Monday, December 24, 2012

Judges in Maine are Practicing Medicine without a License

We are told that Judge Andre Janelle ordered a party into therapy, and on the first visit with the therapist, the client/ patient was asked what was the reason for seeking therapy.

The client reported saying that he/ she "was upset and disappointed with society". The therapist indicated that would not do, as it had to be a technical reason – such as depression or the sessions would not be paid for. The client stated that he/ she was glad to be divorcing, and not depressed, but the therapist continued to press the “depression” issue. The therapist had a struggle in trying to come up with a diagnostic category for this court ordered therapy. Finally the client told the therapist to put down whatever he/ she wanted. The client was never interviewed or counseled by the therapist for this diagnosis. There was no reason for the therapy other than Judge Janelle ordered it to be done. There was no depression experienced by the client/ patient. The “reason” was being fabricated for billing and court purposes, so a state (taxpayer - funded) agency would pay. It would also label the patient for the record as being depressed and this could be used in future court appearances against the patient/ client.
When Judge Andre Janelle forced this parent into “junk therapy” based on a Guardian ad litem “junk science” recommendation did he consider any of the following questions before forcing therapy:

  1. Is the therapy really necessary? 
  2. Is there an accepted diagnosis of a problem for which therapy is indicated?
  3. Is the treatment a valid, recognized form of treatment?
  4. Is it approved of by professional societies?
  5. In the end is it really effective therapy?  
  6. What us the aim of the Judge's prescription and can it be defined?  
  7. Will this therapy work on someone without a diagnosis?
  8. Does this forced therapy have the potential of causing harm?
  9. Is the treatment ethical? Or does it force treatment that humiliates with no definable therapeutic purpose?

Judge Andre Janelle probably also didn't consider some other very real issues like: Human Rights violations – where courts and their officers who are unqualified (both in training or background in diagnosis, counseling and or therapy) are forcing innocent people into unnecessary sessions. These therapies such as recommended by Judge Janelle appear to be methods of control and punishment and not of treating an actual problem. In this case as in many the judge forced the release of therapy records by the party. What ever good that may have come from the “therapy” was dissolved from that point on. The trust necessary for any form of therapy – which is founded on near absolute confidentiality – was broken with that request. Confidences are ended. No privacy = no therapy. Forcing the release of information to be shared with the opposing lawyers and their clients – can be damaging in unforeseen ways to not only the client but also those innocently mentioned in therapy. Will Judge Andre Janelle or the Guardian ad litem be held libel for possible damages? Will the lawyers, therapist or 3rd party payers be held accountable? In the examples provided above – probably not as they either have immunity or deep pockets. It will come down to the person with the most to loose that will risk the cost of liability. This poses some interesting legal questions and issues.

The question that should be asked is why insurance companies and government health agencies – who are paying for this – are accepting this sham of forced therapy being prescribed by the likes of Judge Janelle? Do they realize what they are paying for? These Judicial/ Guardian ad litem prescriptions are frequently 'pro forma', and executed with little thought and no diagnosis but as a means of “Judicial Outsourcing” - about saving time for the judge in court that effecting any helping change in patients/ clients.

All third party payers - government (tax payer funded) or private - should have an interest in this set of issues; especially, if they are made aware of it. The money spent by these organizations is being wasted because of a Judicial recommendation that often has little or no bearing on a court case. Or is abused as a means of controlling a situation. The professional organizations, like the American Psychiatric Association have long had an interest, and have written volumes on the issues of confidentiality, informed consent, human rights - and the plethora of legal and ethical issues associated with these questions.

If you are or have been in a situation where the Guardian ad litem or the courts have ordered court sanctioned therapy please contact us at or like us on Facebook for up to date information on reform within the Judicial system.

For past posts on Judicial Outsourcing: The Role of Judicial Outsourcing in Maine


  1. Judge Janelle made me go through counseling based on what the GAL said. I was and still am a good parent and could not understand why I had to have counseling. This posting has opened my eyes. Thank you.

    1. You are welcome and thank you for the comment.

  2. How is it that the Judge is acting like a doctor? That doesn't make sense cause they are Judges and not doctors or therapists. A Judge cant tell you what to do like that.

    1. Thank you for the comment. It is unfortunate but true that Judges in Maine and other states are handing down what amounts to a doctors prescription. By forcing a person to seek therapy for no reason other than because a GAL or PC has recommended it. Often these "treatments" have no goal or end date. For billing purposes there is no category to check off that covers the real reason for having to see a therapist. The Judge will often force the release of information to other parties with no known consequence of doing so. Although you are correct that Judges are not Doctors or therapists - they are playing that role without knowing or understanding how their actions will harm those they are trying to "help". Judges, GALs and PC (Parental Coordinators)should not have that authority.

  3. While our "Judges" seem to be venturing into territory they have no authority to be in - they are immune from any damage that their actions will cause. To put it into perspective - imagine that you buy a car from a salesman (the "Judge") and something happens to the car so the dealers receptionist is called in to determine what is wrong (a GAL or Parental Coordinator). The receptionist determines that the engine needs to be replaced and that is why the car wobbles as you drive down the street (the recommendation to the Judge). The salesman then informs you what the problem is and then tells you that the car is on the lift and is being fixed (the forced recommendation). You are not told how the engine being replaced will fix the problem of the wobbly driving (informed consent).

    In this example you have people who have no background in therapy (and even if they did - as a Judge, GAL or PC they cannot use their background training) and do not have the ability to make a diagnosis. Yet these self anointed doctors and therapist are doing just that with no regard to how their actions will impact those they force therapy upon.