PLEASE NOTE: This blog is a bigotry free zone open to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, or sexual orientation. Further, this blog is open to the broad variety of opinions out there and will not delete any comments based upon point of view. However, comments will be deleted if they are worded in an abusive manner and show disrespect for the intellectual process.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NEW STANDING COMMITTEE ON GALs AND AMCs IN FAMILY MATTERS TAKES SHAPE!

The April 2017 Addendum on the Judicial Branch Family Court Initiatives reported that the CT Judicial Branch would establish a Standing Committee on Guardians Ad Litem and Attorneys for the Minor Child in Family Matters. The Committee is the result of a change to the Connecticut Practice Book dated June 24, 2016 listed under Sec. 25-61A.  For the exact wording of this section of The CT Practice Book, please see the link below:

https://www.jud.ct.gov/Committees/GAL_AMC/PB25-61A.pdf 

Recently, I was taking a look at the CT Judicial Branch Website and found out that the Committee has now been established.  Its first meeting was held on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 95 Washington Street.  According to the information provided on the CT Judicial Branch Website, the purpose of this Committee is as follows:  

"to approve the curriculum for the training required for guardians ad litem and attorneys for the minor child, establish and administer a process by which an individual may be removed from the list of those deemed eligible for appointment as a guardian ad litem or attorney for the minor child, annually review and approve a list of individuals deemed eligible for appointment as a guardian ad litem or attorney for the minor child, and adopt procedures to carry out its functions."

One recommendation I'd like to make right up front today is that I'd suggest taking Attorney Bradford Barneys off the list.  The time for that corrective action regarding Attorney Barneys is far overdue as far as I'm concerned.  For more information on this attorney and his reprehensible involvement in the Stvan v. Stvan divorce case, please see the link below:


I hope that with the passage of time as this Committee gets its bearings that it is more preemptive and efficient at getting rid of the rotten apples.  

Currently, the Committee Members listed are as follows:

Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto, Chairperson
Chief Administrative Judge for Family Matters
Hartford Judicial District

Attorney Christine Perra Rapillo
Director of Delinquency Defense and Child Protection
Office of Public Defender Services

Liza Andrews, MSW
Director of Public Policy and Communications
Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Wendy Frunis, Branch Chief
Health Care Quality and Safety Branch
Department of Public Health

Attorney Danielle S. Rado

Judge Edward Graziani, Administrative Judge
Windham Judicial District

Attorney Michael Cronin
Senate Republican Office, LOB

Samuel S. Gray, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford

Attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly, Executive Director
The Children's Law Center

I am concerned, and others have pointed out since this article was posted, that Attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly was central as GAL in perpetrating one of the most egregious custody switching cases that occurred here in the State of Connecticut recently.  In this case, the father was actually so unable to cope with the children that he returned the children to their mother.  Overall, The Children's Law Center includes contributors from some of the most corrupt law firms in the State of Connecticut.  These are firms that have played a major role in the corruption of the Family Court System and the harm and damage that has been done to parents and children as a result.  I can state quite confidently that the presence of  Attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly and The Children's Law Center on this Standing Committee greatly undermines the credibility of this Committee.

For those who are interested, the next meeting of this Committee will be Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in the Attorney Conference Room at 231 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.  The meeting after that will take place on October 4, 2017.  

Apparently, according to the Addendum to the Initiatives report, from 2014 to 2016, the number of eligible GALs and AMCs has been reduced from 1200 to 400, which is a reduction of 67%.  I think this is an excellent development because clearly many of these people who were removed were marginally qualified.  

What bothers me, however, is that despite these drastic reductions there remain two poorly qualified individuals on the list, i.e. Joan Kloth-Zanard and Jennifer Verraneault, neither of whom have a graduate level legal degree, mental health professional degree or a divinity degree, at least one of which would be required for work as a GAL or AMC.  

I find it puzzling that these two individuals remain on the list even though they lack the qualifications for being there.  Both of them are zealous adherents of Dr. Richard Gardiner's theory of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) a fraudulent concept which is widely used in CT Family Court to hand children who have been abused over to their abusers.  It is also used to completely cut off all access these children have to their protective parents.  On this website, I have documented case after case where this kind of injustice has occurred.  

Meanwhile, experts in domestic violence have been removed from the current GAL/AMC list, and I am aware that the CT Judicial Branch specifically refused permission to certain well known advocates of battered mothers the opportunity to attend the course at all.  

I'm not sure why the current Standing Committee on GALs and AMCs would consider it acceptable to begin their tenure on this Committee by promoting the interests of people who support quack theories which place battered mothers at risk.  

This is the problem with the CT Judicial Branch overall--that it displays lip service to the issue of domestic violence while pampering and cosseting fools who promote parental alienation syndrome and refusing to take the proper steps to protect victims of domestic violence in real life situations, such as with Baby Aaden.  

From what I understand the Standing Committee will be working on establishing a procedure for removing persons from the list of those eligible to serve.  They might want to start by removing these two purely on the basis of a lack of even the most fundamental qualifications combined with a belief in air headed theories which could cause serious damage to children when put into practice.

