On Nov. 15, Montana Jones posted the following message on her FB page:
“NO COURT this Mon or Tues. for Michael Schmidt or myself — BUMPED again by our juducial system. Thanks to all who were coming out to support…I will post update as soon as we are given a new date. Thanks everyone!”
A week earlier, on Nov. 7th, she had posted:
“Like to come to Superior Court in Oshawa? The CFIA cloud still hanging over Wholearth Farmstudio as Crown argues Michael Schmidt & Montana Jones NOT BE ENTITLED to their chosen Lawyer for pending Criminal Trial. Come watch the show in support Nov 18&19 — with Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt at 150 Bond Street, Oshawa, Ontario.”
Last report we’d heard, the Crown had been attempting to have the lawyer they’d chosen, Shawn Buckley, removed from the case.
This just in from Montana Jones:
It will soon be one year since Michael Schmidt, myself, Suzanne Atkinson and Robert Pinnell were arrested on multiple criminal charges related to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) destruction of my healthy flock of heritage Shropshire sheep.
Schmidt and I have yet to have a proper bail hearing, as each of the five or so appearances have been repeatedly postponed for various reasons by the Crown and the court. As part of the imposed bail conditions back on December 6, 2012, we were forced to surrender our passports, agree not to leave Ontario, and promise not to communicate with one another except in the presence of our lawyer (whom they want to remove). Those conditions seem unecessarily limiting for the nature of the alleged offenses. Do the CFIA and the Crown believe that Michael Schmidt and I might secretly plan to bring my sheep flock back to life? Michael Schmidt and I need to be able to communicate to organize legal defense fundraisers for our case.
To further muddy the waters of justice, the Crown brought an application to remove constitutional and criminal lawyer Shawn Buckley from the case. They claim a potential conflict of interest might possibly arise in the future—we see none and want to proceed. Michael Schmidt and I have chosen Shawn Buckley and feel our choice of legal representation is our right.
The Crown then argued that we should not be allowed a bail hearing review until the motion to remove our lawyer was resolved.
The matter was adjourned to a subsequent date. The Court held that Schmidt and I, the accused, have a right to a bail review and if the Crown is alleging the potential for a future conflict is a problem then the Court will make a decision on that at the bail review. So in effect the two issues are now tied together and the alleged potential conflict must be resolved before the court can speak to the bail review.
It has gone on for months, and months and months, and we are nowhere near the actual trial date yet.
More and more resources are being depleted as the issue drags on…some say it is just another government tactic to drain the finances of the accused. Certainly it does ensure that the incredible number of government employees involved will continue getting a paycheque (from you, the taxpayers) for a long while to come on this case alone. Each court appearance brings a cast of superfluous CFIA employees to various rural towns, who spend your money on travel and hotels, then spend the day watching, waiting and snoozing in the courtroom.
We are now awaiting a new date to appear in the Superior Court of Justice for both matters, which will likely not be until some time in January or February of 2014.
Meanwhile the cost of our legal defence mounts higher with each delay, despite the generous assistance of the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF). Please help us keep going with your support by coming out to the next court date and with donations for our defence against this injustice. (http://www.gofundme.com/farmedanddangerous)