Two young parents took things and their destiny in their hands recently. They somehow escaped WITH THEIR CHILDREN from Norway’s Barnevernet to Poland. This is the absolutely fascinating and dramatic story of parents Erik and Natasha who 9 months ago had their twins confiscated by Barnevernet immediately after birth when the 21-year-old mother was wrongly accused of being developmentally delayed.
The parents went to the media when their children were confiscated, and under the pressure of publicity Barnevernet allowed the parents to be reunited with the children while living in a Barnevernet institution. This is a place where they were observed, followed, criticized etc. This is the kind of institution where Barnevernet slowly builds a case against parents. Every inadequacy, every mistake, every reaction is recorded and reported. The ultimate goal is to present all the evidence in some judicial forum and have the children removed permanently.
Well, all that is out the door now.
The parents somehow received a tip that the CPS was not going to give the children back on a permanent basis, and they took matters into their own hands. They seized an opportunity to take the children and ran away from the mother/baby center where they were living. They somehow left Norway without tipping off border personnel and are now in Poland. Was it another Polish Rambo rescue? We do not know!
Sure enough, the Barnevernet decision handed down this week was unfavorable to the parents, but by then the entire family had fled. Good for them.
But as we already know, Barnevernet is very vindictive. They have charged the parents with criminal conduct and will pursue them via the European Interpol. The result of this pursuit will be interesting because the family is now located in an undisclosed small village in Poland. They will eventually be found and an extradition process started.
Delight in Truth predicts that Poland will probably not extradite the couple after the recent CPS drama that has swept European countries. There are other parents who have escaped from Barnevernet to Poland before and they have found refuge there to raise their children in peace.
This is a great story. It makes your want to cheer for the protagonist, people like the Bodnarius, Barbu, Michalakova, baby Aria family etc. And in the process, the Norwegian CPS looks bad. Very bad.
As far as I understand the freshest article, a court hearing will happen tomorrow.
This is a good test how much the district court is executing ECHR.
As far as I see it is proven now that barnevernet was not acting bona fide.
It is not a necessary intervention into the right to family when a public authority initiates emergency care in bad faith, hence it is a violation of international law, hence it cannot be washed to be legal by domestic law either. It is simply not allowed to interpret those domestic laws that way.
Fresh update: http://www.tv2.no/nyheter/8840037/
Cpourt hearing goes on.
New expert hired by Erik and Natasha reports they have good parenting skills.
Foster mother says time for barnevernet to thow in the towel and to apologize…
Barnevernet’s lawyer simply declines to comment.
I would suggest to the judges of the court to simply state that the whole care order had been illegal, null and void from start (ex tunc) and let parents and Barnevernet try to negotiate the amount of compensation for the family with a deadline.
I could well agree about what the judges should say. But that would either lead to the judges “having no jobs as judges any more”, or it would topple a lot of Barnevernet.
Judges are taught “Barnevern” of the usual type, reinforced by lots of verdicts, as well as by summer courses at least while they are lawyers. The Lawyers’ Association holds update-and-refresh courses on a lot of topics every year, and guess who they engage to lecture in Barnevern.
I hope European Court of Human Rights is going to start its own “update-and-refresh courses” of its own in a series of verdicts…
Natasha and Erik have won in court!
“Vant over barnevernet: Her får Erik og Natasha beskjed om at de får beholde tvillingene”
(Won against Barnevernet: Here Erik and Natasha are told that they will keep the twins)
Barnevernet gave up – changed their position in court. The lawyer for Barnevernet says that they have done an ethical assessment and come to the conclusion that it is best for children to grow up in Norway!!
In other words: NOT that it is best for the children to be with their parents, not that they regret having harassed the family for a year, not that they should not have let the case go to court at all but should have backed down months ago. No, that they had made an “ethical” assessment – sort of between two negative alternatives.
The judgment also says that when they come home, they can “receive assistance” from Barnevernet “if it is needed”.
This is a better video and article:
“Full omsorgsseier for Erik og Natasha – får beholde tvillingene”
(Full care victory for Erik and Natasha – will keep the twins)
Thank you for sharing this wonderful news, Marianne.
As we both have seen the results of Barnevernet “help,” I am of the opinion that this family should remain in Poland and never return to Norway. Your “In other words” is a good summary of how this family has been treated. Why would any family take the risk of a recurring real life nightmare? I pray that God will give them wisdom.
Another ridiculously stupid case closed by “agreement”. Looks like barnevernet goes for an agreement only at last resort, when they are afraid that the emergency care order is to be otherwised nullified ex tunc and they could be obligued to pay a huge compensation.
The lawyer of the family, Ole Andreas Thrana has used pretty strong expressions in the interview and it is very good that those words have been documented.
I wonder if the details of the agreement (compensation for example) are going to the public?
I would not advise the couple to come home yet, until police closes their own case. Otherwise Erik and Natasha might get jailed for evading care…
I agree with both Chris and Jasper about the shaky advisability of returning to Norway. However:
I am not sure that Natasha and Erik would find it easy to make a go of it economically in Poland (many Norwegians are used to our welfare state and almost unable to stand on their own feet).
