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The
Fatherhood

Coalition

Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition sue mental-health clinic

COMPLAINT and EMERGENCY MOTION FOR IMMEDIATE INJUNCTIVE RELIEF


 

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III
Pro Se
79 Nancy Avenue
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 443-3150

(This press release version of the complaint differs from the actual in that the name of the father, the child, and the mother have been removed to protect the identity of the child. The father has been named John Doe, the child Jane Doe, and the mother Betty Doe.)

 

THE MASSACHUSETTS SUPERIOR COURT, BERKSHIRE COUNTY

 

The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition,

Plaintiff

and

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, in his individual capacity

Plaintiff

v.

Mental Health Services and Substance Abuse of the Berkshires

Defendant

And

Ms. Marge Cohen in her individual capacity,

Defendant

And

Mr. Jim Mucia in his individual capacity,

Defendant

Ms. Glendan Georgans in her individual capacity.

Defendant

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COMPLAINT and
EMERGENCY MOTION
FOR IMMEDIATE INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

 

Here come the Plaintiff, The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition and Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III in his individual capacity:

THE PARTIES

  1. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition is a non-profit organization that is an advocate for fathers and children. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition regularly conducts meetings Wednesdays at the Berkshire Medical Center, but has no formal place of residence.
  2. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition is a part of the Fatherhood Coalition, which has a website at fatherhoodcoalition.org (not .com).
  3. Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III (herein "Mr. Del Gallo") is an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the state of Massachusetts, and is one of two chairman of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition.
  4. Mr. Del Gallo resides at 79 Nancy Avenue, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 01201, and his phone number is (413) 443-3150.
  5. Mental Health Services and Substance Abuse of the Berkshires (herein "Berkshire Mental Health") is an organization that administers mental health services to patients.
  6. Berkshire Mental Health is headquartered at 333 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
  7. Ms. Marge Cohen is the officer, manager, and general agent of Berkshire Mental Health, and bears the title "Acting Director."
  8. Berkshire Mental Health has a sub-organization known as the "Child Stabilization Unit" which provides mental health services to children.
  9. Mr. James Mucia is the Program Director of the Child Adolescence Program of Berkshire Mental Health, and personally oversees the Child Stabilization Unit, which is a part of the Child Adolescence Program.
  10. Mr. John Doe, a father of Jane Doe who provided Mr. Del Gallo with a power of attorney to obtain information from Berkshire Mental Health concerning his daughter Jane Doe, is not presently a party to this action, being neither a named plaintiff nor a named defendant.
  11. Mrs. Jane Doe, the daughter of Mr. John Doe, is not a party to this action, being neither a named plaintiff nor a named defendant.
  12. Ms. Betty Doe, the mother of Jane Doe, is not a party to this action, being neither a named plaintiff nor a named defendant.
  13. Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III does not presently represent Mr. John Doe before any action in the Berkshire Family and Probate Court or any other court, nor has he in the past.
  14.  

     

    PERSONAL JURISDICTION

  15. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference paragraphs 1-13 of this complaint.
  16. Berkshire Mental Heath Services is headquartered in Berkshire County of Massachusetts and conducts extensive treatment in Berkshire County.
  17. Ms. Marge Cohen, Mr. James Mucia, and Ms. Glendan Georgens are employed by Berkshire Mental Health in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
  18. The transaction and occurrences of this lawsuit concern a failure on the part of Berkshire Mental Health to provide Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, acting on behalf of the Fatherhood Coalition, access to information, copies of documents, and the means to interview staff members who worked with Jane Doe, despite Mr. Del Gallo’s having full power of attorney from Mr. John Doe, all of which occurred in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
  19. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

