is a passionate, loving, and heartbroken father.
I caught up with Chris after the court proceedings and sat down for a cup of coffee with him and one of his Canada Court Watch “family members” as they like to call each other. He opened up to me about the horror story he has gone through with CAS and the Canadian Courts, at some parts he and myself needed a moment to collect our emotions. The injustice that he is fighting is unbelievable and it’s a story everyone needs to hear.
Chris and his Japanese wife Nobuyo decided to move their family to Chris’ home; Canada, the tension of a new home and new cultures put strain on the loving couple and their relationship soon fell apart, but the love for his children was unchanged. During this tense period the mother of his children began disciplining the kids in an overly physical manner, causing one of the kids to make a complaint about the abuse. While Chris was taking care of his kids CAS removed his children from his loving home. The next five days the kids were kept in foster care, during this time Chris was not allowed to see his kids, strangely his wife, the one who the child had complained about was allowed to visit them.
When Chris was finally offered the unbelievable ultimatum of give his kids to a foster family or give his kids to his wife, he lamented and gave up the kids to his wife who he believed to be a good mother aside from the recent trouble. The court demanded that he produce the children’s citizenship and turn it over to the court. During this period Chris’s life was upside down his belongings were in boxes between multiple places and one of the three citizenship cards was lost in the shuffle. The court put him in jail for 15 days and charged him with contempt of court.
During the CAS hearing Chris had 16 witnesses that he was to bring before the court, by the 9th witness (Peter Ringrose, a CAS executive) the Honorable Justice Hardman stopped the trial with no explanation.
Chris Carter decided it was time to get loud, he started protesting infront of the local Children’s Aid and Police Headquarters. The response was mostly positive but there were people who desperately wanted him gone. Some one wanted him gone so badly that when Kim Putman and Virginia Torrance (CAS lawyers) walked by him the police arrested him for 2 counts of assault, Chris didn’t come within 6m of the women.
Chris and other parents who have dealt with CAS can be quoted as saying ”It was like they were trying to drive me insane.” When he would go to the CAS building for scheduled visits with his kids he would sometimes be greeted by a grinning worker who would sarcastically say “Sorry Chris I forgot to call you, we had to cancel this week, maaaaybe next week!” It’s experiences like this that can drive people over the edge, imagine you wait all week to see your kids, your only joy in the world, and some grinning jerk tells you that you have to wait another week to see your kids for just one measly hour. Then there was the heat, the kids liked to be active, so in that little time they had with their father they would play floor hockey, judo, and other intense activities that warm a room up fast. One day Chris opened the door to the hall to let some air in, the CAS workers demanded he close the door, so he asked that next week they move him to the room at the end of the hall so they could leave the door open and nobody would walk by it. The next week they arrived to a room that was noticeably hot before they even started playing, so he opened the door and began to play with his kids, again the CAS workers demanded he close the door, enough was enough and this father wasn’t going to have it, Chris refused to close the door and soon enough a group of police officers showed up to drag him away infront of his crying children.
These are events have made Chris become the devoted activist that he is, and his troubles with the justice system aren’t even close to coming to an end. The more he fights the more unbelievable the charges get.
Tuesday February 21st 2012 Chris was arrested in Chatham under charges of obstruction of justice, later changed to personation. The charges were filed because Chris gave a false name while accompanying an individual to a CAS meeting. Wednesday 22nd the crown offered to release him under the following conditions:
- $1500 bail
- No communication with CKCS 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.
- To reside at his current address.
Chris refused the conditions and returned to court the next day, this time the crown offered a slightly different set of conditions, the only change being that he may not verbally be in contact at all which effectively removes him from any CAS review court proceedings. In disgust, and frustration Chris accepted these harsher terms.
To learn more about his struggle or if you are in need of advice visit FixCAS.com and CanadaCourtWatch.com
[ Enclosed video of Chris Carter (Anthony O'Riley) speaking on release (mp4). ]
Defiance in the court
Thursday at the courthouse in Chatham, Chris Carter held his ground the best he could. Which is to say he held his ground, while being threatened with new charges, while a prisoner and in handcuffs. Carter was armed with legal statutes only memorized, a fearless approach to the court, and a T-shirt that advertised Canada Court Watch. Court officials expected a confrontational bail hearing. On Wednesday Carter had made 4 appearances in bail court and no agreement had been found, but the body of the court had exploded with loud support of Carter as he refused the conditions of his release. No agreement was made and his matter was put over until Thursday. He was before the court on a Personation charge that was laid after his arrest on Tuesday during a protest against Chatham-Kent Children’s Services.
