Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chief Justice Leigh L. Saufley understands the issue

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley understands that the process of Guardian ad litem oversight is broken and in need of fixing. In a response letter back to the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary she indicated the need for the following:

1. A more thorough complaint process that is independent of the Judiciary
2. The creation of a program that would support GALs beyond their role of Guardian ad litem

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley has given the goal of October 15, 2012 to come back with a proposal on how to deal with these two areas. We will be following and reporting back here. 


  1. We applaud Chief Justice Saufley's much needed action. Changes in Maine's GAL system are overdue. Guardians in Maine are created by the Judicial Branch and then operate without oversight or supervision. Many GALs operate with personal and professional integrity, but there are others that operate with disregard of the statutory regulations and wreak havoc on families and children.

    We hope that Chief Justice Saufley listens to "grass roots" concerns, and includes them in her planning. They have been overlooked in the 2009 proposal, which was captured by GALs, who had 7 representatives on the planning group!

  2. I have been involved in a custody dispute that has been one sided. The GAL has felt that my daughters are better off with a Mom who is medicated and holds no job over myself. The GAL for whatever reason has felt that it is my daughters best interest to see me their Dad only occasionally on the weekends. The GAL thought or felt my daughters would not be able to handle me driving them to school on occasion. Their Mom who was recently released from prison after 9 months and the GAL had no problem saying it was okay for my daughters to live with their Mom. Does this make sense? Not to me and I am trying to go by the "rules". I don't understand and I am loosing my daughters to parental alienation.

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  4. Thank you for your post. If you and your husband were as bad off as you are saying you were, a divorce was certainly warranted.
    In regards to the issue of guardian ad litems, as with any situation in life, when you have bad service at a restaurant, a rude representative when you call your credit card company or as in many GAL cases listed here and on our Facebook pages Megalalert and MaineGalHelp, the bad guardian ad litems will get people worked up.
    Our mission is to help those with guardian ad litem issues find avenues of justice. There is a real problem with GAL's not only in the state of Maine but nationally. Guardian ad litems need better oversight and accountability and we and those who write to us, are the catalyst for the needed change. We are glad that the legislators and Chief Justice Saufley are recognizing this grassroots call to action.

  5. I have had two "guardians" who have been completely ineffectual and have not represented my young son's best interest. The first was dismissed, and the second was paid off by my ex in our post-divorce motion as part of the settlement. Neither ever wrote any report for the court. I have serious grievances similar to what has been expressed already by so many other people...what is the statute of limitations on my ability to file a complaint? Are there any consumer friendly resources available to guide me through the process? I have already depleted my savings and cannot hire an attorney, and frankly am sick of paying money into a system that has nearly destroyed my family.

    1. I am not sure there is a statute of limitations to file a complaint. We are aware of a woman in the midcoast area that was divorced back in 2005 that is still carrying out a battle against a GAL. She is representing her self in court as much like yourself has exhausted her financial resources.