Covid-19 – Comply with Current Court Order?

When deciding if there is a requirement to comply with a current Court order for parenting times/access provision during COVID-19, consider the following case on the issue of compliance: 

Comply with Current Court Order

ENDORSEMENT

[1]  The applicant seeks leave to bring an emergency motion to “restore his Court ordered access to his daughter, namely, Amelia Jane Munn born December 31, 2013 (the “Child), and to make any necessary adjustments to the said Order (for the applicant) in Order to allow the restoration of his access as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

[2]  The 14B motion was served on counsel for the respondent on April 11, 2020. Some six days later, no reply materials have been filed. I am therefore treating this as unopposed.

[3]  As the applicant has not had any access to the Child now since March 11, 2020, I am deeming this motion to be urgent pursuant to the current protocol of this court.

[4]  As many of my fellow judges have ruled over the past few weeks, absent some evidence to substantiate a real risk to the Child resulting from visiting a parent with whom the Child does not live primarily, the custodial parent is to continue to comply with an existing access order.

[5]  The applicant has submitted an affidavit in which he has sworn that he and his family, which includes the parties’ other child William, are complying with the recommended guidelines with respect to isolation and social distancing. The respondent has submitted nothing to contradict this.

[6]  Coupled with that, there is a history of the respondent not cooperating with the current order made by Leibovich J. on October 21, 2019. That order granted the applicant very specific access on comprehensive terms.

[7]  The ink was barely dry on that order when the applicant was forced to bring a contempt motion due to the respondent’s failure to comply fully with the existing order. That motion was heard by Corkery J. on January 16, 2020. His Honour made an order for make-up visits and ordered costs against the respondent in the amount of $4,000.00.

[8]  I am now ordering that the respondent comply fully with each and every term of Leibovich J.’s order of October 21, 2019. If she has not done so by this coming Wednesday, April 23, 2020, then the applicant may bring a contempt motion. The respondent will run the risk of being held in contempt and of further costs orders being made against her.

[9]  I am ordering costs against the respondent on this motion fixed in the amount of $1,000.00.