Another question is what the judgment, apparently reached by agreement in court, really says. It sounds a bit like the Bodnariu agreement to me – that Natasha and Erik will come home if they can just keep their children. Goodness knows whether they have accepted “help” from Barnevernet. The Bodnarius found the “advice and help” after their children came home almost intolerable, certainly something different from what it said on paper. Natasha and Erik are dealing with a CPS office that is at least as determined on having their way as Naustdal was and is. You should note that any CPS office can start a NEW case for taking the children after the old one was agreed or they lost it. They just have to wait about 6 months before they do, and then they claim that the situation now is even worse, and shows that they were right in the first place.
Then again, if N&E do NOT return to Norway, there might be something in the judgment/agreement which makes it easier for the CPS to say that they have broken the conditions when they do NOT take the children back to grow up in the best country in the world. And so it all starts to roll again.
I haven’t heard anything about their application for asylum recently.
Hence it is the best interest of the twins to make the agreement — or at least most of it — completely public.
No agreement. Just annulment of previous verdict which was to take the children
That sounds a bit better.
I wonder if it is ex tunc or ex nunc annulment.
In case of ex nunc annulment, prosecution for the time period before the agreement could still go on.
Ex tunc, that is 🙂
This means Natasha and Erik has a smart lawyer then.
Nullifying the emergency care order before court ex tunc means there has been no legal emergency care order at all (for this second time). That means there was no County Board decision and there was no ground for penal procedure for evading a null and void care order at all.
“…certainly something different from what it said on paper.”
I know this is “old ground,” Marianne, but this communication issue seems to be one of the key factors in Norwegian Barnevernet cases. For a “free society” to have a “Child Protection Service” that scares parents so much that they don’t know whether to go public with their stories or not, should make the situation obvious to all.
Add to that the lack of correct (balanced) media attention and almost nothing from the politicians, and you have the perfect recipe for your quote above. Then there’s the monetary lure to be a foster parent. I’m aware this is well advertised in Norway. One can “work at home” and make a good living being a foster parent.
There is one new item that I’d like see if you could shed some light on for me, Marianne. I have read how the “Church of Norway” has now split with the government after being closely connected (politically and financially) to one another for 500 years. I have learned not to put my hope in the “Christians” in that church for any kind of moral outrage against Barnevernet actions. At the same time, now that the “church and state are separate” (supposedly), do you have any idea who is paying the pastors’ salaries? Without the support of the state, I don’t see how that church will function at all. One of the reports I read said that nothing is really changing but wasn’t specific. I know you have a lot on your plate. Please only answer if you have better knowledge about the situation that I.
The state is paying the church a set amount each year based on the amount of members in the church. It is about 900 nok per member
Thank you, Rsymond.
My guess is that this amount will keep most of the Lutheran Churches in business. That is how I see them, as businesses mostly. The baptize, marry, and bury people. These practices are spiritual in nature, or course. But when 1/2 of members don’t believe in God and only show up for the three events I’ve mentioned, there is a problem. I’m not aware of one Lutheran pastor who has spoken out against the human rights abuses of the Barnevernet of Norway. If anyone who reads this knows of one, please correct me.
About the (formerly state) church: The Lutheran Church is the largest in Norway, but you really must not run away with the idea that there aren’t other ones. The most judgmental of Christian churches in Norway re the Bodnarius were perhaps the Pentacostalists.
The final break between the state and the Lutheran church only has the effect of the church appointing its bishops, with no interference from the member of the government called the Minister of Church. The state still finances a lot of church work, equally for all churches (and also for e.g. Muslim congregations) on the basis of the number or registered members.
The most problematic thing is to have all church buildings taken care of, especially the older ones with antiquarian qualities. But that has been a problem for many years, it is underfinanced.
Norway no longer having a state church will not be likely to have any noticeable influence on beliefs and practices in the Lutheran church, at least not for a very long time.
The reason why there is nothing much to hope for from Christian circles of any kind in Norway is that they are usually heavily engaged with Barnevernet, doing “social work” connected with children deprived of their parents, working as foster parents, running institutions etc etc. One of the editors of Dagen, Tarjei Gilje, put it clearly, and as praise, not the opposite:
” – Jeg tror det er flere barn som får en kristen oppdragelse i fosterhjem enn motsatt, fordi mange kristne er fosterforeldre. Det betyr ikke at det ikke er gjort feil i denne saken, men en del av reaksjonene har vært uheldige, sa Gilje ifølge Sambåndet.”
( – I think there are more children receiving a Christian upbringing in foster homes than the opposite, because many Christians are foster parents. That does not mean that mistakes have not been made in this case, but some of the reactions have been unfortunate, said Gilje, according to Samlebåndet.)
Here he is, proud as anythingof Barnevernet and Christian people’s engagement in it:
“But Gilje, who has followed the Bodnariu case very closely, also believes that some have gone too far in their criticism of Norway as a country: ‘It has been disappointing to see how Christians in many countries are willing to make harsh statements against Norway and the Norwegian Barnevernet while their very statements prove that they have very limited knowledge of the Norwegian society.’”
I found this statement in the last link you shared, Marianne. And this from and editor of a “Christian daily newspaper!”
