Family Division Task Forces

Family Division Task Force 2013

Family Division Task Force 2013 (PDF)

Type: Task Force
Established: March 7, 2013
Revised: September 20, 2013
Chair: Honorable Daniel Driscoll
Report Date: May 30, 2014
Reports to: Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Trial Court Chiefs

I. Purpose
The purpose of establishing the Family Division Task Force - 2013 is twofold: First, to review and update the status of changes recommended by the Family Division Task Force - 2006 Report; second, to make recommendations to the Chief Judge of the District Court, and to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court regarding any changes to procedures, laws or rules necessary to advance the Family Division's mission.[1] Toward this end, the Task Force will:

  1. Review the Family Division Task Force - 2006 Report, and evaluate the progress towards implementation of any recommendations;
  2. Receive the input of the public, the Bar, and additional Stakeholders;
  3. Study and make recommendations regarding the timing, scheduling, and processing of family matters in the District Courts;
  4. Study and make recommendations regarding the scheduling and management of family matters as those activities relate to the scheduling and management of other case types;
  5. Study and make recommendations for improving the allocation of resources and/or the management of family matters;
  6. Study and make recommendations regarding statistical information compiled by the Family Division; and
  7. Examine such other related topics as are identified by the Task Force.

The overarching goal of the Task Force is to review the processing of family matter cases in Maine, and to recommend any changes that will best serve the needs of children and families. This may include recommendations that would: eliminate magistrate or judicial events that create unnecessary costs or delays, create different or improved procedures that promote prompt and effective resolution of disputes, and allow for better allocation of magistrate and judicial resources.

II. Membership
The following individuals shall serve as members of the Task Force:
Two District Court Judges
One Superior Court Justice
One Magistrate
Two Clerks of Court
One Legislator - House of Representatives
One Legislator - Senate
One Representative of the Maine State Bar Association
One Guardian ad Litem
One Representative of the Attorney General's Office
One Family Law Practitioner
One Member with Domestic Violence Experience
Others ad Designated by the Chief Justice

III. Meetings
The Task Force will meet on a schedule established by its Chair. The Chair may also, in his discretion, establish subcommittees of Task Force members.

IV. The Report
Unless otherwise ordered by the Chief Justice, the Task Force will issue its written report and recommendations to the Supreme Judicial Court on or before May 30, 2014. The Task Force's recommendations should include drafts of any statutory and rule amendments that will be required to implement its recommendations. The Task Force may also propose an implementation plan and schedule.

Dated: September 20, 2013
Approved by: Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley, Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Membership Roster - 2013

Hon. Daniel Driscoll, Maine District Court, Chair
Hon. Bruce Jordan, Maine District Court
Hon. A. Mark Horton, Maine Superior Court
Magistrate Maria Woodman
Gail Merritt, Family Division Manager, Cumberland County Clerk’s Office
Diana Durgin, Assistant Clerk, Newport District Court
Representative Kimberly Monaghan-Derrig
Senator Roger J. Katz, Esq.
Diane Dusini, Esq.
Anthony A. Trask, Esq.
Debby L. Willis, AAG
Barbara L. Raimondi, Esq.
Richard W. Elliott, Esq.
Bonita Usher, Public Member

Staff Consultant:
Tracie Adamson, Family Division Manager

Supreme Judicial Court Liaison:
Hon. Jon D. Levy, Associate Justice


[1]The Family Division of the Maine District Court was established in 1998. The Division adopted a case management process to achieve its stated mission of "providing a system of justice that is responsive to the need of families and support of their children." 4 M.R.S. § 183 (2005).

 

Family Division Task Force 2006

Family Division Task Force 2006 (PDF)

Established June 9, 2006

I. Purpose
The purpose of establishing the Family Division Task Force - 2006 is twofold: First, to study and evaluate the Family Division's practices and procedures; second, to make recommendations to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court regarding any changes to law or rules improving the allocation of resources and/or the management of cases necessary to advance the Family Division's mission.[1] Toward this end, the Task Force will study and make recommendations regarding:

  1. The timing, frequency, and content of proceedings before Family Law Magistrates;
  2. The timing, scheduling, and process of family matters in the District Courts;
  3. The authority of Family Law Magistrates;
  4. The possible consolidation of M.R. Civ. P. 80 and the Family Division Rules; and
  5. Other related topics identified by the Task Force.

The ultimate goal of the Task Force is to recommend changes that will best serve the public's needs, to eliminate magistrate or judicial events that create unnecessary costs or delays, to promote prompt resolution of disputes, and to promote better allocation of magistrate and judicial resources.

II. Membership
The following individuals shall serve as members of the Task Force:
Hon. John Nivison, Chair
Hon. Ellen Gorman
Hon. A. Mark Horton
Hon. Andre Janelle
Magistrate Bruce Jordan
Magistrate Mary Kelly
Representative Josh Tardy, Esq.
Representative Janet Mills, Esq.
Sue Bement, Clerk, Lewiston District Court
Linda Cyr, Clerk, Fort Kent District Court
Rosemary Foster, Family Division Manager
David Abramson, Esq.
Kristin Gustafson, Esq.
Toby Hollander, Esq.
Dawn Pelletier, Esq.
Debby Willis, AAG

IV. Meetings
The Task Force will meet on a schedule established by its Chair. The Chair may also, in his discretion, establish subcommittees of Task Force members.

V. The Report
The Task Force will issue its written report and recommendations to the Supreme Judicial Court on or before November 1, 2006.The Task Force's recommendations should include drafts of any statutory and rule amendments that will be required to implement its recommendations. The Task Force may also propose an implementation plan and schedule.


[1]The Family Division of the Maine District Court was established in 1998. The Division adopted a case management process to achieve its stated mission of "providing a system of justice that is responsive to the need of families and support of their children." 4 M.R.S. § 183 (2005).