The Criminal Contempt Verdict
August 8th, 2021
Christine Pallotta will soon be famous. She was the Judge in our infamous criminal contempt trial in March. Remember; “The glaring -people! The glaring!”
Well, Justice Pallotta has now delivered her verdict. Are we guilty or innocent?
Guilty, she wrote, on all charges.
Given her conduct during the trial, the verdict shouldn’t be a shocker. After all, she was judging between us and her Civil Service friends and colleagues.
A finding of criminal contempt is normally a big deal. We even covered what a contempt finding usually looks like. In this case however, what’s really interesting is the gymnastic contortions Justice Pallotta needed to arrive at her verdict.
The Ruling is amazing. Justice Pallotta threw her lot in with her colleagues, Ruling to their liking in defiance of law. She’s cooked her goose, but I doubt she knows it. Civil servants tend to be so self-assured of their own exemption to law that they see none of their actions as beyond the pale.
Sunlight is fast approaching, however. Justice Pallotta will soon be named and shamed, and pretty publicly.
In the meantime, here’s some interesting samples from the latest Civil Service arranged Ruling….
For starters, the Ruling managed to find PS Knight Americas Inc guilty of contempt. Fascinating stuff, folks. PS Knight Americas isn’t a party to the claim, isn’t in the jurisdiction of the Court, didn’t even exist at the time the alleged breaches took place, and wasn’t represented at the trial.
Next, the Ruling notes that the original Manson’s Law Ruling (which made legislation the private property of whomever drafted it) affirms the Canadian Standards Association’s (“CSA’s” or Civil Service’s”) “copyright in the 2015 CSA Code.” This is noted on page 2. On page 1, the Ruling notes that the subject of the trial is the 2018 Code, not the 2015 Code. On page 3 however, Justice Pallotta notes that the Ruling applicable to the 2015 Code really applies to the 2018 Code. Really. Thus, the defendants are guilty of “three counts of contempt for disobeying these terms.”
Pause a moment. The terms referred to the 2015 Code. The Trial was about the 2018 Code. But the terms for 2015 were breached by the 2018 Code? Hello?
I remind the readers that the Civil Service’ case in 2015 before Justice Manson emphasized the uniqueness of each Code year. There is no way, they hectored, no way that the 2015 Code is essentially the same as the 2012 Code. No. And Court’s Ruling gave the Civil Service what they wanted, declaring that each Code year was distinct. Justice Pallotta reversed this part of the Ruling. Now each Code year is an iteration of each preceding year which, ironically, was our argument before Manson.
We’re not upset about this, it actually works to our advantage, but its mightily amusing to watch the Court reverse itself seemingly without self-awareness, contorting its own Ruling to mean the opposite of what they said it meant only a few years before.
Then Pallotta states that PS Knight Americas Inc, founded in 2019, breached the terms of the judgement against it in 2015. Justice Pallotta declined to expound on how one could endure a judgement four years prior to one’s existence.
“In addition,” wrote Pallotta, “I find Mr. Knight to be in contempt as the responsible officer.” She did this in defiance of Justice Manson’s Ruling that this entire Civil Service litigation was against my corporate entities, that I personally could not be targeted by the Civil Service or the Court. Justice Pallotta decided that what the previous Ruling said was the opposite of what it meant. Thus, Justice Manson Ruled that I was personally responsible by Ruling that I could not be held personally responsible. A bit beclowning, don’t you think?
Quick background for the next point; The injunctive portion of Manson’s Law (the application of it) applied specifically to PS Knight Co Ltd and dealt only with the 2015 Knight’s Code. The Ruling is explicit about that. So, when CSA released a new Code in 2018, we published it. Why wouldn’t we? There was no injunction against the 2018 Code and the matter of private ownership of legislation was at that time under appeal. The CSA responded by dragging us into Court in early 2018 for another injunction. The Court requested that both parties agree to stay the application of Manson’s Law until the appeals were through. So we did. We signed the Stay Agreement in good faith; the CSA signed it, apparently in bad faith. This criminal trial was CSA suing me for selling the 2018 Knight’s Code as permitted in the Stay Agreement. That is, they wanted the Court to punish me for complying with the Court requested Agreement.
In 2018, the Civil Service demanded yet another injunction against us. They argued that we had breached the Stay Agreement by complying with the Stay Agreement. Justice Barnes, in a surprisingly honourable move for the Canadian Court, Ruled against his Civil Service colleagues, affirming that we had honoured the Agreement. There was no breach.
This is mighty awkward for Justice Pallotta then, to Rule that we breached the Agreement that Justice Barnes had already Ruled we had honoured. So what did Pallotta do about the Barnes Ruling?
She ignored it. Completely.
The name “Barnes” is nowhere found in her Ruling.
Indeed, even the terms of the Stay Agreement are nowhere found in her Ruling. I mean, she couldn’t possibly outline the terms, for its awfully clear that we honoured them.
