Neo-Nazi custody case appeal refused

CBC News, Canada/December 14, 2010

Manitoba's highest court has refused to allow a father accused of teaching his kids neo-Nazi beliefs to appeal a custody order giving the state permanent custody of them.

A Court of Queen's Bench justice granted Child and Family Services (CFS) guardianship of the father's nine-year-old stepdaughter and four-year-old biological son in February after a lengthy and high profile trial last year.

The father was seeking permission from the Manitoba Court of Appeal to get more time to file the necessary paperwork to fight the custody order, but the court refused that request saying the arguments he planned to make in his appeal had no merit.

"In short, none of the arguments raise an arguable ground of appeal," Justice Freda Steel ruled in a 15-page written decision released to the public Tuesday.

The children were removed from their Winnipeg home in 2008 after the girl showed up at her elementary school with racist writings and symbols on her skin.

Lawyers for CFS argued the children were emotionally harmed and were also being raised in squalor and suffering from neglect.

A sweeping ban on the case prevents the publication of any information that could lead people to identify the children, who now live in the care of their aunt, a social worker.

In her decision, Steel noted that the father missed the deadline to file his appeal by three days, and many other parties in the case weren't served with a notice of his intention to fight the lower court's order until well after that.

The father told court the delay in filing was inadvertent, but also complicated by a delay in getting legal funding. Legal Aid Manitoba only agreed to pay for his appeal on June 30, about three months after the missed deadline.

Steel wrote the court had to take into account the welfare of the children when deciding whether to allow the appeal to go ahead.

"Delay is of particular concern in child-protection proceedings where an expeditious resolution and permanency planning are in the child's best interests," she wrote. "Such a consideration is no different than considering prejudice would result to the other party, except here, that party is not the opposing party, but the children involved in the case," she stated. Parents talked of racial violence: social workers

During the trial of the custody issue last year, social workers testified the girl had said her parents hated people who were not white and talked of racial violence.

Social workers testified she used racial epithets to describe blacks, Asians, aboriginals and other minorities. One worker told the court the girl calmly described how black people could be killed with a ball and chain.

The father admitted to using Nazi salutes and telling the children that only white people belong in Canada. But he told the court his beliefs do not amount to racism and he never preached violence.

Steel wrote that the trial judge's decision to grant custody to the state was the correct one in the case.

There was "abundant" evidence to show the father is unfit to care for the two kids, she said.

"In deciding that the children were in continuing need of protection, the trial judge reviewed [the father's] history of violence, criminality, neglect of the children, drug and alcohol abuse, the living condition of the children … and his proposed parenting plan," Steel stated.

"A review of the reasons and references to the evidence supporting them make it clear there was abundant evidence to support the trial judge's conclusion."

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.