Sunday, February 06, 2011

Appeal Date Set in Trial Against Ottawa CAS and Barbara MacKinnon (Executive Director)

When the charges against the Ottawa Children's Aid Society and its executive director Barbara MacKinnon were finally to be tried on Dec 1, 2010, the private prosecutor John Dunn was mistaken as to the starting time of the trial being at 9:30am, when in reality it was at 9:00am.

Dunn and two of his supporters were in the building by 9:10am, however thinking they still had twenty minutes before trial, dunn brought them to the building's coffee shop before heading to the court room.

By 9:20am, the Society's legal counsel, Burke-Robertson Barristers and Solicitors moved for the charges to be dismissed due to the fact that the private prosecutor was not in attendance and the justice of the peace granted their request to dismiss the charges without further inquiry.

At this point the defendants and their legal Counsel left the court room where Dunn crossed paths with them in the hallway as he approached the court room.

They stopped and their legal counsel handed back Dunn's original request for the list of the Society's members as required by law, and they left the building.

Dunn then entered the court room, the provincial prosecutor turned and mentioned to the judge that Dunn was here, however Dunn did not wish to disturb the ongoing matter and politely backed out of the court room apologizing for interrupting the other proceedings.

Dunn then filed an appeal of the court's decision to dismiss the charges by the end of December (within 30 days) and an appeal hearing is now set to determine whether or not a new trial date can be set.

The Appeal hearing will be held on

March 8, 2011
Ottawa Court House
161 Elgin Street
10:00 am (Dunn says "I'll be there this time for 9:00am to be early!")
Court Room #14.

The appeal is based on other supporting cases where dismissals of court cases because of Crowns' failure to appear were overturned on appeal because a Justice of the Peace or a Judge did not use their judicial discretion in a judicial manner in that they did not make any effort to determine if the prosecutor was in the building etc, or other attempts of a similar nature.

If the appeal is successful a new trial date will be set and the original charges can be tried and determined by the court as originally intended. The Society's position to date remains the same in that they refuse to furnish a list of their members in violation of the law which requires them to do so.

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