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Showing posts with label REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

DID ATTORNEY ROSA REBIMBAS IGNORE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WHICH SHOULD HAVE KEPT HER OUT OF THE STVAN CASE? PART IV: STVAN v. STVAN!














On September 25, 2015, during an "ex parte hearing" in the Stvan v. Stvan case, the Court transferred temporary full custody to Thomas Stvan. At the same time, the Court also appointed Attorney Rosa Rebimbas as the Attorney For the Minor child or AMC.  Just to note, for your information, by ex parte I mean that Ms. Paige Stvan was not present at the hearing to defend herself from the accusations again her, and in fact, she wasn't even informed that the hearing was taking place.  By law, 14 days after the ex parte hearing, Ms. Paige Taylor should have been allowed to have an evidentiary hearing where she could defend herself.  But as I have stated, she never had one, which is illegal.

Of course, the immediate question here is, why does a 12 year old need an AMC?  An AMC   primarily participates in a legal matter involving a minor child to ensure the client is accorded her legal rights.  It is a very limited role and is usually reserved for older teenagers around 15,16 years old who are almost independent. No 12 year old is mature enough to make life changing decisions and direct the actions of an attorney at such a young age.  In contrast, a GAL's role is more geared towards conducting investigations and working with the family, which would seem more appropriate where one party had made unfounded accusations. 

What I would suspect is that the reason the Court assigned an AMC is that Thomas Stvan exaggerated the situation to make it appear as though Ms. Paige Stvan's condition was so severe that she wouldn't be in the picture for months to come, and that there would be no need for an investigation and a report in preparation for the 14 day follow up hearing to see if the change of custody was truly necessary.

Another reason a jaded person like me would speculate that the Court diverted from its ordinary manner of doing business and appointed an AMC for the child at this juncture is that all conversations, all correspondence related to representing a child become secret and confidential if you are acting as an AMC. Because documentation created or received while acting as an AMC is not discoverable, this means that acting in that role allows any legal professional considerable leeway to hide any wrongdoing.  

So who is this Attorney Rosa Rebimbas who is supposed to be acting on behalf of the child in this case as AMC? Attorney Rosa Rebimbas is a State Representative in the CT General Assembly.  This is the same Attorney Rebimbas who not long ago saw fit to verbally abuse and attack a fellow member of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Minnie Gonzales, who has been so courageous in calling attention to the abuses and corruption of family court.  

Of course, those of us who fought for the Task Force that investigated the misdeeds of family court, those of us who had the courage to step forward, despite fears of retaliation, to speak out and provide testimony about our sufferings as a consequence of the wrongdoing of the CT Judicial Branch, have viewed Rep. Minnie Gonzales as our standard bearer.  Rep. Minnie Gonzales is the warrior who spoke out courageously on our behalf, who had compassion for our hurt and pain, and for the loss of beloved children and homes and college tuition accounts, who understood how it felt for us to be thrown out onto the streets, jailed and deprived of precious family bonds with our children as a consequence of the denial of our constitutional and human rights within the CT Family Court system.  

Attorney Rosa Rebimbas is the State Representative who took it upon herself to insult our standard bearer, Rep. Minnie Gonzales, and call into question her integrity and her devotion to the people of the State of Connecticut and also to the victims of family court.  This is the woman who appears in the middle of this case--Stvan v. Stvan--to orchestrate, what I believe to be, one of the worse cases of child stealing from a protective mother--Ms. Paige Stvan--that I have seen in years, and I've seen and written about some of the worst.   

Let me just say at the outset that it appears to me that appointing Attorney Rosa Rebimbas in a custody case before a family court judge represents a conflict of interest for her.  This is why I question whether it was appropriate for her to be in this case at all.  The reason why is because, at the same time she is appearing before Judge Gerald Adelman, she is also an active member of the CT General Assembly's Judiciary Committee.  It is her job to vote to reconfirm Judge Adelman to the bench when he comes up for reappointment.  So she is supposed to be appearing before Judge Adelman in a subordinate role, while at the same time she is also in the position of monitoring him and holding him to account for complaints that citizens make against him.  

Why is this even legal?  

There is also another conflict of interest.  At the start of this case during the ex parte hearing on September 25, 2015, Attorney Rosa Rebimbas was appointed to act as the Attorney For the Minor Child (AMC) in the Stvan v. Stvan case.  Again, we can call into question how come a child of 12 would ever in a million years have an AMC represent her, but be that as it may.  Later, in November 2015, Attorney Rebimbas switched roles and became the GAL for the minor child and handed the job of AMC to another attorney, Bradford Barney.  

I just personally find this switcheroo of roles very inappropriate.  

She shouldn't be playing two separate positions for the minor child, bottom line, of course, because it is confusing for the child, but most specifically because it blurs boundaries in regard to her responsibilities.  Of course, I am aware that in Connecticut Family Court it is a standard for an attorney to act as both Attorney for the Minor Child and Guardian ad Litem at the same time, but to me that's just one more example of the complete insanity of Family Court in Connecticut.  So now this little girl has been told she had one kind of relationship with Attorney Rosa Rebimbas, and now the page is turned and the relationship must transform to something completely different.  That's tough enough to do with an adult, but doing that to a child is outrageous!