And we argued this at trial, that we kept the terms of the Stay Agreement and that Justice Barnes had already Ruled that we’d honoured them.
The fact is that the Stay Agreement specifically permitted us to do exactly what we did. This was our central defence at trial. But, wrote Justice Pallotta; “The defences raised by the Knight Parties do not excuse the breach.”
Specific authorization then, does not authorize anything. I see…
Then Pallotta went for the creative writing award; PS Knight, she wrote, “failed to deliver-up to CSA all copies of their Knight Code publication entitled ‘Knight’s Canadian Electrical Code, Part One, 2018 - 2021, 24th Edition’ […] contrary to the Judgement.”
There was no obligation to do so! The Manson’s Law Judgement did not even mention the 2018 edition. Folks, it’s just not there! No court has ever Ruled that we had an ongoing obligation to “deliver-up” unlimited copies of every version of every title we publish in every year of business, open-endedly into the foggy future.
Alright, how about this; Remember our request that Justice Pallotta recuse herself? Remember her excuse for not doing so? Well, she restated it in her Ruling, admitting that she did receive our request but couldn’t consider it because it hadn’t been made through the relevant Motion to the Court.
Remember Prothonotary Tabib’s excuse when she received the same request? She wrote that “The letters dated April 14, 2021 […] are not documents which are contemplated by the Federal Court Rules” and therefore cannot be considered.
So, the Court Ruled that any such request cannot be contemplated because there are no protocols for filing it, whereas Justice Pallotta Rules that any such request surely could’ve been contemplated if only we’d filed according to the protocols that her colleague Ruled don’t exist.
Methinks it matters not in the slightest how it was filed. Another filing would render another excuse.
Then Pallotta returns to the claim that we were supposed to ship all our 2018 inventory to her colleagues. Seems she’s insecure on this point, she keeps coming back to it. “At one point in his oral submissions at the contempt hearing, Mr. Knight conceded that ‘Manson’s Law’ […] applies to all editions of the Canadian electrical code [sic].”
Well of course it does. The massive change to legislative ownership ushered in by Manson’s Law is applicable throughout the body of law. The Federal Court of Appeal upheld this, and bluntly. But the application portion of the Manson Ruling, the delivering up of 2015 books, was specific to PS Knight. It did not mandate that anyone else, Justice Pallotta for example, had to stop reading legal commentaries in her residence or had to pack them up and ship them to the Court. Her compliance with Manson’s Law was, and is, a separate matter. The application section of Manson’s Law was specific to PS Knight, singularly dealing with the 2015 Knight’s Code.
Yet, wrote Justice Pallotta; “The order to deliver up [the 2015 Knight’s Code] are not limited to the 2015 edition of the Knight’s Code.” Oh yes it was! Look, anyone can read the text of Manson’s Law, it’s in public domain. There is no order in that Ruling covering any other books. It’s just not there.
Are you ready for a wild one? Try this;
“When they engaged in the activities in question in 2020, the Knight Parties understood that the 2018 [Stay] Agreement did not apply.”
Even Pallotta knows what she wrote is rubbish. To prove that point, notice that my legal counsel at the time hasn’t been brought on contempt charges? It was, after all, the counsel of my lawyer that I relied upon throughout the years in question. All compliance issues with regard to the 2015 Ruling, and all other Rulings for that matter, were complied with through my lawyer’s office. If all that was done was in defiance of the Stay Agreement, and was all done through the office of my legal counsel, why is my lawyer not on charges? Why was his firm not investigated? Questioned? Why was he and his firm not even mentioned in the Ruling which necessarily condemns him as much as me?
We know the answer, don’t we?
But Pallotta continues, writing that the Stay Agreement was to “uphold the status-quo, pending the Federal Court of Appeal Ruling [emphasis in original]. Yes, Justice Pallotta underlined that bit. It’s the only line in the whole Ruling that she underlined.
The trouble of course, is that what the Stay Agreement says doesn’t match what Pallotta wrote, then underlined. And she knows that too.
How can we be so sure? Because none of the terms of the Stay Agreement were mentioned by Pallotta.
Again, according to the Stay Agreement, all we had to do upon receipt of the Federal Court of Appeal Ruling was to advise opposing counsel of our intentions. And we did. We complied.
The real problem here, for the Civil Service, is that they’re rubbish negotiators. They signed the Stay Agreement, then regretted having signed. The Agreement didn’t give them all they wanted. The only compliance requirement upon receipt of the Court Ruling was an advisory to opposing counsel. That’s not enough, they complained. Alas, they negotiated the Agreement that way and they signed it; at law they’re stuck with what they signed.
But here comes Pallotta to rescue the Civil Service, Ruling that the Stay Agreement says the opposite of what’s written on it. Now the Agreement gets them what they want. Ain’t that great?
I guess I just don’t believe that someone even passably intelligent could read something so plain and yet so completely screw it up. I mean, the whole Agreement has only one compliance line, a single sentence. It’s in plain English. It’s just not complicated!
