Is the promotion of the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz good for Maine’s Families and children?

It is now official that the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz has been named Deputy Chief of Maine’s District Courts. He is taking over from Deputy Chief Judge Mullen who is moving on to a Superior Court position.  How Moskowitz was selected and why he was selected among all of Maine’s many district judges is a mystery to the public (and to the Legislature for that matter). Has he been promoted because of outstanding knowledge, skill and experience – or skills be damned – he is a “Buddy” of the courts?

The soon to be Deputy Chief Judge Moskowitz has been a judge since 2008 and has had an interesting career in that time with many challenges and much controversy.

Starting with the case of Dr Lori Handrahan in 2008 and ending with the Dalton v Dalton case of 2013 there have been countless parents (and their children) that have reported suffering from decisions made in his courts. The Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz is one of four judges whose names consistently are reported to us by divorcing families as victims of his actions – after often high handed courtroom management and decisions that are hard to understand.

Though we do not know him personally, The Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz has been repeatedly and consistently characterized by others as being irritable, harsh and  lacking in basic courtesy towards those in his court. This has been an especially common report from those who are represented  ‘pro se’. Intimidation by the judge, criticism of their lack of legal knowledge and courtroom sophistication is a complaint of those forced to do “pro se” by their inability to afford a lawyer (74% of cases). The judges attitude compounds the statistically huge “access to justice” problem. Being treated by a judge like a “low life” does not improve the confidence of already frightened people. We hear reports that the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz has displayed a lack of knowledge and understanding regarding to the rules for Guardians ad litem – This is the yardstick for measuring a Guardian ad litem‘s performance. Yet, as deputy chief judge he will now be responsible for handling complaints regarding Guardians ad litem. Is there no better judge to have responsible than someone who is reported to have no clear concept of the rules governing those he is responsible to manage.

The Drug Court that the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz rules over is reported in the press to be a conflicted mess straying from its original blueprint, and a legal challenge has been raised by the Superior Court in Bangor about violations of the constitutionally mandated due process that many users of those courts receive. There is also the issue raised of flagrant ‘ex parte‘ communications that the teamwork design of drug courts makes unavoidable and inevitable.

We ask: is Moskowitz the caliber of judge we want in our court? Has the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz truly had such a brilliant jurist as to warrant a highly significant, influential and pivotal promotion? Is he a respected leader in law and justice? Or is it because there is so much controversy surrounding this judge that by moving him upstairs  Chief Justice Saufley et al are better able to keep an eye on his functioning?

Enough complaints of damage and abuse have been reported by divorcing families entering this court house that we feel it is time for an outside inquiry, a formal legislative audit of the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz’ courts as well as the District Courts in general. In addition to our call for an audit by the legislature, the Hon Jeffrey Moskowitz is coming up for review of his appointment in 2015 – it is time for people to let our representatives know how we, the public access this Judge.

If you have suffered through Judicial abuse – either through the hands of a Judge or Guardian ad litem we ask that you contact us at of find us on Facebook.

Related articles where the Hon Jeffery Moskowitz has had some influence:

Child Custody – An appeal to Maine’s Supreme Court: Dalton Vs. Dalton CUM-13-521