Susan Skipp Petition For Certification To Supreme Court
Click on the link to watch Susan’s brief story on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UubX2O-gFnI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1z9_zRnf38&feature=player_detailpage (Susan Skipp Testifying at GAL Hearings),
Source: Task Force to Study Legal Disputes Involving the Care and Custody of Minor Children January 9th Public Hearing, Uploaded to Youtube.com on 12/08/2014 by “April25.org: A Case for Parental Alienation”
Source: CORRUPT CT Bringing Corruption to a Whole New Level, http://www.corruptct.com/help-us-fight-corruption-in-ct/
S.C.________; A.C. 36231 : STATE OF CONNECTICUT
: SUPREME COURT
SHAWN TITTLE :
SUSAN SKIPP-TITTLE : June 25,2014
PETITION FOR CERTIFICATION TO SUPREME COURT
The Appellant, Susan Skipp-Tittle, pursuant to C.P.B. § 84-1, hereby respectfully seeks certification of this case for review by the Connecticut Supreme Court.
(1) Questions Presented For Review:
Did the appellate court err when it concluded the court had no jurisdiction on the lower court’s ruling that Guardian Ad Litem fees are in the nature of child support?
Did the court err when stating a memorandum of decision made without a proper motion cannot be appealed?
Did the appellate court err when it allowed a party not joined in suit to file motions?
Did the appellate court err when it allowed a forced contract placed upon a citizen?
Does the Appellate courts finding that its motion to remove the GAL issue from the appeal meet Curcio prong as cited in the appellate Court’s sua sponte motion?
(2) Basis for Certification
(a) The trial court entering orders to remove itself from jurisdiction of GAL fees in the nature of child support creates a question of great public importance.
(b) The actions of the self appointed GAL, in spite of the defendant mother’s well documented objections. Also, defendant’s counsel drafted an in lieu of appearance form for his client’s signature, not realizing she would have to defend herself the following day, without proper notice, without adequate documents: no billing, time sheets, no contract, no retainer agreement with between GAL and defendant, all well preserved in the trial record.
(c) Brigham filing her own appearance creates additional elements of great public concern, and goes to the heart of the jurisdictional issue. The lower court allowed a party not joined in suit to file motions, cross-examine witnesses, sanction for fees, move to incarcerate the appellant. In fact Brigham violated a federal stay 9 times. If this decision stands, the powers of both GAL and family court judges are unlimited by the laws of subject matter jurisdiction, raising more serious concerns about the integrity of our entire family court system.
(d) The appellate court has decided a question of substance in a manner that conflicts with Supreme Court decisions. Specifically, the A.C. has concluded that it had no jurisdiction in the case because there was not final judgment on a motion of contempt. The motion of contempt was filed by Brigham, a party not joined in suit, therefore not a valid motion.
(e) No statutory authority exists which allows a GAL to file motions, nor did this particular GAL (Atty. Mary Brigham) have a valid court appointment post judgment. “GALs cannot file motions.” Damato v. Damato, FBT-FA-11-4038215-S, #345.00, Motion for Contempt filed by GAL dated May 9, 2014. Ordered May 28, 2014, (Adelman, J). “The duties of the GAL are provided in case law In re Tayquon H., 76 Conn. App. 693, “it is not the province of the guardian ad litem to file briefs with the court.” Id. 707.
(f) The decision under review contradicts contract law and does not afford the appellant the opportunity to redress wrongs by the lower courts.
(g) The appellate court has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings, or so far sanctioned such a departure by the trial court, specifically by upholding orders which the trial court had no jurisdiction to enter, as to call for an exercise of this Court’s supervision.
(h) By failing to articulate the legal and factual bases for the conclusion that the trial court had jurisdiction to order GAL fees for a time period no GAL was appointed, extorted a state retirement plan, a federal crime, to pay Brigham or face incarceration, the appellate court deprived the appellant of her right to meaningfully challenge the jurisdiction of the trial court, a challenge which can legally be brought in any court at any time, and without which the judgment of the trial court is legally void.
(i) The Appellate Court’s Order is appealable under Curcio’s “Separate and Distinct Proceeding” prong, in contrast to Brigham’s statement and the Court’s question. Under the first Curcio prong, an immediate appeal may be taken from an order that “terminates a separate and distinct proceeding.” Curcio, 191 Conn. at 31. This standard “requires that the order being appealed from be severable” from the rest of the action, so that the appeal and the rest of the underlying action can “proceed independent[ly]” of one another. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. v. Ace Am. Reins. Co., 279 Conn. 220, 225-26 (2006); see State v. Parker, 194 Conn. 650, 654 (1984) (“The ‘separate and distinct’ requirement of Curcio demands that proceeding which spawned the appeal be independent of the main action.”). “If the interlocutory ruling is merely a step along the road to final judgment then it does not satisfy the first prong of Curcio.” Hartford Accident & Indem., 279 Conn. at 226.
