Chief Justice Leigh I Saufley announces task force on Guardian ad litem reform

Guardian ad Litem Task Force Complaint Resolution System

Type: Task Force
Established: August 7, 2012
Chair: Hon. Warren M. Silver, Supreme Judicial Court
Report date: September 21, 2012
Reports to: Supreme Judicial Court
Completion Date: October 1, 2012, subject to the continuing call of the Chief Justice

Guardian ad Litem Task Force Complaint Resolution System Charter (PDF)

The purpose of the Task Force is to assist the Supreme Judicial Court in designing and presenting to the 126th Maine Legislature, a transparent, accessible, and credible system for resolving complaints against Guardians ad Litem who are appointed in the State Courts. The design is intended to be independent of and separate from the litigation process and the adjudication of facts and law in individual cases.

The Legislature has sought the input of the Judicial Branch in the creation of such a system. The Judicial Branch will report its recommendations to the Legislature in October of 2012. Thus, the Task Force will exist for a short term and will be called upon to work intensely through August and September of 2012.

The Task Force will seek input, suggestions, and recommendations from individuals and groups within and outside Maine state government. The Task Force is authorized to study policies and procedures considered by or in effect in other states and any other model policies or procedures. The Task Force may propose recommendations generally and those in the form of proposed rules, rule amendments, statutes, orders, or policies.

There is no funding authorized for the work of the Task Force.

The Chair shall schedule the meetings of the Task Force. The Task Force shall meet as often as is necessary to complete its responsibilities. Meetings will be held at a location announced by the Chair. Meetings will be publicly announced on the Judicial Branch website.

The membership of the Task Force shall include the following:
Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, Chair
District Court Judge
Family Law Magistrate
The Attorney General or designee
Probate Court Representative Members of the Maine Legislature
Representative of Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
Family Division Resource Coordinator
Attorneys in the Practice of Family Law
Representative of the Maine Guardian ad Litem Institute
Public Member
Others at the invitation of the Chief Justice

The Task Force will issue a report to be presented to the Supreme Judicial Court on or before September 21, 2012.

Task Force Duration:
Unless the charter is extended by the Chief Justice, the Task Force will cease to exist on October 1, 2012.

Dated: August 7, 2012

Approved by:
Leigh I. Saufley
Chief Justice

Membership Roster

Membership Roster (PDF)

Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court:
Justice Warren M. Silver (Chair)

District Court Judge:
Judge E. Paul Eggert

Family Law Magistrate:
Magistrate Paul D. Mathews

The Attorney General, or his designee:
Nora Sosnoff, Esq.

Probate Court Representative:
Judge Donna Bailey, York County Probate Court

Members of the Maine Legislature:
Representative Charles R. Priest
Representative Michael G. Beaulieu
Senator Roger J. Katz
Senator Barry J. Hobbins

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence Representative:
Julia Colpitts, Director MCEDV

Family Division Resource Coordinator:
Kirsten Skorpen, Family Division Resource Coordinator

Attorneys in the Practice of Family Law:
Michael P. Asen, Esq.
Audrey B. Braccio, Esq.
Kristin A. Gustafson, Esq.
Margaret T. Johnson, Esq.
David M. Lipman, Esq.
Timothy E. Robbins, Esq.

Maine Guardian ad Litem Institute Representative:
Thomasine M. Burke, Esq.

Public Member:
Dr. Jerome Collins

Member at the invitation of the Chief Justice, Supreme Judicial Court:
Alison A. Beyea, Esq., Muskie Institute