Notice of Opportunity to Comment – Proposed Amendment Rules for Guardians ad litem

The Judicial Branch is looking for comments regarding the proposed amendments to the rules for Guardians ad litem. This is an opportunity to express your thoughts on what future parents/ consumers will have to work with. Your experience with Guardians ad litem may have an impact on whether or not this amendment is used, canned or modified. That experience will mean nothing unless you respond by December 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm. Silence gives consent.

Want some ideas –

There is an abundance of ambiguous words and statements – “fair”, “cultural sensitivity”, “professionalism” and “ethics”. While is is nice that these ideas are incorporated there is no way to define what or how these ideas will be applied. There is no defined means of testing whether a Guardian ad litem has been “fair” as example.

Training has been increased from the 16 hours Guardians ad litem go through and there is defined curriculum. Is this enough?

What is the best interest of the child? The phrase is used multiple times. While Maine has attempted to define this concept in statutes there is no means for testing whether a recommendation made by a Guardian ad litem is in a child’s best interest. It tends to be based on the bias that the GAL brings to any case. Is taking a 4 year old to a bar late at night and exposing that child to violent adult behavior in the child’s best interest? A Guardian ad litem thought so – the courts agreed – and the practice was allowed to continue.

You do not have to write a book, a single line comment is fine. Emailed comments may be mailed to:

The Judicial Branch has a web page with instructions that may be found here: Proposed Amendments to Maine Rules for Guardians Ad Litem

For a pdf copy of the proposed rules: Maine Rules for Guardians Ad Litem

Because we do not know if comments will be posted – please CC any correspondence to so that we may post your comments for others to see.