Guardian ad Litem not immune to suits

Autumn Destiny DeShawna Thomason, Carly and Sara Louvelle Texanna Wifawn held hostage by Jackson County Ga DFCS

Guardian ad litems and Appointed Counsel are not protected by immunity. In Wiederholt v Fisher, 485 N.W. 2d 442, 169 Wis. 2d 524 (1992) “In child custody matter, guardian ad litem does not represent child per se; rather, guardian ad litem’s statutory duty is to represent concept of child’s best interest.” When those guardian ad litems don’t bother to meet the minium standards – they become subject to liability. (Collins v Tabet, 111 N.M. 391,806 P 2nd 40 (N.M. 1990)

In other words when a Guardian ad litem just goes through the motions and does not really work the case they can and should be held liable. Most Guardians don’t work for the child, they work for Child Protection Services.
According to Bonds, 64, N.M. at 345,328 P. 2nd at 599 the appointment as guardian ad litem of a minor child is in the position for the highest trust and no attorney should ever blindly enter in an appearance as guardian ad litem and allow a matter to proceed without a full and complete investigation into the facts and law so that his clients will be fairly and competently represented and their rights fully and adequately protected and preserved….

Bonds proposed that a guardian ad litem holds a position of the highest trust and suggest that he or she is a fiduciary. Judge Donnelly compares the position of Guardian ad litem to that of a general guardian or conservator and is subject to liability to their wards for the harm resulting from ordinary negligence in the discharge of their duties. They are actually charged with a higher standard of care than are other people involved.
In Downs v Sawtelle, 574,F 2d 1 ( 1st Cir.1978) a federal judge in the Court of Appeals ruled that immunity was inappropriate for guardians because they are considered private parties and they are not confronted with the pressures of office, the decision making of the threat of liability facing governors or high level public officials.
According to J.W.F. v Schoolcraft, 763 P.2nd 1217 (Utah, 1987) A guardian ad litems job is to put themselves in the shoes of the child and look at the factors as the child would if he or she were old enough and their judgment was mature enough to make a decision.
Diedra Sands who is the guardian ad litem for the children of Alice Samantha Thomason has failed to do any of these things. Her interest lies with Jackson County DFCS. She has not ever put herself in the shoes of the children Autumn Destiny DeShawna Thomason, Carly and Sara Louvelle Texanna Wilfawn. If she had she would have worked toward getting them back with their mother. Instead she has done everything in her power to tear this family apart. She works in collusion with Katie Bice the social worker at Jackson County, Ga DFCS.

About Yvonne Mason Sewell

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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17 Responses to Guardian ad Litem not immune to suits

  1. Pingback: Bar Foundation Grants : West Virginia Bar Foundation | Educational West Virginia

  2. Renee Kaiser says:

    This is the third time that I have tried to comment. My name was put on “Central Registry” because of my foster son having issues w/diahrea at school. Please respond if interested and I will give more details… Renee Ann Kaiser


  3. Renee Kaiser says:

    What does the “thumbs up and down” mean. What has happened is completely unconstitutional and I would have gone to the News, but like many others out their we don’t want our biological children taken away over Slander that deserves a “Fair and Seedy Trial” R.Kaiser


  4. allison says:

    NC GAL Amy Kuhlman
    Childrens law center
    Hell on wheels.
    Bitch. Needs to be caged in a kennel & put down
    , corrupt, need governing & liars. Openly slandering.
    Openly harming childern.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. says:

    Players: Atty. Danielle Ross, Claire Czaykowski, Judge Chester Harhut, Judge Thomas Munley, Judge Margie Moyle and thousands of kids and parents forced into paying for a Guarian Ad Litem. A Guardian Ad Litem is an attorney appointed to represent the best interests of children caught up in domestic disputes from divorces to PFAs to health care issues.

    Typically, a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed in Family Court matters where a child is at risk due to a crisis within the family structure. In most counties across the state, about 5 – 8 percent of all family court cases has a Guardian appointed to make sure that at-risk child(ren) have access to legal representation of their own. It’s a good idea and it often saves children from abuse. In all other counties, there is a list of attorneys to select from.

    However, in Lackawanna County, the appointment rate of a Guardian is nearly 100% of all family court cases. And, there is no list from which to select. There’s one Guardian that gets all the cases. It’s been that way since Harhut took over Family Court.

    For years now, Family Court judges have appointed Atty. Danielle Ross as the Guardian in practically every single case. About a dozen cases a week are handed to Ross on a silver platter. The parents have to immediately cough up $600 as her fee, plus she tacks on heavy fees once she’s on board if she’s called upon for a recommendation in a custody proceeding. Ross picks up about $7200.00 a week, every week of the year, and it’s been going on like that for years, which why she drives a bevy of exotic cars and takes non-stop vacations.

    90% of the families have no crisis situation that requires her presence. Some families have kids under five years-old who are not at risk of any abuse, yet they are ordered to pay Ross $600.00 anyway. Ross gets a salary from the county, plus a free county office, free phone and utilities and a free county secretary, even though she’s easily good for half-a-mil a year, year after year.

