Found Safe Canada - O’Driscoll-Zak sisters, 2 & 5, abduction by aunt & grandmother, Cochrane, 12 Mar 2021

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by MistyWaters, Mar 14, 2021.

  1. Mystrywrtr62

    Mystrywrtr62 Well-Known Member

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    No that is the judge’s decision you quote, not the judge providing a response. Her decision stands and doesn’t go any further unless the mother tries to appeal again. Hasn’t yet that I know.
     
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  2. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    Are you reading the entire document? What begins with an Introduction always ends with a Conclusion. The mother’s application to have the Judge disqualified was dismissed (as in not upheld).

    From your link:

    III. Conclusion
    [62] In conclusion, I find that the mother has not met the high burden to provide cogent evidence in support of her allegation of bias or reasonable apprehension of bias.

    [63] The mother’s application to have me disqualified as case manager is dismissed.

    [64] As the successful party, the father is entitled to costs. If counsel cannot resolve the issue of costs, counsel for the father shall submit written costs submissions not to exceed 3 pages with a Bill of Costs and any Offer to Settle attached within 30 days. Counsel for the mother shall submit her written response not to exceed 3 pages with any Offer to Settle and a Bill of Costs, if desired, within 30 days of receipt of the father’s costs submissions. All submissions to be filed and copies provided to me through my judicial assistant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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  3. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    It appears the Cochrane RCMP are not leading this investigation.

    BBM

    Cochrane RCMP update investigation into search for missing children and adults - DiscoverAirdrie.com
    “The Serious Crimes Branch of the RCMP continue to investigate the disappearance of 5-year-old Leonine O’Driscoll-Zak and 2-year-old Wyatt O’Driscoll-Zak and still believe they are in the company of their grandmother and aunt who are believed to have taken them. ..”

    About the SCB -
    Alberta RCMP Serious Crimes Branch 2020 year in review | Royal Canadian Mounted Police
     
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  4. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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  5. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    My impression is that the mother has received poor legal advice. One of the points argued by her lawyer in the bias hearing, which aimed to remove the Judge, is that the Judge communicated privately with the psychologist. Miller, her lawyer, knew that the communication was between the Judge's assistant and the psychologist to schedule an appointment, yet the lawyer implied that the Judge spoke directly to the psychologist.

    I think it is impossible for the mother to make good decisions when her lawyer is involved in creating confusion over the ethics of the Judge. Miller, her lawyer, should have assured her client that psychologists do attend custody hearings after interim reports have been prepared.

    [52] Although not raised in the bias application itself, counsel for the mother argued at the bias hearing that a further reasonable apprehension of bias could be drawn from the fact that Dr. Froberg attended the December 15, 2020 case management meeting at my invitation. Counsel said that it took the parties by surprise that Dr. Froberg was present at that meeting. Counsel went on to state:

    “It’s not uncommon in the psychological literature for experts to become aligned with one party or another, and it is increasingly problematic when that expert is engaged in private conversations with the Court. I understand Dr. Froberg was contacted by the Court via phone, was requested to attend to that appearance and none of that information was provided to the parties ahead of time. It raises the question to what extent those conversations and the extent to what conversation was had with Dr. Froberg prior to that December 15th Court appearance.”​

    [53] In reply, counsel for the father, Ms. Pritchett, advised the Court that Ms. Miller had communicated with Dr. Froberg about my alleged communications with the expert and had been advised that the only contact was with my judicial assistant who asked her to appear.

    [54] I asked Ms. Miller to confirm Ms. Pritchett’s comment, i.e. that she knew that the communications were only between my judicial assistant and Dr. Froberg. Ms. Miller replied to say “there was a telephone call followed by an email. I don’t have the contents of the telephone call.” I asked her to again confirm her understanding that the communications were just between my judicial assistant and Dr. Froberg to join the case management conference dealing with parenting. Ms. Miller responded: “Yes, my Lady, I appreciate that would have been on direction from the court.”

    https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abqb/doc/2021/2021abqb80/2021abqb80.html
     
  6. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    I wonder on whose advice the mother chose to withhold contact between the children and their father. The custody issue was being addressed by the court, which means she had to play by the rules, yet she seemed to be operating under the assumption that if she refused, or delayed, contact between children and father, she had some sort of advantage.