Children are being stolen from good parents. This IS something that Christians worldwide should be concerned with.
The article could have been written by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
There has never been a Department of Church Affairs only in Norway. In my childhood it was joined with “education”, so it was the Department of Church and Education. Later it has varied a bit, depending on which government ministers were members – since the state’s administration only concerned the state Lutheran church, you couldn’t very well have anyone but a member as the top administrator. “Church Affairs” have been part of the Ministry of Culture, which is sensible enough, but not while a Catholic was Minister of Culture, of course.
The Catholic Church in Norway is in trouble just now, in a court case. The state demands they hand back considerable sums because they have evidently “counted as catholics” a lot of people (immigrants) who have never signed up. The Catholic Church objects that if you are a member in any country, you are a member here too – you do not, for example, have to be baptised again. That is all right as far as the religious side is concerned, but understandably the state says it is not all right when the church applies for grants from the Norwegian state based on number of members. And in fact, the way the Catholic Church in Norway seems to have done this, is beyond fantasy: They have “included” anybody whose names “sound” as though they are Catholics – taken from the phone book! Or something …. The Catholic Church administrators have been given notice that they have to mend their ways. So, an American colleague of mine (whose name is actually NOT all that convincingly “Catholic”, although the name is in use in Ireland, among other places), recently had a letter from them saying that we was now struck off their list of members. Lovely – he never has been a member! I can’t think of anyone who is more ironic towards nonsense thought up by any kind of administration, be it religious or political, than just him.
Now the Catholic Church is in trouble, imagine that. Although my Catholic friends know my views on their church, I usually stick to criticizing my own, the protestants. At the same time, I am always interested to learn more about the Catholic Church and doctrine. I would be happy, though surprised, to get a letter similar to the one your American Colleague received. I have held to salvation by God’s grace alone since I was a young sprout. Catholics hold to salvation by grace and works. There is a simple yet vast difference.
There I got my bit of theology in. It is interesting that the Pope has sent an emissary to churches like Kenneth Copeland’s (a Word of Faith teacher who is a protestant snake oil salesman in my view) to announce that the Reformation is no longer necessary. Copeland’s “protestant” church received the “news” with great applause. A video of Pope Francis was shown along with the announcement.
“Norway no longer having a state church will not be likely to have any noticeable influence on beliefs and practices in the Lutheran church, at least not for a very long time.”
This is a sure sign that tradition trumps doctrine and that God’s Word is not treated as:
12 “…living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This is from Hebrews 4.
I have seen one large branch of the Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) fail to withhold long held doctrinal positions based clearly on scripture (one example is the definition of marriage). It seems to be a popular thing these days to do what you want in spite of what the scripture instructs.
I can’t see how a different arrangement of appointing bishops will make any change at all.
What The Lutheran Church of Norway needs to do is go back to the view of the Bible held by the Reformers half a millennium ago. Many of those reformers paid the ultimate price for holding to Biblical views. Lutheran leaders in Norway appear to have a comfortable life.
I understand that it would be a very difficult thing to speak out against abuses when it could very well affect your lifestyle. It would be difficult but, from my understanding of scripture, what other option is there?
This has been very informative, Marianne. Thank you.
“I have read about that law — I would like to see the actual text of the law.
I learnt this new law intends to overwrite a precedent in Norway’s Supreme Court.”
No, I think these are two different things.
1) The legislation making it illegal to take a child out of the country when the CPS has sent the case to the County Board with a demand to take over the care of the child is the • point no 2 here (the Government’s webpage):
The page exists in English too (click top right-hand corner), but while the Norwegian page is updated on 15 January 2016, the English one is from 23 August 2013, before the new laws were passed.
2) I think you mean the interpretation of every slap or practically dab of children being a criminal offence. The prohibition was strengthened, after a legal and political discussion and clarification. That was after a court judgment had not interpreted the law in so absolute terms. The politicians then decided that it was going to be.
Thanks for your assistance, Marianne.
As far as I understand, I am interested in the actual text of Penal Code 261. §.
My argument is that the crime of taking a child abroad when child welfare proceedings are underway can be committed only consciously and willingly — when the parents have been notified already.
My understanding is that the legal change made it a crime even when the family has not been notified only the County Board. If it was the case, it is simply a harsh and disproportionate restriction of freedom of movement and hence a violation of it — indicating violation of human rights by actual wording of Penal Code (!!!) in the case my suspicion about wording of Penal Code 261. § is right.
Criminal law $261
My suspection is confirmed now I would say.
I think if there was someone prosecuted who had not officially notified about child welfare proceedings, Norway could lose the case at the end in Strasbourg due to freedom of movement.
The parents get notified by barnevernet before barnevernet send papers to the county board regarding §4-12 (care takeover) in the child law, which leads to the prohibition to take child out of the country as stated in §261 in the criminal law.
But parents do not always get notified when barnevernet use §4-6 (acute placement) even though they normally are required to do, because there are some exceptions.
All forced verdicts done by barnevernet are covered by §261 when the papers are sent to the county board.
So, in the Natasja case, the papers were sent before they left the country. They had already been in the county board, and it was set on hold while they attended the family center. So they violated the §261.
