Connecticut Family Court: Are Guardian At Litems harming children?

Connecticut Family Court: Are Guardian At Litems harming children?

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Image: Flicker Creative Commons -
Image: Flicker Creative Commons -

WASHINGTON, DC, February 28, 2013 -Located off a dirt road in the woods of Bethany, Connecticut, is the home Sunny Kelley used to share with her 9-year old son Max. Outside waits Max’s loyal husky Guinevere, who used to sleep beside him back when they all lived together in this old 18th century schoolhouse.

Until recently, Judge Lynda B. Munro, who issued the orders severing Max’s relationship with his beloved mom, lived on the same road. Sunny said they would often pass each other while walking their dogs.

Sunny welcomes me into her home, offers me a cup of tea, then shows me Max’s room. In 2010, Max began to believe his room was haunted.  Although Max has not lived with his mom in over a year, his toys remain exactly where he stopped playing with them the last time he was home. There’s a robot thunder dome arena, science experiments, books, Star Wars figures, his rock collection, his coin collection, his Man Wallet full of coins mixed with $2 bills and foreign cash. The gerbils died, but the mazes, tunnels, and castles that they raced through lay vacant on Max’s desk.

The dining room table where Max once ate is no longer a place for communing over a meal, it has become sacred ground where his mother fights important battles to protect her clan’s only heir. Time has stopped in this room full of papers, a virtual igloo of data which document what happened to Max in the family courts. We begin to sift through pleadings, medical reports, and bills, all interspersed with notes and pictures that Max himself has crafted to tell us what has been done to him.  Max could not have understood how or why he had been sold out, but the love notes to his mom on his work demonstrated that he wanted his mother to know he never left her willingly.  That the last time Max saw his Mother, he knew the love he felt from Sunny was real, that he guarded his truths with his life where no torturer could destroy it.

There are still many dragons to be slayed before the war is over and Max can come home.


Understand that when you are sued, you cannot opt out of participating in the legal process, nor can you take your business with the law elsewhere.

$1.5 million in litigation fees later, the invoices show that Max himself was probably a stranger to the professionals paid to decide his fate. Perhaps the bills can tell us what Max could not.

In 2010, the court appointed Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Attorney Maureen Murphy to represent Max’s best interests and wishes. Murphy billed at a rate of $300 per hour, collecting over $100,000 in fees from Max’s home,[1] yet it cannot be confirmed by looking exclusively at the invoices whether Murphy ever met Max in person.  While Max’s name is referenced on the RE: line on the first page of each bill, Max’s time with Murphy is never clearly referenced in the bills.

According to the invoices, Murphy’s time was largely spent reviewing court documents, talking to the visitation supervisor and other court affiliated professionals–but never with Max alone.

Per the court order, Max’s time with his mother was supervised by NJ Sarno, Inc., who billed Max’s mother $105,000 over the course of 16 months.[2]   According to court documents, NJ Sarno is owned by Trumbull police detective James DeSanty and Nicholas J. Sicinolfi (also known as “Nick Sarno”). [3] In 2004, Sarno filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Town of Trumbull relative to his supervised visitation business. (See Nicolas Sicinolfi v. Town of Trumbull, 3:03-cv-00929-AWT) On December 5, 2004, the Town of Trumbull filed a motion to dismiss[4] stating multiple examples of where Sarno had been untruthful in his business dealings with the State. Sicinolfi allegedly lied on a pistol permit application by failing to list his alias (“Nick Sarno”), then boasted false experience handling guns in the armed forces, when in reality he had never served in the military.

Court transcripts[5] show that from 2010-2011, NJ Sarno, Inc. and Sunny took Max to the ER during visits when he arrived from his father’s with burns, cuts, and bruises on his body, abdominal pains, fever, anal fissures, an infected penis, urinary tract infections, and experiencing a psychotic break.  The supervisor also called Max’s father, who rushed to the hospital to deny any wrongdoing, then filed a motion to end all of Max’s parenting time with his mother.

