Saturday, February 11, 2017

Guardians ad Litem (GALs) Vendor Services Survey - Ending 2/15/2017


As part of LD 872 An Act To Improve the Quality of Guardian ad Litem Services for the Children and Families of Maine the Judicial Branch was required to survey consumers of their vendors services.

If your case is finished you have an opportunity to take this survey as a way to give the Judicial Branch constructive feedback as to how their GAL vendor did.

The Judicial Branch is requesting parents and attorneys in completed Family Court/ Law and child protection cases to answer a brief survey about the experience with the Guardian ad litem's service.

There are four survey's available. The majority of those reading this blog should take survey two. A link to the main survey page may be found here.

Guardians ad Litem (GALs) Services Survey

If you were a parent who was involved in a family law matter, please complete Survey Two entitled, "Survey of Parents Regarding Guardians ad Litem in Family Law Cases." - Survey Two

The Judicial Branch is supposed to be making a presentation to the Judiciary Committee on 2/15/2017. As part of that presentation we expect that the Judicial Branch will be showing what statistics they have collected on their vendors. The survey is 12 questions in length with opportunity to comment. It is an an anonymous survey.

MeGAL works to educate parents and family members as well as our representatives to the issues that infect our Family Court system. If you have had a problem or feel that something just is not right with your GAL or Judge we encourage you to email us at NatGALalert@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.

Friday, February 3, 2017

ME - The Re-Appointment of the Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll

Dear Members of Maine's Judiciary Committee,

Judges serve an important function within our society preserving the law. They do this by interpreting the law in a fair way and being consistent in that interpretation. The decision of reappointment should not be exclusive to lawyers, judges and assorted court officials as this leads to a legal professional perspective which does not take into consideration the real life experience of the public (consumers of judicial services). In re-appointing and doing so in a fair and equitable manner the views and experiences of the public (consumers of judicial services) of a judges service must be taken into consideration. Otherwise all we have is an “ole boy” network of approval. Every effort must be made to include the thoughtful input and experience of the people of Maine, who know from experience.

Without the actual human experiential dimension, any reappointment is just rubber stamping the judge back into the court. As our Judges are tasked with protecting and advancing our laws the current closed Judicial vetting system allows for the undermining of that task. Judges are not held accountable for their actions in this closed system. While it has been argued by the legal industry that complaints can be made against a judge by the general public. The process is alien and consumes a huge amount of their time and financial resources. The public (consumers of judicial services) is left with the feeling that their input is not wanted and it is better to leave things as they are out of frustration. Because of this dysfunctional system there is little recourse by the public to better the system. It results in a system that has and is slowly degrading, and judicial services becomes the tool of those who can afford justice over those who cannot.

Are our Courts and specifically our Family Courts a public service for everyone - including the 74% who are Pro se. Or are they a publicly supported workplace for the Divorce and Legal Industry?

We see evidence that our Family Courts in Maine have a few Judges of questionable character. To be exact, there are four judges in our Family Court system, for whom we have very grave concerns about how they conduct themselves in their courts. One of these Judges is before you today and asking to be reappointed. While the decision to reappoint the Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll may have already been recommended, we want to leave you with something to think about. Stop, look and listen then think:

If your decision is wrong, who will we (the public and your constituents) be able to hold accountable for the continued abuse, pain and suffering that families that we know, have gone through and will continue to go through?

Some before you on Thursday February 2, 2017 will be watching and commenting as the public and your constituents. They are risking much in being here before you.

Thank you for your time and efforts. It is time for an in depth audit of the Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll Family Court.

Paul Collins
MeGAL



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Consumer Survey On - The ReAppointment of the Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll

As a consumer of judicial services you have a unique opportunity to complete vetting of the Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll who is up for re-appointment. The Maine Judiciary Committee will be going through formalities Thursday February 2, 2017 at 2 pm in State House room 438.

The Maine Bar and Judicial Advisory Committee have sent out emails asking for the opinions of lawyers and have cleared the Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll for the Judiciary Committee. Consumers were left out of the equation. Your views as consumers of Judicial Services are just as valuable - if not more so - than those of lawyers. Otherwise without actual human experiential dimension any reappointment is just rubber stamping the judge back into court.


Our survey is one question - whether you believe the Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll should be reappointed. You then have the opportunity for comment before submitting. Wednesday February 1 2017 we will be submitting the results to the Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Our survey may be found here: Honorable Daniel F. Driscoll ReAppointment


NaGAL is bringing about change in our Family Court System through educating the public and legislative action.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Connecticut To Review Nominations Tomorrow - Act NOW

The Judiciary Committee in Connecticut meets tomorrow to consider the renomination of several judges.

Public comments, which are limited to 5 pages, may be submitted to: Judtestimony@cga.ct.gov. Anything you submit will be public and indexed by search engines. Testimony may be submitted anonymously - but in doing so the testimony may be given less weight.

Absent a Committee vote to the contrary, the judges will likely be considered in the order specified in the Agenda below. Note that Bozutto is second, Suarez is ninth and Adelman is tenth.
The CT Constitution requires judges be renominated after 8 years. For some judges (Not sure which ones), the 8 years expires as early as January 20th. Thus in all likelihood:
(i) the Judiciary Committee will vote to approve all of the judges listed below tomorrow night; and
(ii) the House and Senate will vote next week to approve all of these judges.

Thus, NOW is the time to contact your legislator about these judges.