(j) The appeal is not able to move forward as the GAL a long-standing issue in the case at bar. The issue cannot be severed from the appeal. Again the GAL filed the motion of contempt. No motion is outstanding in the lower court.
3. Summary of the Case:
Shawn Tittle and Susan Skipp-Tittle were divorced in the J.D. of Waterbury in 2011, where they entered a stipulated agreement whereby their two minor children would reside primarily with their mother and have regular visitation with their father. The agreement included a comprehensive parenting plan as well as financial agreements. Although temporary orders entered between the divorce and the date of the contested custody trial in August 2012, the trial court, Munro, J., made it clear the March 2010 stipulated agreement was the order sought to be modified. The court had no jurisdiction to force a contract and a GAL on the parties. Plaintiff Shawn Tittle moved over an hour from the children’s home.
The trial court did not find that there had been any substantial change in circumstances between the March 2010 agreement and the trial in August 2012. The court did not find that the original orders were not in the interest of the children at the time the orders entered, and she did not find that the agreement had been secured by fraud, accident or mistake. Notwithstanding, she entered orders giving sole custody of the children to their father and limiting the mother to supervised visitation, contingent upon the mother’s compliance with various court orders, of which are unlawful, lacked personal jurisdiction, and/or abridged Constitutional Rights of the appellant and the parties children.
In ordering the GAL fees in the nature of child support, without such motion before the court and the GAL having no legal standing outside of a forced contract, the trial court
did not claim to have identified any substantial change in circumstances, nor claim in the alternative that the trial court orders were not in the interest of the children at the time they entered. The trial court claimed to acquire jurisdiction by virtue of finding that the original orders were not in the interest of the children almost as soon as they entered. This jurisdictional argument is not supported by any case law in our state and constitutes a broad expansion of jurisdiction over family matters, requiring nothing beyond a mere assertion that something is not right. It is should be noted that there were no allegations of unfitness, abuse or neglect in this child custody matter. Further, the plaintiff at no point made an argument to proving a change would be in the best interests of the children. Adamsen v. Adamsen, 151 Conn. 172, 178, 195 A.2d 418 (1963); Pfeiffer v. Pfeiffer, 99 Conn. 154, 157, 121 A. 174 (1923). The burden of proving a change to be in the best interest of the child rests on the party seeking the change. Stephenson, supra, 1070; 39 Am. Jur. 2d, Habeas Corpus, § 152 (1968). No change of circumstances was found in Munro’s Oct 16, 2012 memorandum of decision. No affidavit of fees was filed; at no time did the trial court answer the repeated question by the defendant, “What standing does Mary Brigham have to be GAL for the children?” Brigham ultimately enlisted them to be involved with a therapist under investigation by the CT Department of Health for malpractice, insurance fraud, neglect of the parties children, caused them a denial of their rights to familial association and removed a fit loving mother from their lives absent even allegation of her to abuse or neglect the parties children or of any parental unfitness, contrary to an extensive record for the plaintiff. Said therapist is also under investigation by the State’s Attorney. Brigham served as an undisclosed witness in a hearing that resulted in the children denied their siblings – over whom the court has not personal jurisdiction.
Brigham served as a necessary witness to the plaintiff twice: Aug. 1, 2011 and Dec. 19, 2011. On Oct. 8, 2013, with no motion before the court, it ordered GAL fees are in nature of child support. The court has not addressed the lack of legal standing of Brigham. The A.C. allowed her to file motions. This is a serious systemic dysfunction.
Defendant was required to appear before the A.C. to argue its motion under Curcio, later dismissing the challenge of fees. The motion for reconsideration en banc was denied, leaving the appellant without any understanding of how the trial court acquired jurisdiction to allow a third party not joined in suit to file papers or how the lower court allowed an affidavit of fees over a year after it was to have been issued, absent any proof of service. The children suffered great harm in the first instance. The record, as it exists, is the result of the case and not a basis to find jurisdiction to modify a stipulated judgment, force a contract and order payment of such in the nature of child support. At the time of the decision, it was not put in the child support worksheet. It was not included nor provided for.