Pallotta’s either crooked or stupid, and I doubt it’s the latter.
Justice Pallotta then starts her conclusion, writing that she is “satisfied beyond reasonable doubt [that we] did not deliver up all copies […] of the 2018 Code.”
Again… I mean…. [cooling my temper] ...There was no obligation to deliver-up any 2018 copies of anything! My lawyer didn’t demand it -heck, he didn’t even suggest it, didn’t discuss it, didn’t at any time -for the life of me- even hint at it. Absolutely nothing was done to deliver 2018 editions because there was absolutely no requirement to do so.
Folks, stuff like this… -She’s just making it up! This is what Courts do these days.
Give you one more….
“On cross-examination, Mr. Knight refused to answer questions about the shipper’s addresses displayed on the [book packaging], including a question asking whether one of the Calgary addresses on the package is Mr. Knight’s home address.”
Nope. That’s a lie.
What the Civil Service actually asked was that I identify my home address. They asked me to volunteer what my address was, not to confirm an address they provided. This isn’t a small point because, as readers know, I fled the Country prior to the trial and, for obvious reasons, don’t want a lawless government Agency easily able to hit me where I now live.
I made mention of one small shaft of sunlight coming, gave a small detail thereabout, then Justice Pallotta interjected, demanding to know if I was “threatening” her with accountability. Oh, no, said I. Then she sharply affirmed how proud she was of all she’d done in the Civil Service.
Indeed, what I’ll disclose now, though I withheld this detail in the trial article, is that at the end of the trial, in response and as I made my closing comments, I had difficulty holding my emotional composure. I didn’t quite make it.
My statement, from the transcript;
“When in late October my defences were stripped from me and you had the […] secret meeting, that was kind of a decision point for me, because up until now, all your friends wanted was money out of me, but now they wanted to put me in prison, and I recognized that it was increasingly unsafe to be here. This is why I wouldn’t give my address, incidentally, earlier on. I can tell you...” and that’s when I cracked. It was too much, the weight of it, what I was being put through. I struggled to regain composure; “…sorry. It was not actually intended…”
Pallotta: “Would you like to take a break, Mr. Knight?”
Knight: “No, it’s just three lines [before I finish].”
Pallotta: “We can take a five-minute break.”
Knight: “No, no, please. I want to get this done.
“On November 8, which is about a week and a half after that little secret meeting, I had to put my affairs in order …and I fled the Country. I am in the US. I came down with a carry-on bag, and I have had to put moves in place to file for political asylum on the basis of corruption in the judiciary and the Civil Service. And you know very well there are thousands and thousands of pages now, nine years of evidence of what you people have been doing, and if you’re proud of that, then you have nothing to fear, and how could that possibly be a threat? […] If the law doesn’t matter, maybe public scrutiny will.”
But, wrote Pallotta; “I draw a negative inference from Mr. Knight’s refusal to testify about the Calgary addresses.”
She completely ignored the basis for refusal to volunteer my address and Ruled that I had refused to testify about it.
Yet I’m the one who’s being disrespectful, apparently.
“It is clear from the content of Mr. Knight’s online posts that were introduced into evidence, and Mr. Knight’s behaviour towards CSA and the Court at the contempt hearing, that Mr. Knight’s strong disagreement with the Judgement has crossed a line, and demonstrates disrespect.”
What line? I pointed out the record of the Court on this file. You know, I find it interesting that the Civil Service elsewhere has me up for defamation charges, for the crime of reporting their conduct to the RCMP. Reporting a crime, to the police or to the Court, is now a crime. Apparently, says Pallotta, pointing that out demonstrates disrespect.
Alright, what now?
Well, I committed during the trial that I would not appeal any Ruling the Court might make. I meant it.
What would be the point of appealing? Would it not go before the same Court, with the same institutional bias and, on occasion, the same outright rigging?
No, friends, what I said at trial stands. Specifically, from the transcript;
“My last point on that, about whether I could comply or defy, is to inform you […] that I think the answer is going to be the same either way. I am going to get punished either way, so I don’t dare comply, I don’t dare defy; so I am going to receive whatever comes, I will put it in a manila envelope, and I will ignore it. I can’t afford to be caught obeying the law anymore. It’s too expensive and it risks being in jail.”
Seriously, how can I comply without the right to know what the Ruling means? I just got convicted of contempt for complying with a Stay Agreement. I’m in year ten of litigation for complying with Queen’s Printer Copyright Law. All the major Rulings of the Court since 2012 have affirmed that what the law or the Rulings of the Court say they mean is the opposite of what they really mean. Unless Civil Service convenience shifts. Then the meaning shifts back to what is written.
In other words, and in practice, Pallotta’s Ruling has no meaning whatsoever. I will be punished no matter what I do. Complying is as impossible as defying.
Filing it away on the other hand, is pretty straightforward.