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Friday, April 3, 2015


There are several reasons why the Supreme Court in Carrubba v. Moskowitz should not have ruled that Attorneys For the Minor Children have absolute quasi-judicial immunity in family court proceedings.  Most important are the views of Appellate Court Judge Francis Hennessey when he said that in doing so the Appellate Court was usurping the authority of the Connecticut State Legislature.

In his dissenting opinion in opposition to granting Attorneys For the Minor Child judicial immunity in family court cases Judge Francis Hennessy spoke as follows:  I respectfully dissent from the conclusion of the majority that those appointed pursuant to General Statutes Sec. 46b-54 as attorneys for minor children are entitled under the common law to qualified quasi-judicial immunity for actions taken during their representation in such matters.  I believe that it is the legislature and not the judiciary that should, if it chooses, exercise its authority to extend immunity to court-appointed attorneys for minors."

He further stated, "It is clear that neither the statutes of this state, nor the decisions of this court or our Supreme Court, extend the protections of immunity to court-appointed attorneys for minor children under Sec. 46b-54.  Consequently, I perceive the conclusion of the majority to be synonymous with legislating and "[m]ore importantly...[as] exceeding our constitutional limitations by infringing on the prerogative of the legislature to set public policy through its statutory enactments." State v. Reynolds, 264 Conn. 1, 79, 824 A.2d 611 (2003).

Again, he states at the conclusion of his statement, "The immunity proposed by the majority for attorneys appointed to represent minors pursuant to Sec. 45b-54 should be addressed to a lawmaking body."  And he concludes by quoting Colchester Savings Bank v. Brown, 75 Conn. 69, 71, 52 A.316 (1902), "It is not our office to legislate." 

These are the words of a Judge who was a long time advocate for improving the access of women and minorities to the services of the CT Judicial branch.  This was a Judge who acted as co-chair of the Connecticut Task Force on Gender Justice and the Courts, and Connecticut's Task Force on Minority Fairness, clearly a man of some principle.

Given Judge Hennessey's caution to his fellow justices, who would have though, then, that the Supreme Court would go well beyond what the Defendant asked for and grant her not just qualified judicial immunity, but absolute immunity. 

I admire Judge Hennessey.  He asked the kinds of questions we would all ask.

For instance, what is going on with our State legislature that it is allowing the CT Judicial Branch to bully its way into a position where it can exploit and bankrupt the citizens of CT at will, using lurid stories of disgruntled parents mistreating their vulnerable children as an excuse. 

When GALs and AMCs are using their wards college money to fund their lifestyles and foreclosing on the homes their wards live in to pay their legal fees, who is mistreating who?

In disregarding CT General Statute 51-14 which requires public hearings for all changes to The Connecticut Practice Book, in using the legal system to establish case law that is independent of the will of the State Legislature, the CT Judicial Branch is violating our State Constitution.

In regard to Carrubba v. Moskowitz it is worth noting that, according to Paul Carrubba's Attorney, George Kramer, in 2005 when this decision was made, the Connecticut Supreme Court was the only top state court in the country to extend absolute immunity to court-appointed attorneys.   This was how great departure the decision in Carrubba v. Moskowitz was when it came to standard practice.  If there was such a dire need for protection for Attorneys for the Minor Children because they were being chased around by disgruntled angry parents, how come no other state in the union felt the necessity to do anything about it? 

Could it be that this decision was put into place by AFCC members to preempt the outrage they knew their policies would generate?  As a point of note, the names on the Amicus Brief that argued on behalf of immunity for AMCs, i.e. The Children's Law Center, Campbell Barrett of Budlong and Barrett, and Steve Dembo of Berman, Bourns, Aaron & Dembo have been at the center of a vast number of the complaints submitted by victims of family court corruption.

I do find interesting the kind of cavalier attitude people take in regard to how the Connecticut Judicial System usurps the authority of the State Legislature.  For example, a research paper written by Kevin E. McCarthy about Guardians Ad Litem for the Connecticut State Legislature on February 6, 2013 states as follows,  "Conn. Gen. Statute Section 4-141 grants individuals appointed as GALs in neglect, abuse, termination of parental rights, delinquency, or family with service needs proceedings qualified immunity for their  actions.  Although there is no controlling case, it appears likely that courts would find GALs in family court cases have absolute immunity for actions undertaken at a judge's direction."

So what McCarthy is essentially saying is that despite the Legislature's mandate that GALs only have qualified immunity, the Court system will do whatever it pleases and grant such a GAL absolute immunity.  Since when does the Court system make its own rules without regard for the CT State legislature?

It is astounding how commonplace it has become for both the State Legislature and the CT Judiciary when it comes to the judiciary system intervening to itself write or else overstep the Connecticut Statutes that underpin our legal system.

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