Their lawyer claimed in court that the verdict from county board was not legal, because the county board cannot give a verdict if the child is not in Norway. But it was never an issue in the courts verdict now, because barnevernet turned and agreed with their lawyer to nullify the county board verdict, but not for the same reason. They used the reason that it was better for the children to be in Norway. So, since no one wanted to have a judgment on continuance of the verdict from the county board, the court nullified it. This was a smart move of barnevernet. Now, none of their illegal activities came out in the open. If they hadn’t turned, the judgement would have to specify why they ruled for either continued placement or not. But barnevernet knew they would lose. Only way to put focus on barnevernets previous actions now, it to start a civil lawsuit, which I doubt will happen.
Regarding the §4-6 and that barnevernet usually don’t notify the parents:
Administration Act §16 on the right of Parties to be notified of the decision in advance and to express their will in principle apply. This notification duty is not absolute. Advance notice may among others be omitted if such notice is not practicable, or if notification would endanger the decision can not be executed (run away)
So, since no one wanted to have a judgment on continuance of the verdict from the county board, the court nullified it. This was a smart move of barnevernet.
Yep, this was smart from barnevernet.
However this was not smart from the court! No one can wash the legal system of Norway white any more — it is not independent and impartial in barnevernet related cases at all!
I am pretty sure that there will be sooner or later a case at European Court of Human Rigths, asking to annul a Norwegian penal verdict on case evasion, due to parents travelling abroad with the child, not being notified about emergency placement request on its way.
I do not think it is necessary in a democratic society that a public authority could strip you of your fundamental freedoms without notifying you. Hence I would be very surprised if Strasbourg was not about to annul the penal verdict in such a case.
There has been a problem with §4-6 cases when you appeal them, because they don’t get to supreme court because when the county board handles the §4-12 (which always follow about 3-6 months after the §4-6), the §4-6 judgements no longer have a legal interest, so appeals are denied. In this way, any wrongdoings in a §4-6 case is never thoroughly investigated in the court system, unless the parents bring it to ECHR.
Lurifaks: “They would be best off staying in Poland and try to get permission to work there”
They do not need a work permit, they can just take jobs. Norway is associated with the European Union in such a way that there is an open labour market.
You’re absolutely right, Marianne. They can get a job in Poland and stay there safely. probably the smartest they can do.
Very very sad update. For anyone living in Norway. Also for Natasha and Erik, but they are pretty safe in Poland I guess.
This article is a big symptom how far rule of law, right for family and freedom of movement is being respected by Norwegian authorities:
It is getting more and more justified to compare Norway to Nazi or Soviet regimes with respect to barnevernet.
1) There has been an alert out for them, to have them located by Interpol (international police cooperation) and brought back by force. As recently as yesterday, there was a statement from the leading investigator Bjørn Egil Drangevåg, saying that the police would not drop the charge but uphold it for the time being, and investigate it further. He said “We have to take as the starting point of our investigation the facts of the situation when the children disappeared on 4 June 2016, and the decisions which were in force then.”
2) In a new article published around midnight, he says, “– We find no reason to continue the alert when the parents have been given the care of the children”.
He says nothing, however, about the criminal charge for kidnapping being dropped. That is not necessarily the same thing.
So you see the case resembles the Bodnariu case to some extent. There are / have been two different legal cases: one formally civil case deciding whether the children should be in public care or whether the parents should have the right to care for them, the other a criminal case against the parents for breaches of law.
3) Whether or not the criminal case against N&E is dropped, their children would certainly be safer if they were to remain in Poland, get work, settle in. If they come home, my guess is Barnevernet will in some way take charge again. They will likely invade the family’s life with various commands of what to do, with surveillance etc. And of course they can at any time start up again, a new case in which they say that “It now turns out that the parents are not after all capable of ….”
4) Apparently another lawyer has been representing them in connection with the brewing criminal case than with the Barnevern case, the criminal one for having “deprived the twins of care, by kidnapping them and going abroad.” His name is given as Marius Dietrichson (last paragraphs here:
http://www.tv2.no/nyheter/8851165/). He made the most amazing statement: … that Natasha and Erik “made a WRONG choice by leaving” Norway at the time – although Dietrichson says that the formal custody WAS theirs at the time. “It was unwise of the parents to leave at the time they did”, he said.
Certainly people should be warned against this lawyer in any family-related case, but he is not alone. I think it illustrates what most lawyers in Norway are like. They trust “the system” and try to indoctrinate their clients to obey every piece of advice or command from official Norway.
There is actually NO way N&E would be anywhere near their children today if they had not left. – I guess most of these lazy-thinking lawyers think that is all right … whether the children are here or there, so what? I am not altogether sure whether it is simply blatant materialism (“the children are all right when they are fed and given toys and have ‘stimulating activities’ and when some ‘care figure’ has ‘eye-contact’ with them) or whether it is a deep ignorance bred by indoctrination and manipulation.
“Wrong choice” I cannot interpret.
Is it their choice or not their choice??
What about Article 2 of Protocol 4 to ECHR (ETS no. 046), freedom of movement? Is it necessary in a democratic society to secretly deprive someone of their basic freedoms without official notification???
