Monday, June 30, 2008

Canadian 12 Year Old Daughter Sues Dad to Avoid Punishment of Not Being Able to Go On Class Trip & Frederick McKaney's Alleged Assault of His Own Mom!


Ms. Calabaza supplied some references for stories as the chief editor of Legal Pub is once again away being a real trial lawyer. In the first story originating out of Toronto, readers learn that divorce parent's difficulties with their children are not limited to the United States. While Alec Baldwin may have made inappropriate comments to his child (LINK), children can say and do inappropriate things too. In Quebec, a judge ruled that a father had no right to stop his 12-year-old daughter from going on a school trip. The father has filed an appeal of the decision even though the girl has already gone on the trip.

In May, the 12 year old girl who was living with her dad had a disagreement with her stepmother. As a result, the girl's dad forbid the girl to go on a three-day outing with her class. In order to avoid the punishment, the girl moved back into her mother's house and went on the class trip. The parents are divorced and the father had legal custody at the time the daughter moved back in with her mom. Quebec Superior Court Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier ruled the girl could attend the outing despite her father's wishes. Kim Beaudoin, the father's lawyer filed the appeal even though the girl has already gone on the trip because the judge's ruling raises unsettling questions for families. "It's dangerous to let kids play their parents. They have to learn to respect rules," Beaudoin said. Beaudoin seems to correctly argue that the judge had undermined the father's authority. Legal Pub thinks that Judges need to be cautious that their decisions do not take away appropriate punishments and facilitate one parent being allowed to say come live with me and you can avoid that punishment.

The other side of the coin is that in most jurisdictions including Quebec, even if a parent has legal custody, both parents retain parental authority. In other words custodial parents, "even if one parent has custody, the parents still have to make decisions jointly." This is a nearly universal law that too many custodial parents illegally ignore.
The girl's lawyer was Lucie Fortin. Ms. Fortin apparently feels this is an isolated ruling with no ramifications for others. Ms. Fortin, you miss the point. It has great presidential value for this child's future interaction with her father.

The second story about parent-child interaction takes place south of the Canadian border in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Fredrick McKaney, age 40, is accused of stabbing his mother with a fork and hitting another woman over the head with a frozen chicken. Mr. McKaney was arraigned in a Jackson courtroom on Thursday on two felony assault charges. The first count is for assault and battery and the second is for resisting an officer. So why did he apparently assault his own mom? According to the assistant prosecutor, Mark Blumer, "He stabbed his mother in the back of the neck when she refused to give him money, and then, an hour later, he attacked a neighbor woman with a chicken." (Ann Arbor news)

What do these two stories have in common? A total disrespect of a child (regardless of the age) for his parent.
Update 4-8-09: The Quebec father featured in this story lost his case to his 12-year-old daughter has no lost his appeal. Grounding his daughter was determined to be too harsh of punishment. Quebec Superior Court rejected the Gatineau father's appeal of a lower court ruling that said his punishment was too severe. Needless to say, the appellant is "flabbergasted," according to his lawyer Kim Beaudoin. (see CBC News story.) For those interested, the province's court of appeal declared the girl was caught up in a "very rare" set of circumstances, and good old Dad didn't have sufficient grounds to contest the court's earlier decision.
Happy parenting...

21 comments:

Joel A. Brodsky said...

The Canadian story is why I have a strong dislike for divorce courts. They tend to become “superparent”, and get involved in family disputes that they have no business dealing with. This is clearly undermining parental authority. Children in divorces shouldn’t have the authority to file motions against their parents. (Who paid the child’s lawyer? The parents, of course so there is a financial motive for a child’s lawyer to go to court over matters that the family should deal with.) I hope the appellate court reverses and gives the trial judge a slap on the wrist.
As to the second story, I don’t know for sure, but I would bet that drugs are involved. I have had cases where people who are addicted steal and rob family members to get money for their addictions. Sad but not uncommon.

Ms Calabaza said...

Mr. Brodsky,

I see a trend where people are getting tired of the Courts and Social Services telling them what to do and how to bring up children. It appears to have gotten out of hand in Canada. I also wonder why the parents would pay for the child's attorney? Maybe I'm naive but what is there to gain?

Ms Calabaza said...

Hey LP,

good luck on your trial . . . go get em!

Anonymous said...

I believe that children are given toooo many 'rights' and not enough responsibility, good role models, and consequences. Ms. Calbaza, I believe the lawyer was probably paid for by mom. What did she get out of it? Mom makes dad look bad and encourages disrespect of the father; therefore, the children like mom better. Sad, but true. It happens in too many cases. I agree that it is out of hand. Wake up parents! Act like adults and teach children right from wrong.
JF

Joel A. Brodsky said...

In answer to Ms. Calabaza, unfortunately the childs attorneys are appointed by the court (too often they are the judges or court administrators friend or former partner) and they are paid by the parents who are ordered to pay by the court. This is a recipie for graft and corruption and only makes it profitable for the childrens attorneys to run to court on the smallest matters. I know of a case where the parents were ordered to pay a $1000 retainer to a court appointed lawyer in a dispute over soccer practice. The attorney for the child was the judges former partner!

ralph said...

Children whipper snappers are out of control now days!


Ralph

Anonymous said...

What happened to father knows best?

Secrets said...

DISOBEDIENT, SPOILED CHILDREN GET ON MY DAMN NERVES!!

DIVORCED PARENTS NEED TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE WHEN IT COMES TO DISCIPLINING THE CHILD. THE MOTHER SHOULD HAVE TOLD THAT LITTLE WITCH SHE COULDNT GO ON THE CLASS TRIP.

I AGREE JOEL, THIS DOES UNDERMINE PARENTAL AUTHORITY.

Ms Calabaza said...

DISOBEDIENT, SPOILED CHILDREN GET ON MY DAMN NERVES!!

Hey Secrets,

let it all out . . . don't feel you need to hold back here!

tee-hee

Anonymous said...

Secret is holding back on us....





Jenny

Secrets said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

And folks wonder why parenting has become so difficult!

Anonymous said...

Fine example of why caning children is legal in some countries!

Anonymous said...

Gotta feel kids are out of control because of this crap...

Legal Pub said...

Update 4-8-09: The Quebec father featured in this story lost his case to his 12-year-old daughter has no lost his appeal. Grounding his daughter was determined to be too harsh of punishment. Quebec Superior Court rejected the Gatineau father's appeal of a lower court ruling that said his punishment was too severe. Needless to say, the appellant is "flabbergasted," according to his lawyer Kim Beaudoin. (see CBC News story.) For those interested, the province's court of appeal declared the girl was caught up in a "very rare" set of circumstances, and good old Dad didn't have sufficient grounds to contest the court's earlier decision.
Happy parenting...

Anonymous said...

What a bad decision. No wonder Canada is so messed up.

Anonymous said...

Good summary

Anonymous said...

Love the drawing!

Anonymous said...

She not only saw him in court, she stompted his butt, eh?

Anonymous said...

The little girls victory is a defeat for dads around the world.

Anonymous said...

Children who are allowed to control and manipulate divorced parents are exactly what is wrong with today's society. The tail is allowed to wag the dog!