Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Inquisitors of Modern Society - Guardians ad litem

The Spanish Inquisition relied on denunciations that were anonymous - the courts tortured and condemned heretics - depriving them of their worldly belongings. In many cases these heretics were executed as a means of saving their souls.

Several hundred years later we have the family court system that is alive and well in the state feeding off of the stress, pain and confusion of parents. While modern society has progressed beyond the physical torture to purify the soul our courts and officers of the courts have perfected psychological torture as a means to purify parents and keep them in line. It is warped thinking on the part of an industry that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade as Judges have outsourced their powers to the courts underlings - Guardians ad litem and Parental Coordinators - modern societies inquisitors.

While the names have changed the role has not. Modern inquisitors (Guardians ad litem, Parental Coordinators, Family Lawyers and the special interests) use the power that Judges have lent them and expanded upon that gift. Taking common sense and squeezing every drop of sense out so that people entering the court system are entering a system that is twisted and insane. Where all the rules of human decency are thrown out and where hearsay is fact when uttered by Guardians ad litem and Parental Coordinators. No where else but in today’s court is it acceptable for people to burn a child, abuse them, deprive a child of their childhood and time with one or both parents. All of this is done with the shield of "In the child's best interest" being used to protect warped reasoning and violating your Constitutional rights.

Think about this - in reviewing the actions of your Guardian ad litem or Parental Coordinator how open minded have the courts been in listening to you? Do you really believe the courts and the Inquisitors that work for them will change? In almost 40 years of having Guardians ad litem mixed up in the court system the only solid change that has come about has not been for the child or parents. Change has come for the benefit of the Guardian ad litem at the expense of your child(ren) and yourself. To believe that the courts are now capable of reform and have the ability to move from the card board box age into the digital age of management and oversight and you are just kidding yourself. Change is in the air not because of the realization our benevolent courts system have but because those forced into the use of the courts inquisitors have started to fight back. Any meaningful change to the system has to involve all parties - or the system will fail like it has for the past 4 decades.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Do Stakeholders in Maine Board of Overseers have your Best Interest?

In 1978 the The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar was created by the Supreme Court of Maine. It is a private organization entrusted with the responsibility of oversight of Maine's lawyers. It is the only private organization that offers oversight of any group and or organization in the state.

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar is also being endorsed by the Judiciary, Family Lawyers and Guardians ad litem as a means of offering oversight and management of Guardians ad litem. March 28, 2013 saw testimony from many people – almost exclusively those that endorsed the idea of oversight of Guardians ad litem through the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar were lawyers. Or they had a law background. Those that opposed the idea of using The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar were parents.

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar has been used by consumers to complain about a lawyer they felt acted with impropriety. Not one made it by the initial “gate keeper” - the person who decides whether or not your concern is worthy enough to be heard. It is a highly legal process and is a dream for anyone in the legal profession. This is being endorsed and lobbied by stakeholders (are like stockholders and have a financial interest) – by those who have every reason for supporting the idea of Guardian ad litem management and complaints with the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. The following are those that may have an interest in the Board of Overseers and the regulation of Guardians ad litem through that private agency – the question you should ask is if they have your interest at hand:

This list is by no means complete but it does call into question whether your interests and concerns are really being heard. Or will the special interest of those who stand to lose should an equitable process of management and oversight finally come to Maine. You be the Judge and tell us and tell your Representatives what you think is right. Maine GAL alert encourages you to comment on this blog through email at or find us on Facebook.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Is Maine Judiciary and GALs Violating Constitution?

The following letter suggest that there are serious issues with regards to LD522 and whether if it is implemented would be a violation of Maine's Constitution. This is not the first time where we have seen what would be an infringement of ones Constitutional rights here in Maine. This though holds the potential of being on a much larger scale.

April 10, 2013

Maine Judicial Committee

100 State House Station

Augusta, Maine 04333

Dear Judicial Committee Member,

Please find within a friendly reminder regarding LD 522; upon accepting your State of Maine Government position, you took an oath and made a pledge to up hold both the Maine and United States Constitutions.

The Maine Constitution is very direct and clear that  powers and responsibilities delegated to the Legislator, Governor, and Judicial Branch cannot be under any circumstances sub-delegated.

Whereas, LD 522 clearly does in fact sub delegated the responsibilities and power of oversight regarding Guardian Ad Litem’s to a private and non-government entity; being the Board of Overseers of the Maine Bar.

