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Criminal history of violence, drugs and incarceration must be disclosed

Criminal history of violence, drugs and incarceration must be disclosed

  1. The Father sought interim Orders, including a location order, a recovery order, equal shared parental responsibility, that the children live with the Father, and spend time with their mother each alternate weekend from after school Friday to before school on Monday, each Wednesday from after school until 7:00pm, half of each school holiday period, and on special occasions. A watch list order was also sought.
  2. What should have been clear from the orders sought by the Father is that whatever concerns he raised in his Affidavit (which will be considered shortly), those concerns did not warrant any particular restrictions or conditions on the Mother’s time. Indeed, the Father proposed a substantial and significant time order.
  3. The Father caused to be filed a Notice of Risk. In that Notice he alleges that the children are at risk of being abused by their mother. The narrative he gives in his Notice of Risk refers to the Mother’s physical discipline of X and his concerns about the Mother’s mental health. He further alleges that there has been family violence perpetrated by the Mother against both the Father and X, by way of verbal abuse. Moreover, he inferentially casts doubt upon the Mother’s mental health by referring to an incident on 19 January 2017 when the Mother allegedly attempted to jump out of a moving car.
  4. Despite the serious concerns raised in the Notice of Risk, the actual parenting Orders that he proposed at the time, indeed, continues to propose to this Court, suggests no restraint on the Mother’s behaviour as directed towards X and contains no proposal about the Mother seeking assistance about her alleged mental health condition. Having, no doubt, gained the attention of the person reading the Notice of Risk by alleging family violence and mental health issues, the Father also raised concerns about not knowing where the Mother and the children were, though he does not go on to raise concerns in the Notice of Risk about the children being removed from Australia.
  5. There is another important allegation raised in the Notice of Risk, and that is that the Mother had falsely made an allegation against the Father of family violence on 26 January 2016. This will be considered in greater detail below.
  1. The difficulty for the Father, however, is that this particular evidence, on which he relied in order to gain the recovery order, was plainly misleading in what it does not tell the Court. Moreover, the matters about to be discussed were plainly known to the Father.
  2. The Mother’s Solicitor caused to be produced to the Court on short notice documents produced on subpoena by New South Wales Police. The first category of documents in this regard is the Father’s criminal history. The Father had a significant criminal history between 1978 and 2003. After 2003, however, the only charges recorded relate to an alleged violent incident with the Mother in these proceedings in 2016, which were dismissed. This will be discussed below.
  1. In any event, it is plainly the case that the Father, who must have known about these events and the charges and convictions against him, not only failed to disclose this information, but presented an even more disturbing half-truth before the judicial officer who was called on to make an urgent and ex parte decision about his children.
  2. Let it be very clear – it is the opinion of this Court that any parent who has been violent to a former partner in the past, who has been convicted of the same, and who does not spend time or communicate with children from a previous relationship for reasons that include that violence, must put that material before the Court in all circumstances, let alone when ex parte Orders are sought.

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