Tag Archives: contempt

News from raw milk “obstruction” trial

On his Complete Patient blog, David E. Gumpert has published a comprehensive roundup of the state of the two pending legal cases regarding raw milk at Glencolton Farms:

“In one action, Schmidt and Elisa VanderHout face the threat of court proceedings from an injunction to “enforce” the ban on “distribution” of raw milk. Michael and his wife, Elisa, argue that the milk act does not apply to the shared ownership arrangement that governs the operations at Glencolton Farms.

The submissions for the injunction case are over. A ruling from the judge could come any day on whether or not he will grant the injunction from York Region and the Ontario  Ministry of Agriculture. If granted, the ruling will move  the prosecution into criminal proceedings (contempt of court) to any farmers, mothers, community leaders, etc. who participate in a milk drop or handle raw milk for human consumption. In the case of Glencolton Farms, the farm is a cooperative structure, which means that many members own the farm and benefit from everything that the farm produces. This case in Canada is an important one to watch as the ruling—either way–will significantly affect what foods Canadians have access to and how the regulatory agencies and courts will target individual farmers and producers.

In a second and more dramatic case, Schmidt continues his trial on the charges of obstruction of a peace officer . These charges, against Michael and originally four other men, stem from the raid on Glencolton Farms by Glenn Jarvie and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in October 2015. During the raid, the government confiscated computers and some documents before 80 farm owners, friends and neighbours showed up and blocked the driveway. Farm members stood in the cold driveway at the farm, blocking the government vehicles from leaving as long as the trucks had the farm owners’ property in them. Only five people were charged. Over the course of the hearings for the obstruction charges, all were dropped except the charges against Schmidt and two other defendants.

Schmidt provided a recent video update where he speaks about the bureaucratic mishaps that have him labeled as a Canadian “terrorist,” in the words of at least one law enforcement person involved in the court proceedings. The irony of this is that Michael is a firm advocate of peaceful resistance. The entire time Michael has stood up for his rights as a farmer and for the rights of consumers to procure the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice, he has done so with an emphasis on non-violence.

Just after he gave that update, Schmidt was back in court. During that court proceeding, after a particularly agitated exchange between the defendants and the judge, a spectator left the courtroom and said aloud that the court proceedings were not seeking the truth or justice. This led to the court police assaulting the man, giving him injuries that led to his being taken to the hospital where he was released after treatment later that day. Schmidt provided another video update about the incident….”

Read it all on “The Complete Patient” blog.

The obstruction trial is set to continue in Walkerton on July 28th, August 4th and August 25th of 2017.

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Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt to appeal contempt conviction in B.C.

From Scott Dunn in the Owen Sound Sun Times:

Michael Schmidt raises a glass of raw milk in a toast to his supporters at a raw milk rally outside the Grey Bruce Health Unit in Owen Sound in October 2011. Photo via Owen Sound Sun Times.

“Local raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt is appealing a British Columbia Supreme Court judge’s finding of contempt against him for violating an injunction to stop the distribution of raw milk for human consumption under the “ruse” of saying his raw milk was a cosmetic.

Justice Randall Wong, in a June 5 written decision, found Schmidt and B.C. farm owner Gordon Watson in contempt of the court’s March 18, 2010 injunction after the Fraser Health Authority filed a petition calling for a finding of contempt and special costs. Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson convicted of contempt of court in BC “Home on the Range” raw milk case

Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson, on the steps of the BC court house.

Ontario raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt and BC raw milk pioneer Gordon Watson were found guilty today, on charges of contempt, by Mr. Justice Wong of the B.C. Supreme Court. The charges relate to an order dating from March 18, 2010, given to former “Home on the Range” cowshare farm agister Alice Jongerden to cease and desist the farm’s raw milk operations.

Subsequent to this order, Michael Schmidt was said to have taken over as agister of the farm which was reconstituted as “Our Cows”, the products of which were labeled as cosmetics and “not for human consumption”. In his judgement, Justice Wong said: Continue reading

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B.C. contempt of court charges against Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson on the eve of the Ontario judgement

Michael Schmidt offers raw milk to a statue of the first judge of B.C. at the Vancouver court. No doubt that's all they drank back in his time. That's Alice holding the other jar of milk.

We don’t yet have the full story from Michael, but as far as we’ve so far heard, Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson have been named in a contempt of court charge in B.C., in what seems like an extension of the contempt of court conviction against Alice Jongerden several months ago, before Michael Schmidt took over as agister of what then was “Home on the Range” and later became “Our Cows”.

The fine being asked for in this charge in B.C. bears an uncanny resemblance to the amount of the fine levied against Michael in his Ontario contempt of court conviction a couple of years ago. It’s the same total amount of $55,000. In Ontario that was broken down as a $5,000 fine and $50,000 court costs.

However in the Ontario case, that fine has never yet been collected. And the justice system has not seen fit to jail Michael in lieu of payment of this fine. It would seem those formulating the charge in B.C. are simply following the precedent which appeared to have been set in Ontario as to the amount of a contempt of court fine dealing with raw milk. Continue reading

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Update on raw milk farmer Michael Hartmann — Minnesota Public Radio

Mark Steil on MPR news:

Worthington, Minn. — State officials say a southern Minnesota dairy farmer accused of selling E. coli contaminated unpasteurized milk is in contempt of court.

The Minnesota agriculture department says Michael Hartmann has ignored department and court orders banning the sale or use of hundreds of food items at his farm.

When inspectors went to the Hartmann farm near Gibbon, Minn. last week they had a big surprise. Most of the embargoed food which Hartmann was supposed to be storing, had disappeared. A district court judge had upheld the embargo just last month, and ordered the food be destroyed. Continue reading

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