In February 2011, Judge Munro decided[6] that Sunny was to have no rights to either access Max’s medical records or to seek medical attention for Max. Although the supervisor was a former sanitation worker with no special medical training or knowledge, NJ Sarno alone retained the right to decide Max’s medical care during visits.  Sunny and Max were ordered not to sit together in the car, forbidden to speak about Max’s about life with his father, his medical needs, or any litigation matters. GAL Murphy’s bills do not evidence any meetings with Max around this time.

Instead of asking Max directly what was happening to him, Judge Munro ignored 2 recent psychiatric evaluations and appointed Dr. Kenneth Robson to evaluate Max’s situation.  Robson billed the family at a rate of $350 per hour for a total of $17,163 over the course of 2 months,[7] then appointed other evaluators onto the case at Sunny’s expense.  While Robson never interviewed Max alone, the majority of his billing time was spent talking to over a dozen adults, some of whom had never met Max. Two meetings between Robson and Max together with each parents took place, however, Sunny says Robson met with her for 1 hour, not the 1.5 he billed her for. Dr. Robson’s testimony in favor of placing Max with his father can be found here.[8]

The time Murphy billed for conversations she allegedly had with Robson and others was not reflected in their corresponding billing invoices. [9]   After Sunny received the final judgment, she learned that therapists from Connecticut Resources Group[10], Dr. Howard Krieger[11] and Dr. Sidney Horowitz[12] were involved in her family’s care.

Max himself would never be allowed to tell Judge Munro about the world he had been sentenced to live in, and I cannot tell from the bills whether any of these professionals even asked Max personally what he wanted.  It is unclear to me why Munro decided that so many professionals who did not know him were more credible than Max himself.

Judge Munro concealed her final orders under the title Jane Doe v. John Roe; Max’s name was changed to pseudonym “Peter,” as if Max himself never existed.[13]  Now penniless, Sunny has unable to purchase a single visit with Max in over a year. This involuntarily severed all of Max’s contact with his mother.  GAL Murphy is now a judge, but Max’s new GAL took no steps to preserve or restore Max’s relationship with his beloved mother.

Given that Max had never been injured in his mother’s care, did Max wish he could have invested the millions diverted to court professionals into a safe home for them to live in, or alternatively purchased bodyguards to keep him safe at his father’s?


Since the custody battle started, many people have shared this paranormal experience in Max’s room. I asked Sunny why she didn’t move from the home so obviously haunted by Max, if not actual demons?

“This is my ground zero,” Sunny said. “I’m not leaving this house until Max comes home.”

There are perhaps hundreds of parents like Sunny who have been bankrupted through the CT courts, essentially extorted out of a relationship with their children. Recently, journalist Keith Harmon Snow posted on his website a story[14] listing over 70 cases[15] involving mothers who were never found to be dangerous or unfit, but none the less lost custody after their children reported they were physically or sexually assaulted by their fathers. Mothers who continued to seek legal protection or medical treatment for the children’s injuries were ordered to pay supervised visitation centers to see their children.  Many of these cases involve the same judges, as well as Dr. Kreiger, Dr. Horowitz, and Dr. Robson.

Most often located in a no longer needed dining room, these mothers also have ground zeroes in their homes, igloos of papers that tell the story of the children who have been sold. They maintain portable ground zeros, documents stored on their phones, hard drives, USB drives, briefcases of papers that they take with them everywhere. These mothers and their children dream of chance meetings with powerful benevolent strangers capable of using this wreckage to rescue children from the hells they were ordered to live in. Children should not have to wait for the money to dry up in order for the justice system to hear their cries for help.

To see further documentation related this journalist’s investigative report on the Connecticut courts:















Family Courts Behind an Epidemic of Pedophilia & Judicial Abuse” Keith Harmon Snow, Conscious Being Alliance 5/1/2012

[15] List of cases involving child victims of violent crimes ordered to live with offenders:

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