Friday, April 29, 2016

Judicial Branch is Silent on The New World of GALs for Pro se

Several weeks ago when we learned about an educational experience being offered by the York Bar to its members concerning the new landscape of Guardians ad litem. We asked the Judicial Branch whether a similar experience was going to be offered to those parents who might find themselves in court Pro se. These parents we felt deserved the same kind of knowledge as lawyers - maybe even more so.

Three weeks later and we have still no response from the Judicial Branch - prompting us to send one last piece of correspondence on the matter. This was sent on April 25, 2016:

Mary Ann Lynch, Esq
Maine Judicial Branch

Dear Ms Lynch,

Three weeks ago I wrote you to ask if the Maine Judicial Branch had plans to educate 'pro se' litigants in Maine family courts about "The New World of GALs"? The Maine Bar is providing lawyers with a course of instruction on the new dimensions of this topic on Friday, April 29th. Three Maine judges are listed as participating in this educational offering for lawyers.

It seemed to many people with whom I've spoken that fair play would suggest that the 'pro se' majority (75%- 17,065 people) in family court need educational enlightenment on this matter as well. They are already at a significant disadvantage in court as non-lawyers. Absent education about GALs will further stack the deck against them in family court.

Does the Judicial Branch have any plans to address the educational disparity on the topic of GALs for 'pro se' litigants?

If you prefer not to reply to my query directly, would you consider offering enlightenment to the public on this topic via the Portland Press Herald or Bangor Daily News? It is an important dimension of "access to justice for all".


Jerome A Collins.

If we receive a response it will be published. It is our feeling though that the Judicial Branch will remain silent. That silence is deafening and speaks volumes as to the very problems we as parents face in court.

MeGAL through education is bringing about reform in our dysfunctional Family Courts. If you are a parent who has had a trying experience in court we encourage you to become involved. You can start by contacting us at or finding us on Facebook.

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