The Standing Committee also has a training subcommittee which has the charge of discussing the curriculum for the training required for GALs and AMCs. Members of this subcommittee include as follows: Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto, Liza Andrews, Justine Rakich-Kelly and Christine Perra Rapillo. Of interest is the recommendation that the training be cut from 40 hours to 20 hours.  The Committee also recommended that the content of the curriculum should include learning how to work with parents who are disabled.  Let's hope this bodes well for a future where the CT Judicial Branch begins to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and refrains from discriminating against people who have mental health disabilities as it has thus far.  

For more information on this new Standing Committee, please click on the following link:

https://www.jud.ct.gov/Committees/GAL_AMC/default.htm

And for information on the new Subcommittee, please click on the following link:  

Friday, July 21, 2017

WHAT HAPPENED TO EVERYONE? HOW ABUSED WOMEN IN A DIVORCE END UP ISOLATED AND ALONE!

Three or four months into what I now routinely call "the divorce from hell" I woke up and said, "What happened to Everyone!!!" I mean, what happened to my family, my friends, and all the other people I used to know, because suddenly they weren't there any more. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

THE ROLE OF SOME JEWISH PEOPLE IN FAMILY COURT ABUSE. HOW CULPABLE ARE THEY?

In a recent inquiry, one reader asked the following question, "Elizabeth, why do you promote an anti-semite like Paul Boyne? Your father was a Holocaust survivor. Shame doesn't begin to describe what you should feel." That is a good question for Elizabeth, although Cathy will be the person on behalf of the "Divorce in Connecticut" blog to respond, particularly since she formulated the "bigotry free" policy that is fundamental to this blog. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

FAMILY COURT ATTORNEYS IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT HAVE WORSE REPUTATIONS THAN PEDOPHILES!

It was tough to read the May 12, 2017 "CT Law Tribune" article in connection to the Dianne Hart-D'Amato case, particularly as a person who has walked in Dianne's shoes and experienced what she has experienced.  It was angering to read Dianne, and by inference all self represented parties in family court, spoken of as "a disgruntled litigant."  

I wonder how attorneys and judges would feel if I spoke of them automatically as crooked attorneys or crooked judges simply by virtue of the fact that I do not agree with them.  It is not often a bully pulpit such as "The CT Law Tribune" exists as a means to tongue lash the people a particular profession does not like.   

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

THE GUTLESS CONNECTICUT LAW TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD 2017! ANONYMOUS NO LONGER!

Joette Katz, Chair 
Robert Mitchell, Vice Chair

Members:

Proloy K. Das
Felice Duffy
Robert Farr
Eugene Fidell
Mary Galvin
Elizabeth Gilson
Rachel Goldberg
Wesley W. Horton
Jocelyn Kennedy
David King
Daniel J. Klau
James B. Lyon
Eugene Marconi
Sean McElligott
Dwight H. Merriam
Dennis C. Murphy
Alan Neigher
Louis R. Pepe
Michelle Querijero
Eugene Riccio
Thomas B. Scheffey
Mark Soboslai
James F. Sullivan
Cecil Thomas
Thomas J. Ullman
Diane Whitney
Steven Wizner

Sunday, June 11, 2017

CT LAW TRIBUNE RUN BY A GUTLESS EDITORIAL BOARD? SEE ATTY NORM PATTIS COMMENTARY!

A Gutless Editorial Board


A welcome and not altogether unexpected piece of news arrived in the mail. It was from the Grievance Committee. The panel found no further need to investigate a complaint lodged against me. I filed the complaint myself.
I learned a long time ago never to run from a fight. Meet the accusation head on. If you don’t do so, the accuser is empowered. Far better to turn the accuser’s finger back into his own eye, as I do here to the editorial board of the Connecticut Law Tribune.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

PUBLIC HEARING ON NOMINATIONS FOR JUDGES!

Judiciary Committee 
PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA
Monday, May 22, 2017 
9:00 AM in Room 2C of the LOB 

NOMINATIONS FOR REVIEW


I. To be an Appellate Court Judge:
1. The Honorable Nina F. Elgo of West Hartford
2. The Honorable Maria Araujo Kahn of Cheshire

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

CHANGES TO CT PRACTICE BOOK SEC. 25-60 RE FAMILY SERVICES EVALUATIONS PUT LITIGANTS AT RISK!

PAGE 42-43 SUGGESTED PRACTICE BOOK REVISION-THIS WOULD BE ADDED TO SECTION 25-60 ON FAMILY COURT PRACTICE AND POTENTIALLY RESTRICT LITIGANTS' ACCESS TO VITAL INFORMATION NECESSARY TO ARGUE THEIR CASES!  SEE BELOW THE SUGGESTED ADDITION:


"(d) The file compiled by the Family Services Unit in the course of preparing any mediation report or conflict resolution conference report shall not be available for inspection or copying unless otherwise ordered by the judicial authority. The file compiled by the Family Services Unit in the course of preparing an evaluation or study conducted pursuant to Section 25-61 that has been completed and filed with the clerk in accordance with subsection (b) shall be available for inspection only to counsel of record, guardians ad litem, and the parties to the action to the extent permitted by any applicable authorization for release of information; and further provided that copies of documents, notes, information or other material in the file shall only be provided to such individuals if they make the request in writing and certify that it is requested for legitimate purposes of trial preparation and/or trial proceedings in the case in which the evaluation or study was filed. For purposes of this section, the word ‘‘file’’ shall include any documents, notes, information or other material retained by the Family Services Unit in any format.

