Blog posts have been sparse lately, and here’s why: Administrative Order Number 2011-03. I’ve posted several times about the impending demise of the GAL fund, and it is finally coming to fruition. Judge Kelly’s administrative order, issued on April 19, 2011, requires GALs in  all GAL fund  marital cases (this excludes abuse/neglect, TPR, guardianship and CHINs) to complete investigations, file final reports, final billing and withdrawals by June 1, 2011.

And let me tell you, that is a ridiculous amount of work to complete in just over a month. It feels like finals week in college or law school, only worse. Instead of finishing up five term papers, I have thirteen reports. It is extremely frustrating to be thrust involuntarily into such a situation because the court system cannot be properly funded by the legislature. 

In the end though, it is the children of indigent New Hampshire Families who will suffer the consequences. They will no longer have a voice in the courtroom, and judges will have to sift through pro se he said she said in trying to determine a child’s best interest. And that’s a shame for New Hampshire.

  • P Henderson

    My daughter was asked to pay 75% of the fee for a GAL. She gave the woman $750 believing the total fee was going to be $1,000. The woman is now asking her for $1000 more or she can’t do any more work. So far she met with the father for an hour, and with my daughter even less. My daughter has no itemized bill, or even a receipt for what she already paid. Everything we read in at the NH state web sites says ther is a $1,000 limit. What is going on here?

  • Kysa Crusco

    Thank you for your comment. You are correct that there is a rule allowing for a cap of $1,000 on GAL fees. However, in private pay cases, which are all of the cases now that there is no GAL fund, GALs are free to negotiate their own rate and waive the fee limit. Usually a GAL stipulation will discuss the fees, and a waiver of the fee limit.