Calgary court denies request from David Stephan for $4M to cover legal costs
A former southern Alberta couple charged in the death of their son from meningitis in 2012 asked the court to drop the charges against them and for compensation for their court costs on Friday.
In 2016, David and Collet Stephan were found guilty of failing to provide the necessaries of life in the death of their 19-month-old son Ezekiel.
During the trial, court heard that the boy was treated with homemade remedies, like onion and horseradish, instead of being seen by a physician.
The couple eventually called 911 but the boy died at Alberta Children’s Hospital.
David Stephan told the court that the applications were made because recently released disclosure evidence showed RCMP released hundreds of pages of defence material to the Crown.
On Friday, David Stephan was in Calgary and asked the court to drop the charges against him and his wife. He was also seeking $4 million in compensation to cover past and future legal costs.
Stephan argued that he and his wife were subjected to bias and prejudice from RCMP, the Crown and even the judge and jury.
Justice John Rooke told him that he was making the wrong application for the wrong procedure and that the claims and allegations would need to be addressed in a civil court.
The Stephans' application for $4M in compensation was dismissed.
After the proceedings, Stephan told the media that he wasn't surprised at the outcome of the hearing.
"The issues of procedure were definitely coming up and as a self-representing litigant, I'm not that understanding of the ways of court, so if it was turfed on procedure, then I'm not that surprised."
He says his family doesn't have the money to begin the proper process to look into his case.
"If it was just one party that was involved in deceptive tactics then yes, it would be a cheap lawsuit. But when we went and discussed the suit with a civil lawyer, as soon take one party and they have connections to another party, to have to bring them in."
When it comes to the upcoming trial, Stephan says he doesn't know how they'll cover the costs of those proceedings.
"We'll figure it out though. We'll be provided, I'm sure."
He says he's looked into legal aid but says the system is deficient and won't work for a complex case such as theirs.
"I've consulted with lawyers who have experience with legal aid on even simpler cases and they're reported that it falls short of providing all the necessities to ensure that a fair trial takes place."
The Stephans now live in Grande Prairie and a new trial for the couple is scheduled to start on June 3.
(With files from The Canadian Press)