(e) Any information or copies of the file disclosed pursuant to this section shall not be further disclosed unless otherwise ordered by the judicial authority or as otherwise authorized in this section." 

THE CT JUDICIAL BRANCH'S COMMENTARY ON THIS SECTION'S INCLUSION:

COMMENTARY: The changes to this section clarify what information from Family Services files compiled in connection with the reports, evaluations and studies under this section are subject to inspection and copying and by whom, to whom those copies can be provided, and for what purpose can they be requested. The changes also provide that any information or copies disclosed may not be further disclosed except as otherwise ordered or authorized.* 

*In other words you can be subjected to endless, unnecessary obstruction to your access to vital evidence in your case.  While issues of confidentiality regarding certain documents is important, I think the wording of this revision is so careless it could end up restricting family court litigants from accessing important information they need for their own cases.  If the purpose of this revision is to safeguard confidentiality, it must be rewritten to ensure that it does not inadvertently end up cutting off the parties themselves from being able to review important documents in their cases.  As it looks now, the way this revision is worded, the latter could very easily happen.

UPCOMING PUBLIC HEARING ON PRACTICE BOOK REVISIONS! MAY 15, 2017!


NOTICE

Public Hearing on Practice Book Revisions Being Considered by the

Rules Committee of the Superior Court


On May 15, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., the Rules Committee of the Superior Court will conduct a public hearing in the Supreme Court in Hartford for the purpose of receiving comments concerning Practice Book revisions that are being considered by the Committee. The revisions proposed by the Rules Committee are posted on the Judicial Branch website at http://www.jud.ct.gov/pb.htm.

Pursuant to subsection (c) of section 51-14 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Supreme Court has designated the Rules Committee to conduct this public hearing also for the purpose of receiving comments on any proposed new rule or any change in an existing rule that any member of the public deems desirable.

Comments may be forwarded to the Rules Committee by email at Joseph.DelCiampo@jud.ct.gov or may be forwarded to the Rules Committee at the following address and should be received by May 11, 2017:

Rules Committee of the Superior Court 
Attn: Joseph J. Del Ciampo, Counsel 
P.O. Box 150474
Hartford, CT 06115-0474



Each speaker at the public hearing will be limited to five minutes. Anyone who believes that they cannot cover their remarks within that time period may submit written comments to the Rules Committee. If written comments are submitted, ten copies should be provided. 

DIRECT LINK:
http://jud.ct.gov/Publications/PracticeBook/pblj_7843.pdf

FAMILY COURT INITIATIVES - ADDENDUM 2017! WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CHANGES!

The CT Judicial Branch reports the following changes in their report on Family Court Initiatives.  Is this enough?  Should we have more?

  • Reducing the reliance on the Guardians Ad Litem
  • Waiving service of process for a marshal to deliver a complaint to a party in a divorce
  • Intensive Case Management
  • General Case Management - reducing delays
  • Individual Calendaring - Single Judge in a Case
  • GAL accountability - Creation of standing committee
  • Family Volunteer Attorney Program
  • Divorce Navigator - Website Assistance
For more details on these programs, please click on the link below:


http://www.jud.ct.gov/family/Family%20Initiatives%20-%20Addendum%20to%20report%20-%20April%202017.pdf

IS THIS ENOUGH OR DO WE NEED MORE?  SHARE YOUR VIEWS IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU EMPOWER A BULLY: THE TRAGEDY OF MATHEW COULOUTE!

There are few cases that present the spectacle of the foolishness of family court here in CT quite as effectively as the Mathew Couloute versus Lauren Haiden versus Stacey Blitsch cases.  

Mathew Couloute, for those who are interested, is a native son, born and raised here in CT and said to be an associate of Gov. Dan Malloy.  An attorney and formerly a state prosecutor, Mr. Couloute is a talented, intelligent, capable if not brilliant professional with some unfortunately fatal character flaws, one being an inability to maintain a steady and law abiding career path, and the other, a complete inability to maintain a decent and courteous relationship with the mothers of his two children currently aged 11 and 5.  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

CREATING A CT FAMILY COURT REFORM MOVEMENT THAT EVERYONE CAN GET BEHIND!

Recently, we all watched the fiasco of SB #1049 go down where rogue leaders of the CT Coalition for Family Court Reform tried to slip a bill through the Finance Committee rather than the Judiciary Committee.  They did this after members of the Judiciary Committee quite sensibly refused to hear proposed bills from The Coalition that were destructive and damaging to women.  

The only thing I can say about the Finance Committee at this point is: "What were they thinking?"