Oh, the lawyer probably means that they were moving on the fringes of the law, or not making sure that the children were safe, or that anyway all good people should be good citizens and comply with what “experts” like Barnevernet want. Maybe he is among the many who believe, or pretend, that if you just cooperate with Barnevernet, then of course it will be shown that you are the victim of a mistake, and then your children will in time be handed back to you, in “the best country in the world for children to grow up in”.
Anyway, it is so nice and safe for the lawyer to agree with the authorities that these two young people are a bit irresponsible and “shouldn’t have gone away from this wonderful, safe country”.
You are basing your comments on speculations now. See my other comments that are based on facts. The lawyer did not do anything wrong or unwise at all. Such statements should not be made with absolutely no knowledge of the base facts.
This comment would be completely understandable by the prosecutor… and not by an attorney. That is the only issue with those comments.
An attorney playing the prosecutor? Again we are at comparison to totalitarian regimes…
I am not an agent for lawyers. Dietrichson’s statement, the way it is put, appears unreasoned but not unusual, certainly as though he lets his clients down. Seems he wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to claim that they did not act illegally, but “unwisely” and “wrong”?
Actually, he try to «soften» the criminal violation by saying «it was not wise»’. But i agree it would be better to not say such at all.
I think perhaps the term “legal custody” may be misleading here. People understand that to mean that one has the power to decide. One can call it “legal custody”, of course, but when one is forbidden to take the children anywhere, away from a Family Centre as well as out of the country, then in reality the state is in power and language indicating anything else is just gobbledygook. It is NewSpeak then to say that the parents have legal rights over the children, but at the same time imply that they cannot decide anything like taking the children home.
Agree, but it doesn’ change that they broke the law the way it is written. That the law is wrong is another issue.
During a criminal proceeding, stating the protegees have acted wrong has a very strong message.
(I wonder if it was the quality of translation, the protegees have acted silly but not illegally could bring this meaning… — for me it is still only OK when “but not illegally” is also there)
Anyway, as far as I understand Ole Andreas Thrana has solved even the criminal case by achieving that the ground for the criminal case has been nullified retroactively 🙂
You can say such, the reason for them violating the law, the fact that the county board was to rule, whether they wi. Or not, is nulled, and that should alsa null the criminal charge. I cant say what I know about this, you have to imagine 🙂
The lawyer did not do anything wrong or unwise at all. Such statements should not be made with absolutely no knowledge of the base facts.
We were commenting TV2 news article http://www.tv2.no/nyheter/8851165/ saying
Ifølge advokaten var det paret som formelt hadde omsorgen for barna da de dro til Polen. Likevel var det et galt valg å reise, sier han.
– Det var uklokt av paret å reise den gang de valgte å gjøre det, men et ufornuftig valg bør ikke uten videre medføre straffereaksjon.
According to the lawyer, there was the couple who formally had custody of the children when they went to Poland. Yet it was a wrong choice to travel, he said.
– It was unwise of the couple travel the time they chose to do so, but an unreasonable choice should not necessarily lead to criminal sanctions.
I think the wording is nothing but clear.
Yes, but it is true, juridical, but not morally. And, like we discussed, it might be a breach of human right to prosecute them for their desicion. But I still think that it was tactic from the lawyer to soften the breach of the law. But personally, I would,’ t say the same.
Sometimes lawyers have to soften things in order to get what they want. If they go hard out when they know they have a big chance to lose, they trigger the opposite party, wether it’s police or barnevern, to put more efferts into winning. It’s a tactic, playing on feelings and common sense. But then agai., thats just my personal opinio..
The law being wrong when talking about breaking the law or not breaking the law is not a separate issue. Wrong law is invalid and only valid law can be broken.
As long as there is no judgement otherwise, police and court will rule as if the law is correct
As long as there is no judgement otherwise, police and court will rule as if the law is correct
Well, police I understand. It could be right above their level.
Normally I would say the prosecutor is expected to check compliance with international law, and in best case to drop the case even before it could go to penal court.
At the end, it is the court’s responsibility to consider national and international law. Hence it is a failure of the court if it does not recognize the possible conflict or does not try to resolve it.
Of course, the very last option to go to Strasbourg remains there… which has to be practiced far too often I guess — and this is not Norway-specific.
Especially first instance courts are often do not dare to try to deal with conflict of national and international law at all, in whatever countries.
Agree, but unfortunately, we see that the county board rarely consider compliance with Human Rights and lower courts often fail to do the same.
It might be a question about if they ever were notified that they could not take the children out of the country. I dont know that, but I doubt that they were.
But it doesn’t say anywhere in the criminal law $261 that you have to be notified. But if it’s a breach of human rights not to be notified of such, the it superceeds the norwegian law.
In that case, you may say that they broke the norwegian law, and the norwegian law broke the human rights.
As Norwegian law broke human rights, but it is not allowed to do so constitutionally, the actual piece of Norwegian law is invalid or at least cannot be executed in the case, and hence N&E did not break any valid law.
Correct, that would have to be the lawyers argument if this had gone to to trial..
