However, during the course of my divorce, I faced constant discrimination based upon that old diagnosis. In particular, I cited the fact that opposing counsel in my divorce case terrorized me with three motions to have me declared incompetent. Not only that, because of this misperception, I was denied access to the services of the trial court such as family relations, mediation, special masters, or any meaningful participation in pre-trial hearings.
Nonetheless, despite my repeated requests, the judges ignored my requests, and the ADA contact person--not Designated Responsible Employee as required under federal ADA law--denied me the right to the assistance I needed in order obtain access to the legal proceedings taking place in my case. I then appealed my case to the ADA Grievance Committee where the Committee denied my appeal and also did not comply with their own grievance procedures in drawing their conclusion. Despite all these denials, eventually, in 2012, a Judge of the Superior Court granted me reasonable accommodations and acknowledged that I have a disability. In doing so, he used the same information I'd been using all along since 2009.
The bottom line is that from 2006 when I first filed for divorce up until 2012 when that judge signed my request for accommodations, I was denied any accommodations I needed to access the legal proceedings in my case.
By then I had filed a Federal lawsuit against the CT Judicial Branch for the violations which I had detailed in my letter to Attorney Hughes. I asked Attorney Deirdre Daly if her offices would be interested in filing an Amicus Brief on my behalf for my federal lawsuit. In conclusion, I stated, "I know that I am not alone in facing discrimination and the denial of [federal ADA rights] at the CT Judicial Branch. If necessary, I can provide you with the specific names of individuals whose experiences parallel mine. This is an urgent and compelling matter."
So out of this broad range of issues I presented, the CT DOJ essentially sifted through to the one issue it doesn't like to address, claims that this is the only one that exists in my complaint, and then says, "we don't want to deal with it because it is too difficult"! Oh please, give me a break! And remember, I first brought my concerns in 2012, and it took them up until 2015 to finally say, please don't come to us for help even though we are legally mandated to provide you with help. Stop waiting outside our door, because it will never open. I mean, was it that hard for the Office of Civil Rights at the CT DOJ operated by Daly and Hughes to figure out that it was going to abandon people with disabilities in the State of CT who are being denied access to legal proceedings at the CT Judicial Branch that it took three years for them to figure this out?
Many of us who have experienced this injustice from the CT Judicial Branch have been suffering for over a decade, and many more are newly embroiled in family court cases that are shot through with graft and corruption. We had the Commission of 2002 that resulted in nothing, a task force in 2014 that resulted in flawed legislation--bill 494--which judges, attorneys and GALs are busily ignoring. There is the ADA investigation into the CT Judicial Branch which the CT DOJ refuses to comment on, and now they've come up with another? You will excuse me if I say I am a bit skeptical about this.