First of all - if you go to the Dartmouth Provincial Court - drive a little way past it - there is a fabulous and HUGE Value Village there where the former Moir's Chocolate factory used to be. That's where I got this book at - "The Care and Feeding of Stuffed Animals" - it's a book that I can think of giving to a couple of local dog owners!
This week I went to bear silent witness to what I'm sure the people in the room have very different accounts of. It was a court case that had a predictable outcome, but not one that the petitioner thought it would have - but luckily the Judge looks at things from a legal standpoint. It was a shame, really - because he heard this case - and 2 sets of people had to have their application to have a peace bond put over until February of 2010 - so I hope that they are able to stay safe until then. If they actually have some kind of violence happen towards them because they didn't get their peace bonds that night - who's head should the guilt hang over? I wonder.
All of the court hearings at the Dartmouth Provincial court were applications for peace bonds - they were all women seeking peace bonds against men - except for one which was a family seeking a peace bond against what they thought was their mentally unbalanced neighbour, but really he was just a sad old man with dementia, but because of language issues - they really couldn't figure out what was going on with each other. It was really a sad case to watch.
All were valid - and most got their peace bonds - the men were coming to these women's houses and banging on their doors and threatening violence, there was liquor involved, children involved, police involved - it was all very traumatic and dirty - at one point I leaned over to the person I was with and whispered - "this is what peace bonds are meant for".
The case I was there for was for a local dog owner who's been in the news since July of 2008.
Her case has been ongoing since then, and it is not going to be going away anytime soon.
It's neither here nor there about everything that's gone on between then and now - the millions of miles of things that have been alleged by the person who's had her dog seized - but there was an application made by that person for a peace bond to try and keep another local dog owner away from her and to stop this person from "harassing her" and causing her psychological pain and perhaps even cause injury to her own personal property - her dog who is currently impounded by HRM.
And this week she took the stand at Dartmouth Provincial Court to talk about this, and tried to submit reams of files of internet postings - and went through everything that everyone has ever done to HER - and did it under oath - to try and convince the Judge that she really needed a peace bond against a fellow dog owner. When the Judge wouldn't let her submit the internet postings she told the Judge he was refusing to accept evidence and was opening her up to more ridicule and more harassment - from whom? Who knows.
However, the Judge kept saying to her while she was on the stand - all we can do here is to issue a bond based on - "grounds for fear of personal injury" - and the person making the application was unable to provide evidence of that.
The Judge said - "people are entitled to their various personal opinions - and that is what this seems to be"
The end of the evening came when the dog owner complained that she actually had to present evidence - in contast to the other people who had presented earlier in the evening who just had to come in and tell what had happened to them and they got their peace bonds - that seemed to put the judge over the moon - that ended the evening when the dog owner said - "it seems to me a lot to have to go through, unlike the other people who were presenting tonight - under the circumstances, the pressure I'm under already, in order to get someone to back off that I have to come here and show the case law, evidence - I can do that, but - I'm doing that all the time for other matters, and so it's an additional burden on me - but I don't think it's something that other people coming here tonight had to do" and the judge came in then and said - "the court is impartial in these matters, but there is a standard that the complainant has to meet and I'm not satisfied that you met it, so on the basis of what I have, this cases is dismissed."
And then we got to home - I got to send a tweet and facebook update saying "Gail is a winner" - and that was that.
And now you know the rest of the story.