GAL grievance disclosures

Penny Allen filed this request with the Kitsap County Superior Court of Kitsap County, WA.
Due Oct. 10, 2017
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Penny Allen

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act) and Washington State GR 31.1, I hereby request the following records:

The state judiciary’s rule regarding inspection and copying of administrative records is General Court Rule GR 31.1 (GR 31.1). This rule memorializes the state judiciary’s commitment to an open administration of justice as provided in Article I, Section 10 of the Washington State Constitution.

A judicial “administrative record” means a public record created by or maintained by a court or judicial agency that is related to the management, supervision, or administration of the court or judicial agency.

A court or judicial agency can include: Washington State Supreme Court , Court of Appeals, Divisions I, II, and III , Superior Courts , District and Municipal Courts ,Administrative and Clerks’ Offices of the above courts, Any state Judicial Branch entity identified in GR 31.1(k).

Records may be in a variety of forms such as: Written document , Audio or video recording, Picture , Electronic disk , Magnetic tape , Email message.
Please provide the following documents:
• All grievances filed with Kitsap County Superior Court and Kitsap County Juvenile Court against any Guardian Ad Litems/ CASA and/or Custody Investigators who were appointed by the Court to serve on any matters within the jurisdiction of the Court, including any judicial actions. Please limit your search to the time period 1/01/2015 to present.

• All applicants to the GAL Registry are required to disclose any grievances filed against them within their registration/ application. Please provide names of all Guardian Ad Litem or CASA workers on the current GAL registry which included an appliacants disclosure of grievances or professional complaints filed against them and all supporting documentation they attached or provided.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Penny Allen

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From: Penny Allen

Frank A. Maiocco, Jr.
Court Administrator
Kitsap County Superior Court

Dear Mr. Maiocco,
I am in receipt of your response requesting payment for records of grievances filed against GAL's listed on the Title 26 registry.

Would you please clarify where in Court 31.1 process I would find the "Court Rule providing research fees of $30.00 per hour." As my understanding is:
"GR 31 ACCESS TO COURT RECORDS (c) Definitions.
(2) "Administrative record" means any record pertaining to
the management, supervision or administration of the
judicial branch, including any court, board, or
committee appointed by or under the direction of any
court or other entity within the judicial branch, or
the office of any county clerk.

(4) "Court record" includes, but is not limited to: (i)
Any document, information, exhibit, or other thing that
is maintained by a court in connection with a judicial
proceeding, and (ii) Any index, calendar, docket,
register of actions, official record of the
proceedings, order, decree, judgment, minute, and any
information in a case management system created or
prepared by the court that is related to a judicial
proceeding. Court record does not include data
maintained by or for a judge pertaining to a particular
case or party, such as personal notes and
communications, memoranda, drafts, or other working
papers; or information gathered, maintained, or stored
by a government agency or other entity to which the
court has access but which is not entered into the record

(d) Access.
(3) A fee may not be charged to view court records at the courthouse.

-If you would tell me when the documents are available, I am prepared to come to the courthouse to view them.

Respectfully, I would ask you to reassess your estimate for 3 staff hours required to research the requested documents; in order to assist you in limiting your search to locating only the specific documents I'm requesting, I offer the following explanations:

First- the Title 26 registry has a total of 24 names. Unless there are more names located elsewhere, searching 24 electronic files for a "grievance" or "complaint" “disciplinary” “action” etcetera, would not reasonably require 3 hours.

Kitsap County Superior Court website Title 26, "If a guardian ad litem is needed in domestic relations proceedings, a "strike-list" of three names from the rotation of guardians ad litem is provided. It is the responsibility of the parties seeking appointment of the guardian ad litem to review the qualifications and background of each of the three proposed guardians ad litem. In order to review the qualifications and background, The following is a list of approved guardians ad litem in domestic relations cases. Profiles can be viewed by clicking on the name (requires free Adobe Reader). "

To clarify, I am not requesting profile information which is already posted on the kitsapgov.com website, I am requesting those documents which were submitted by each applicant and not posted on the profiles provided when clicking on the link.

For example, when clicking on Mr. Charles W. Stevenson's profile link, only one of at least two known grievances filed against him is disclosed by him. It is reasonable for anyone "responsible for reviewing the qualifications and background" of a GAL to expect to see all information and complaints or grievances in a background and disclosure.

It is reasonable to assume that the office responsible for managing the Title 26 Registry maintains an updated current list and also acknowledges it's own responsibility to ensure at least a minimal level of integrity from the self-disclosures of each applicant it accepts to it's registry.

Each Title 26 applicant submits a signed document agreeing to advise the court immediately in the event of any complaint, investigation or action being commenced which could lead to professional discipline, or the suspension or revocation of my professional license, or to the filing of criminal charges for felony or crime involving allegations of theft, dishonesty or moral turpitude. Your records search should include records of such disclosures submitted within each applicants file or a separate administrative file reserved for such disclosures.

The registry application asks for
”… description of any claims or litigation that has been commenced, involving allegations of improper fee charges, charges of fraud, theft or other forms of dishonesty or professional malpractice or misconduct. “
Again, in the case of Mr. Charles Stevenson, the online profile doesn't include any "disclosures" which are public knowledge. The public cannot know if this was a purposeful omission by Mr. Stevenson and/or if it is simply an oversight by the administration not to post this vital information in the Profile where those who are “responsible to review…background information” will see it and use the information to determine whether they wish to strike that name or not. Such omissions can erode public trust. It is vital to the perceived integrity of the Court and the public trust.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

I request the fees be waived. In the event they cannot be waived, in light of my explanation, I would ask for reassessment of the time estimated to research the requested documents. I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request.

I would prefer the request be filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
In the event the documents cannot be emailed, If you would tell me when they are ready, I am prepared to come to the courthouse to view them.

Very truly yours,
Penny Allen Friday

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From: Penny Allen

Dear Mr. Frank A. Maiocco Jr,

Thank you for your explanation regarding the fees. Please proceed with locating the following documents requested which you referenced in your reply as part one:

• All grievances filed with Kitsap County Superior Court and Kitsap County Juvenile Court against any Guardian Ad Litems/ CASA and/or Custody Investigators who were appointed by the Court to serve on any matters within the jurisdiction of the Court, including any judicial actions. Please limit your search to the time period 1/01/2015 to present.

I do not wish to modify or narrow the scope of my request.

Your response indicated that the online profiles are the complete disclosures and entire submissions of all GAL's on the registry satisfies that portion (part two) of my request as no responsive documents, and can be closed at this time.

If you would give me an estimate for the cost to research part one of my request I will arrange payment.

Thank you,
Penny Allen

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From: Penny Allen

Dear Frank A. Maiocco Jr.,

I had received a response to records request from you through an online portal, "baracuda"
I replied to that response requesting an estimate , then got a notice from Baracuda that someone had requested a password change on my account.
I'm not sure how the baracuda system works and I am not sure you are aware I have responded and I wanted to alert you. I did not request a password reset so I did not attempt to enter the baracuda portal.
I have copied my latest correspondence here to ensure you get it:

10/05/2017
Dear Mr. Frank A. Maiocco Jr,

Thank you for your explanation regarding the fees. Please proceed with locating the following documents requested which you referenced in your reply as part one:

• All grievances filed with Kitsap County Superior Court and Kitsap County Juvenile Court against any Guardian Ad Litems/ CASA and/or Custody Investigators who were appointed by the Court to serve on any matters within the jurisdiction of the Court, including any judicial actions. Please limit your search to the time period 1/01/2015 to present.

I do not wish to modify or narrow the scope of my request.

Your response indicated that the online profiles are the complete disclosures and entire submissions of all GAL's on the registry satisfies that portion (part two) of my request as no responsive documents, and can be closed at this time.

If you would give me an estimate for the cost to research part one of my request I will arrange payment.

Thank you,
Penny Allen

From: Penny Allen

Hello Mr. Maiocco,
I am following up on my request to you dated October 10, 2017 which is pasted below. It is convenient to use the 'upload a file' option from muckrock.com to upload documents or correspondence which cannot be typed directly into the reply panel and will ensure I receive them.

If you would give me an estimate for the cost to research part one of my request I will arrange payment.
Thank you,
Penny Allen

(October 10, 2017)
Dear Frank A. Maiocco Jr.,

I received a response to records request from you through an online portal, "baracuda"

I replied to that response requesting an estimate , then got a notice from Baracuda that someone had requested a password change on my account.

I'm not sure how the baracuda system works and I am not sure you are aware I have responded and I wanted to alert you. I did not request a password reset so I did not attempt to enter the baracuda portal.

I have copied my latest correspondence here to ensure you get it:

Dear Mr. Frank A. Maiocco Jr,

Thank you for your explanation regarding the fees. Please proceed with locating the following documents requested which you referenced in your reply as part one:

• All grievances filed with Kitsap County Superior Court and Kitsap County Juvenile Court against any Guardian Ad Litems/ CASA and/or Custody Investigators who were appointed by the Court to serve on any matters within the jurisdiction of the Court, including any judicial actions. Please limit your search to the time period 1/01/2015 to present.

I do not wish to modify or narrow the scope of my request.

Your response indicated that the online profiles are the complete disclosures and entire submissions of all GAL's on the registry satisfies that portion (part two) of my request as no responsive documents, and can be closed at this time.

If you would give me an estimate for the cost to research part one of my request I will arrange payment

Sincerely,
Penny Allen

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