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January 30, 2012

New Brunswick Woman Sent to Jail for Lying in Family Court Document

On January 11th, a New Brunswick woman was sentenced to three months in jail for lying in an affidavit that was part of a custody dispute between herself and her former common law partner. She was convicted of the crime of perjury, which is when a person knowingly lies under oath.  An affidavit is a written document made under oath.  

The woman shared custody of her two children with her former common law partner and was seeking full custody. In her affidavit she claimed she was concerned about an injury on her son’s foot which her doctor said was not healing due to the care the child was receiving when he was with his father. However, videotaped statements made by the woman to police as well as the testimony of the doctor showed that she was lying and knew she was giving false information.

The lawyer for the woman argued that since the perjured statement was made in a family court matter, it shouldn’t be considered as ‘serious’ a crime as someone lying to try to avoid punishment in a criminal case.  Judge Julian Dickson of the New Brunswick Provincial Court disagreed, asking the defence lawyer what could be more important than issues of custody and access to children, who are vulnerable individuals.  Judge Dickson also refused the defense’s request to impose a conditional sentence (which would have allowed the woman to serve her sentence at home). 

Source: Fredericton Daily Gleaner, January 12, 2012