Sunday, July 31, 2011


When you click the above link its no surprise that the page will no longer come up; so many people rallied the injustice of not providing an attorney when a family needs it most; it will only be a matter of time before its is over turned; since the US Supreme Court recognizies that losing a child is a fate worst than death and a constitutional right even if NH continues to go on it back woods ways.

Attorneys for needy parents cut
Accused must defend themselves
By Maddie Hanna / Monitor staff
July 9, 2011

Parents who cannot afford an attorney to defend themselves against accusations of abusing or neglecting their children are no longer entitled to have one appointed.

The change in state law, which went into effect July 1, was prompted by budget cuts. It has child advocates as well as attorneys who represent parents in abuse and neglect cases worried that more children will be permanently removed from their homes.

"When the government starts treading on your rights, that's when you have the right to a lawyer," said Tracy Bernson, a Dover family lawyer. "That's what's so wrong about this."

The change was proposed by the Judicial Council, which pays the state's public defenders, contract attorneys and guardians ad litem, and also funds New Hampshire Legal Assistance and the Indigent Defense Fund.

Like other state agencies, the council was asked by Gov. John Lynch to cut its $26 million budget by 5 percent this year, said Nina Gardner, its executive director.

That cut was actually deeper, Gardner said, because the council had gone over its budget by $2.5 million the year before. Faced with that situation, Gardner said the council was forced to preserve its constitutional responsibilities - criminal representation - and instead propose cuts to those it considered statutory, including the representation of parents in abuse and neglect cases.

"They weren't cold-blooded decisions," Gardner said, noting that the council also proposed ending the practice of appointing guardians ad litem in marital cases. Providing representation to accused parents in abuse and neglect cases costs about $1.2 million a year, Gardner said. About 400 new cases are filed each year, with 1,000 cases open at any given time.

A complex process

Abuse and neglect cases begin with a report to the state Division for Children, Youth and Families. After investigating the claims, the department may bring a case against the parents in family court. Virtually all of the parents involved in abuse and neglect cases qualify for court-appointed attorneys, family lawyers said.

Parents go to court for a preliminary hearing, to be followed within 30 days by the family court equivalent of a trial. The state calls witnesses, whom the parents and their attorneys can cross-examine. They can also call their own witnesses to defend themselves against the allegations.

The judge will then decide what happens to the child - and what parents need to do to address the problems in their home. Review hearings are held regularly, giving attorneys a chance to show the judge that parents are complying with the court's conditions.

The process is complex and the stakes tremendous: After a series of review hearings, if the parents haven't complied, the state could move for a permanent termination of parental rights. And that begins another court case.

While the cases aren't criminal - sexual and serious physical abuse allegations are referred to the police - "if you asked any of these parents . . . they'd take incarceration as long as they could keep their children," said Nancy Popp, a family law attorney who practices in Strafford County. "That's how important it is to them."

Popp, who has been handling abuse and neglect cases for 22 years, said 80 percent of the parents she represents have trouble reading. Many have mental health and substance abuse issues, and "they're probably the most disadvantaged group in terms of self representation that one could get or find," she said.

Without a lawyer, parents accused of abuse likely won't know they can subpoena witnesses, or understand how to interpret the state statutes, Popp said. They may not think to call experts as witnesses - a doctor, for example, who could counter a state's witness in a case accusing a parent of breaking a child's bones.

"They'll be going in alone, with whatever their disabilities might be," Popp said of accused parents. "I just think it's outrageous."

Fathers Claim NH Courts Biased Against Them

While I did not personally see this coverage; I believe that Mrs. Knightly blog adequately conveys what the coverage did not cover.

When reading the coverage note that while 28% of those polled think fathers get the shaft; the majority 72% is not noted in the coverage giving a false picture; a typical omission done by WMUR.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Improperly used Medicaid Funds - No surprise here.

On May 16, 2011; you were forwarned about the corruption in New Hamsphire's choices of commissioners and the fact that a federal audit showed medicaid funds were improperly used in 2004; the truth does bite ... but the current commissioner Toumpas is glazing it over, so I guess if you live in NH  you can just look at it as .... a 7 year interest free loan for what exactly Toumpas probably knows since he was under Stephens when he did it.

How much will DHHS lay on the tax payers when the federal audits catch up with them on the fraud in the division of Children, Youth and Families.  Records and NH RSA 169:C show that the Childrens Trust Fund set up for children in the foster care system at age 18; is now a non-profit with diverse interests and money layering.

Funding for state aid to children is being redirected and not one child since 1986 who has left the foster care system has received the stipend due them when they turn 18 to help them get on with their lives...

Just look at it as another interest free loan I guess and oh those state taxes are coming closer and closer ........