Update on motion to dismiss sheep-napping conspiracy charges

From lawyer Karen Selick:

The Montana Jones / Michael Schmidt motion to have their charges dismissed for unwarranted delay is just about to start its third day of hearing today (November 23).

I was present for the first day. Lawyer Genevieve Eliany did an excellent job of presenting the case for dismissal, based on affidavit evidence provided by Shawn Buckley.

The judge, Madam Justice Laura A. Bird of the Superior Court of Justice, is both a former Crown and a former defence lawyer. She appeared to be thoroughly familiar with the material that had been filed for the motion.  We are cautiously optimistic that she will decide in favour of dismissal.

Justice Bird has already set a date for rendering her decision: Monday, November 28 at 9:00 am sharp. Observers are welcome to attend, but please ensure that you arrive on time. The place is the Newmarket Courthouse, 50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket.

And if you haven’t yet renewed your donation for this cause, we could still use your contribution. Here’s the link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-defend-farmers-charged-in-rare-sheep-case/x/10508017#/

Thanks very much to those who recently contributed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Motion to dismiss sheep conspiracy charges against Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones to be heard Nov. 21, 22, 23 in Oshawa – open to the public


Lawyer Shawn Buckley with Montana and Michael at the Durham Regional Courthouse in Oshawa, which is where the Nov. 21, 22, and 23 motion to dismiss the case will be heard.

This just in from lawyer Karen Selick:

Can you be in Oshawa, Ontario on Monday, November 21, 2016?  That’s the day when lawyer Genevieve Eliany will try to persuade the Superior Court of Ontario to dismiss the charges against Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt due to the inordinate delay in reaching trial.

We’d like to see lots of supporters in the courtroom, so if you can arrange to attend that day—or on November 22 or 23 (yes, this motion is scheduled to take three full days to argue)—please come out and show your support. If you can attend for all three days, that would be wonderful, but if you can spare only one day, we’ll still be glad to see you.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sheep-napping charges against Robert Pinnell dropped; Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones in court Nov. 21-23

Reflections on a sheepish affair


Michael Schmidt, Montana Jones, and Robert Pinnell — three of the four people accused in the 2012 sheep-napping case. Photo taken at start of proceedings.

It has been 1403 days since my adventure with the legal system started. Today in the Superior court in Newmarket all charges in regards to me were withdrawn.

In the beginning there were 4 of us charged with the disappearance of 31 Shropshire sheep. Myself, Robert Pinnell. Michael Schmidt. Susan Atkinson. And Montana Jones. Now after 1403 days Michael and Montana are the only ones left standing.

What make this even more interesting is, that I had actually given a video statement, where I confessed, that I was the one that drove the truck and transported the sheep from one place to another. No one else had given a statement although Susan had later given a statement and plead guilty to a lesser charge. I never once said I was innocent  just that I was not guilty of what I was charged with — CONSPIRACY.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Raw Milk Keeps on Flowing at OFOF


Our Farm Our Food members with their milk on Wednesday Sept. 28th after two days of court hearings. Those are documents from the court proceedings on the table in front of the truck.

There was a full parking lot of cars not long after 3 pm as those Our Farm Our Food members who could, arrived early for a media event which included a photoshoot with a table full of documents from the court proceedings earlier this week (photo above). Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Aggrieved Farmers Exit Court, Citing Lack of Justice; News Conference Wed. Sept. 28th, 3:00 pm in Thornhill


Markus, Michael and Elisa talking with supporters following their withdrawal from court proceedings yesterday at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket, Ontario.

Newmarket, Canada—September 27, 2016—At a two-day hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice Tuesday, in a dramatic turn of events, farmers walk away from the proceedings claiming the proceedings are not about justice.

The farmers, Elisa Vander Hout and Michael Schmidt, and representatives of Our Farm Our Food coop will hold a press conference on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 3:00pm 901 Rutherford Road Vaughan, Ontario, Canada at the Christian Community Church. At the press conference, Elisa Vander Hout will address the reasons that she withdrew her participation in the court proceedings and next steps for the farm owners. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Let them get their injunction. Put me in jail. I welcome it.” Elisa van der Hout


Elisa van der Hout and Michael Schmidt outside the Newmarket Court at lunch today talking with raw milk supporters, after they had both withdrawn themselves from the proceedings.