A challenge to the jurisdiction of the trial court is question of law and review of the issue is plenary. In re DeLeon J., 290 Conn 371, 375, 963 A.2d 53 (2009), citing Aiadi v. Commissioner of Correction, 280 Conn. 514, 535, 911 A.2d 712 (2006). If the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to render a judgment, the action.” Jungnelius v. Jungnelius, 133 Conn. App. 250, 35 A.3d 359 (2012). The court does not have jurisdiction to force a contract. However, the appellate court has jurisdiction to redress abuses and errors of the lower court and correct its errors.
An appeal alleging the GAL has no legal standing and that her fees are not in the nature of child support is a challenge to the validity of the order itself. If the court did not have the authority, the order is void. The only proper way to challenge said order is through appeal. The Appellate Court decision stands, then the memorandum of decision issued by the Trial Court becomes valid law; the court did not appoint Brigham post judgment, nor did it agree to her as there was no such stipulation in the agreement of the parties.
In this case, the GAL, who had no legal standing except when the fundamentals of a legal contract are thrown out along with justice: if a forced contract has legal standing, it would defy the very principles of law, Magna Carta on down. A forced contract is of great public concern, rendering a forced contract in which fees are child support flies in the face of a democratic legal system.
Ms. Brigham (self appointed; no post judgment court appointment) acted beyond the scope of a GAL. Filing over 30 motions and 2 modifications is WANTON, RECKLESS AND MALICIOUS. Inappropriate placement of pleadings was designed to intimidate and harass the appellant for almost four years who can no longer afford legal representation. The Court itself took on this hostility, note in decision the judge references and arrest not prosecuted and based on false affidavits by the plaintiff. The defendant and children have a federal complaint against Hon. Cutsumpas for ADA violations among other civil rights violations.
The appellant is a qualified person with a disability. This disability, PTSD was brought on by the lower court defrauding the appellant, most attributable to the many motions filed my Mary Brigham in a pattern of coercion, retaliation and harm: the more the appellant called the actions of the courts and its officers into question, the further harm was
done to her and the children. Appellant has been deprived of her fundamental right to parent her children absent abuse, neglect, unfitness, or a mental health issue to provide for such. Most notably, the lower court abused the children who have been deprived of their loving fit mother for nearly two years by false testimony provided by a Guardian as litem whose conduct and appearance is the very essence.
All of the aforementioned issues were attended to in the parties Dissolution Agreement March 28, 2011 on page 2: Although there were various motions filed by both parties during the four months post judgment, most regarding competing claims of non-compliance, the whole record reflects that neither the plaintiff husband nor defendant wife sought to open judgment entered March 28, 2011.1 The appellant calls to the Court’s attention the Dissolution of Marriage Settlement Agreement. In the event of any conflicting language, said Dissolution Agreement included the following provision, “Said Agreements were accepted by the Court and orders entered in accordance therewith. Said Agreements are attached hereto and made a part hereof . . . . If any provision of the aforesaid Agreements is in conflict with any of the provisions of this Agreement, the provisions of this agreement shall prevail.” (emphasis added) Article I, at pages 2-3. In the dissolution hearing on March 28, 2011 at Waterbury, both the plaintiff and defendant were thoroughly canvassed by the Trial Court as to their understanding of the terms of said agreement, their voluntary consent, and among other things, their representation by counsel in reaching the agreement. The Trial Court accepted the agreement and noted in relevant part, “The Court finds it has jurisdiction.” The agreement of the parties dated March 28, 2011 was reviewed
Defendant notes that numerous post judgment motions were filed by the former guardian ad litem, Atty. Mary Brigham, even though the final judgment terminated her pendente lite appointment and the fact that GALs have no statutory authority to file motions.
by the Court, found to be fair and equitable and is incorporated into the decree by reference.” (Transcript 3/28/2011 at page 31)
“[A] separation agreement that is incorporated into a dissolution judgment is regarded as a contract. Issler v. Issler, 250 Conn. 226, 235, 737 A.2d 383 (1999). Accordingly, our resolution of the plaintiff’s claim is guided by the general principles governing the construction of contracts. ‘A contract must be construed to effectuate the intent of the parties, which is determined from the language used interpreted in the light of the situation of the parties and the circumstances connected with the transaction… [w]here there is definitive contract language, the determination of what the parties intended by their contractual commitments is a question of law.’ (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Id.” Dowd v. Dowd, 96 Conn. App. 75 (2006)
As noted, judgment entered March 28, 2011, incorporating terms of the parties’ agreement. Said agreement addressed, inter alia, the care and custody of the two minor children, child support, alimony, as well as various other financial and other terms. The whole record reflects that, while there were various post judgment motions filed in the four months following judgment (e.g. – on or before July 28, 2011), neither party sought to open judgment, nor the terms of the agreement incorporated within. The Trial Court was without authority or jurisdiction to open and modify terms of judgment under these circumstances.
