In any custody case there is the possibility that the GALs work and ethics come into question. You are at the point of no return and start to file a complaint. The process is uncomplicated as described on the State of Maine’s Judiciary web site. Asking people associated with the judiciary and you will be directed to the Guardian ad litem complaint process. Reading it is straightforward and seems rather simple in its approach.
Looks though can be deceiving.
If you decide to file a complaint against a GAL be prepared for a process that is anything but clear and open. The reality of GAL removal is that it is nearly impossible (only two GALs have been removed in the last 5 years) and will cost you thousands of dollars..
Here are some of the road blocks to removing a GAL:
- You are an outsider and have no connection to the working relationship that those in Maine’s court system have with each other.
- The Judge has a working relationship with your GAL. In some cases the Judge has been working for years with this person.
- The Judge is biased towards your GAL because of this working relationship.
- Because of this bias the Judge is not – repeat not – a neutral party in any dispute you may have – right or wrong – with your GAL.
- Any complaint filed against a GAL is a reflection on the Judge and his/ her management techniques.
Because of this working relationship it becomes very hard for a valid complaint to make any headway in the legal process. The judge who is supposed to be a neutral figure in your dispute in actuality is not. The judge may be biased because of the working relationship he/ she has with the GAL associated to your case. Breaking this relationship is near to impossible and does not allow for corrective action against a GAL that may be doing something wrong.
The biggest roadblock to GAL removal is Maine’s Judicial system. Oversight and management has to be removed from the judicial branch.
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