Unusual Scene In The Court
Unusual steps were taken for the bail hearing. One court officer spoke with myself and a Canada Court Watch supporter, threatening us with removal from the court’s property and said we could not return if we clapped or made noise in support of Carter. The previous day supporters had disrupted the court with cheers and applause. I was not there, nor have I ever considered disrupting a court. Nonetheless because I sat beside a CCW supporter I too had the warning. There was a partial publication ban in place, preventing the reporting of CKCS worker names, which again was not going to happen in the CKReview anyway. A few armed officers stood at the back of the court and in the adjoining hallway. Carter had to remain in the body of the court after his release, until his paperwork had been signed.
Randy Semeniuk, Assistant Crown attorney, seemed impatient as Carter argued from his place of extreme disadvantage. Carter was asked if he accepted the terms of his release, to which Carter relented and said “unfortunately I accept”. Carter seemed more concerned about helping other people with their CKCS cases than his own freedom and expressed concerns he would be unable to do so on his release. Arguing with the crown on his conditions, Carter emphasized that he wished to have contact with CKCS workers indirectly, in emails that other families request he writes on their behalf. Carter assists people who have cases before CKCS and uses his legal experience to help them, people are often referred to him. Carter expressed concern that his writing style was unique, and although these cases did not involve Carter directly it would be obvious to Children’s Services workers who wrote the document. Semeniuk relented to this condition and included a provision on the conditions that stipulated Carter could have no verbal contact with CKCS employees. While clarifying the conditions, a rattled Miskokomon mis-stated them as ”having no contact or verbal contact”, when the provision as proposed by the crown was that there be no verbal contact only.
The Court Pushed Back
When first brought before the court, Carter was quite defiant and interrupted the crown as he spoke. Sometimes rambling, Carter brought arguments that would normally be brought during the course of a trial and not at a bail hearing. The crown, and the Justice of the Peace Marsha Miskokomon, argued right back and demanded Carter either agree to the terms of his release or not. Carter wanted more clarification however and demanded a “judicial reading”, which is a legal explanation of why the terms of his release had changed from the previous day. Miskokomon complied with Carter’s request and explained that Carter had refused the previous offer (and it was off the table), and on this day a new Assistant Crown was on the case and was entitled to make a new offer. Previously Carter had the right to speak with CAS, but on this day Semeniuk included that his release include the provision he could not do so. Outside the court Carter remarked “those things can be changed”, speaking about possibly having a hearing that could change the conditions of his release.
Carter is next in court on March 2, to set a date or for resolution. After yesterday’s proceedings, expect a date to be set for trial.
Source: CK Review
Release terms grudgingly accepted
COURT: Conditions include not associating with CKCS staff
The courtroom drama continued Thursday as an opponent of children's aid societies haggled with the Crown over terms of his release.
After spending two nights in custody since being arrested at a protest against Chatham-Kent Children's Services (CKCS) in Chatham on Tuesday, Chris Carter, a member of Canada Court Watch, grudgingly accepted conditions for his release during a bail hearing Thursday in Chatham.
There was a heavy court security presence as he was released into the body of the court to wait for paper work to be signed.
Carter, who represented himself at the bail hearing, faces a charge of personation with intent.
According to the statement of facts read into court, the charge stems from a Feb. 6 incident when he didn't give his legal name when asked by a CKCS worker. Carter was accompanying a local resident who had a meeting with the agency. He was refused entry into the CKCS office because he couldn't produce identification for the name he gave. The CKCS staffer recognized Carter's picture from the Internet and local police were called.
Carter told the court he wanted to audio record the bail hearing.
Assistant Crown attorney Randy Semeniuk said Carter would be required to make a formal application in writing, which he would review. However, this would have meant spending another night in custody.
Carter disagreed to having to make the application, noting he was promised during a court appearance on Wednesday, that he would have a bail hearing Thursday. He accused the Crown of taking a "malicious action."
Semeniuk asked Carter if he was prepared to agree to the proposed conditions. Carter said he wanted the Crown to provide specific reasons for the conditions.
"It's a yes or no," Semeniuk responded. "You either agree with them or not."
Carter, who agreed to the conditions under protest, told the court he was "going to take very good advantage of my freedom."
However, the haggling continued when Semeniuk outlined the conditions of the release.
The conditions state that Carter not attend within 100 metres of three CKCS sites in Chatham. He's also not to associate directly or indirectly with CKCS staff, except through the CKCS legal counsel.
Noting his involvement with Canada Court Watch includes helping people deal with CKCS matters, Carter wanted clarification if he would be violating the non-association condition if he crafted e-mail and written responses for others involved with the agency.
Semeniuk said Carter couldn't speak to any CKCS employees period.
During a court appearance on Wednesday, when Carter refused to accept the conditions of release, the issue of allowing him to attend internal CKCS complaint review panels and Child and Family Service Review Board hearings, was tentatively agreed to.
However, when Carter asked if that was now off the table, Semeniuk responded: "You heard the conditions."
Justice of the Peace Marsha Miskokomon reminded Carter he wouldn't agree to the conditions offered by a different Crown on Wednesday, but has agreed with the terms proposed by Semeniuk.
Source: Chatham Daily News