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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Due Process Clause / Bar Association Monopoly

QUESTION PRESENTED
Does the Due Process Clause of the New Hampshire Constitution (Part 1, Articles 2 and 15) require the appointment of counsel for an indigent parent-defendant from whom the State seeks to take custody of a minor child based on allegations of neglect or abuse?1.

This brief brought forward by the NEW HAMPSHIRE Bar Association (ABA) cover’s the vast amount of problems of Judicial Oppression against parents in NEW HAMPSHIRE (N.H.). It is one of the few briefs reviewed that is worth a full read amicus-brief.pdf.

In short, it covers the rights of individuals to Equal Access to Justice; something of which is currently being denied to litigants across the board by the N.H. Court system. and other court systems in the United States.  Furthermore, it fully describes the margin of error in not only abuse and neglect proceedings but in Child Custody proceedings in general; indicating that the risk of error inherent in the truth finding process is NOT the rare exception that the State would like the public to believe; Judges are NOT infallible, Social Workers certainly do not have that inner sense of what is right or wrong in their conduct or motives, that thing that impels one toward right action: action that dictates their conscience .

Furthermore, the ABA points out that even when the State did give counsel to indigent parent’s they were given incompetent Counsel as supported on page 7; the N.H. ABA in 2008 conducted a survey among the more than 8000 attorney’s in the State at the time for Court Improvement; the results show that this area of the law rank in the top 4 of legal areas that required high priority training topics.

Why was it ranked so high?

Speculation of the group consensus would have to included the facts: most attorney’s want to win for their client’s interests; closed door proceedings without access to case work of previous hearings gives Attorney’s no insight to the arsenal used against parents by the State; of further alarm in the State of N.H. is that this Bar Association requires all Attorney’s to be a member of the Bar at a minimal cost of $470.00 a year; not counting the fact that they have to take 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) a year at a minimal cost of $199.00 up per 6 credits depending on the content of the CLE. With this in mind you would think that the Bar would enhance their services by providing CLE’s that follow survey needs.

How many training course's in the Child Protection Act has the N.H. Bar conducted since the 2008 survey,directly relating to the needs of their clients, in this top 4 rated area of the law? NONE see NH Bar Catalog

What the brief does not describe and what trainings or lack of on the N.H. ABA site show, is that while they researched and documented the right to push and enforce people’s rights; the N.H. Bar has had NO substantial trainings to offset the closed door proceedings they advocate are in the best interests of the child.  Indicating that the ABA while requiring ALL Attorney’s to be a member to practice law; does not provide attorneys in these cases with the resources to be successful in this area of law, making it a monopoly; non unlike AT&T. 

This is a serious problem if the Bar Association's cannot and/or will not fully address the needs of the people/attorney's using their services should they be allowed to continue as a monopoly?

In the first instance the initial question was reviewed and decided without dissent by the House in 2006; affirming that legal counsel is a matter of right, at public expense to low income persons whose basic human needs are at stake. In America, States can only enhance not detract from the Federal Governments rights to the people. It is clear in reading this brief that, that is exactly what NEW HAMPSHIRE has and continues to do; with a Bar Association made up of Lawyers and Judges withour accountability; to the public they serve.

1.Consistent with the position set out in the parents' brief, the ABA addresses the question solely under New Hampshire law. See Brief of Larry M. and Sonia M. (Natural Parents of Christian M. and Alexander M.) (November 18, 2011) at 1 n. 1 ("Because the due process requirements of the State Constitution are at least as protective of individual liberties as those requirements of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, consideration of the latter is not necessary"). See also In re Father, 155 N.H. 93, 95 (2007) ("We first address this issue under the State Constitution, and cite federal opinions for guidance only."); In re Shelby R., 148 N.H. 237,239 (2002); In re Tracy M, 137 N.H. 119, 122 (1993). amicus-brief.pdf

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