3. Understand who else can be involved in the court case
Question & AnswerWhat do I do if I get court papers from CAS?
A (CAS) and the child’s parents are usually to the court case. This means CAS has taken the child’s parents to court.
If the child is a member of or identifies with a band or First Nations, Inuk, or Métis community, a person who represents each of the child’s bands or communities is also a to the court case.
Other people can also be involved, for example, foster parents who cared for the child for 6 months with no gaps just before a court hearing. They have the right to be told about the case, but they are not parties to it. They are allowed to sit in the courtroom, have a lawyer represent them, and tell the court what they think should happen.
But if they want to do more at the hearing, such ask a questions or call their own evidence, they have to get the court’s permission.
A child who is 12 or older also has the right to be told about the case and sit in the courtroom at the hearing. But only if the court thinks it won’t harm the child emotionally.
A child who is under 12 doesn’t have the right to see the court papers or to sit in the courtroom. But the court may allow this if the child can understand the hearing and won’t suffer emotional harm from being there.
If the media wants to report on your child protection court case, you can tell the court if you want them there and then the court decides. The media can’t say anything that lets people find out who the child is and who the child’s parents or foster parents are.