Canadian judge says no contempt in complex custody dispute

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Canadian judge dismissed Wednesday a request by a French woman to fine and jail the Canadian father of her children for an alleged contempt of court

   VANCOUVER, December 19, 2007 - A Canadian judge dismissed Wednesday a
request by a French woman to fine and jail the Canadian father of her children
for an alleged contempt of court, in the latest twist of a complex
international case.
   "There is no contempt," ruled Justice Nicole Garson. But she also gave both
sides two months to submit a psychological assessment of the children of
Nathalie Gettliffe and Scott Grant.
   The ruling is the latest in a bizzare and bitter custody dispute between
Gettliffe and her former Canadian husband, Scott Grant, over their children.
Last year Gettliffe was jailed for kidnapping the two, now 12 and 14.
   Gettliffe had asked for Grant to be declared in comtempt of court for not
providing prompt school and medical reports on the children and not allowing
them to communicate with her by webcam.
   In 2001, Gettliffe had fled Canada with her two Canadian-born children by
Grant, Maximilien and Josephine.
   But five years later in April 2006 when Gettliffe, a teacher of English at
a French university who was pregnant at the time, flew back to Vancouver to
present a paper on her PhD thesis, she was arrested.
   In jail she gave birth to her fourth child, by French partner Francis
Gruzelle, before pleading guilty in November 2006 to kidnapping the two
children.
   She was sentenced to 16 months in jail, and given three years on probation,
and was freed after serving her sentence in France.
   But while Gettliffe was in jail, Grant, who has legal custody of the
children since July 2006, had flown to France and brought them back to Canada.
   Several court rulings in both Canada and France have ruled against
Gettliffe in the case, which has attracted wide attention in Canada and France.
   In dismissing the Gettliffe's latest request, Garson also added: "I do have
some concerns that Mr. Grant is not fostering the continuing communication
between Ms. Gettliffe and the children."
   The judge told both sides the "ultimate goal" in the case is "to normalize
the children's relationship with both parents."

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