“It may be defined as a contract of the parties acknowledged in open court and ordered to be recorded by a court of competent jurisdiction. . . . The essence of the judgment is that the parties to the litigation have voluntarily entered into an agreement setting their dispute or disputes at rest and that, upon this agreement, the court has entered judgment conforming to the terms of the agreement. . . . ‘It necessarily follows that if the
judgment conforms to the stipulation it cannot be altered or set aside without the consent of all the parties, unless it is shown that the stipulation was obtained by fraud, accident or mistake. . . . For a judgment by consent is just as conclusive as one rendered upon controverted facts.’ (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Gillis v. Gillis, 214 Conn. 336, 339–40, 572 A.2d 323 (1990); see also Afkari-Ahmadi v. Fotovat-Ahmadi, 294 Conn. 384, 389–90, 985 A.2d 319 (2009). ‘Because a stipulation is considered a contract, [o]ur interpretation of a separation agreement that is incorporated into a dissolution decree is guided by the general principles governing the construction of contracts . . . Thus, if there is definitive contract language, the determination of what the parties intended by their . . . commitments is a question of law [over which our review is plenary].’ (Citation omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Afkari-Ahmadi v. Fotovat-Ahmadi, supra, 294 Conn. 390.” Dougan v. Dougan, 301 Conn. 361 (2011)
The Trial Court errors had a cumulative adverse impact on the defendant mother. To render such fees child support, the court would have included them in the child support guidelines worksheet as ordered at the same hearing, would have had a motion before the court and the GAL having legal standing. GAL fees cannot be child support as a GAL is a tool the court uses to make a finding. This is not listed as an expense with the child support magistrate. A GAL does not litigate for a child. A child is able to live at the station his or her parents can provide: a billing in excess of $130,000, without a contract, without any legal standing as this question has been asked throughout the record by the appellant, but not answered, reduces the level of opportunities for the children, with whom the Court’s pertinent issue is the “best interest of the child.” A forced contract in a courtroom is extortion, is abuse of discretion, is abuse of power, is abuse to litigants who trust the Court
to render fair decisions and is indicative of the systemic problems in Connecticut’s family court system. Such unjust enrichment is a bane to due process and fundamental fairness.
WHEREFORE, the appellant respectfully asks this Court to grant this petition for certification and permit the argument to the appellate argument on the questions presented with her appeal concerning the GAL issue as the issue in inextricably interwoven in the appellant’s arguments.
Pro Se Appellant
P.O. Box 1383
Litchfield, CT 06759
Parties in Appeal:
Self-appointed Guardian Ad Litem
Mary Piscatelli Brigham
39 Sherman Hill Rd
Woodbury CT 06798
Juris number 305462
Rosemary Giuliano Honorable Llyod Cutsumpas
Giuliano, Richardson and Sfara Judical District Courthouse
Woodbury, CT 07698 Waterbury, CT 06702
Honorable Robert Resha Susan Skipp
Judicial District Courthouse Po Box 1383
300 Grand Street Litchfield, CT 06759
Waterbury, CT 06702
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
The appellant hereby certifies that the foregoing petition for certification complies in all respects with the provisions of C.P.B. § 84-5, 84-6 § 81-2, § 81-3.
Pro Se Appellant
Po Box 1383
Litchfield CT 06759
CERTIFICATION OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that the foregoing Petition for Certification to the Supreme Court was mailed to all counsel of record and the self-appointed guardian ad litem:
Giuliano & Richardson, LLC (#417811)
39 Sherman Hill Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
Tel.: (203) 263-0330
Fax: (203) 263-0160
39 Sherman Hill Road
Woodbury, CT 06790
Tel.: (203) 263-0112
Fax: (203) 405-6558
Hon. Lloyd Cutsumpas
Waterbury Superior Court
300 Grand Street
Waterbury CT 06702
Hon. Robert Resha
Waterbury Superior Court
300 Grand Street
Waterbury CT 06702
- Order from Appellate Court June, 4, 2014
- Motion to Set Aside (en banc)
- Trial Court Ruling, Cutsumpas, J. October 8, 2013