Task Force: Maine Family Court System Needs More Judges, Clerks to Help People without Lawyers

By Harrison, Judy | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), November 16, 2014 | Go to article overview

Task Force: Maine Family Court System Needs More Judges, Clerks to Help People without Lawyers


Harrison, Judy, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


If Maine wants to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its family court system, it needs more judges and clerks because of a rise in the number of people representing themselves in court because they cannot afford to hire attorneys, according to a report submitted by the Family Division Task Force.

Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley has said in her annual address to the Legislature in February that about 75 percent of the people who appear in family court do not have lawyers.

The report of the task force did not specify how many employees it would take to address the problems it undercovered during its yearlong investigation. It also did not state how much money would be needed to make the recommended improvements.

The task force was not asked by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which administers Maine's court system, to assess whether resources were sufficient, but the report did address the matter.

"As with the judicial branch generally, the family division is under-resourced," the report concluded. "The task force acknowledges that some of the recommendations contained herein would require the state of Maine to appropriate and to allocate additional resources, including hiring the necessary [district court] judges, magistrate [judges] and clerks, to implement all of the recommendations necessary to advance the family division's mission."

The stated goal of the task force, which began its work in July 2013, was to review the processing of family matter cases and to recommend changes that will best serve the needs of children and families, according to the report.

Members of the task force, headed by District Court Judge Daniel Driscoll, held eight public hearings across the state seeking input from people who have been involved in family court matters, attorneys, clerks and other stakeholders. A public hearing on the recommendations, some of which can be implemented by the court and some of which would need legislative approval, was held before Maine Supreme Judicial Court justices on Thursday at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Augusta.

The 22-page report includes recommendations that, if implemented, would expand the authority of magistrate judges, who handle many but not all family matters; require coordination between Probate Courts and District Courts when parallel cases are pending in both courts; develop better resource materials, including videos, to help people representing themselves understand the legal process; and create a volunteer courthouse assistance program so that experienced family attorneys could assist litigants without representation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Task Force: Maine Family Court System Needs More Judges, Clerks to Help People without Lawyers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.