New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A Bathurst pair charged after a pandemic protest fires their lawyers

key takeaways:

  • On Wednesday morning, a Bathurst couple accused of violating pandemic restrictions fired their lawyer after clashing with a judge in Moncton.
  • DeAngelis, 34, and Green, 32, were due to appear in person before Judge Luc Labonté in Moncton provincial court on Wednesday morning.

After arguing with a judge in Moncton on Wednesday morning, a Bathurst couple facing allegations of violating pandemic restrictions fired their counsel, and a judge temporarily detained a person claiming to represent them.

Nicholas DeAngelis and Britney Green were detained and prosecuted after a demonstration against COVID-19 limitations outside Moncton city hall on January 24.

Also read: N.B. reported 93 new Covid-19 Cases with 3 deaths

They were accused of not wearing a mask while attending an outdoor meeting of more than five individuals, which was against the rules in effect at the time to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Other charges are pending against them in connection with incidents that occurred on December 31, 2020.

DeAngelis, 34, and Green, 32, were due to appear in person before Judge Luc Labonté in Moncton provincial court on Wednesday morning. The couple was assumed to appear in court for the allegations linked to the December 31 accusations, but they didn’t.

Lawyers have been ‘terminated.’

Alex Pate, their counsel on the January charges that were already set to go to trial, emerged and wanted to be removed from the case file. Later, on the other counts, Ontario-based lawyer Christopher Walpole urged the judge to remove him as the couple’s lawyer.

“We received news that we are being terminated as their legal representation,” Walpole informed the judge over the phone on Tuesday afternoon.

On October 20, Walpole informed the court that he expected the pair would plead guilty to a violation of the Emergency Measures Act, with Crown prosecutors dropping their criminal charges.

Green and DeAngelis were also absent from that visit in October. According to Judge Paul Duffie, they were denied access to the courthouse that day because they refused to wear the requisite face mask.

Bathurst couple charged after pandemic protest fire their lawyers | CBC News

After Walpole finished speaking, two people entered the courtroom and informed the judge that they were the couple’s power of attorney. However, the judge stated that if someone isn’t a lawyer, a power of attorney isn’t enough to represent them in provincial court.

“In our court, your power of attorney is useless and meaningless,” Labonté replied, wondering if the two were lawyers.

“What court is this?” says the narrator. One of the two, later identified as Ivan Finton, constantly inquired of the judge. They aren’t lawyers, according to Finton, and don’t need to be.

Finton didn’t respond when the judge asked if they could accept a trial date for the two instead of asking if Crown prosecutor Nicholas Comeau was present. Comeau was not present, but another Crown was. They were only allowed to deal with Comeau, according to Finton.

Labonté remarked, “Well, good day.” “For your pals, or whoever they are, arrest warrants will be issued.”

Finton enquired why the judge said that it was because they were not there for their court appearance and did not have a lawyer present. Finton began questioning the judge once more.

Source: CBC News

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