    Then, there’s the quality of her work. Having so many cases, she’s often very difficult to access when problems arise. Once appointed, it takes her weeks to make contact with the family. In fact, she’s required to inspect every house, which she can’t possibly do, so she sends her county-paid secretary, Sue, with no qualifications, to inspect these houses and the family pays her an additonal $100.00, which, by the way, is required to be paid to Sue only in cash.

    Ross has a history of making custody recommendations to the court that are extremely politically motivated. She meets with children as little as 5 – 6 years old and interrogates and manipulates them to get them to agree to certain custody conditions that certain “political” litigants want. She’s personally serviced many county employees or cronies to get them a customized custody order, because the judge of the day follows her recommendations. I have some of those outrageous orders in my possession. There are many very angry parents who want Ross’ head on a stake, to say nothing of lawyers on the business end of her biased and unjust recommendations.

    Claire Czaykowski is the Court Administrator for Family Court. She’s Harhut’s former tipstaff. He appointed her upon his appointment as President Judge. Claire gets certain cases scheduled before certain judges to make sure the “right” judge hears the “right” cases. If you call Family Court, in fact, it’s Danielle Ross’ voice that welcomes you to Family Court.

    If anyone has a Family Court case involving Danielle Ross, wherein they are unhappy with Ross’ recommendations and the Court’s Custody Order that was issued as the result of it, I’d like to hear from you. I’m in possession of quite a few now, but the more the better.

    This Kids for Kash Scheme needs to come to a halt. It’s time to end Ross’ Cash Cow days. Rumors of her paying kickback are out there, but I can’t prove anything, yet. That’s yet. If a Guarian Ad Litem is needed, that’s all well and fine, but in most cases kids are not at risk and the family does not need Ross’ interference or expensive fees for nothing.


  6. car says:

    I have had to deal with her for a bunch of years now. It is really unbelievable that someone like her has so much power in the outcome of childrens’/familes lives!!! I could never figure out what it was about her but she clearly had some sort of bias or agenda that had nothing to do with the ‘best interest of my child’ or of finding out the real truth in our case. She met with me only once, and then my ex once and made her recommendation. It was clear from her wording on her memorandum that she wanted me to sound like the bad guy and him to seem more cooperative. She never made phone calls or visits or talked to anyone else or anyway investigated our situation at all. That’s how it went, she always sided with him and made me sound like a jerk. As weeks passed, and he (my ex) wasn’t getting ‘exactly’ his own way he began to show his true colors and his violence and anger was becoming evident to everyone. He was even a bully towards her. Even as she was learning more and more about him and it was becoming evident that I was, most likely, the one telling the truth….she still kept her positon. There are so many little details and stories that I’d like to tell but you get the drift…she flirted with him…..she had several one on one meetings with him and meetings with him and his lawyer and also with his father. At one meeting to discuss a holiday schedule…(present were me, my ex, Danielle and her then assistant Vincent.) When I was explaing to Danielle yet another incident of his horrid behavior to me in front of our 2 year old, she and Vincent couldn’t control their laughter while she was trying to tell him “c’mon, I told you you’ve got to control your temper.” They all thought it was funny. (Really…??? I’d been begging someone for help and I’d been telling her for months that he’d been emotionally/verbally abusive to me in front of our daughter…and they laugh!) And again, she continued to agree with him and appease him and seemed to be almost happy to stick it to me. There are so, many other things that happened along the way. Fast forward to 2010….and we are at yet another Master’s Hearing. After hearing everything, including Danielle’s recommendation, the Master ended the conference by stating that “if the parties could not agree to a schedule on their own in 30 days….that she was ordering a Custody Evaluation.” A few days later, I get in the mail the court order fromm Danielle Ross stating this: If parties do not aagree to a schedule in 45 days, it will be the determination of this GAL as to the next course of action.” I called by lawyer….he agreed that it was not what was said by the Master….but he didn’t want to make a fuss about it. As we were in our 3rd or 4th course of Co-Parenting with A.Termini, and she was present at our Masters conference, when I saw her a few days later I showed her both documents. One: of what Judy Letteri, the Master, wrote and sent to the Court Admin (or whatever it’s called) and then I showed her the Court Order that Danielle drafted. She was a little taken back and said that yes, that order did not represent what was said in that room. But that was that. No one ever mentioned it again. And after more meetings, and memos and faxes all of which I was paying for, she continued with her recommendation or expanding yet even more time with the father and trying to discourage me from the custody evaluation. But you know what, I figured that if I couldn’t get Danielle to truly understand my position (given all the damn evidence that she had) that despite the expense and hassle of a custody evalution, that that would be my only way to proceed. We went through several psychological tests, 5-6 sessions with the doctor, home visits, meetings with our daughter,calls to her doctor, daycare teacher, etc, etc. It was a complete and thorough and neutral evaluation by a true professional with years and years of experience in the field of child/family dynamics. Well, months later and the custody evaluation is completed. Finally I’m feeling some validation. The evaluator ultmately agreed with my position. Do you know that months later, Danielle finally responded to that evaluation and stated something to the effect of saying that although the evaluator suggested that she, the GAL recommend the current custody schedule…that she recommends expanded time for the father! Is her ego really so out of whack! What does she actually know about what is best for a child. It’s not a one hat filts all kind of a deal. What kind of training does one need anyway to become a GAL. So now, with Danielle backing him up yet again…”father” is taking us back to court. I know that my story is not as heartwrenching or extreme as probably many others out there, but damnit, she’s cost us a lot of strife and money and hell. I could never put my finger on what it was about her…did she hate women…did my ex’s family (who are somewhat politically connected in Scranton) make phone calls, was it b/c she was trying to please Brian Cali…? I never knew and I’d expressed my concerns about her all along to my attorney. He essentially shrugged it off. I’ve run into so many people recently who also had bad dealings with her. It wasn’t only women that felt the ‘screw’ so I ruled that one out. I only recently saw the blogs on the Scranton “political” times and was outraged that this is continuing with so many other families. I was and am still petrified of the influence that Danielle has in Family Court and that she is still involved in my case. Especially after everything I’ve been reading!