Marianne, it doesn’t matter if they had the custody at the time they legt the country. According to $261 in the criminal law, they were not allowed to leave the country with their kids because barnevernet had filed papes for a $4-12 with the county board. So it would be wrong for their lawyer to say it wS wise or ok to leave the country, because it was a violation of $261 punishable upt 2 years in prison, or 6 years in certain instances.
Well, the lawyer said otherwise, but ….
Jeg har undersøkt denne saken litt.
Min forståelse er at barnevernet ikke hadde varslet Natasha og Erik om å be om øyeblikkelig hjelp før de har forlatt landet.
Dette er en ganske interessant sak om bevegelsesfrihet (satt i EMK).
Jeg vil hevde hele kriminell fortsetter er en juridisk tull hvis barnevernet ikke kan bevise at de har varslet familien offisielt før de har forlatt.
Det er ikke nødvendig i et demokratisk samfunn at en offentlig myndighet kan oppheve din bevegelsesfrihet uten å varsle deg i det hele tatt, og gjør det til en forbrytelse for deg å flytte ubevisst. Derfor tror jeg bevegelsesfrihet (som folkeretten) skal seire over seg unndragelser i norske straffeloven (nasjonal lovgivning) i saken og denne saken kan være et perfekt eksempel når folkeretten forteller hvordan noen nasjonal lovgivning kunne eller ikke kunne tolkes.
Jeg tror det kan være fornuftig å kalle seg oppmerksomheten til Europarådet på norske straffeloven om omsorg unndragelser er i strid med bevegelsesfrihet.
The official view was that: The children were still under care. Natasha and Erik could leave if they wanted to, but they could not then remove the children from public care. Their view is that there was actually no care order implicit in their stay at the Family Centre, the care order having been revoked when they went to the family centre. There was an expected County Board case coming up, to decide whether they could keep the children for good. Then N&E claim that Barnevernet changed a date without notifying them, to an earlier date in which they would take the children again, pending the County Board decision.
– I know it all sounds like a jumble of details and this and that, including some lying and/or disagreements over what has been said, done, promised. Actually, that is what we see in a lot of Barnevern cases; usually it is Barnevernet making the cases seem hopelessly involved because then they get their way.
It was an ongoing case in the county board. They just halted the preceedings while they where in the mothers home so they could get an evaluation of their care abilities. The proceedings where to continue after that stay. In addition to this, barnevernet seem to have planned to do do an emergency tskeover before the proceedings started again, maybe in order to have better chance to convince the county board to judge in their favor. But that fact, or the changing of paper doesn’t change the fact that they were in an ongoing county board case, and that $261 then forbid them to take the children out of the country. Thats for sure.
In case County Board can halt the process, practically they can strip you from your right for effective legal remedy in Article 13 of ECHR, leaving you with uneffective legal remedy only.
Halting should be possible only by independent and impartial tribunal according to norms of ECHR, or at least halting should not stop you from going to district court while County Board says halted.
Otherwise I would argue for going directly to Strasbourg, requesting to annul the halt, as there is no legal remedy against it and Article 13 of ECHR is being violated 🙂
The parents asked for the chance to prove their parental skills, so it wa on their initiative.
Interesting point, Jasper. Noted 🙂
The case was halted on demand from the parents to be evaluated at the family center. HArd to use art 13 on the case as such
Article 13 of ECHR should at least apply on the decision of halting itself.
That means the requirement of appeal against halting itself.
The parents asked for the chance to prove their parental skills, so it wa on their initiative.
Even that initiative proves impartiality and/or independence of County Board. The first question should be necessity. If care takeover is not proven to be necessary, then it has to be dropped.
If a chance is to be given to the family, necessity for take careover is not proven yet.
Good point, Jasper!
It doEsn’t state anywhere in $261 that the parents need to be adviced about anything. It only says that it is unlawful to leave the country if barnevernet have posted the filing of $4-12 , order of care takeover, to the county board. So they did breach that law. And they were also notiied about that barnevernet had sent the papers severL months beforehand because this was an ongoing case in the county board.
As long as you read § 261 by word by word interpretation, I agree with you.
But personally I think the word by word interpretation of § 261 is a violation of international law, namely of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 to European Convention of Human Rights (ETS no. 46 at Council of Europe), in force in Norway since 1968. As international law takes priority word by word interpretation is illegal in this case.
I totally agree with you, Jasper.
And I think that the reason that barnevernet turned and that the county board nulled the verdict from last summer was the fact that the had no authority to take over the care of children that did now physphysic a lly stay within the countrys borders at the time of the proceedin g s, just what their lawyer stated in the appeal.
“children that did now physphysic …” My guess is it should be “did not physically stay within the country’s borders …”
The authorities certainly would have the authority to do so, according to Norwegian law, if there was in fact an ongoing case from earlier on. It depends on whether N&E could legitimately claim that they HAD legal custody at the time.
I don’t agree but dont claim that I’ right. 🙂 it states in the law that the children needs to be in Norway in order for the county board to bbulee able to rule a verdict. I’ll find the appropriate law.
The children need to have a habitual residence and reside in Norwayorder, See $ 1-2 in the children law.
typo. I meant Article 2 of the Protocol 4… 🙂
Artikkel 2 in the added protocol no 4 says:
1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
3. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are in accordance with law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the maintenance of ordre public, for the prevention of crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
4. The rights set forth in paragraph 1 may also be subject, in particular areas, to restrictions imposed in accordance with law and justified by the public interest in a democratic society.