    “Based on her comments and actions, Ms. O’Driscoll does not appear to have accepted the validity and appropriateness of the Reunification intervention and is not indicating that she is willing to cooperatively participate in the process.”
    There are obviously allegations of abuse by both parents. It may seem like a good idea in the moment to take this route, but what both parents will have discovered is that they are escalating the conflict by lobbing more outrageous abuse allegations at each other - tactics which the courts have seen for decades. None of it can be taken seriously on the basis that it only emerged during the custody battle. I again question legal council ethics that has allowed the parents to become more emotionally agitated than necessary.

    "Indeed, in cases of high-conflict family litigation such as this one, where countervailing allegations of abuse/alienation are exchanged, both parties are expressly asking the Court to make such negative findings about one party or the other."​

    https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abqb/doc/2021/2021abqb80/2021abqb80.html
     
  7. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes a client won't listen to advice. I have a hunch the parties involved have had drama beyond this particular incident.

    To some people, drama is a way of life and they literally do not recognize another way.

    My opinion and observation, might not match the opinions of others.

    jmo
     
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  8. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    It seems that the mother believes that the children are in danger if they spend time with their father. The oldest child is 5 years old, so the relationship between the parents is 6 years or longer. The marriage broke down in 2019, so 5 years into the marriage that produced two children.

    If there were legitimate concerns about either parent spending time with the children, that would have been discovered when the first child was born. They didn't need 5 years to notice a problem.

    Therefore, it's reasonable to believe that the allegations about the children being in danger with either parent are based solely on the individual goals of the parents to have sole custody.

    Given that the mother's family has abducted the children, it seems evident that her family has aggravated her fear that the children are at risk when spending time with their father. The abduction has confirmed that the mother's family is willing to psychologically harm the children to get what they want. I base this on the fact that the children are now deprived of both parents, their homes, normal routines, friend contact and kindergarten for the 5 year old.
     
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  9. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    Snipped.

    Yep.

    jmo
     
  10. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy&Gabby

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    ^^bbm

    ^^RSBM
    Regardless of the filing date, I think OP's reference was the bias hearing which did in fact occur in January 2021.

    COVID's impact on the court calendar has clearly been emphasized in the ongoing matter which begs to question the need for multiple, critical posts that fail to add to the discussion. MOO

    From OP's link above:

    [43] At the bias hearing in January, Ms. Miller argued that the case management meeting should not have proceeded because: i) it was not urgent, and ii) the mother did not have the benefit of Ms. Miller at the case management meeting to give her legal advice.

    [..]

    Heard on the 18th day of January, 2021.
    Dated at the City of Calgary, Alberta this 1st day of February, 2021.
     
  11. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    It was the opinion of the mother that the situation was not urgent, and indeed the mother had no reason to view the situation as urgent as she was not deprived of contact with the children.

    That was not the opinion of the court, the psychologist, or the father.

    " Considering the Court of Appeal’s direction remitting the matter back to me for further determination, and its comments that i) the parenting schedule had expired, ii) a new parenting plan needed to be considered afresh, and iii) a PN8 may be better suited to this matter than a PN7, and considering Dr. Froberg’s Interim Report and her assessment regarding the mother’s willingness to cooperate, as well as my own finding (affirmed on appeal) that the mother was in contempt of court for breaching two prior court orders related to parenting, I found that the matter was urgent and that it was in the best interests of the children to convene a case management meeting before the Christmas break to address the interim parenting issues and for the parties to bring me up-to-date on their progress with the PN7 Reunification Therapy."
    https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abqb/doc/2021/2021abqb80/2021abqb80.html
     
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  12. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    Bottomline: the kids are with people who do not have legal custody.
     
  13. forthelost

    forthelost I hear the angels call my name and I am Winterborn

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    As someone who has literally dealt with thousands of parental kidnapping cases, I can say that almost always when a kidnapping occurs it is out of spite.

