Your Turn: Comment on Guardian ad Litem Reform

Connecticut’s Judicial Branch is seeking written public comment on its draft report to Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers. Written comments will be accepted on or before Tuesday, January 12, 2016. The comments may be e-mailed to external.affairs@jud.ct.gov or mailed to the External Affairs Division, Supreme Court Building, 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106. Anonymous submissions will be considered but afforded less weight than signed submissions.

This is a great opportunity to be heard on GAL reform.

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One thought on “Your Turn: Comment on Guardian ad Litem Reform

  1. Problems with the proposal to reform Connecticut’s Guardian ad Litem system:
    • Chief Court Administrator retains complete control over who is appointed to the proposed Standing Committee.
    o A group of legislative leaders (e.g., majority and minority leadership) should have veto power over the membership of the Standing Committee.
    • No representatives of parents are proposed for the Standing Committee on GALs.
    o Given that this is a family court, I propose that parents have a majority of the positions on the Standing Committee.
    • No limits on hourly or total GAL or AMC fees are proposed.
    o If these professionals are concerned with the best interests of the child, then they should be willing to work at steeply discounted rates. The reason is that children are unable to pay for any such professional services.
    • No change is proposed in the fact that failure to pay GAL fees is a criminal offense.
    o Is this because the legislature controls the rule that GAL fees are equivalent to child support?
    • I strongly object to grandfather clause.
    o There are some existing GALs who have been destructive to Connecticut families.
    o Those who have been victims of these GALs have lists.
    o At a minimum, a responsible GAL subcommittee should set up a procedure for challenging existing GALs before they are grandfathered. Instead, they kick this can to the proposed Standing Committee.
    I would add that it is a good thing to increase the professional competency of GALs, and to require continuing education.

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