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.
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.