As an aside, at this point it is worth noting that over half of the people elected to the CT State Legislature are all attorneys.  So it is like this private mafia of attorneys all together in this group, dominating the legislature, who I believe, engage actively in supporting and covering up for their comrades in the legal profession, even to the point where it is colluding with activities within the Family Court system which are causing harm and damage to Connecticut's citizens.  

If these conflicts of interest make you uncomfortable, you can imagine how uncomfortable they made Ms. Paige Stvan.  As a consequence, at the hearing on choosing a GAL for her little girl in November 2015, Ms. Paige Stvan strongly objected to the appointment of Attorney Rosa Rebimbas as GAL.   Not only did she object personally in Court, she also submitted two lengthy and detailed motions to the Court asking to have Attorney Rebimbas totally removed from the case, one on December 6, 2015 and another on December 8, 2015.  In doing so, Ms. Stvan had a strong legal position. Under CT Public Act 14-3, the Court must provide to the parties in a case a list of fifteen approved people to serve as the GAL.  The parties then have a right to agree on a person from that list of 15.  

Unfortunately, and this is where a huge loophole appears, if the parties disagree, then the Court is allowed to choose a person from that list of his own accord.  In the Stvan case, without even allowing the parties to confer regarding who would be the GAL, and without even providing them with the list of 15 potential candidates, Judge Gerald Adelman simply appointed Attorney Rosa Rebimbas over Ms. Paige Stvan's objections. Somehow, when it put CT Public Act 14-3 into place, I don't think that the State legislature intended the Court to ride rough shod over the wishes of the parties in a case as it did with Ms. Stvan, particularly when there were solid grounds to simply remove Ms. Rebimbas from the case entirely, i.e. her lack of neutrality and fairness towards Ms. Paige Stvan. 

As Guardian Ad Litem, it was Attorney Rosa Rebimbas' responsibility to carry out a full investigation into what was going on with Thomas Stvan, Paige Stvan, and the minor child.  As a result, If you review the record of the case, Ms. Paige Stvan brought to Court and made available to Attorney Rosa Rebimbas and the Court numerous mental health professionals and private citizens who supported her as an individual and as a mother.  There was Ms. Ashley Adamson, LCSW, Dr. Eric D. Jackson, Ph.D., Ms. Danielle Sileo, LMFT, Pamela Lape, M.S.W., Dr. Lawrence Lorfice, M.D., Dr. Linda Gunsberg, Ph.D., and Ms. Linda J. Gottlieb, LMFT, LCSW-R.  as well as friends who provided letters and affidavits to the Court.

However, even though some of these professionals personally travelled all the way to Court, some from out of state, and spent the entire day waiting to provide their testimony, Attorney Rosa Rebimbas, from what I understand, prevented the Court from hearing about or listening directly to their testimony.  Not only that, she simply ignored the recommendations that these professionals made.  

In an email dated March 6, 2016, one of these professionals, Dr. Linda Gunsberg provided a written overview of a conversation she'd had directly with Attorney Rosa Rebimbas in which she recommended that an independent forensic family expert evaluate the Stvan family to determine what was going on.  Dr. Gunsberg also recommended a mental status examination of both parents, psychological testing of both parents and an assessment of the child.  In specific, Dr. Gunsberg stated that "the forensic expert must be trained in the assessment of children, parental alienation, domestic violence, and the interrelationship between domestic violence and parental alienation."  

Despite these recommendations from a trained mental health professional indicating the most effective way of resolving the case in the best interests of the child, Attorney Rosa Rebimbas simply ignored them all and didn't follow through.  

Overall, obstruction and non cooperation were Attorney Rebimbas' way of interacting with Ms. Paige Stvan across the Board in violation of her professional obligation as a GAL to remain independent and objective and to show respect for persons.  

Eventually, Ms. Paige Stvan directed several discovery requests towards Attorney Rebimbas.  However, instead of responding promptly, as was appropriate, the latter chose to ignore the requests, even though she received a court order on March 17, 2016 from Judge Gerald Adelman to comply.  I would suspect Representative Rosa Rebimbas felt that she didn't have to be too concerned about a Judge's order, seeing that she was such an important person. And she was right.  What is particularly egregious is that, in her incomplete response to discovery, Attorney Rebimbas took the opportunity to slander Ms. Paige Stvan's character further and draw negative inferences in regard to the presence or absence of her ADA advocates which had no basis in the truth.  As I have stated, ADA advocates didn't remain in the case because the Court disrespected their work.

It is true you can take advantage of self represented parties like Ms. Paige Stvan because they are vulnerable and often don't know the rules.  The only question I'm left with here is what happened to Rosa Rebimbas' oath as an attorney "that you will do nothing dishonest, and will not knowingly allow anything dishonest to be done in court"?  What about her obligation to uphold the law?  Did these conflicts of interest I have detailed here compromise Attorney Rosa Rebimbas ability to act ethically in this case?  We will never know.  What we do know is that, as a direct result of her actions, Ms. Paige Stvan has had to endure the worst kind of pain and injustice that a mother can be subjected to.  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

CT LATINO NEWS SPEAKS OUT IN SUPPORT OF REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ!

