SOMETIMES PARENTS HAVE TO TAKE THE C.A.S. TO COURT
In CR v. Children’s Aid Society, 2013 ONSC 1357 Justice deP Wright reviewed an order made on a summary judgment motion.
In this case, the trial ordered that the children be made Crown Wards. The burden of proof fell upon the Mother to prove that permitting her access to the children would be in the children’s best interests. The trial judge held that the Mother should not have access because the Mother had not seen the children since 2011. This reasoning was consistent with the general rule that, all things being equal, it is in the child’s best interests if he or she has stability and the status quo is maintained.
The trial judge denied the Mother’s request for access based on the written materials only. The Mother had no opportunity to question the C.A.S. workers as to the reason why the Mother had no access to the children.
Justice deP Wright heard the appeal. The mother argued that she requested access visits with the children several times. The Children’s Aid Workers denied her request. Because the matter was decided summarily, however, the Mother could not adduce evidence as to why she failed to see the children. Justice deP Wright found this to be fundamentally unfair and restored the Mother’s right to a hearing.
C.A.S. counsel argued that the Mother should have brought a motion to have access to the Children. The Mother: “pointed out that she had recently given birth to a fourth child which was under the temporary care of the Society and that she was intimidated by the possibility of losing her baby. She claims that the day the decision was released in this matter her baby was restored to her. 2013 ONSC 1357 (CanLII)”
Sometimes the C.A.S. does not safeguard the rights of the parents. Parents must be willing to use the courts if he or she is to get a fair assessment of his or her parenting abilities.