Judiciary Committee
300 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
10:00 AM in Room 2C of the LOB


NOMINATIONS FOR REVIEW


I. To be a Judge of the Superior Court

1. The Honorable Salvatore C. Agati of Watertown
2. The Honorable Elizabeth A. Bozzuto of Watertown
3. The Honorable Mary-Margaret D. Burgdorff of West Hartford
4. The Honorable Robert J. Devlin, Jr. of Shelton
5. The Honorable Kevin G. Dubay of Hartford
6. `The Honorable Bruce P. Hudock of Old Greenwich
7. The Honorable Corinne L. Klatt of Meriden
8. The Honorable Douglas C. Mintz of Redding
9. The Honorable Jose´ A. Suarez of Chester

II. To be a State Referee

1. The Honorable Gerard I. Adelman of Meriden
2. The Honorable Joseph P. Flynn of Derby
3. The Honorable Richard P. Gilardi of Stratford
4. The Honorable Flemming L. Norcott, Jr. of New Haven
5. The Honorable William J. Sullivan of Waterbury

Thank you goes out to Peter and Monica Szymonik for the Facebook post and letting us all know. For additional third party data visit - The Robing Room


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Pro se Civil Rights Abuse not Important Enough for Senator Susan Collins

In 2015 NaGAL approached Senator Susan Collins office for help in supporting the civil rights of Pro se parents who are being systematically abused by the justice system. It was pointed out that across the country over 50% of the "Family Court" cases are Pro se. Maine has the distinction of having 75% of court cases being Pro se.

As a Pro se litigant you are going into battle often knowing little or nothing about the rules of engagement. You are a caveman against a modern day soldier.

In June 2015 the process was started and in September of 2015 her office agreed to help and make inquires into this issue.

Almost two years later we are still being told that the office is working on the issue with the Department of Justice and that something maybe happening next month. This was the same canned answer given a month or so ago and the time before that. For all we know nothing has happened in the past two years other than being told that something maybe happening.

When pushed recently as to why Senator Collins did not go directly to Attorney General Loretta Lynch the staff person replied that the Senator only does that for "IMPORTANT" issues. Otherwise it is low level staff member to low level staff member for issues like ours. We asked if this meant that Senator Collins doesn't consider Maine and other families whose civil rights are being abused in Pro se "Family Court" cases as being important - we were told "Oh No. Every constituent is important! Everyone!".

Yeah sure they are Senator Collins.

That is why something is always going to happen "next" month.

NaGAL encourages you to contact Senator Collins to ask her why Pro se litigants whose civil rights are routinely abused by the system of Justice that should be protecting them. Why is this not important enough for her to pay attention to?

NaGAL is a grass root organization that is working for "Family Court" change and the management and oversight of court vendors like Guardians ad litem. If you are having a "Family Court" issue we encourage you to contact us at NationalGALalert@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.


Senator Susan Collins may be contacted by filling out this form


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Call, e-mail your Maine State Representative on the following two appointments

Tomorrow Maine's Representatives vote for State Treasurer and Attorney General tomorrow. We urge you to contact your Representative about the following two:

For State Treasurer - Guardian ad litem Terry Hayes is a name that many in Maine should and will recognize. Call or email your Representative asking him/ her not to vote for GAL Terry Hayes.

For Maine State Attorney General - Josh Tardy Esq. was nominated for the position. Josh is no friend of the 'Family Court' system and parents abused. Last year he spoke on behalf of Judge Patricia Worth and and Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz. Both of who were re-appointed despite efforts made by parents and concerned citizens. These reappointments were the result of superb lobbying efforts of Josh Tardy Esq. in selling damaged goods.

Please email, call your Representative by tomorrow morning and ask them to not vote either in.


For backup on Josh Tardy and Terry Hayes GAL:

http://stateandcapitol.bangordailynews.com/2016/12/05/maine-treasurer-ag-to-face-challenges-from-democratic-lawmaker-gop-lobbyist/


MeGAL

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is It Okay for an Officer of the Court to Falsify Reports?

As an officer of the court, a vendor providing services to consumers, you come into your job with certain protections that are supposed to allow you to do your job. Immunity is given to these vendors in the course of providing their service.

What happens though if these vendors fair to do their job in a judicial way. If information they present to the court has been falsified or manufactured? In every state there is a process that one can use to file a complaint - not a process that we would recommend but that is another story.

In 2001 Preslie Hardwick did just that because the social workers working for the state fabricated evidence which when presented to the courts allowed the children to be kept from their mother without cause. In addition false reports were submitted to the court in an effort to keep mother and daughters separated. This was a violation of Ms Hardwick's Constitutional right to familial association.

16 years after the defendants allegedly violated parental rights the case came before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California to be hear. The segment presented here is between the Judges and the attorney representing the defendants Pancy Lin Esq. It is a little over 2min in length but well worth watching. Pancy Lin Esq is having a very hard time giving reasons for her clients committing perjury.




While this video segment does not involve a GAL vendor for the court the issues involved could happen. With no active control a Guardian ad litem will operate as she/he sees fit knowing that immunity will protect their lives against any wrong doing. MeGAL participates actively in changing "Family" Court through educational services. If you would like to become involved we encourage you to contact us either through Facebook or by emailing us at MeGALalert@gmail.com

For the full court proceedings please follow this link: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Call to Action This November

Want to make a difference?

This coming November you will have an opportunity to elect state senators and reps who will work for "family" court and Guardian ad litem (GAL) change.

Ask your candidates what their stance on these issues are.

If you do not know who is running call or visit your town office to find out.

Get involved - It is in the best interest of your child.