Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MPBN interview on Guardian ad litem reform

Wednesday June 6, 2012 from 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Tune in to MPBN on Wednesday June 6th for a piece being done on Guardian ad litem reform in the state of Maine.

The interview should be available on one of the following stations:

WMED Calais - 89.7
WMEA Portland - 90.1
WMEP Camden - 90.5
WMEH Bangor - 90.9
WMEW Waterville - 91.3
WMEM Presque Isle - 106.1
WMEF Fort Kent - 106.5


  1. I found that the GAL takes sides with DHHS no matter what the case may be. In my case, my teenage daughter was removed from my home without proper paperwork that was not signed by a judge. I never received the Parent's Rights handbook The DHHS had no shred of evidence and they tried to accuse me of substance abuse. I rarely drink alcohol and I don't use drugs, (I took a polygraph as a security guard)and they are trying to force me into substance abuse programs. The GAL did not visit me or talk to me. He treated me like a criminal whenever I saw him in court, and treated my 14 yr old like a toddler and threatened her. The entire Kangaroo court system aims at getting Federal bucks under Title IV-E and they don't really care how much damage they cause to famililes. It sucks that my tax dollars are paying for this corrupt and inhumane, incompetent, unfair court system.

  2. As a now retired GAL, I can tell you that I took seriously my obligation to independently investigate and then advocate in the best interest of my assigned kids. There were times in Title 22 cases that my investigation and opinion was that DHHS was wrong and I advocated for dismissal of the matter and return of the child(ren). And in those cases, most of the time I and the parents' attorneys were successful in getting the case dismissed after a full hearing.
    In Title 19-A cases, there were cases where I advocated that father get the child, and cases where I advocated that the mother get the child. There were even a few cases where I advocated that neither parent get the child but that he/she/they go to relatives. Sometimes I was successful; sometimes not.
    I have come across a few cases where multiple children from different cases were placed in the same foster family and the foster family told me that the other GAL had never visited them or the child. On those few occassions, I made a report to certain authorities to request action.
    I always reported to the Court when parents did or did not do something they had agreed to do and I always reported when DHHS did or did not do what it was supposed to do. The Court doesn't know if it is not told by the GAL or by the parents and their attorneys.
    If you were not provided with a copy of the parent's rights handbook, you should have asked your attorney to ask that you be supplied with one, in open Court -- the Court would have ordered it.
    The GAL is required to report the child's wishes to the Court in his/her report, assuming the child is old enough to make his/her wishes known, and then the GAL should either tell the Court whether he/she supports those wishes or not, and if not, why not.
    Be assured that the GALs have been discussing ways to improve the system at no or little cost (because costs are going to get passed on to the parents or to taxpayers). We are still working on it with the Court. MeGALI is a voluntary organization and we currently represent only a portion of the state's GALs. We welcome constructive criticism but placing blame on all GALs is just as incorrect as blaming all parents or always saying DHHS is wrong.

    1. Joe,
      Thank you for your comments and insight. They are most welcome.