An Eastern Townships woman wanted in the state of Georgia for interstate interference with the custody of her children should know by Friday whether she will be returned to the United States.
The woman’s lawyers were in the Court of Appeal of Quebec today to argue that it is in the best interests of the children that she be allowed to stay in Canada.
A relative told CBC News that a decision in the case is expected on Friday.
The woman, a Canadian citizen, has been fighting extradition to Georgia since 2010.
At that time, the woman’s three children ran away from their father, who had been granted custody in part because the woman had a chronic drinking problem that she has since overcome.
Lawyers representing the woman say she brought the children, then aged 14, 10 and 9, to Canada to protect them from their father.
In interviews with Quebec’s child services agency, filed in court, the children allege that they ran away because their father beat them and left them unattended for extended periods.
According to the interviews, the children say they spent a number of days living in an abandoned garage after running away before they contacted their mother.
She then brought them to Quebec, where she’s originally from and has family.
Quebec Superior Court judge dismissed the original extradition order based on the children’s testimony.
A Quebec court then awarded the woman custody of her children.
The case took another twist in 2012 when the Quebec Superior Court ruling was overturned on appeal by the federal Attorney-General and Canada’s Justice Minister. They ordered the woman returned to the United States.
The Justice Minister’s decision is now being reviewed by the Court of Appeal of Quebec.
The woman’s lawyers argue that it is in the best interests of the children that she be allowed to stay in Canada.
The three children say they want to stay with their mother. If she is extradited, they could be turned over to the care of Quebec’s child protection services or one of their relatives in Quebec.