I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Friday, July 10, 2009

COURTS: Father's rights group calls out justice system ~ Group defends right to record

You can go to Dave's website here to read remarks on the various court house calls and download an ebook on using recording devices in court in Ontario.MJM

Randy Richmond The London Free Press July 10, 2009
Members of a father's rights organization protested outside the London courthouse yesterday to draw attention to a legal right they say is being routinely trampled.
Few defence lawyers, crowns and judges know, or want to learn, that people have the right to make audio recordings of their own trials, said Dave Flook, 31, president of Not All Dads are Deadbeats. 

"We need to educate everybody," he said. Ordinary people have enough problems facing the unfamiliar world of court without being misled, Flook said. "What else are they not telling us?" Under the Ontario Courts of Justice Act, people have the right to audio record their own court hearings to supplement their notes, Flook said. But he and other fathers fighting for better access to their children have noted some judges refuse to allow the recordings. So the group conducted an investigation, contacting every courthouse in Ontario asking if they allowed the recordings, Flook said. "They all said no. 

When the court staff are giving out wrong information, it's very unfortunate." With no ability to record proceedings, people are left to rely on transcripts judges can alter at their will, he said. "That leads to a lack of accountability and paves the road to tyranny." Flook said he recorded his court case in Chatham, over the objections of his ex-wife's lawyer but with the judge's approval. "I'm not pigeonholing judges," he said. Flook is advising people not to ask permission, because that can be denied, but simply start recording. 

Section 136 of the act prohibits the taking of photographs and making audio and video recordings in court. But the section does not prohibit "a lawyer, a party acting in person or a journalist from unobtrusively making an audio recording at a court hearing, in the manner that has been approved by the judge, for the sole purpose of supplementing or replacing handwritten notes."
Randy Richmond is a Free Press reporter.

Dave Flook is president of Not All Dads Are Deadbeats. The group held a demonstration outside the London courthouse yesterday to raise awareness about the importance of defendants recording their court proceedings, which they say is an oft-ignored right in Canadian courts. (DEREK RUTTAN/Sun Media 

http://www.lfpress.com/perl-bin/publish.cgi?x=articles&p=269584&s=hottopics E-MAIL: Randy Richmond

Olympic medalist Laumann loses bid to move her children to London, Ont.

Silken Laumann

Silken Laumann

Photograph by: ., Vancouver Sun files

Three-time Olympic medalist Silken Laumann lost a bid in B.C. Supreme Court last month to move her two children from Victoria to London, Ont.

In a decision posted online on Monday, Justice Paul Pearlman ruled that the move would not be in the best interests of Laumann’s two children, ages nine and 12.

Laumann and the children’s father, Olympic gold-medalist rower John Wallace, live in Victoria and share joint custody of their children. According to Pearlman’s judgment, they were married in 1993, but separated in 2002. They divorced in 2005 after Wallace fathered a daughter with the nanny of one of their children.

The judge said since the divorce Laumann has had three serious romantic relationships. In 2007, she met David Patchell-Evans, who operates GoodLife Fitness, a London-based company employing 8,000 workers. The judge noted Patchell-Evans is “a man of considerable wealth. He owns a large home, farm acreage, and recreational property.”

Laumann and Patchell-Evans were recently engaged and had plans to marry next summer. Laumann asked the court for permission to move the children to London, Ont. to start a blended family with Patchell-Evans and his two children.

Patchell-Evans had offered Laumann a three-year contract with his company, paying $100,000 per year. The judge noted he was also prepared to offer Laumann’s ex-husband a job at one point.

Patchell-Evans told the court he was willing to sign a pre-nuptial agreement guaranteeing to pay for Laumann’s children to attend private school in London at least until the end of Grade 8, even if they broke up. He and Laumann also offered to pay for monthly flights so Wallace could visit his children in London.

Wallace told the court he would not be willing to relocate to London, and likely would not be able to fly out regularly because of work.

Laumann told the court that if it she was not allowed to move the children to London, she would stay in Victoria and “continue her relationship with Mr. Patchell-Evans as best she could.” She said she would reconsider her plans to marry if she lost the case.

In his decision, Pearlman noted “there is no easy answer.”

“What the children will lose if they move to Ontario is constant contact with a dedicated father who until now has had joint custody with Ms. Laumann and with whom they have spent about 40 per cent of their time,” he said in his decision.

Pearlman ruled it would not be in the best interests of the children to move with Laumann to London.