On July 8, 2013 for the first time a bill was signed into law that attempts to control the actions of Guardians ad litem in the state. To control the Judicial abuse that many parents have to deal with as a result of a divorce and or custody in Maine. July 8, 2013 while Governor Paul LePage was signing that bill our Judiciary was displaying the sensitivity that it has come to be known for. A parent who has been battling the courts and his ex for prescribed medical treatment that his son is in need of had asked the courts to look at and address this issue. This was denied that day by the higher courts.
Can this be considered a form of Child Abuse? Is this why so often we find that Guardians ad litem do not report abuse to the courts?
This parent has the prospect of going to court to fight a system that is turning a blind eye to a problem. Better to push the problem off on someone else than deal with the problem now. Will the courts be held accountable if this child comes to harm as a result of this negligence?
Several years ago there was a case where the father of a child that hit a brick wall when trying to get answers from Maines department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It was in many respects similar to this case. He was told that the acting mother did not have Maine Care insurance yet (this from both the acting mother, Guardian ad litem and the attorney for the mother). It was discovered on a visit to the doctors by the father that the acting mother had the insurance for her half brother – and had it for several months. In trying to secure a card for his son the father went to DHHS directly only to be told because of HIPPA regulations they (DHHS) could not talk with him about his son nor could the father request a card for his son. In fact DHHS could not even admit that the child was even in the system to the father. The acting mother was asked to give permission to DHHS so that DHHS could speak with the father – this was denied by the acting mother. The Guardian ad litem did nothing to help. The father’s lawyer became involved only to be told the same thing. That the father of the child was not entitled to any information about his son that DHHS had on file unless the mother or acting mother gave permission for this to happen. In effect the father – was being prevented from caring for his son – yet was responsible for the medical care of his son. Information about his son was being kept from him by a system that essentially was saying that who ever got there first was in charge – this was admitted by several DHHS employees that the father talked with. In the end the father through his lawyer was able to secure a Maine Care Card that would allow him to take his son for treatment. Was this necessary?
One has to ask – how can a parent do what is right for their child(ren) if he/ she is prevented from doing so. If information or services are denied to a child for the mear reason of hurting the other parent. In the end the parent that is denying access (or at least making it hard to come by) is directly hurting his/ her child first and the other parent second. In the current case that is going on the courts have been put on notice that there is child neglect going on as the child is being denied his prescribed medical treatment. Court officers are mandatory child abuse and neglect reporters who must take action to protect the best interest of the child. While the higher court in this case appears not to want to steal the lower courts thunder – this parent approached the higher court because the lower courts were delaying any judgement. This parent has the prospect of waiting months before a judgement will be rendered. Meanwhile this parent’s child will continue to go without treatment.
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