A Langley woman managed to take her four children across the border into the U.S. at the Aldergrove crossing despite a B.C. court order banning her from taking them out of the province.
A just-released Abbotsford Provincial Court written judgment shows the woman was allowed to cross the line in September, 2014 even though she told the U.S. authorities at the border about the non-removal order, and even though the father of the children discovered the attempted removal and went to the border crossing.
“He was able to see them (the children) across a counter, but was not allowed to speak to them,” Judge Kenneth Skilnick wrote.
“He watched them leave with the (mother).”
Because the woman was an American citizen and her Canadian-born children have dual citizenship, the United States Homeland Security officers “came to the conclusion that they had no grounds to prevent (them) from entering into the United States.”
After the mother and children got past the border, they spent several weeks on the road, staying in hotels and homeless shelters, before arriving at a relative’s home in North Carolina, the decision said.
When the father learned where they were staying and tried to follow them more than a month later, he was detained by U.S. Homeland Security officers and almost missed his flight to North Carolina, the judge noted.
However, the father managed to get a court order from an American judge to return his children, and “with the assistance of local police officers,” took them home to Canada.
The details of the story were recounted during a five-day hearing when the mother applied for an order that would give her custody of the children and allow them to live in Washington state.
Judge Skilnick denied the application, noting the mother “has demonstrated an unwillingness to follow (court) orders” and “an unwillingness to accept the conclusions of police, doctors, social workers, close friends and family, where those views do not accord with her own.”
The Dec. 11, 2015 judgment was recently posted on the Provincial Court website, with the full names of the parents and children removed.