After an impassioned statement to the court and an exchange with the judge, first Elisa van der Hout, and shortly thereafter, Michael Schmidt declared that they were withdrawing from the court proceedings contesting the injunctions being sought by York Region and by the Milk Director of Ontario to shut down the “milk plant” at Glencolton Farms and the milk distribution in Thornhill and to criminalize those who transport raw milk or advocate its consumption.

These statements came around 11 am after the court had listened to a lengthy presentation by lawyer Davin Charney, who had been continuing his arguments from the day before as to why the the two applications for injunctions should be converted to an action.  Mr. Charney was representing Markus Schmidt, Agricultural Renewal Coop, and the Christian Community Church. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Raw Milk Motions Court Report from Newmarket, Sept 26th re: Michael Schmidt, Elisa, ARC, OFOF, and the Christian Community Church


Michael Schmidt and Elisa van der Hout, two of the respondents, in the case under discussion Sept. 26th at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice at 50 Eagle Street in Newmarket Ontario

Lately, it seems that every year about this time, something big goes down on the raw milk scene in the farmshare community around Michael Schmidt. Last year it was the Oct. 2nd 2015 raid on the farm in which the threatened removal of critical milking machines and other equipment by authorities was stayed only by a crowd of supporters blocking Michael’s  driveway at the farm, willing to put themselves at risk of being arrested and charged. Five of them were later charged.

Also last year about this time there were run-ins with York Region Public Health officials at the Blue Bus drop off site at a church in Thornhill. At one point the inspectors reportedly wanted to confiscate all the farmshare’s milk, but settled for taking samples, presumably to prove that the milk products really were raw.

This year the excitement is around two full days in court (Sept. 26th and 27th) in Newmarket for the entertainment of motions related to the applications by Ontario’s Milk Director, and by the region of York, seeking to criminalize the continued operation of what they’re calling “a milk plant” at the farm, as well as the activities of distributing the milk and related products to members AND even the advocating of the consumption of raw milk. These applications, which are being heard in court now, are the outcome of the raids that took place last year about this time.

The parties named in the applications (for injunctions) are ARC (Agricultural Renewal Coop), the Christian Community church, Markus Schmidt, Elisa van der Hout, and Michael Schmidt, as well as any Jane Doe or John Doe who traffics in or advocates raw milk. The church, ARC and Markus Schmidt are represented by lawyer Davin Charney. Elisa and Michael are representing themselves.

The first motion heard on Sept. 26th was regarding a request by the Our Farm Our Food coop to be granted intervener status at the proceedings. This request was agreed to by the lawyers for York Region and the Milk Director.

However, a related motion, to have Lewis (Skip) Taylor represent the Coop in the proceedings, did attract some resistance and opposition. Usually a corporation (the Coop is a corporation) is required to appear in court represented by a lawyer, although with the court’s leave, a non-lawyer may be allowed to represent the corporation, depending on a number of factors which were discussed in detail in Mr. Taylor’s case, both by Mr. Taylor and by the lawyer for York Region. The judge did not appear to have made a decision yet on this question.

The next motion which was heard by the court was a request to convert the applications by York Region and the Milk Director into actions. The conversion into an action would mean that the case could be decided by a jury rather than by a judge.

Lawyer Davin Charney spent much of the afternoon on Sept. 26th putting forward arguments in favour of this motion. However the other parties at the Court have yet to weigh in on the matter. We can look forward to several more hours of argument and discussion on this motion tomorrow, Sept. 27th on which date the court will commence at 9:30 am and probably continue until 4:30 pm.

According to Michael and Elisa there has been interest expressed in covering this story by Global TV, CBC News, and the Globe and Mail newspaper. Unlike the last time, there was no rally or demonstration, and no cow being milked on the courthouse steps.

There were about 50 farmshare members and supporters on hand when the court proceedings got underway around 11 am on Sept. 26th. There were still a few empty spaces, but the crowd of supporters filled most of the available pews in courtroom 401.

Day 2 Court Report now posted


Lawyers for York Region heading home after a long day at the raw milk case Sept. 26th, with boxes full of weighty evidence. There was another such legal team in court on behalf on Ontario’s Milk Director, who is also a party to one of the applications for injunctions against the continued production and distribution of raw milk at Glencolton Farms.



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized