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Showing posts with label CGS 51-14. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CGS 51-14. Show all posts

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Subject: Failure/Refusal to Post Minutes to the May 20, 2013 Rules Committee
Meeting of the Connecticut Judiciary--Complaint to the FOI Commission

Complainant:  Michael Nowacki

Respondents:  The Honorable  Dennis
Eveleigh-- Justice of the Supreme Court and Chair of the Judiciary's Rules
Committee, State of Connecticut

Attorney Joseph Del Ciampo-- Director of Legal Services, Judiciary, State of

Attorney Melissa Farley--External Affairs Director, Connecticut Judiciary

Carl Testo--Director of Legal Services, Judiciary, State of Connecticut

Dear Attorney Murphy:

This email contains the basis for an FOI Complaint be docketed, naming the above
respondents for failing to post the minutes of a public meeting of the Rules
Committee within the seven day requirement established in Chapter 14 of the
Connecticut General Statutes, referenced hereafter as the FOI Act.

On June 14, 2013, Attorney Del Ciampo in an email to the complainant alleged
that the Rules Committee is not governed by the FOI Act.

Section 1-200 Section (1) defines a "public agency" and notes that any such
committee is governed by the FOI Act and "...includes any judicial office,
official or body or committee thereof but only with respect to its or their
administrative function,"  

Attorney Del Ciampo, having made that statement on June 14, 2013  in an email
claiming "an self proclaimed exemption for the Rules Committee" from any FOI
compliance, was informed that an FOI Commission complaint would be filed and

The complainant seeks a formal  determination by the FOI Commission on whether
Attorney Del Ciampo's  firm declaration that the posting of public minutes rule
(Section 1-225 (a)) does in fact apply to the Rules Committee of the judiciary.

This FOI complaint is also challenging an assertion that votes taken at the
public meetings of the Rules Committee do not require the "attribution" of
attending members on May 20, 2013 for specific votes taken on proposed
amendments to the Connecticut Practice Book.

In this complaint, the FOI Commission will be also asked to consider The Rules
Committee  meeting of May 20, 2013  met the required proper  "public notice
required, and therefore the votes and actions taken on that date by the Rules
Committee, can be considered "null and void".

Justice Eveleigh made certain statements to me in person on June 14, 2013 which
were clearly erroneous regarding his belief that the "draft" minutes of the
Rules Committee meeting of May 20, 2013 had been posted on the

Justice Eveleigh made these statements to the complainant after the conclusion
following the annual judges meeting on Friday, June 14. 2013 held in Middletown

The complainant attended the Annual Judges meeting and attempted to distribute
pertinent materials at the meeting which was arranged through External Affairs
Director, Attorney Melissa Farley.

The representation by Justice Eveleigh that  the minutes of the Rules Committee
meeting of May 20, 2013 had been posted on the website was
immediately refuted by the complainant as a "misrepresentation of fact".

Attorney Del Ciampo was asked to determine if the "draft" minutes has been
prepared and perhaps posted on the wrong committee.

Today, is Saturday June 15, 2013 and there are no minutes posted on the public

In light the statement yesterday that the minutes have been posted, that
FOI Commission is being asked to docket this case for a public hearing.

It is my intent to notify CT-N and other news media outlets with a copy of this
complaint, since the Governor has indicated that he intends to limit the access
to public records.

I will supplement this complaint with snapshots of the screens of the
website to properly capture the current status of information on the website.

The posting of the minutes of the May 20, 2013 Rules Committee meeting at a
later date will NOT result in a withdrawal of this complaint.

It is the intent of the complainant to establish and administrative hearing
officer record on the operations of the "Rules Ccmmittee" are subject to the
proper notice requirements, proper recording of votes by attribution in the
"draft" and "final approved" minutes at Rules Committee meetings, and to
establish a FOI Commission ruling that the FOI Act requirements for the public
inspection of votes be provided within 48 hours (upon written request to inspect
such public records) and the requirements to post. "draft" public minutes of the
Rules Committee within seven days of the meeting, all apply to the Rules

Less than twenty minutes after Justice Eveleigh had a specific recollection of
the posting of the draft minutes of the May 20, 2013 Rules Committee meeting
(but had a non-specific recollection on the date the draft minutes were
proposed), I went to the law library in Middletown with eagerness to read the
posted "draft" minutes.

As of Friday, June 14, 2013, There were no minutes of the May 20, 2013 Rules
Committee meeting posted on the website.

I am not seeking an expedited scheduling of a public hearing of this FOI
Commission docketed complaint.

Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions.

A signed copy of this complaint will be filed with the FOI Commission and with
each respondent in a timely manner.


Michael Nowacki


Friday, June 14, 2013


June 14, 2014


Dear Justices of the Superior Court:


In 1969, Honorable John Hamilton King was presiding as the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.  He declared in the attached letter that the judiciary was no longer going to seek the approval of the legislature on Practice Book Rules—despite the existence of Connecticut General Statute 51-14.

In short, from 1969 through this year, the Connecticut judiciary has increased both its powers and jurisdiction through the Connecticut Practice Book (which is not a law) despite provisions in Article XX of the Connecticut Constitution which clearly and unambiguously states:  “The powers and jurisdiction of the court is defined by law.”

The Constitution of the United States is the Supreme Law of this Land—except in the self proclaimed, “Constitution State.”

 The Constitution of the United States has no relevance to the Practice Book Rules despite a jurist’s solemn oath or affirmation to be bound to “the supreme Law of the Land.”

The Connecticut Practice Book Rules which you are considering today again fail tthe litmus test of open legislative hearings that include the right of the governed to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.  For the last 44 years, the Joint Committee on Judiciary has failed to conduct hearings on the PROPOSED Practice Book Rules, despite a fiduciary responsibility to do so.

Within two weeks of the adoption of these Rules of Practice, we, the people, will file a federal suit seeking the overturning of the Connecticut Rules of Practice adopted since 1969 which  have been designed to be discriminatory to the accommodations required by the ADA laws. 

In addition, with impunity towards those who choose self representation in criminal, civil probate courts and family cases in the State of Connecticut, the judges in this state have adopted rules of practice for video-conference hearings that fail to protect the interests to a self represented parties as equal not subservient to those who have denigrated their sacred Attorney’s Oath.

For the last two years, a number of those aggrieved by the prejudicial “rules of engagement: in courts of law in the State of Connecticut, began attending the public administrative judiciary committees and commissions in the State of Connecticut.  We began to write to the members of the Rules Committee and the Family Commission to “petition the Government for redress of our grievances.”  We videotaped these proceedings to validate that the minutes to these public meetings do not recapitulate the

“open disclosure requirements” of such conclaves removed from the catacombs.

We, the people, have been ignored, retaliated against in adverse rulings, referenced as a “problem” by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and held in contempt of court for challenging this unvarnished fact:  The Connecticut Practice Book is the single, largest set of rules of judiciary self empowerment of any state in the United States.

The imperiousness with which the judiciary has conducted it abuse of administrative endowed increase of powers and jurisdiction is best illustrated in the passage by the legislature of HB 6387 and now memorialized as Public Act 13-0194—A Bill for Court Operations —whose language has been crafted solely by members of the judiciary, despite the Constitutional provisions in Article II, III, IV, V and VI which defines the powers of separation of government.  Writing legislation is NOT a power which the U.S. Constitution provides to “The Constitution State”—but provides the best illustration of the unbridled hubris embodied in the abuse of the powers of separation of government.  Please take the time to review the Connecticut Law Review’s article on the development of the “Code of Evidence”—which is filled with the words which strike fear in the hearts of every lawyer including the self represented—“judicial discretion”.

Despite a requirement in Article VI of the Constitution of the United States that requires, “Members of the several State legislators, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and the several States” shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution: as “the supreme Law of the Land”, the family judges of the State of Connecticut have declared the Constitution a meaningless document worthy of excorciating.

In short, the Constitution State, and its vaunted Connecticut Practice Book has evolved into a document of uncontested seditious construction that represents the ultimate denouement/denigration of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Connecticut and Article XX, Section One.

Included in this envelope are documents which validate the beginning of judicial reform initiative in Connecticut that is modeled upon the patriots who assembled at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia who met to oppose the tyranny of British Rule.

We submitted a series of proposed Rule of Practice to both the Supreme Court on March 25, 2013, only to discover that those documents were never considered for discussion by the Rules Committee at any point in time for a vote for endorsement for adoption at the annual judges meetings scheduled for June 14, 2014.

The Committee on Judicial Ethics, on April 19, 2013, courageously issued four decisions to begin to dismantle the collusion between

  1. AFCC members
  2. Judges who sit on Connecticut Bar Association Committees,
  3. Jurists who engage in advocacy committee positions on the Connecticut Bar Association’s Appellate Committee
  4. Judges who were receiving elite national honors and all expense paid trips by members by the Academy of Matrimonial lawyers.


Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 42 U.S.C. 1942, any further discrimination perpetuated by members of the Connecticut judiciary upon classes of citizens who are litigants claiming disabilities or upon those who choose self representation in any court in the State of Connecticut, will be vigorously contested in federal court as abridgment of constitutional due process and equal protection protected by the 14th Amendment.

We will also equally vigorously contest any family court case in which a jurist fails to disclose of a membership the AFCC or any of their affiliated corrupt organizations.

Earlier this month, we note that Justice Zarella addressed the new class of attorneys who passed the Connecticut Bar Association exam.  He spoke eloquently about “zealous representation” without referencing a recent majority opinion he wrote in Simms v. Simms, a case argued by constitutional and civil rights attorney, John R. Williams.

We would like to challenge Justice Zarella to a public debate at a time and place of his choosing, to reconcile his judicial oath, the Attorney’s Oath which he and Justice Rogers are required to uphold pursuant to the unified Code of Judicial Conduct adopted at the annual judges meeting of 2010 with an effective date of January 1, 2011, and the speeches Justice Zarella delivered to the newest of the graduates of the bar exam.

We would like to challenge Justice Zarella to debate  a group of citizens aggrieved by the members of the AFCC in the family court system in the State of Connecticut at a time and place of his choosing and convenience on the topic: 

“Justice” or “Just Us”—How would the framers of the Constitution of the United States review the rights of self represented parties and the rights of disabled as articulated in the Connecticut Practice Book Rules of 2013?

We eagerly await Justice Zarella’s acceptance of this “judicial gauntlet” thrown by the citizens of the State of Connecticut in righteous indignation as a “penalty flag for abuse his judicial discretion in the Simms v. Simms case by granting to lawyers rights as a class of citizens to be absolute immunity for conducting themselves in courts of law in the State of Connecticut in a manner inconsistent with the Attorney’s Oath administered by Justice Chase T. Rogers and Justice Zarella to those who aspire to professionalism in the practice of law in the State of Corrupticut.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013



               Henry Martocchio?

               (Pause in the proceedings.)

               MR. MARTOCCHIO:  Good day, Justices.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Good morning.

               JUSTICE EVELEIGH:  Good morning.

               MR. MARTOCCHIO:  My name is Henry Martocchio.  I’ve presently submitted eight copies over there.  This is a complaint underneath the American Disabilities Act.  I have petitioned this Supreme Court in my matters in regarding my autistic child in family courts.  I have shown that the courts are in non-compliance.

               My biggest problem here today is when we go to the Advisory Committee underneath the American Disabilities Act that the judicial department has, they are not following the established rules that are in the rules I have inside of my complaint.  They have obstructed me.  It is a Fourteenth Amendment due process right for me to be able to sit in front of the judge to understand what our civil rights are.  I’ve been deemed non-eligible because I refuse to tell a judge what my disability rights are.  My child and me, as we know in Troxel, are the same side of the coin.  His disabilities are my disabilities. 

               We had a gentleman state here earlier today -- there was no association.  There’s other parents out there in this world today that we live in that have to take vehicle rides, get here two hours ahead of time; so there is accommodations.  There’s also accommodations needed in family studies.  If we have expert psychologists that will sit there and say, yup, you’re a bad dad; you’re violent; you’re this; you’re that, where’s my people to understand my child’s needs, then determine what the best interest is? 

               There is nothing in the courts today and, as far as I’m concerned, Mark Cielo and the whole Advisory Committee, after 23 years of being too late on the American Disabilities Act, should be released immediately due to the violations of state ethics and the ethics of their jobs.  I have tried numerous times.

               Chief Justice Rogers, I was in this courtroom one day and I was in the case of -- in Joseph W. and you asked -- and this is what hurts the most -- what is a designated, responsible ADA coordinator?  A coordinator is to coordinate and cease and desist all, all -- and that even means from a judge -- discrimination.  They have the absolute power and it has to be absolute power because as a community we want to forward the rights of people that are perceived as having a problem. 

               Do we need to go back to the ugly laws of the 1900s?  Should we sit there and say that this is not a common law court anymore and if that’s the case, then we’re only segregating the disabled to say we don’t have to have effective communication with these people?  If that’s the case, I am not putting nobody down by no means, but if the true common law court says no women can be in there, nobody of a minority, nobody of a disabled, my question is to you guys, when are we gonna get finally with the 2013 standards?  There are new guidelines.  There is no remedy in this courtroom for me.  There is nobody to turn to. 

               If we know we have three different gun subject control courts in this state, where are my -- where is one court that a disabled person can go to and plead their rights to a judge and have them understand what the disabled rights are -- to be the modification before entering into this courtroom, whether it’s an unjust due burden or not?  That rule could be only applied to 1992.  It’s 2013.  By now, you guys, we should have had something in place. 

               I do not have to explain myself to Mark Cielo and tell him that underneath certain cases, it’s already been ruled on that -- I am not an employee of this state, one of the first and foremost.  I don’t get how he can ask me what my disabilities are and, at that, it’s been identified by Judge Shluger that my child is autistic.  I don’t have to go any further than that.  I don’t have to explain.  These are the rules in the civil rights for me to be in the public.  I have the right to access this court and have effective communication. 

               I do not have the burden of writing a 77-page brief, again, to Abery-Wetstone, Judge Abery-Wetstone, who has denied me again underneath the bright-line rules of my constitutional right to be a parent.  I have a third-party that’s interfering for seven years in my family life.  Do I not have a right to live and have a family autonomy no different than any one of you guys?  When you guys had children, did anyone come to you and ask you:  Well, are you the father? are you the mother? are you the father?  No.  Then, at that, perform a test and make me get subjected to a DCF evaluation, a family court evaluation? 

               The question here, you guys, how many tests do I need and how many times did it have to come back and say that I‘m absolutely fit?  When does the government get out of my child’s life? -- because it was the government that stopped this parent from doing maximum amount of therapies at an early age intervention for my child.  Now it scares me the worst. 

               Do I have the next Adam Sandler [sic.], the Sandy Hook shooter, on my hands? -- because in my opinion, two years after that court was done, the mother was giving up that child to the state; and I don’t know if it’s the truth, the whole known truth, but I just  -- that’s what I’m hearing right now. 

               Why wasn’t that brought up as --

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Sir?

               MR. MARTOCCHIO:  -- part of the permanency plan of the court?

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Sir?  Five minutes is up.

               MR. MARTOCCHIO:  Good day, Your Honor.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Thank you. 

               MR. MARTOCCHIO:  I thank you very much and here’s your last copy and I -- this is a complaint and I’m asking for a response from every member of this committee in regards to why we do not have rights, civil rights, due process rights underneath the Fourteenth Amendment because they --

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Thank you. 

               MR. MARTOCCHIO:  -- Mark Cielo has obstructed me from getting to you guys.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Thank you. 

               MR. MARTOCCHIO:  Thank you. 
                CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  There being no further signups,

 we’ll adjourn this public hearing.  Thank you very much.



Saturday, June 1, 2013



               JUSTICE EVELEIGH:  Good morning.

               MR. PATRICK HENRY:  Good morning.  Obviously, we are switching gears a little bit here based upon what we view as being a very responsive court here this morning. 

               In your folder are copies of Patrick Henry’s address of March the 23rd of 1775.  The reason why I included that is that we’re all here this morning in a unified parental and discriminatory issue that we believe exists in the family court system in the state of Connecticut.

               We have been parents, most of us stripped of our joint legal and physical custody rights without access to due process or equal protection of the Fourteenth Amendment.  In Troxel v. Granville, the United States Supreme Court of 2005, a decision that I know that this Court is well aware of, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor delivered an eloquent defense of the rights of parents as a fundamental liberty interest that is subject to due process and equal protection.

               In your folders today, you will find two letters to the editor, one going to my hometown newspapers in New Canaan and the other being distributed to every single weekly newspaper about the passage by the Joint Committee of the Judiciary of an endorsement of House Bill 6387 which directly emanated for more than two years of meetings that I personally attended of the family commission. 

               We have a very difficult issue about judges writing law.  Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the supreme law of this land declares the separation of powers of government.  No judge in this state has the right to submit legislation imbedded in a court operation’s bill submitted with only seven days of a public notice that this was going to occur on March the 4th in the legislative office building. 

               I’m here to address one issue and that is Practice Book Rule 1-9a created in a seditious conspiracy by Justice Peter Zarella and captured on the June 29, 2007, minutes of the annual judges’ meeting in which a resolution was passed to start creating clandestine meetings between the legislature of this state and members of this Court.  How dare you?  And you have denied us. 

               And you, Senator McDonald --  former Senator McDonald, now Justice McDonald, participated in not conducting a public hearing as the co-chair of the judiciary committee of this legislature for 43 years and now you sit on this bench.  I wrote to you, sir, asking where is the public hearings on Connecticut General Statute 51-14a?  You never wrote back.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Patrick Henry?

               MR. PATRICK HENRY:  That was Patrick Henry.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Then is there a Betsy Ross?

               (Pause in the proceedings.)

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Good morning.

               MS. ROSS:  Good morning, Panel.  I’m representing Betsy Ross, one who has brought about change to our nation with a symbol of our flag which stands for liberty to our freedoms of this great nation of the United States of America.

               JUSTICE NORCOTT:  Ma’am, could you lower the microphone so we can hear you, please?

               (The microphone is adjusted.)

               JUSTICE NORCOTT:  Thank you. 

               MS. ROSS:  Did you hear what I said?  My First, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were serious violated and I have a rule book here, it’s called the Constitution of the United States of America which states so -- by someone on this bench here, Judge Maureen Keegan, seriously violated those rights when she falsely arraigned me in the criminal court last year by way of hearing my testimony on May 31, 2011, and then acting upon a false report that it was a conflict of interest for her to arraign me.

               And I don’t have a script written but I’m just going to be stating that many times in the family court, parents’ rights are not properly listened to.  They just rule from what they want to do with parents in the court and whosever has a bigger pocketbook, who has more money to pay lawyers, pay judges -- because I know that goes on -- pay therapists, to say what they want in their reports, and there’s many false reports written to the courts by way of therapists, evaluators, and it only hurts our children’s lives. 

               My child’s life is not afforded the same education because of faulty decisions made by judges in the courts -- in the family courts, the juvenile courts.  I don’t have to be a rocket science to know this or research the laws to know that my child’s life has been thwarted because of the inadequacy by the judges in the family courts and the juvenile courts, and it says -- and I can quote a child’s statement by saying that he looked over the juvenile justice system, a recent bill in the legislation in which I’m sure you’re all privy to and know about, that it states throughout the whole bill, best interest of the child, and that child stated that never once when he was in the system his best interests were looked at and his best interests were never taken into consideration.

               The judges -- you need to enforce that the best interests of the child be taken into consideration and that’s what’s ruining our country.  Our children’s future is being damaged -- severely damaged because everybody is on a power trip in the courts and everybody thinks that, you know, we won for the best candidate, the person who has the most power, but you’re just hurting our children.  Our children’s future is being damaged. 

               So if we want this country to go forward on a positive note, I firmly believe that you should uphold our constitutional rights.  Thank you. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Thank you very much.   John Doe No. 3.

               MR. JOHN DOE NO. 3:  Good morning, Justices.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Good morning.

               MR. JOHN DOE NO. 3:  I stand before you today as John Doe No. 3.  I am a citizen of the state of Connecticut.  I choose to remain anonymous because I have been subjected to repeated retaliations and discriminations and the court system of the state of Connecticut, in my opinion, directly attributed to my disability.

               When I was contacted by a member of this parent group, I immediately accepted the opportunity to speak to you today on behalf of the manner in which those of us with disabilities continue to be mistreated by the court system of the State of Connecticut.  All you need to do is look at the public notice of today’s meeting.  Was there any reference on the website of the posting of notice of this meeting that there would be any procedure set forth for any accommodations for those who needed their due process because of their disability?

               There was no effort made whatsoever by Attorney Melissa Farley to respond in a prompt fashion to the requested accommodations for those who have physical handicaps for today’s public meeting.  It was only after a day of waiting and a follow-up phone conversation and an email was sent to one individual within our group that it was able to transmit certain information in regards to today’s public hearing.

               Most people see me and my disability and it’s somewhat easy to perceive.  As my mother always used to say, I have it easy; mine is obvious, but there are many with disabilities that are not.  I am here for just not myself and the obvious, but for the concern of the level of insensitivity for those whose disabilities are not visible.  They include those who have great fears of public speaking, who have a parallel disability and inability to articulate their opinions in writing.

               The ADA Act contains many official definitions of a disability, qualifications pursuant to federal law.  In a release -- in a recent letter sent by Attorney Martin Levin (phonetic) suggesting he had some sort of right to limit the request under the Freedom of Information Act concerning communications about the number of AD accommodation requests or to provide types of accommodations that have been made available for some but not all agencies in the state of Connecticut.

               The judiciary of the State of Connecticut has now been sued by one litigant in federal court for failure for the courts of the state of Connecticut who refuse to understand or accept that speaking and stating -- that speaking in court for some creates enormous anxiety.  The courts in Connecticut universally refuse to accept the economic challenges for those who are disabled and assessing income potential in support of their obligations. 

               I was wrongly incarcerated for a period of time for which a judge was unable to see I was unable to meet certain guidelines, though, that he truly knew that I was -- he had qualified me unemployed at the time and refused to hear a motion for modification that was on the table for some nine months. 

               In the challenging economic environment for many citizens, the courts in the state of Connecticut continue to show many accommodations for those who depend on love, care, and companionship of our children as an emotional anchor.  Courts disable our access in connection with our children who see how hard it is to work to maintain an appropriate connection with a lifeline of love which is intrinsic to the integrity of familial association.

               Yes, life is challenging for those with physical disabilities, as it is many, but those who have other learning and developmental challenges as a lifetime of challenges also are deserving of accommodations here.  Why do these hearings have such a stringent requirement that should eliminate the ability for someone who arrives late to the procedures due to inclement- weather-like mornings or to be removed because of the ability to address a group of senior judges of court who sets the policies?  Why isn’t there a morning session or perhaps an afternoon session that would allow parents who have children to care for, responsibility for disabled children who require special accommodations, to arrive on time to have opinion to choose which time period might be more convenient for them to attend the hearing?

               Isn’t it compelling testimony that the ADA subcommittee of the judiciary met last April 17, 2009, and the minutes of that meeting are still listed as draft meetings -- minutes?  I will wrap and I will see you once again in May for your thoughts.  Thank you. 

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Thank you very much.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


The next one is Molly Doe No. 1.

               (Pause in the proceedings.)

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Good morning.

               MS. MOLLY DOE NO. 1:  Good morning, Justices.  Thank you for allowing all of us to have this opportunity to address particular issues that we feel are most pressing.  This morning I’d like to discuss a review of the automatic appellate stay that is addressed in the Connecticut Practice Book.

               Connecticut Practice Book Rule 61-11 states that:  Except where otherwise provided by statute or other law, proceedings to enforce or carry out the judgment or order shall be automatically stayed until the time to take an appeal has expired.  If an appeal is filed, such proceedings shall be stayed until the final determination of the cause.

               And the Practice Book Rule 61-14 states:  The sole remedy of any party desiring the Court to review an order concerning a stay of execution shall be a motion for review under Section 66-6.  Execution of an order of the Court terminating a stay of execution shall be stayed for 10 days from the issuance of notice of the order and if a motion for review is filed within that period, the order shall be stayed pending decision of the motion, unless the Court having appellate jurisdiction rules otherwise.

               In practice, one family law judge in Stamford, Connecticut, is routinely ordering that if a party files an appeal of any issue, the 61-11 stay is hereby lifted prospectively.  That same family judge and at least one family -- another judge in Middletown is also continuing with proceedings where the stay had been lifted, but a motion for review is pending under 61-14.

               These judges do not believe that 61-14 applies in divorce proceedings which -- and in the Connecticut Practice Book still maintains that divorce proceedings are civil proceedings.  For an example, in a recent Stamford divorce case, a family law judge awarded an AMC a large sum of money without hearing evidence as to the financial circumstances of the parties.  The order was followed by the statement that should that party appeal, the automatic stay is hereby lifted.

               In another case, that same judge continued with proceedings where one party appealed her finding that the spouse was not in contempt for failing to produce a single, signed tax return for himself or for any of the multiple trusts of which he is a beneficiary -- of which he was an admitted beneficiary.

               The aggrieved party filed a motion for an appeal.  The judge lifted the stay.  The aggrieved party then filed a motion for review in following the Connecticut Practice Book rules.  The judge ignored the fact that the motion for review was filed and sent the case to trial. 

               Requested suggestions that -- the Practice Book Rule 61-11 should be amended to state that no judge may prospectively lift the automatic stay and Practice Book Rule 61-14 should be amended to clearly state that a motion for review suspends the lifting of a stay under 61-11 in all proceedings, including those involving divorce.  If this is already obvious, then family law judges should be trained in these Practice Book rules.

               Another issue I’d like to discuss is a litigant’s ability to listen to his or her audio tapes of her -- of proceedings.  The current procedure states that if any party or other individual challenges the accuracy of a transcript produced from an audio recording, arrangements may be made with the official court reporter for that person to listen to the audio recording and compare its contents with the transcript. 

               The official court reporter or a designee shall be present at all times that the audio recording is being played to the requesting person and such playing shall be at a time of mutual convenience to the person in the court reporter’s office.  The source of that document is the judicial branch audio access policy memo dated January 8, 2009.

               In practice, in --

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  You can finish your sentence.

               MS. MOLLY DOE NO. 1:  Okay.  In all but one judicial district, litigants are permitted to listen to audio tapes of their proceedings.  Inexplicably, a different rule is followed in the Stamford family court.  The court reporter’s office refuses all requests to listen to audio tapes.  In order to hear the tape, the litigant must file a motion with the family law judge and hope for a favorable ruling.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  All right, Ms. Doe,

let’s --

               MS. MOLLY DOE NO. 1:  Okay.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  All right.  Thank you very much.   We’re going to take a very brief recess.

               MS. MOLLY DOE NO. 1:  Thank you. 

               (The Court stands in recess.)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Thank you very much.  

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Thank you. 

               Mike Doe No. 1.

               (Pause in the proceedings.)

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Good morning.

               MR. MIKE DOE NO. 1:  Good morning, Justices --

               JUSTICE EVELEIGH:  Good morning.

               MR. MIKE DOE NO. 1:  -- and thank you for the opportunity to speak to you this morning.  The first thing I’d like to address is a proposed rule to be added to the Practice Book which limits the information about children which can be contained in divorce opinions. 

                In divorce proceedings, minor children do not have the same rights as those children involved in juvenile proceedings or parental right termination cases.  The children’s private information, including their names, birth dates, and other information is routinely published in divorce opinions.  These decisions appear on the internet.  They can be read by hundreds of millions of people.  Those people include sex offenders and identity thieves.

               Children of divorce have their personal information exposed and they are routinely stigmatized and psychologically damaged by the sometime salacious and other private information about their parents which is contained in the decision.

               In one recent case, a family law judge published a 28-page decision which contained the minor children’s names, their birth dates, their home addresses, as one as -- as well as one child’s psychiatric history.  It was lifted directly from a custody evaluation which the parents believed was for the eyes of the attorneys and the court only. 

               Since the publication of that decision, Your Justices, one child, he’s my child, has suffered uncontrolled anxiety and can no longer attend school on a regular basis.  Every time either one of my children Googles their name, that decision is the first thing that they read.

               My requested rule change is that matters involving child custody has to be automatically sealed.  They do it in the states of New Jersey; they do it in the states of New York.  All child custody evaluations must be automatically sealed.  The public cannot trust that these decisions are not going to contain information that damages our children so much.

               My second proposal is an amendment with respect to GAL, AMC, fees and the appointment of GALs and AMCs.  In the Stamford Judicial District, family law judges repeatedly appoint the same small group of attorneys as GALs and AMCs.  The majority of these attorneys are billing families at $500 per hour.  Many do not have GAL and AMC certification and, meanwhile, there are hundreds of GAL- and AMC-certified professionals now in our state who are willing to work for state rates but they are never appointed.

               In one Stamford case, the GAL billed $500 an hour.  His fees exceeded $160,000.  He spent a total of 4½ hours with the same two children whose public information now appears on the internet.  In addition, when he was criticized for not performing his duties, he succeeded himself and an attorney -- as an attorney, having an attorney appointed for him at the cost of another $500 an hour.  That attorney was then also appointed as AMC representing both the GAL, himself an attorney, and representing the children. 

               After an 11-day trial, it was determined that that AMC had never even met with or spoken to either of the children.  Her bill, $100,000.  The family, a family of modest means, now a family that is insolvent, paid GAL fees of $260,000.

               The rule should be amended, Rule 25-62.  We have the rules but they’re not followed.  It says that GALs shall be appointed pursuant to a branch fee schedule.  They should be.  I don’t know why they’re not.  We have the rule; it has to be enforced.

               Thank you for your time.

               CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS:  Thank you very much.