Therefore, as a member of this judicial committee, you have a responsibility and must reject LD522  and if it should be move forward to the State House and Senate  floor; could be a possible act in clear violation of the Maine Constitution. If for some reason, should LD522 be forward to the House and Senate floor; it must contain a proper disclosure that it may be in violation of the Maine Constitution.

I personally find it very troubling that some committee members whom should have a commanding knowledge of the Maine Constitution; would even consider supporting LD 522. Moreover, what is even more troubling is that LD522, was recommended by the Judicial Branch, which should have clearly known that these government powers and responsibilities cannot be sub-delegated to the board of overseers of the Maine Bar!

Another major U.S. Constitutional issue is the sub-delegation of powers in granting immunity or quasi - immunity to attorneys, or guardian ad litems that only represent individuals or a small group of individuals of the general public is prohibited; compare to attorneys that represents the vast majority of the general public with Constitutional rights which is acceptable. Therefore, LD 522 granting guardian ad litem quasi – immunity is in clear conflict with the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court opinion’s which have made it very clear as whom can be granted immunity and quasi-immunity. Therefore those attorneys, or guardian ad litems which only represent a child, or small group of children in a particular family will not qualify for any type of immunity, or quasi - immunity.

In closing, this committee should not recommend or allow LD522 to continue on to the floor of the Maine House, or Senate; due to what appears to be major Constitutional violations and conflicts.

Respectfully submitted by,

R Baizley

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Canada is doing something about Dysfunctional Family Court

Maine is not the only area where there are very real issues surrounding the family court system. In Canada – where there has been ongoing problems within their family court system – the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that an overhaul of the system needs to take place. That the family courts have operated in a dysfunctional way for decades much as they have here in Maine. In Maine though there is a resistance to any kind of much needed reform from our courts and the divorce industry – this is one of the reasons why in Maine there is a push for reform of the broken Guardian ad litem system.

Presented below is some of the article from the Globe and Mail:

Report to Supreme Court chief justice calls for family law overhaul

An unreleased report commissioned by the country’s top judge is urging a radical overhaul of Canada’s family law system.

The report to Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, scheduled for release next month, calls for restructuring the family law system from the ground up, with a focus on streamlining the court process and ending a fixation on combat.

The report, from a committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell, goes on to make more than two dozen recommendations, including the creation of specialized judges who can shepherd a family law dispute from beginning to end.

The family law system has been under attack for much of the past two or three decades over litigation that drags out and the destructive effect of the adversarial process on couples who are vulnerable and prone to go on the attack. And the inordinate costs of litigation have led to a massive increase in the number of litigants who represent themselves – now as much as 70 or 80 per cent.

A copy of the report, obtained by The Globe and Mail, says that estranged spouses and their children are seriously damaged by the adversarial system; and that judges, lawyers and law schools must embrace a culture of mediation and settlement.

The ground-breaking report also recommends the imposition of painful cost awards against litigants who behave badly or impede settlements.

Full story: Globe and Mail

Additional material on family law as presented by the Globe and Mail: SupremeCourt Leadership

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

GAL reform and why LD 522 is bad for Maine and Maine's Children

March 28 the Judiciary Committee heard testimony from those that opposed and those that support LD522. I indicated that I do not support the bill.

This is a bill that was synthesized by the divorce industry and caters to those that work within the courts – lawyers, Guardians ad litem and Judges to name a few. It takes a legalistic approach to management, oversight and rules for Guardians ad litem. It is a bill that anyone who works within the court system can understand.

That is the downfall of LD522. If your constituency is strictly made up of people who are part of the divorce industry, Guardians ad litem and the Judiciary then this is their bill and yours. Otherwise I  would point out that those that opposed LD522 were made up exclusively of parents who have had to deal with the problems of the current system.

LD522 is about the best interest of the divorce industry – the complaint process for instance is complex, time consuming and costly. The cost associated with LD522 is almost $30,000 more than what has been suggested through LD872. There is no benefit to the parents that would go through this process and being subjected to this proposal. Your constituents deserve better – they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be on a level playing field, these parents deserve better than what LD522 is going to offer them.

I urge you to reject LD522 for your constituency – your real constituency – and do what is right by giving your blessing for LD 872. This bill is good for Maine. It is good for Maine families – but mostly it is good for the children of Maine.

Thank you

Paul Collins 

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