Jackson v Doyle – Ontario Superior Court of Justice –  March 20, 2020

Our firm received information on a case heard in Ontario at the Superior Court of Justice on March 20, 2020. In this case the father of the children  returned from Brazil on March 13, 2020 and immediately demanded to have the children for a full week of parenting time commencing March 15, 2020, despite having only exercised interim access supervised by the children’s nanny. The Father in response terminated his counsel, went to Mother’s home and took both children without her consent. Mother attempted to have children returned to her through her counsel by email. Father’s response was he was not returning children until she consented to 50/50 parenting schedule.

Evidence provided in mother’s materials demonstrated children became ill after they were taken by Father, with fever of 101 degrees. Father claimed it was normal for children to have fever sometimes. Soon after the children’s fever subsided he took them to public places including stores and to visit his elderly mother during the public health warnings of COVID-19.

The Court in this case deemed the case urgent. The principle in this case appears to be that similar cases during COVID-19 will be deemed urgent where a non-primary caregiver unilaterally alters the status quo or usual parenting arrangement and acts in a way that puts the children’s safety or health at risk.

Researched and Written by:

Ms. Solmaz Separy, Managing Lawyer

Ms. Katie Gaboury, Associate Lawyer

Mr. Adam Jaffer, Articling Student