In a recent decision (Clayson-Martin v. Martin, 20015 ONCA 596), the Court of Appeal for Ontario overturned a family trial judge’s decision on the basis of a reasonable apprehension of bias.
The case involved a custody and access dispute over children aged 10 and 7. At trial, the judge granted the wife sole custody of the children. The wife appealed that decision because it provided for the children to have generous access to the husband. The wife submitted that access should have been terminated because the husband tried to kill her. The case garnered some notoriety in the news because of the alleged attempted murder. The couple separated as a result of an incident which occurred while they were on vacation in Jamaica. Each party alleged that at the end of the vacation, while they were on a deserted road from which the husband had wanted to photograph their hotel, the other attacked with a knife.