A chief judge has ordered a B.C. mother who has caused commotions at her sons' hockey games to stop contacting their coaches, as well as officials with the National Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Kootenay Ice Hockey League.
The unusual restraining order was issued by B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Chris Hinkson last month. The decision comes out of a divorce case where a father told the court that his former wife's conduct is embarrassing their three children and causing them stress.
The two older sons, aged 15 and 17, are promising hockey players in B.C. The court heard that the mother has sent hundreds of emails to people involved in their sport, started disturbances at their games, and even assaulted one son's coach.
The father gave evidence that several coaches and hockey officials told him they were unwilling to have the eldest son play on their teams because of his mother's actions, according to the judgment.
One coach, who received emails on an almost daily basis in 2010, told the father that the son was not welcome because the "emails and the anxiety that they cause ... are just too much to manage. I feel very unsafe and worried at the rink as we are not sure if [the mother] will show up and cause a problem."
According to the father, the Surrey Eagles (Junior A team) was not willing to sign the son because of the mother's past emails; the Richmond Sockeyes (Junior B team) was "not willing to risk its organization" for the mother; the Vancouver Giants (Western Hockey League team) picked other players over the son because of the mother's behaviour.
At one point, the mother also sent an email to 13 people at the Detroit Red Wings NHL hockey team, over head coach Mike Babcock's involvement with her son.
Justice Hinkson ruled that the mother's conduct was harassing and embarrassing to the children. He concluded that the father had reasonable concerns that the woman's behaviour will distract the children from their education and sports, affect their social interactions, and damage their reputations.
He ordered the mother to have no direct or indirect contact with any third parties involved in caring for the kids including principals, teachers, doctors, coaches, trainers, and sports program volunteers.
The mother is limited to contact the father via email twice a week, as long as the email isn't more than 200 words and has no attachments.
The couple divorced in 2008, and the father, who has sole custody, has allowed access to the kids.
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