Quebec father asks court to clarify parental rights in grounding case

*A Gatineau father has asked Quebec’s highest court to rule on the rights of parents after a lower court ordered he overstepped his bounds by prohibiting his daughter from going on a school trip.

The Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal heard arguments Tuesday in the case of a 12-year-old girl who took her father to court after she was grounded.

In June 2008, the girl was preparing to go on a three-day trip with her Grade 6 class to Quebec City to celebrate their graduation from elementary school.

However, the father told the girl she was not allowed to go after she disobeyed his orders to stay off the internet.

The girl, whose parents are divorced, got a lawyer and took the matter to Quebec Superior Court.

Judge Suzanne Tessier ruled in June that the father didn’t have the right to bar the girl from the outing.

In her ruling, the judge said there was no reason for the punishment to stand, since the girl was living with her mother, even though the father had custody at the time. The judge said the punishment was also excessive.

The father has since given up custody of his daughter. However, his lawyer said he appealed to clarify the rights of parents in such situations because he still has custody of his three other children.

The man’s lawyer argued before the three-member appeal panel Tuesday that he was only exercising his parental rights.

The judges have reserved their decision.

I wonder how soon this sort of thing will be attempted in the United States.

:eek: The father was overstepping his bounds???
This judge has got to go. To even allow this case to come to court is outrageous!!!
I hope it never comes to this country.

I think banning her from going on a graduation trip for going on the internet was a bit harsh. I don’t think it’s any of the court’s business, but I do think parents should be more proportional in punishing kids.

That does sound too harsh. But this doesn’t need to go to court, it’s just ridiculous.

The daughter not only went on the internet, she went to sites her father had specifically tried to block. Later, after being banned from the internet by her father, she disobeyed him and went back on the net through a friend and then posted inappropriate pictures of herself on a site. That is bigtime and deserves a strong punishment.

Canada:a country that’s soon coming to all of you.Welcome to OUR nightmare.

Certain courts and legal organizations are probably applauding the ruling the father is appealing (ACLU, 9th Circuit just to name a couple).

That would be YOUR nightmare. I on the other hand, having traveled most of the world am quite happy to say there is no better place to be than in Canada. A country willing to recognise that maybe everyone should have rights

Except, it seems, parents and those who criticize homosexual acts.

Everyone has rights here? I don’t think we’re talking about the same Canada. We’re living in a country where liberalism and political correctness have gone way too far.

Not to derail the thread, but case in point: the unborn.

lol, those parents are like my parents.

My mom is the worst. She will literally threaten to switch High Schools (from Carmel Catholic to the far inferior Round Lake) over some frivolous [expletive] like complaining about how my carpool is always late.


Well we only have the news paper account, so we can only judge from what we’ve read.

However, based on that alone, it seems that the father’s narrow minded rigidness might explain the reason behind the divorce.

This was his daughter’s graduation trip from elementary school. This only happens once in a child’s life. To deny that experience over some disordered mental block the father has toward the internet, is absurd.

Thankfully the father gave up custody.


The father’s discipline maybe overly harsh, but he is still the father. Unless he was abusing his daughter, then the court had NO authority or right to overturn the punishment he gave his daughter for disobeying him.

He gave up custody because he was not allowed to parent.

The girl posting inappropriate pictures of herself online was reason enough to deny her internet access.


He gave up custody because he was not allowed to parent.

Where does it say that in the article? I’ve seem to have missed it.

The girl posting inappropriate pictures of herself online was reason enough to deny her internet access.

Once again, I didn’t see that in the article. Did I miss it? :rolleyes:


The father didn’t have even basic parental rights to raise his own children. Enjoy your police state.

What is disordered is sin, like that of children disobeying their parents. Perhaps a beating would be more in line? Better yet, how about little or no punishment so we can continue to raise a perverse generation of children who have no concept of good and evil.

This is according to the father’s lawyer. :rolleyes:

As usual in such cases, we the public, usually don’t know all the details, but get the information filtered through lawyers.

Either way, it seems from the articles, that the father may be a rigid overbearing protective father, who will do more harm to the girl than good.

The judge in this case must’ve also weighed in the mother’s position and had to judge between the two parents.

From the looks if ot, she’s better off living with the mother.


There are two parents here, the father and the mother. Although the father had custody at the time, the child was living with the mother, when she went onto the internet. According to one of the articles linked.

How one parent gets custody over another in divorce cases, isn’t always fair. Sometimes its because the mother, doesn’t have the economic means to support the child as the father does.

However, we don’t know.

The mother apparently has a different set of rules than the father does, and the judge apparenty took the mother’s position into consideration, when making the judgement.


Based on newspaper headlines and TV talking heads you think I live in a police state.
Let’s rehash, based on what has been reported and quoted.
*]The seperated father, who the daughter was living with at the time, made a disciplinary decision he felt was justified based on his daughter actions. He was within his rights to do so.
*]The daughter left the father’s house to live with her mother in anger over his decision. She was within her rights to do this.
*]The mother and the daughter both felt that the punishment was excessive. (you may disagree with them but so what). We do not know what punishments the mother may have replaced them with. We do not know whether the father may have been over-reacting in his sense of what was inappropriate. We do not know any of these details. However, the mother disagreed with the father and wished to allow her daughter to have this school trip.
*]It was the school that determined that either both parents would have to sign the approval form or that a court order would be needed.
*]It was the mother that proposed the court action and it was done as part of the on-going seperation negotiations.
*]Finally it was a judge, in a court of law, that decided in favour of the teen and the mother’s wishes. The judge did not pass judgement on the father’s disciplinary style. The judge did not even comment on the merits or lack thereof of the child’s behaviour. The judge simply assessed that as the child was now living with the mother the mother’s decisions in this regard should take precedent.
*]Furthermore it has been assessed that this action is only possible in Canada in the Province of Quebec given their unique civil law.[/LIST]We might not like how this has proceeded, responding as we are to newspaper stories, however I fail to see how such due process could possibly call for the slander of “police state”.

I’ve lived in real police states… Canada does not qualify. Canada does not have secret prisons that can hold people indefinitly without charge. Canadians traveling through Canadian airports don’t have to worry about being whisked off to secret locations for interogation and torture. Canadian officials do not restrict its citizens travel rights. In fact, one of the constant complaints of Canada’s various “police” forces is the degree they feel they are hampered in doing their job by the laws in Canada designed to protect individual rights and freedoms.

On the surface of this story, which is all we have to go by, I’m as appalled by the outcome as anyone else. However, what was asked was that parental rights be clarified in cases like this and that was what was done. The judge has effectively given disciplinary priority to the parent the child is living with currently. That’s really all there is to this.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit