Friday, May 29, 2015

CT - Rally & Party for Family Court Reform

Rally & Party for Family Court Reform

Come to a beach gathering to promote change so that divorcing families will be less emotionally and financially burdened.

Come join the camaraderie with people that have been there and who can offer support. Or, forget about the issues for the night and just have fun.

There will be speakers on different topics covering family court activity.

The Coalition for Connecticut Family Court Reform on Tuesday June 8, 2015. 6 - 10 pm
at the Jacky Durrell Pavillion, Fairfield Beach. 410 Fairfield Beach Road, Fairfield CT

$20 per person/ $30 per couple

For more on this event please find on Facebook:


Coalition for Connecticut Family Court Reform

Monday, May 25, 2015

MN - An Opportunity for the Public to Comment and Provide Feedback to the Minnesota State GAL Board

URGENT UPDATE - This is an important opportunity for the public to provide input to the Minnesota State GAL Board. A group of concerned parents has been fighting for reform, and specifically asked to improve the complaint procedure so when you file a complaint against a Guardian it is actually heard and investigated. The Board responded and has published a draft of the proposed changes to the complaint procedure:

You can submit feedback to Program Admin Suzanne Alliegro via instructions on the site. OR you can contact this group of parents, and work together with them to give feedback. They may offer public comment at the next GAL Board meeting.



ME - Sen David Burns Replies to our Open Letter

Within hours of our letter going out to Senator David Burns we received a response back from him. Below is Sen Burn's response.

Dr. Collins,

Thank you for your questions. First and foremost, the Judiciary Chairs follow the Maine Constitution and Joint Rules to conduct the process of reviewing Judicial nominees. As I said on the Senate floor, our Committee listened to a very long and, we feel, fair Committee hearing on Judge Moskowitz, as we do for each nomination. The Chairs did all in our ability and power to give everyone opportunity to be heard on the issue. It is very difficult to be exact on just how much time each speaker gets without rudely cutting someone's time short. I believe that was done fairly, in spite of what some have protested about. Everyone's testimony is equally important. When there is written testimony, we try to keep oral comments as close to the allotted time as possible.

As you know, the Committee had much written comment and materials provided to them before, during and after the Public Hearing. Also, the rules that are set before us, allow for the nominee to have opportunity to respond to testimony given. After the hearing, there was a break where our individual caucuses had an opportunity to talk among themselves, which is consistent with the Legislature's Joint Rules in any issue brought before us. The Chairs were in agreement that a sufficient amount of time was needed for each Committee member to review and consider all that had been provided to them on this issue, before voting. It was also important for any response from the nominee to come forward. For these reasons the Chairs decided that we would hold the vote, as the rules allow, until after the weekend. As you also know, there was a considerable amount of unsolicited e-mails that were circulated to us during that time period. Each of those were provided to the clerk to be made a part of the public record. There were no inappropriate meetings or discussions that took place during that time that the Chairs are aware of. All testimony and written comment that the Committee was provided is public and available for public access.

When we reconvened, the Committee members had each come to their own conclusions of the "fitness" for this nominee to be reappointed and cast their vote accordingly. This is a process that is in place for us to follow and I believe that each Judiciary Committee member takes it very seriously. It is unfortunate that some individuals and legislators have tried to impugn the integrity of the Committee members. Having spent the last, nearly 5 months, with them, I can assure anyone that they are all very committed to fairness, transparency and of the utmost integrity. We all understand that some of the criticism over this "process" and some of the judicial nominees comes as a result of very difficult personal experiences with family courts and none of us minimize the importance of those experiences and the significance of those perspectives. However, some of the slanderous statements that have been made surrounding these proceedings are unconscionable and do not have any place in legitimate and constructive debate and discussion!


David Burns

NatGAL is working on Family Court and Guardian ad litem reform. If you are or have been a consumer of judicial services and have had an issue with the court. We would encourage you to contact us at or find us on Facebook.

Letter to Sen David Burns may be found here:
2015-05-23 An Open Letter to Judiciary Committee on Confirmation of the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz

Saturday, May 23, 2015

ME - An Open Letter to Judiciary Committee on Confirmation of the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz

In an effort to have government transparent we are publishing the following letter to Sen David Burns. The letter deals with the confirmation deliberations that the Judicial Committee had over a weekend before a unanimous vote was given. It was emailed to all committee members the Senate President and the Bangor Daily News as well as the Portland Press Herald. We are presenting to you the letter:

May 23, 2015
Senator David Burns
Chair Judiciary Committee

Dear Dave,

I’m writing you as chair of the Judiciary Committee to ask that you help us understand the committee's "deliberations" on the reappointment of Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz. Like many people who followed the May 12 proceedings, I'm puzzled.

What we witnessed that day was the committee entering the hearing room, sitting, and immediately giving a round of 13 "yeses" – with no comment and no questions. It was a stunningly synchronized delivery, and many people are wondering how this degree of orchestration was achieved.

From some of the committee members, we've heard a variety of “explanations” that shed little light on what actually transpired to arrive at a unanimous decision, and Sen. David Dutremble related some of these in his speech from the Senate floor on May 15. The Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald both have published several stories on the Moskowitz reappointment, but there clearly is more to this than was reported.

We'd like to understand why you chose not to include the public in your committee's deliberations on this "controversial judge."

I greatly would appreciate a reply. Thank you.


Jerry Collins

NatGAL supports any effort to bring about Family Court and Guardian ad litem reform. Please contact us if you have had any issues in or with either at or find us on Facebook.

Friday, May 1, 2015

ME - May 7, 2015: Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz expected to face opposition in reappointment

Many thanks to Judy Harrison (BDN) for the recent article: “Judge who levied gag order expected to face challenge in reappointment

The article is about Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz and the issues surrounding his court room and the endorsement by Judicial Selection Committee (headed by Joshua Tardy Esq.) to Maine's Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary. May 7, 2015 will see the confirmation hearing of this judge at 2 pm.

It is also the story of one woman's experience in this court. She is not unique in the experience. It is a story of personal pain.

In addition we have a survey asking anyone who is willing to voice an opinion on his reappointment. The public (majority) was left out of the process. A committee consisting of lawyers ( headed by Joshua Tardy Esq. ) conducted a survey which went out to members of Maine’s Bar (minority). The results of our anonymous survey will be presented to the committee on May 7 and posted online. To take the survey click here. Survey will open in a new window/ tab.

Related articles:

Complaining About Judicial Conduct - The Oversight of Judges