Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort
A National Family Court Consumers Group is appalled at the negligent performance of a Lawyer for Child who represented a child for 10 years, meeting the child only once during this time, yet determining critical Family Court decisions for the child, in the absence of considering the child's views in the process, as required by Section 6 of the 2004 Care of Children Act.
Gabrielle Wagner was appointed as Lawyer for Child (LFC) in 2002, soon after the child was born.
A host of Family Court hearings ensued over the following 10 years, in which substantial care decisions were made for the child - yet Wagner refused to regularly meet with the child as the child got older, managing just one brief meeting in 10 years.
"This is a shocking case of representative neglect of a child, and a damning indictment on the lack of accountability that exists in the NZ Family Court regarding taxpayer funding of LFC representatives" said Steve Taylor, Convenor ofwww.nzfamilycourt.com
"Essentially, what we have here is a taxpayer-funded Lawyer in Gabrielle Wagner showing up at various Court Hearings who is hopelessly under-prepared and ignorant of her clients actual on-going needs, and then making decisions on behalf of the child and the family that in no way represents the best interests of her client, the child in question".
"Recently, the child was assaulted by the child's father via strangulation, a Police call-out ensued, the child was removed from the fathers care by the Police & CYF, and placed in a safer environment. Gabrielle Wagner's response was to opine that the child should not have been removed by the Police & CYF, because the father had been awarded interim care by the Family Court. Such a response flies in the face of the evidence of the risk to the child at the time the uplift took place, and borders on ideological Sociopathy" said Mr Taylor.
"Stunningly, the child was then returned to the fathers care four weeks later, despite the child having the option of a safe care environment with the child's mother, and this was decision supported by Lawyer for Child Gabrielle Wagner".
"Such decisions simply contribute to the on-going rise in child abuse in this country, and it is time for a Independent Royal Commission of Enquiry into the NZ Family Court and its practitioners, because sadly, these stories continue to emerge, even under the new regime of the recent Family Court Reforms" said Mr Taylor.
Link to the story, with Consumer commentary, is here: