Thursday, January 9, 2014

1/09/2014 - Public Hearing of GAL Task Force

On July 12, 2013, the Connecticut Legislature approved Substitute House Bill No. 6685 (Special Act No. 13-24), AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO STUDY LEGAL DISPUTES INVOLVING THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF MINOR CHILDREN. 

After appointing two GALs as co-chairs and naming other Task Force members, meetings commenced in October 2013. Meetings on 10/31/2013, 11/26/2013, 12/10/2013, and 12/19/2013, were followed by a public hearing on 1/09/2014. Nearly one hundred parents turned out to give testimony about the issues surrounding Guardian ad litems (GALs) and questionable billing techniques, abusive court appointments, and a range of other acts detailing divorce industry corruption operating from within the Connecticut Family Court system itself.

Several parents detailed conflicts of interest regarding directors and members of an organization which had run illegally in Connecticut, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). Three judges of the Superior Court were serving on the Board of Directors of the AFCC - Judge Lynda Munro (Chief Administrative Family Judge), Judge Holly Abery-Wetstone, and Judge Gerard I. Adelman who was presiding over the Regional Family Trial Docket (RFTD) at Middletown. 

The Connecticut Commission on Judicial Ethics issued an opinion detailing this troubling conflict of interest. That and other issues about Connecticut Court employees and conflicts of interest were detailed in an article by Massachusetts reporter Anne Stephenson

  • Sharon Dornfeld, Esq. (a.k.a. Sharon Wicks Dornfeld) - Co-Chair
  • Susan Cousineau, Esq. - Co-Chair
  • Edwin Vargas, State Representative (D-Hartford)
  • Minnie Gonzalez, State Representative (D-Hartford)
  • Linda Allard, Esq.
  • Dr. Elizabeth S. Thayer
  • Dr. Robert A. Horwitz
  • Judge Thomas Weismueller (Ret.)
  • Joseph J. DiTunno
  • Jennifer Verraneault

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