Quebec father asks court to clarify parental rights in grounding case
12-year-old girl got a lawyer after father cancels trip
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | 1:38 PM ET
A Gatineau father has asked Quebec's highest court to rule on the rights of parents after a lower court ordered he overstepped his bounds by prohibiting his daughter from going on a school trip.
The Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal heard arguments Tuesday in the case of a 12-year-old girl who took her father to court after she was grounded.
In June 2008, the girl was preparing to go on a three-day trip with her Grade 6 class to Quebec City to celebrate their graduation from elementary school.
However, the father told the girl she was not allowed to go after she disobeyed his orders to stay off the internet.
The girl, whose parents are divorced, got a lawyer and took the matter to Quebec Superior Court.
Judge Suzanne Tessier ruled in June that the father didn't have the right to bar the girl from the outing.
In her ruling, the judge said there was no reason for the punishment to stand, since the girl was living with her mother, even though the father had custody at the time. The judge said the punishment was also excessive.
The father has since given up custody of his daughter. However, his lawyer said he appealed to clarify the rights of parents in such situations because he still has custody of his three other children.
The man's lawyer argued before the three-member appeal panel Tuesday that he was only exercising his parental rights.
The judges have reserved their decision.
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