Gerry Garcia speaks out in support of Rep. Minnie Gonzalez as follows:
"I read with sadness and disappointment the Courant’s editorial, Rep Gonzalez Insulting Email Disgraceful. In your zeal to pin blame on Connecticut’s senior Latina legislator, what’s most disgraceful is that the Courant’s editors completely miss the much bigger issue.
We happen to be in the midst of a national conversation on police use of excessive force, of dead black men, of brutality that would never have come to light but for ordinary citizen bystanders with camera phones.  Too many black and brown Americans – from South Carolina to New York to Los Angeles to our own East Haven – fear for our lives when we’re engaged by police.  Rather than blaming the Latina for an inappropriate e-mail, where is the Editors’ righteous indignation that Republican legislators put politics and personal animus ahead of this important national conversation and related legislation?"

For more information on this important issue, please click on the link below:

http://ctlatinonews.com/2015/04/18/op-ed-why-is-rep-minnie-gonzalez-criticized-and-not-republicans/

OP-ED IN THE HARTFORD COURANT CHALLENGES THE NEWSPAPERS SHALLOW COVERAGE OF REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ INCIDENT!

The Op-Ed in The Hartford Courant states as follows:

"An April 15 Courant editorial shamelessly accused state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, D-Hartford, of disgracing the House based upon comments in a private email ["Disgraceful Display"]. 

The Courant's vitriol missed the target and absolved the culprits. It was Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, whose petulant hissy fit and overreaction to the email halted the legislative process..."

For more on this story, click on the link below:

http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-letter-lopez-wrong-to-scapegoat-gonzalez-20150420-story.html

Saturday, April 25, 2015

PAUL RYAN SPEAKS OUT ON THE REAPPOINTMENT OF CHASE T. ROGERS: MORE CORRUPTION AS USUAL!

Paul Ryan states as follows:

"Eight years. By our historical temporal scale, eight years is but an instant . . . a veritable flash of light that will barely be noticed on our anthropological calendar. If, however, you are an individual — or worse yet — a family living in Connecticut and need to use the programs, activities or services of our state courts to help you resolve any sort of legal dispute, best if you're wearing a seat belt or something else because it's likely to be a bumpy ride for the foreseeable future.

Either our General Assembly was uninformed, duped, or chose to ignore the full scope of information before them. The Senate had already voted unanimously, as had the Joint Committee on Judiciary, but is it possible that all the public voices would be dismissed, individually and collectively? At this point, it would appear so as the final vote was 139 members of the House voting in favor of the resolution confirming the nomination of the Honorable Chase T. Rogers of Old Lyme to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and a Judge of the Superior Court. Just 74 votes were needed for passage, and so the resolution carried. Only 6 legislators voted "Nay" (Representatives Arce, Candelara, Gonzalez, Sanchez, Tercyzak, and Carter), but even among this group, only Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, a Hartford-Democrat, rose to explain her vote in opposition..."

For more information on this matter, please click on the link below:



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CT MIRROR REPORTS ON FINAL ACT OF JUSTICE CHASE T. ROGERS' REAPPOINTMENT DRAMA!

Reporter Mark Pazniokas of the CT Mirror reports as follows:

"A noisy path to reconfirmation for Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers reached its end with a 139-6 House vote Wednesday, but not before a Latina legislator accused Rogers of slighting the Supreme Court's first and only Latina justice.
Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, D-Hartford, voted against Rogers' confirmation to a second eight-year term as chief justice of Connecticut's highest court, citing an opinion in which the majority accused the dissenting Justice Carmen Espinosa of dishonoring the court.
“A chief justice should not condone or support such an attack,” Gonzalez said during a brief debate in the House. “She should exercise moral leadership.”
Gonzalez choosing to make an issue of intemperate language struck some in the House as odd, given that Gonzalez' insults of a Republican colleague recently prompted a newspaper's call for her censure and the GOP minority's demand for an apology..."  
For more information on this matter, please click on the link below:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

IN LETTER TO CT GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ACTIVIST SCOTT BUDEN DECRIES ATTACKS ON REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ AND MEMBERS OF THE CT FAMILY COURT REFORM MOVEMENT!

It appears that the anonymous person who penned the April 14th op-ed piece run by the Hartford Courant googled the term "inflammatory language", copied all the results, and called it an article.  Its dearth of formed opinion notwithstanding, was there a reason why this author could not stand behind his or her words?


Governor Malloy then publicly admonished both Representatives Rebimbas and González on April 17th, as if Ms Rebimbas' misdirecting attention away from criminal activity and Ms González' calling out the covering of crimes were the same thing:  a spat.


It is necessary to provide a foundation of facts to give context to the drama, because there has been so much done to shield the underlying information that brought rise to the altercation.

We have a theme going:  Attack all critics of the courts.  Blame victims.  The threadbare "disgruntled litigant" epithet is a warped record loop stuck playing over the propaganda speakers, and Göbbels hasn't realized that the playbook has already been put into evidence at Nuremberg.

Representative Rebimbas attacks all critics of the courts.  That fact makes perfect sense, given her investment as a GAL in the continued unrestricted looting of assets in all family cases.  In Friday'shearing, instead of recusing herself on a matter where she stands to profit, she concerned herself entirely with misrepresenting other people's thoughts and feelings and protecting the delicate egos of judges who have done unspeakable harm to the people of Connecticut.  Again on Monday's hearing, instead of recusing herself, she participated in a plan to grind the legislative process to a halt over an apology that was already given.  Not once did she speak or act for the interests of the people of Naugatuck who elected her to represent them.

Representative González, by contrast, has no financial stake in the administration and operation of the Judicial Branch.  She is an impartial member of the Judiciary Committee.

In a dirty maneuver while Ms González was out of the hearing room, Ms Rebimbas made some large claims that there was no supporting evidence of the failures of law that Ms Gonzáles raised.  In what appears to be a public call for retaliation, Ms Rebimbas went so far as to name a specific litigant who dared to bring to the legislature the transcript of her judge attacking her, fabricating imaginary lawsuits, accusing the litigant in his paranoid delusions of chasing away all professional therapists, and even letting slip that there is a secret tier system of qualified vendors.

Here Judge Adelman in D'Amato v D'Amato (July 11, 2014), monologuing from the bench, attacks all critics of the courts, ironically hoisting himself with his own petard:

ADELMAN:  Have you ever heard the expression being hoisted [sic] by [sic] your own petard?

LITIGANT:  No.

ADELMAN:  It's from Hamlet, I believe.  The attack on the therapeutic community by litigants who have not been successful in court has, obviously, made many of these therapists adverse [sic] to getting involved in these cases.  They're getting sued, and there's plenty of therapy work for people who are not involved in litigation.  It's hard to believe that so many PhDs, therapists would refuse the work, but I can understand it when they find out that this is a case that's in litigation and an appeal and why ask for trouble, I guess?

That's tragic because you and these girls need some therapeutic assistance in an effort to repair the parental relationship, and now, quite frankly, I'm going to have to go to second tier individual.

LITIGANT:  What does that mean, Your Honor?

ADELMAN:  What that means is I'm going to have to use somebody who's not a PhD therapist.  I'm going to have to go down the stream to other therapeutic individuals because you and others like you have created a hostile environment to ther --

LITIGANT:  I would like that stricken, Your Honor, because I did not create this problem, and there's no proof that he contacted anybody.  There's no proof.

ADELMAN:  I have his sworn testimony.  What proof do you have?  You want to call those ten people into court?  You're calling the man a liar?

LITIGANT:  I'm questioning his credibility, yes I am.

ADELMAN:  All right.  The court finds him incredibly credible.  [sic]  There's no reason to think he's done anything other than what he said he has done.  The environment in Family Court and in family therapy is hostile and becoming difficult -- it's getting very difficult to find people, quite frankly, to even volunteer to be Special Masters to help people resolve their cases before they have to go to litigation, and I hope that the people who are creating the hostility think about that.


On Friday, Ms Rebimbas, however, went on to deny the existence of the transcript, to accuse the litigant of making up the judge's tyrannical behavior, and wrongly claim that the only proper channel for remedy is through the judicial branch, which has been established through now hundreds of individuals' testimony, as not the slightest bit capable of policing itself.

The transcript exposes some very serious questions:

  • Why would licensed providers be afraid of being sued if everything they are doing is perfectly ethical?  Are they engaging in the same unethical practices that victims' evidence to the legislature and federal task force reflects?
  • Are judges ordering therapy for children without there being a diagnosis?  Is a "custody evaluation" any more credible than peering into a crystal ball?  Could this be why these court-appointed providers accept only cash for their services?
  • Why do judges have a tier system among state licensed treaters?  Are the providers who are members or directors of AFCC along with the judges and GALs given preference, such as the transcript references to CT Chapter president Linda Smith?
  • Where are these multiple lawsuits against Connecticut therapists to which the judge alludes, and for which the judge blames the litigant standing before him?
  • Was the judge threatening the litigant by referencing an explosive device harming her in his non-sequitur comment?
  • Why would Ms Rebimbas try so hard to deny, or at least deflect from, the existence of this transcript?

Representative González has spent the past seven years hearing heart-wrenching testimony from hundreds of Connecticut citizens being cannibalized by the scam operating out of the Judicial Branch.  She has done exactly what she was elected to do, which is to represent the interests and needs of her constituents and the people of Connecticut -- not to protect the asset-raiding operation of the judges and GALs.  She has never backed down from her duties, even in the harshest of fights against lawlessness.  She got emotional and angry over the past few days, which proves a well-calibrated moral compass in the face of, at best, unprofessional behavior from a member of the Judiciary Committee.  At worst, she defended against a lobbyist installed to ensure that the moneyball game keeps the cash flowing to court-appointees.  Anyone with a heart should be very angry.

It seem that the Federal Task Force agrees.  I'll leave you with their own words about their current operation in Connecticut.  Remember to call the hotline and press #6 to report public corruption in Connecticut.

"U.S. Attorney Daly explained that the Task Force is focused on rooting out not only corrupt elected officials, but also federal, state and municipal employees who use their position for personal gain at the expense of the public good."

"The Task Force will also focus on the hundreds of millions of dollars that are distributed annually by federal and state agencies to ensure that taxpayer funds reach their intended recipients without corrupt interference."

“Public servants are entrusted by all of us to act in the best interests of the public they serve. It is important for the United States to bring to justice those who betray that trust,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia M. Ferrick. “Public corruption at all levels of local, state, and federal government must not be tolerated, and this task force will leverage the best assets of the task force partner agencies to address the threat posed by corrupt public officials.”

The task force includes staff from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Inspector General’s Offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

LEGISLATURE TRYING TO BACKUP ON FOOLISH BEHAVIOR WITH REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ!

Hartford Courant Sharelines reports as follows:

"HARTFORD — Top legislators are working to resurrect many of the 45 bills that died in the judiciary committee this week, the casualty of an email squabble between two legislators that brought the committee's work to an abrupt halt.

Democrats, who control both chambers of the legislature, said that the bill with the highest priority for revival is one that would allow citizens to file lawsuits against police officers who interfere with them as they videotape them while performing their official duties.

That bill and 44 others died without a vote when the email clash led to a filibuster by Republicans leading up to a legislative deadline..."

For more information on this matter, please click on the link below:



MORE HARTFORD COURANT COMMENTARY ON ATTACK ON REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ!

According to Christopher Keating of The Hartford Courant,

"State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez says it's over.


Gonzalez, a Hartford Democrat, vaulted into the headllines this week after writing a highly critical email to Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, a Naugatuck Republican who serves as the committee’s ranking House member. The email dust-up led to a Republican filibuster in the judiciary committee and the failure of 45 bills that had been on the agenda - as the committee failed to take any action by its deadline.

But Gonzales said she is ready to move forward - with no hard feelings and no spillover effects as the legislature heads into the final six weeks of the session.

"For me, this is over,'' Gonzalez told The Courant in an interview. "It's over in my mind.''

The email related to a public clash between Gonzalez and Rebimbas during the previous week over the re-nomination of State Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase Rogers. The Rogers hearing spilled over into a series of issues, incuding the role of guardians ad litem who are appointed in highly contentious divorce cases."


For more information on this article, please click on the link below:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

THE HARTFORD COURANT DISGRACES ITSELF BY ATTACKING REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ!

In surprisingly harsh terms, an anonymous editorial posted today on The Hartford Courant website attacks Representative Minnie Gonzalez for a strongly worded email she sent to a constituent criticizing Rep. Rosa Rebimbas.  The Hartford Courant editorial further speaks of the Gonzalez email as "insulting" and "disgraceful" and proposes that Rep. Gonzalez should be sanctioned publicly by the House.  

I still have not had the opportunity to watch the CT-N video of the Friday, April 10, 2015 hearing and so I personally cannot comment upon Rep. Rosa Rebimbas' behavior on that day which resulted in this email.  However, I will say that granted how frustrated victims of family court feel about the sufferings that they have endured and the need for reform, I would hardly call the email itself anything but a fairly minor blip on the screen.  

Further, I think we have all experienced enough of life at this point to know when particularly rotten individuals, such as the Republicans in this particular matter, attempt to derail the focus which should be on a serious and important matter of family court injustice by hooting and hollering about a relatively minor matter, i.e. this email, and making out that it is second in terms of atrocities to the holocaust itself.  

The disgrace here is not in regard to a relatively minor and uninteresting piece of hyperbole on the part of Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, the disgrace is that the Republicans did not have sufficient good judgment and character to overlook this minor disruption in the scheme of things in order to proceed with business and do the jobs that they were hired to do, particularly when we had such significantly important bills on the docket such as the one in regard to videotaping the police and in connection to protecting the victims of domestic violence.  

It is laughable that The Hartford Courant would describe Rep. Minnie Gonzalez use of the Central American equivalent of "every dog has its day" or "every pig has his Saturday" as some kind of vicious "threat" against Rep. Rebimbas.  

I mean, please--get real.  You want to know what a real threat is?  A real threat is when you get a summons from a marshall asking you to respond to a debt collection complaint from your former family court attorney including a lien on your house which will result in a foreclosure, a direct consequence of judicial abuse in your recent divorce.  

That is a threat--not some silly remark about pigs.  

You know, every day I get up and act as parent to my children.  Every once in a while during the course of my role as a parent in these past few years, my ex husband has made threats to take me back to court and sue me for custody of my children, implying what a bad mother I am.  This does not excuse me from being a parent.  

Likewise, just because a few people have a hot under the collar interchange during the course of their work on the Judiciary Committee, this does not justify shutting the entire Committee down.  

What is this--Kindergarten?  

I was particularly disappointed to see The Hartford Courant's name on this piece of nonsense editorial, but I was not in the least surprised.  Contrary to their journalistic ethics, The Hartford Courant has been maintaining a cozy relationship with the CT Judicial Branch by participating in the CT Judicial Branch's Judicial-Media Committee.  This has meant that several top CEOs and journalists from The Hartford Courant, other print media around CT, and also television in the State of Connecticut have been conducting regular meetings with Judges, attorneys and other CT Judicial Branch employees ostensibly to improve the relationship between the CT Judicial Branch and the media and to increase media access to legal proceedings.  

In reality, what these meetings have done is make the media a captive audience while the CT Judicial Branch has force fed it with their official lines regarding their policies, actions, and excuses for the Branch's widespread corruption.  Imagine if any political party or special interest group in the State of Connecticut had anything like this kind of immediate access to members of the media--how remarkable would that be?  

What The Hartford Courant is not telling you here is that such a special relationship between itself and the CT Judicial Branch is a complete violation of its journalistic ethics and represents a deeper and more widespread well of corruption than anything Rep. Minnie Gonzalez could concoct.  

Many family court litigants during recent years have been talking about how important it is to get their stories out to the media and yet they have not been taken seriously when they've approached journalists with their stories.  

In essence, for the last decade or more, there has been a complete media blackout on the struggles of individual litigants in the CT Family Courts although their stories of injustice and exploitation are compelling.  

Why do we hear of the injustices in so many other arenas but not in the area of the corrupt CT Family Court System?  I'll tell you why--because media outlets such as The Hartford Courant long ago sold out to the CT Judicial Branch for the ego enhancing privilege of rubbing shoulders with the CT Judicial leadership whom they appear to worship blindly.  

They should be ashamed.  

The Hartford Courant should look to itself and its own glaring flaws before daring to criticize a leader such as Rep Minnie Gonzalez who is, though clearly very human, doing  the best she can to assist the most vulnerable.

Monday, April 13, 2015

CTNOW REPORTS H.B. 5505 AND 44 OTHER BILLS ARE IN LIMBO AS REP. GONZALEZ EMAIL ALLEGED TO BE SOURCE OF FILIBUSTER!

Christopher Keating of CTNOW reports as follows:



A clash over a legislator's email caused the failure of 45 bills Monday at the judiciary committee as Republicans and Democrats squared off as the committee faced an important deadline at 5 p.m.
The clash led to the failure of all bills on the agenda as Republicans staged a filibuster that lasted until the deadline.
The two sides disagreed on some substantive issues, but the dispute was a spillover from Friday between state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, a Hartford Democrat, and Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, a Naugatuck Republican who serves as the ranking House member, officials said. Gonzalez and Rebimbas clashed publicly during a long hearing Friday regarding the confirmation of Connecticut State Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase Rogers.
But both Republicans and Democrats said the dispute continued following an email that Gonzalez sent Saturday that was copied to numerous legislators, including Rebimbas herself. At least 25 people - both Republicans and Democrats - had seen the email by Monday, based on the email trail.
The original email was written to a non-legislator who has concerns about the longrunning controversy over guardians ad litem, which are mentioned by Gonzalez as GAL. The guardians are often appointed in contentious divorce cases involving the care and custody of minor children.
The email by Gonzalez, obtained by Capitol Watch, is as follows:
"Do not waist your valuable time with people like Rep Ribimbas.She is an atty and also a GAL,she is fighting for her pocket not for the people like you and others the are suffering .She is cold with no heart.All she did on Friday was kissing the judges back and attacking another Rep and calling you a liar.not professional .people that were watching knows what a brown nose she is.she didn't look good but she think  she was awesome,Dianne always remember that every pig has 
his Saturday .ps Ribimbas I hope y enjoy 
VIDEO TESTIMONY ABOUT  5505 king another Rep and insulting you. She think that she did good

Sent from my iPhone Minnie González''
The mention of 5505 by Gonzalez refers to House Bill 5505, which advocates are pushing in an attempt to make changes to the family court system on issues such as supervised visitation in contentious child custody cases.
House Republican leader Themis Klarides, who was clearly frustrated by the developments, declined to comment on the email.
"I don't want to talk about it,'' Klarides told Capitol Watch outside the meeting room.
Gonzalez sent a second email on Monday that said, "Dear Representative Rebimbas,
"On Saturday, my emotions got the better of me on an issue that I, and my constituents, care deeply about. It was inappropriate for me to include other people in an email that should have remained between us, and for that I apologize.''
But Sen. John Kissel, the longtime ranking senator on the committee, said the second email "really wasn't an apology.''
Kissel said that Republicans had sought "a simple apology'' that never materialized over the course of the day and led to the filibuster. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

BILL SARNO OF CTLATINONEWS PROVIDES AN UPDATE ON REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ AND CT COURT REFORM!

According to Bill Sarno,
 
"The changes enacted last year as to how the state’s family courts operate appear to be just the first steps in reforming a  system which some critics have described as incestuous, secretive and having greatly distressed some families, both financially and emotionally.
 
While much of the impetus for the changes initially came from the legislature, with Reps. Minnie Gonzalez and Edwin Vargas of Hartford leading the fight for  passage of the reform bill, the state judicial branch now also indicates its increased willingness to improve and streamline  how it treats family matters and is introducing several bills this session.
 
Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D) Hartford has fought for changes in the family court system or five years.  Photo credit: ctmirror.org
Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D) Hartford has fought for changes in the family court system for five years. Photo credit: ctmirror.org
 
Gonzalez, who has campaigned for the system’s reform for five years, is also not done.  She also is sponsoring new bills this year that call for additional continued changes in the system with Vargas as her co-sponsor. “I have submitted nine bills this session,” she said, which demonstrates her commitment to overhauling the current system.
 
According to Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, program manager of communications for the judiciary, the reforms called for in  Public Act 14-3, the bill passed during last year’s legislative session, have already been implemented by the family court system as it pertains to them.  The bill required, among other things, that the judiciary establish a code of conduct and a sliding fee schedule for attorneys for minor children (AMC) and guardians ad litem (GAL). The latter are individuals, often attorneys, who the courts appoint to protect the interests of minor children in custody cases, while the former focus on legal issues."
 
For more information on this article, please click on the link below:

http://ctlatinonews.com/2015/01/25/cts-family-court-reform-just-beginning-say-advocates/

Sunday, October 26, 2014

WHY I SUPPORT REP. MINNIE GONZALEZ AND CONDEMN THE HARTFORD COURANT!

In a recent October 24, 2014 editorial regarding candidates who are running for political office, The Hartford Courant lashed out against Rep. Minnie Gonzalez who is running for the third house district. 

In its statement opposing Rep. Gonzalez, Hartford Courant editors justified their position as follows:  "This year, as a Judiciary Committee member, she's voted against the reappointment of at least a dozen respected judges in her bitter campaign for family court reform." 

Now wait just a minute--I have some serious problems with the adjectives that The Hartford Courant is throwing around here.  For example, "a dozen respected judges"?  Respected?  Is The Hartford Courant sure about that defining word "respected"?  Where did The Hartford Courant obtain its information on whether these judges were respected or not? 

I would suspect they didn't investigate those facts at all.  I'd suspect they just linked the word "respected" with judges the same way the rest of us join the word "Merry" with Christmas at certain times of the year.  Just because words seem to go along with one another euphoniously speaking, that doesn't actually mean they do in reality.  The Hartford Courant should really think about that.  Many Family Court litigants had reported to the State Legislature that the judges Rep. Minnie Gonzalez criticized had violated their professional ethics and had acted arbitrarily and maliciously.  Before making any statements implying the contrary, The Hartford Courant should actually investigate these accusations.  I, for one, seriously doubt that it did. 

Let us also consider the use of the word "bitter" in connection to the concept of the campaign for Family Court reform.  Bitter for whom?  As a person who played a central role in the campaign for Family Court reform let me just say right now I never found it bitter.  I can think of some other adjectives such as "liberating", "Validating", "Empowering", perhaps "Inspiring"!  The only people for whom the Family Court reform movement was "bitter" were the criminal elements who were being exposed--perhaps some of the "respected" Family Court judges The Hartford Courant previously mentioned. 

Let me tell you about the Rep. Minnie Gonzalez I know.  A few years ago, I received a phone call from Keith Harmon Snow, a well known investigative journalist who wrote about the corruption of the Connecticut Family Court System in the cogent and thoroughly researched article "A Life Sentence" which appeared online in May 2012. 

He invited me to meet with Rep. Minnie Gonzalez along with several other protective mothers, the majority of whom had lost custody and, for most, all access to their children based upon fraudulent and deceitful Family Court proceedings.  During the course of this meeting which lasted for at least three hours, Rep. Minnie Gonzalez listened patiently to each one of these mothers tell their story about what had happened to her.  Not only did she listen but she expressed her concern and compassion for the pain and suffering these mothers had endured, while at the same time asking intelligent and probing questions to discover why the judicial system had failed them. 

A few months later, we had another such meeting where additional mothers met with Rep. Minnie Gonzalez and told their stories of the pain and horror which they had endured from the abusive Connecticut Family Court system. 

Since that time, I am aware that Rep. Minnie Gonzalez has literally spoken with hundreds and hundreds of victims of Connecticut Family Court abuse and corruption, both Mothers and Fathers.  At a certain point, I am aware that Rep. Minnie Gonzalez offered to actually review all of the documentation that these parents had in regard to the Family Court abuses they had experienced. 

In response, she received a deluge of documentation from litigants throughout the state who had written evidence of the corruption and fraud they experienced in Family Court.

As a result of so many Connecticut citizens coming to her for help in dealing with Family Court corruption, Rep. Gonzalez eventually came to the point where she devolved into the unofficial spokesperson for our movement.  As she  herself has stated frequently, this is not something she volunteered for, and she is unlikely to benefit from it personally.  But her innate sense of justice and her fundamental opposition to corruption placed her there, no matter how reluctant she may be personally to take on such a prominent role in connection to such a difficult and problematic issue. 

The Hartford Courant may object to Rep. Minnie Gonzalez opposition to some judges, or to her broad ranging critique of the Family Court system.  But the editors should keep in mind that when Minnie Gonzalez spoke up, she cited direct conversations with litigants.  She held up documents parents had given her which specifically showed evidence of the abuses she spoke of.  She didn't just talk off the top of her head. She did her homework, she proceeded with a thorough investigation and then she confronted the legislature with the results. 

That is what I would call being a highly successful, well qualified, thoroughly efficient legislator. 

So what is going on with The Hartford Courant?  How could it be so wrong in regard to such an important matter?  Why is it wrong on Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, wrong on incompetent and arrogant Family Court judges, and soft on Connecticut Family Court injustice and corruption? 

There is actually a good answer to that question. 

As I understand it, the media is supposed to be "the fourth estate" which acts as a watchdog to ensure the proper conduct of the other branches of government.  In the word of one expert, "Access to information from the media is essential to the health of democracy for at least two reasons. First, it ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation. Second, information serves a "checking function" by ensuring that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them.  In the United States, the media is often called the fourth branch of government (or "fourth estate"). That's because it monitors the political process in order to ensure that political players don't abuse the democratic process." 

So why isn't The Hartford Courant, let alone other Connecticut media, playing this critical watchdog role in regard to the Connecticut Judicial Branch?  Why is our Connecticut media pretty much giving the Judicial Branch a free pass to carry out whatever nonsense it cares to? 

The answer is that Judges, Attorneys, and Employees of the Connecticut Judicial Branch have systematically cultivated friendships with highly placed media executives and journalists.  These friendships have developed to the point where the media in Connecticut has come to believe that it has a greater obligation to defend the Connecticut Judicial Branch from all potential challengers rather than investigate and critique it on behalf of the citizens of the State of Connecticut which it has a fundamental obligation to serve.

I know that at this point you are probably curious to know how this media shift in perspective from outsider to insider took place. 

What happened is that in 2007, Judge Chase T. Rogers established the Judicial-Media Committee to discuss media access to Connecticut Judicial Branch legal proceedings and records.  The founding documents for this Committee state the following, "The goals of the Judicial-Media Committee are to foster and improve better understanding and relationships between the Judicial Branch and the media, both print and electronic, and to discuss and recommend resolutions of problems confronted by the media and the public in gaining access to court proceedings and documents." 

If you think this sounds like the basis for a judicial branch-media mutual admiration society, I would suspect you are correct. 

The bottom line is, if the media has the legal right to access to legal proceedings and documents, that would be something their lawyers would need to attend to.  But instead, what actually happened is that the Connecticut Judicial Branch arranged for ongoing friendly meetings over a period of seven years sometimes at the offices of one of the media moguls and sometimes at the Judicial Branch.  Clearly, these meetings were fundamentally unnecessary and intended solely for the purpose of skewing the opinions of media leadership in the direction of the Connecticut Judicial Branch. 

Some of the big media names involved in this Committee are as follows:  G. Claude Albert, Managing Editor, The Hartford Courant (retired); Tom Appleby, General Manager and News Director, News 12 Connecticut; Karen Florin, Staff Writer, The Day of New London; Eric Parker, Morning News Anchor, Reporter, WFSB, Channel 3; Chris Powell, Managing Editor, Journal Inquirer;  Thomas Scheffey, Connecticut Law Tribune, editorial board;  Nancy Schoeffler, Editor, Metro Desk, The Hartford Courant; Paul Giguere, President & CEO, Connecticut Network; Michael St. Peter, News Director, WVIT-TV Channel 30;  Kirk Varner, Vice President & News Director, WTNH-TV Channel 8;  Dave Ward, Assignment Editor, WFSB-TV, Channel 3; John Long, Photographer, retired from The Hartford Courant; Ken Margolfo, Assignment Manager, WTIC-TV Fox 61; Melissa Bailey, Managing Editor of the New Haven Independent. 

As you can see, this is an extraordinary lineup of media industry leaders and stars many of whom for a period of seven years conducted regular meetings with judges, attorneys, and judicial branch employees and essentially cemented relationships that could not help but be wide ranging and influential. 

This represents unprecedented access to opinion makers and information gatekeepers solely gathered for the benefit of the Connecticut Judicial Branch.  Those of us who are working for the reform of the Connecticut Judicial Branch had nothing like such access whatsoever and, as a result, have not been able to get the media to cover our stories and work with us for fundamental reforms that the legal system desperately needs. 

In  essence, what this amounts to is that the Connecticut Judicial Branch used its superior power and influence and its control over information sources that the media desperately wanted access to in order to win over the media and shut down any criticism the media might raise of its fraudulent and criminal activities. 

It is a strategy that is both brilliant and, at the same time, fundamentally in opposition to our nation's democratic principles. 

The result is that The Hartford Courant as well as other media outlets in the State of Connecticut have reneged on their professional responsibility to speak up about the many abuses of Connecticut Family Court.   Even worse, the media in Connecticut has  colluded in a conspiracy to deny the wrongdoing and act as apologists for the criminal actions of Family Court judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals. 

Thus, it is the Connecticut media we rightly condemn for their collusion with corruption and injustice. 

In contrast, Rep. Minnie Gonzalez has alone, among the many, fought for the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and the terribly wronged victims of family court.  I urge all of her supporters to do whatever they can to make sure that she is reelected for another term.