    • Karma says:

      These poor children, their childhood, innocense and sense of security, stolen away from them by Danielle Ross. The only justice good enough would be karma to come back on her own children soon!


    • OK (whoever you are) — I have FOUR posts on Co-parenting on the wordpress blog. I also set up, and the fact is, a person is screwed when they get a GAL or Co-parenting Coordinator on their case anyhow — it’s a racket, and it’s about money (not right vs. wrong).

      Information is power, and you might want to check out, which has been spelling out how this works since early 1990s, but it took me too late to run across the site in my own case.

      I can’t decipher all this narrative, but Ross has the backing of an international association (or two), AFCC, and another one NACC — they have their own agenda and it’s NOT about you or your case in particular. I live in California, and went through loss of children to an abuser, we skipped 100% of the custody evaluations and all that. I had my girls simply taken — snatched — overnight, and the court rubberstamped it. I had the court order — he had the children. Held the truant, everything.

      It’s about money, primarily. It’s also about, my point of view, covering up abuse. Family Court needs to simply cease to exist — it’s simply a public institution operating as a franchise, and to go in there is like encountering a cult. Or the Mafia — which is probably closer to the reality of it.

      However, the more you learn, and teach others, the less it can perhaps destroy you, at least as a person. Do NOT hang out with “protective mothers groups” who want to complain about “abusers getting custody” unless they also talk about the corporate trail — because that’s what it’s really about. Child support is a factor, case-steering, all that.

      We can overcome our fear — I overcame fear of a batterer/abuser/threatened to kill me, and then did all the family court shlock. Also fear of homelessness. FYI, it doesn’t seem to end. Period. You simply have to become strong, smart, and not easy to intimidate. Check out — you can contact me through my site if you want, unless you are active on Scranton Political times, in which case I don’t like to give out personal ID.

      it’s about the money trail and how to hide it, and trafficking children. PERIOD.


    • DAVE FRANK says:



  7. I am Sam says:

    It is not only this guardian. It is the unchecked power of the program itself. My child and I are also facing the abuse of power being exercised by a GAL who is speaks openly on ‘fathers rights’ and actively colludes with his Attorney using PAS as a tactic for the custody switch scam which deflects behavior of father onto and into the case by third party hearsay without evidence. Due process has been ignored and/or misrepresented repeatedly. The president Judge neglects his duty to use discretion and is often given such information that is blatantly one-sided.
    The time lost with a child in his formative years can never be replaced. The harm is detrimental to future trust, security and character outcome. Corruption in our justice system must be investigated by proper authorities but punished harshly where these helpless victims are concerned. If we must live by example we must be the example.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Emma says:

    On January 4th, 2012 in California in family law case BD484894 two former court appointed minor’s counsels would fight the allegations and face criminal contempt charges for violation of direct and valid custody and visitation order. Amy L Neiman and Ruth L Estep had been keeping siblings (their respective former clients) apart from each other and their father for more than seven months.
    This is an arriagnment hearing for more than 200 counts of criminal contempt.
    Van Nuys Superior Court, dep. NWK, 1:30pm.


  9. I shared your short post (1/4/2012 BD484894) over here where Daniel Keys Moran had plenty of comments complimenting Ruth Estep.


  10. Diana says:

    Danielle Ross left me a message ( will call back 10am tomorrow) about my grandchildren; & I looked her up online & seen all the complaints & lawsuites about her. I then called my grandchildrens father-brought it to his attention & he told me that I should tell her the truth about whats been going on in my daughters household pertaining to the kids. Im very weary now about this situation now, but my grandkids need help, & my daughter is blinded by her boyfriend who is beating her up & verbally abusive to one child while possesive with another. Neither children are his-& my daughter is so in love with him, that she has turned her back on the family for him. WHAT TO THINK NOW?


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