Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Presumption of Fitness

March 18, 2008

President of Connecticut DCF Watch Speaks Before The Supreme Court

By Staff Writers
Connecticut DCF Watch

Hartford, CT - President, Thomas Dutkiewicz ("Dutkiewicz") of Connecticut DCF Watch spoke before the State of Connecticut Supreme Court on the auto-matic court order of parenting classes today. Mr. Dutkiewicz was the moving party in this challenge and Dutkiewicz's ex wife Aimee was the responding party who supported this challenge.

Dutkiewicz told Hartford Courant reporter Colin Poitras that going to the Supreme Court was like winning the "Golden Ticket" as it was depicted in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He said it was such a surreal feeling to be there.

This challenge originally started when Ms. Dutkiewicz filed for dissolution of marriage where parents are forced against their will to take parenting classes. The challenged came from the recent US Supreme Court ruling in Troxel v. Granville where ALL parents are presumed fit, competent and lack no defect.

In June of 2007, Dutkiewicz had to overcome mootness of the challenge because the family court judge granted the divorce and waived the parenting classes which in effect makes the appeal moot.

The State Appellate court put forth its own motion on the mootness of the appeal and Dutkiewicz had argued that point on a Wednesday and by Saturday the 3 judge panel agreed that Dutkiewicz over came the mootness and allow the challenge to move forward.

Fast forward to January of 2008, Dutkiewicz was waiting for his court appearance date from the Appellate court when on January 18, 2008 he received a letter stating that the Supreme Court motioned itself and was moving his case out of the Appellate court and put this constitutional challenge directly before them. Dutkiewicz couldn't believe what just happened, in deed, he thought he just won the "Golden Ticket to appear before the Supreme Court.

The challenged statute wrongfully assumes that parents are unfit and incompetent and that children are impacted. A due process violation occurs when the state presumes a fact not in evidence. The statute was never supported by medical fact. It was just the opinion of legislators and incompetent dangerous social wreckers. It takes a village to destroy a happy family. The state, DCF and the courts are not the happy police.

In Troxel, legislators along with juvenile and family court judges lack the jurisdiction to force parents to take parenting classes absent the requisite proof of parental unfitness.

The State of Connecticut Supreme Court will be the second highest state court to review Troxel. The first was Maryland in Koshko v. Haining, where the highest court overturned 14-years of judicial precedent based on Troxel. The court ruled that absent parental unfitness, judges and legislators were prohibited to substitute their own judgment for that of the parent. The high court further ruled that it is unconstitutional for a judge to usurp "parental discretion" absent the requisite proof of parental unfitness.

Dutkiewicz told the 5 judge panel that the challenged appeared small but their ruling will have the most profound impact on parents, children and they will be setting judicial precedent in this ruling. It would probably be the biggest ruling this court will make since its inception. Dutkiewicz told the justices that parents here in Connecticut and throughout the country were all tired of riding in the back of the bus.

If the Supreme Court agrees with Dutkiewicz, it will overturn 20 plus years of judicial precedent here in the State of Connecticut. Parents won't have to prove their fitness to abusive agencies like DCF or the court.

There will be a Hartford Courant story on this incredible story tomorrow by Colin Poitras.

Connecticut DCF Watch
Civil Rights Advocates For Families
P.O. Box 9775
Forestville, CT 06011-9775

P.S. Check out our web site for the FREE handbook on parental rights. There is also a manual on "reasonable efforts" with sections for Attorneys, Judges and Agencies.

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