I would assume that §261 is using “for the protection of health ” in order to comply with Human Rights, as they want to protect the child.
for the protection of health? OK
what about necessary in a democratic society?
Is it really necessary to strip someone from freedom of movement for some proceeding and then halt for a long time, while freedom of movement is hugely limited??
Note that usually the term “necessary in a democratic society” is the safeguard for collision of human rights.
I agree with you Jasper. I’m just trying to put myself on “the other side” trying to figure out how they think…:-) Not so easy
I think it is important to know.
There are no separate human right for health, for family, for due process, for freedom of expression etc.
There are human rights, as a single but fairly complex system.
The human rights can collide with each other. In case of such a collision, a balance is to found, by proportionately restricting all human rights involved in the collision, without emptying any of them.
Norwegian Child Welfare seems to often play the typical blinkered legal aid organization. They seem to focus on some human right only, sitting on their bulldozer and going through everything, including all other human rights.
The only way to defend yourself against such a blinkered legal aid organization is to know your human rights well, and immeadiately point out human right collisions, and with respect to ECHR, question “necessity in a democratic society”.
One more comment here: as far as I understand so far, Scandinavian legal practice in itself settle for human rights being restricted by a law with a meaningful purpose. However, European Court for Human Rights has jurisdiction over interpretation of European Convention for Human Rights, and the case-law is crystal clear: restriction of a human right must be necessary on a case-by-case basis as well, otherwise it is a violation of ECHR. When necessity is being discussed, all human rights collisions are to be considered.
And I think that the reason that barnevernet turned and that the county board nulled the verdict from last summer was the fact that they had no authority to take over the care of children that did now physphysic stay within the countrys borders at the time of the proceedings, just what their lawyer stated in the appeal.
I thought that care takeover was already over and replaced by voluntary measure at Mothers’ Home. Did I misunderstand news several months ago?
No, I don’t think you have misunderstood. The question probably IS whether that Mothers’ Home stay was actually legally “voluntary” and actually replaced the take-over at birth. It might on paper say that the case was still running, but it may also be of some importance how it was worded and also understood by Natasha & co.
That is as far as a possible criminal case against N&E goes. The civil case which was run, dealt with whether they were suitable parents. Just like in the Bodnariu case, these are separate issues, although a decision in one has an impact on how the other is treated, of course.
On top of it all, there is the European Court of Human Rights. Now, when the ECtHR is going to run all of 7-9 Barnevern cases against Norway for claimed violations of Human Rights, the authorities might not be all that keen to pretend they do not know there is a possible conflict.
There is also the possibility of a huge compensation claim from N&E. In my opinion, they ought to run that while they are still in Poland. Once they come back to Norway, Barnevernet & co have a free hand to unreasonable interference, cf that the municipality lawyer said that when they had agreed to letting N&E have custody, it was because “we think it best for children to grow up in Norway”, and that N&E could get Barnevernet’s help “if needed”. The more they interfere to supervise and render “aid and advice”, the easier for Barnevernet to come up with something which “proves” that they ARE needed, that N&E cannot take proper care of the children, so Barnevernet “was right after all”. That may just about eliminate any compensation claim, and you can bet the municipality is very concerned about that.
“No, I don’t think you have misunderstood. The question probably IS whether that Mothers’ Home stay was actually legally “voluntary” and actually replaced the take-over at birth. It might on paper say that the case was still running, but it may also be of some importance how it was worded and also understood by Natasha & co.”
I have answered this before. It was an ongoing case in the county board all the time since the first meeting. They used a little known rule in the Disputes Act § 9-15 that says they can halt the procedure in order to find out things. e.g. psychological evaluation, or stay at mothers home in order to check the care ability of the parents. The continuance of the county board proceedings where already set before the stay at the mothers home. The first emergency care order was not in effect anymore though. And, ofc they knew everything – they had a lawyer. The one thing they might not have known is that it was illegal for them to take the children out of the country (criminal law).
There was no verdict for take over until after they left the country. It was proceedings in the county board but it was halted because the judges wanted more information about the care ability to the parents. Thats why they went to the mothers home. The county board was to proceed after the mothers home stay, but they moved to Poland before that day.
No, “habitual residence” does not mean “physical presence”. “Habitual residence” covers also the cases where a child is abroad, either on a holiday or even for some time, as long as they have not moved permanently abroad BEFORE Barnevernet has started a take-over case.
There have been umpty cases involving parents taking the children abroad to escape Barnevernet in the middle of an ongoing process. Interpol has been alerted, or Norway has located the children, they have gone there with half a dozen policemen and social workers, and taken the children physically with them back to Norway.
This arrangement has been in force for as long as I can remember. I know of some cases back in the 1990s. At that time there had to be at least an existing County Board decision for take-over in force. Now, since there are two new pieces of legislation, that is not required. The new restrictions are a) that you are not allowed to take a child back from an “emergency take-over”, even if this has not been confirmed by the County Board (there does, nowever, have to be a valid decision in Barnevernet for the emergency removal); b) that you are not allowed to take a child abroad when Barnevernet has filed a demand for a take-over with the County Board (in other words, a removal does not have to have been put into effect yet).