    How many cases have I seen where I thought the motivation was the child's safety? Two.

    Two. Out of thousands. And with one of those two, I thought the concern was unjustified. Genuine on the behalf of the abductor, but unjustified.
     
  14. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    The children were abducted by people who mistakenly believe that they know best, and who have placed the children at risk by depriving them of their parents, friends, routines and normal schedules. The abductors are breaking the law, so there must be a continuous heightened level of stress and anxiety around the children.

    Although RCMP have said that they believe the children are safe with the grandmother and aunt, I view that as more of a hope than a fact. The longer this goes on, the more desperate the situation will be, the more difficult it will be for the children, and the more likely it is that someone makes another irrational choice.
     
  15. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    The children were perfectly safe with both parents prior to divorce proceedings. We know that because they were together for at least 6 years and produced two children 3 years apart. The marriage would have collapsed in less than a year if one, or the other, was a danger to their children.

    This seems to be a combination of questionable legal advice, escalating hysteria based on seeking cause to allege abuse, and a refusal to accept the reality that divorce means that children will be raised separately by both parents.

    What the mother fails to understand, in my opinion, is that everything will be fine in the long run. The children will love both parents, they will grow up well adjusted and happy provided the parents support them through this transition. Within a year or two, the children's lives will be filled with their activities, and the parents' importance in their lives will fade over time.
     
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  16. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy&Gabby

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    I disagree. It's on the record that the mother was found guilty of parental alienation--by two separate courts. Of course, alienating behavior results in distress of a child!

    [17] My oral reasons for decision were quite lengthy. In those reasons, I found that the mother was in contempt of court for having breached two previous parenting orders and I found that the mother had engaged in alienating behaviour.

    [18] As earlier stated, the mother appealed my findings and set out many issues for the Court of Appeal to consider including “whether the chambers judge was, or appeared to be, biased.”

    [19] In its Memorandum of Judgment upholding my decision, the Court of Appeal made the following comments on the issue of alienation and bias, at paragraph 7:

    7 We are not satisfied that the appellant was denied procedural fairness or that the case management judge was not impartial. The parental alienation issue was fully argued and the case management judge’s finding of alienation by the appellant is supported on the record. There is no basis for any suggestion of lack of impartiality.
     
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  17. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    I agree, focus on the future has been lost....unless the grandmother and aunt intend to hide out with the children until the 2 year old turns 18.

    This situation reminds me if the old saying that one can win the battle but still lose the war. The danger of a mother alienating her young children, refusing to allow a relationship with their dad comes as the children grow older. They may come to realize they’ve been intentionally deceived and manipulated and turn against her.

    At the present time, the mother and maternal side of the family may think they’re doing the right thing. But they may not realize they’re potentially risking their healthy, long term future relationship with these children.
     
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  18. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    Legal advice could be the reason she suddenly changed lawyers, if she failed to heed it.
     
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  19. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Won the battle (if running away is considered a win), but will lose the war.

    I'm sure they cannot sustain this life choice. It will be far better for everyone - especially the kids - to peacefully and calmly turn themselves in, rather than hiding until they are caught by the authorities who will immediately take the children into their custody.

    More unnecessary drama to come, unless they turn themselves in (or the people helping them do).

    jmo
     
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  20. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Could be, but the first lawyer was still on record when she hired a second lawyer in Dec 2020. The second lawyer said she was too busy to address the urgent issue of custody, claiming it was not urgent. The first lawyer was available but it seems that wasn't acceptable to the mother.

    Questions I have are:
    • Could a lawyer stand by while the client interferes with what is deemed in the best interests of the children?
    • Was the mother not told that violating child visitation arrangements would compromise her ability to obtain custody?
    • Why would the mother deliberately interfere with her goal of custody?
    • Who was advising her?
    • Who gave her the impression that alleging abuse during a custody dispute would improve her chances of gaining custody?
    • Did the mother believe that, since the interim order had expired, she could interfere with contact between children and father and, if so, who told her that?
     
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