Thanks for the clarification, Marianne.
I see a problem in cases when Barnevernet has decided the emergency care but has not notified the parents yet. Perhaps already filed the emergency care to the County Board even, but they tried to fetch the child without notice from kindergarden or wherever and cannot succeed.
Parents travel with the child abroad, not knowing about the emergency care process, practicing their freedom of movement.
Could it be really a crime to travel abroad at that time??? I think it would be a blatant non-compliance with international law!
The same applies when barnevernet files a demand to take-over to the County Board but not notifying the parents immediately and parents travel unkowingly.
Yes, well, when Barnevernet files a demand for take-over with the County Board, it has to notify the parents as well. Normally this is done by sending a copy of the demand to the parents’ lawyer (or the parents themselves, if they e.g do not have a lawyer at that time). Still, I am not sure that the parents are given legal “space” to flee with the children if, for example, the demand is sent to the lawyer on a Thursday, does not reach the lawyer until the Monday, but the parents have had some kind of inkling that this might come and have gone abroad on Sunday.
Even if they have gone in time, they would have to have registered out of the Norwegian Census Register, in order NOT to have “usual residence” in Norway still. Several people who have over the years contemplated going abroad and establishing themselves there, have not known of this. Then, a Barnevern case could be run here and at least the children could be fetched to Norway by the authorities at any time.
These last few years, the Census Register has started being pretty obstructive about people who want to register out. I think this has another origin than anything to do with Barnevernet: Norway does not want tax evaders. (By the way, the Census Register administration is the same as that for taxation.) Taxes are high in Norway, considerably lower almost everywhere else. So if people could get out of paying Norwegian taxes by getting themselves a postal box address abroad and still live here, many would doso. But such an address is not accepted by the Census Register, nor is the address of, say, a camping site. They have taken to examining people very closely on how big their new residence is, where they sleep, where they work, and so on. In some cases the family has had to get a very firm lawyer force the Census Register to send the family confirmation that they are now registered out of Norway.
The reason for the increased “trickiness” of the Census Register may be the increased holidaying abroad, and the establishment of local “Norwegian” communities abroad – especially favoured by pensioners – which makes more people think of where it is advantageous to be registered as having one’s “permanent” dwelling. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Barnevernet has also alerted the Census Register especially that they do not like such evasion of Norwegian authority over their children.
Actually, when barnevernet want to file a demand for take-over, it starts with a meeting where barnevernet explains for the parents what they want to do and what rights they have, eg that they have the rights for a free attorney and to give a statement to the county board. Then, after that, the process starts and barnevernet start their paper work that they want to send to the county board. The copy of the demand is sent the parents at the same time it is sent to the county board, usually weeks after the notifying meeting. Before, parents could flee country at this time and not break the criminal law. But not anymore due to the new §261 which replaced §216. But remember, that is the criminal law, not the child law.
Earlier, even though parents fled the country legally, barnevernet would still report it to the police as “kidnapping” and police would notify Interpol but with no legal grounds. You can say that police are “tricked”. After the police have gotten the children back to Norway, barnevernet do an emergency take-over to secure the children, and the police drops the criminal charge. In some instances, where the parents hadn’t filed the papers for a move abroad, or couldn’t prove that their intentions actually was to move, they could even get a jail sentence for the kidnapping if the court determined that they hadn’t “moved” for real.
It is, like Marianne says, harder to get a “Move” approved if you own property or are currently employed in Norway. You might have to give more prove of an actual move in order to avoid taxation and get the move approved.
There is two sides of this.
1. The child law, which states that no part of the law can be used against children that is not in Norway.
2. Then you have the criminal law, that states that you cannot take the child out of the country if barnevernet have started proceedings for a ny non-voluntary action.
So, you can get indited and prosecuted for leaving the country using the criminal law, but they can not use the child law to do any non-voluntary measures if the child is not in Norway.
In the Natasja case, the county board would had to consider if the children had moved or not. Habitual residence is “vanlig bosted” in Norwegian, and in my opinion, they had moved to Poland and did not have habitual residence in Norway at the time of the county board meeting. But the judges may have had a different opinion, but I guess we will never know as barnevernet gave up.
Sorry, Raymond, but this is simply not correct. You may be thinking especially of cases in which there is a conflict between the two parents. When it comes to cases where the CPS has the lawful (in Norway) right to the child, and a parent or the parents bring the child illegally out of Norway, then certain the Norwegian state can intervene, have the other country consent that the child should be brought back, and send police and cps people abroad to bring the child back. I have fairly detailed knowledge of several cases where that has been done. Remember also that according to the present law, it is illegal to take a child out of Norway as soon as the cps sends the case to the County Committee demanding that a child should be taken into care. In other words, the authorities no longer have to wait for any legal decision.
(Fleeing BEFORE County Committee process is no longer enough)
I am a Pole end now She is not disturb by barnevernet, she is free and happy now with her child. We all Poles will protect her from barnevernet end norway police. go to hell
Appreciatte you blogging this