  20. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference paragraphs 1-17 of this complaint.
  21. The Massachusetts Superior Court is a court of general jurisdiction capable of hearing all cases arising out of common law or equity, except where another court has been designated the exclusive court of original jurisdiction.
  22. No other court has been designated the original court of jurisdiction in any of the matters brought before this court by The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition or Mr. Del Gallo.
  23. The Massachusetts Superior Court has original jurisdiction of all cases and matters of equity cognizable under the general principles of equity jurisprudence and, with reference thereto, shall be a court of general equity jurisdiction.
  24. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition, and Rinaldo Del Gallo, III in his individual capacity seek injunctive relief from this court, and seeks its general equity jurisdiction.
  25. There is no other court hearing or otherwise entertaining a case between either The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition and Berkshire Mental Health, or Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III acting in his individual capacity and Berkshire Mental Health.
  26. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition is not as of yet a party in any action before the Berkshire Probate and Family Court.
  27. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III is not as of yet a party to any action in Berkshire Family Probate and Family Court regarding a Mr. John Doe, a Ms. Betty Doe, or a Ms. Jane Doe.
  28.  

    COUNT 1: FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH A DEMAND OF A PARENT WITH LEGAL CUSTODY OVER A CHILD ACTING THROUGH AN ATTORNEY EQUIPPED WITH A DULY EXECUTED POWER OF ATTORNEY

  29. Plaintiffs incorporate paragraphs 1-25 of this complaint.
  30. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition has a hotline which is 413-295-DADS.
  31. A Mr. John Doe called the hotline and stated that he was having legal problems concerning his child.
  32. Mr. John Doe had an out of wedlock child with Ms. Betty Doe, a child presently of 9 years of age by the name of Jane Doe, who presently attends the [Name of school deleted] Elementary School and is in the third grade.
  33. Mr. John Doe is without counsel, and is not represented either by the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition or Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III in his individual capacity.
  34. Mr. John Doe told Mr. Del Gallo that he was accused of telling his nine year-old daughter Jane Doe to kill her own mother in exchange for a trip to Disney World in a effort to cause the murder of Ms. Betty Doe.
  35. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition is concerned with all aspects of the father/child relationship, seeks to build stronger father/child bonds, and is greatly concerned with the inimical effect of false allegations of child abuse or domestic violence on the father/child relationship.
  36. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition believes that children needs their fathers and that this relationship should be safeguarded against unjust encroachments based upon lies advanced to a court of law or other legal authorities.
  37. Mr. Del Gallo told Mr. John Doe that he might intercede on the part of Mr. John Doe either by representing Mr. John Doe, or representing Ms. Jane Doe, or by filing an amicus curaie brief in the Berkshire Family and Probate court on his behalf, but that they had to perform an investigation to substantiate that indeed the allegations were false.
  38. In order to conduct the investigation, since most if not all of the information is confidential, Mr. Del Gallo asked Mr. John Doe to execute a power of attorney so that he may inspect all documents and material concerning Jane Doe, and to be able to interview all teachers, doctors, counselors, or clinicians, that have worked with Jane Doe.
  39. The Power of Attorney read in its entirety as follows:

 

    GRANT OF POWER OF ATTORNEY TO MR. RINALDO DEL GALLO, III, BY MR. JOHN DOE

     

    I, Mr. John Doe understand that this agreement is not only a grant of power of attorney to Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III (herein Mr. Del Gallo) but that it is a contract between myself and Mr. Del Gallo. I, Mr. John Doe Jr., in consideration of Mr. Del Gallo’s taking the time and effort to deliberate as to whether he will become a champion of my cause and for $1, do hereby forever grant Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, all power and authority that I have in law to inspect all psychological, medical, and academic records of my daughter, Jane Doe. Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo is hereby entitled to interview all teachers, psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctors, guidance counselors, principals, councilors of any nature or sort, or clinicians, of my daughter Jane Doe (or to those that know or have information regarding Jane Doe), to the absolute full extent I am allowed by law. I hereby peremptorily direct and command, to the absolute full extent I am allowed by law to do so, that all teachers, psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctors, guidance counselors, principals, councilors of any nature or sort, or clinicians, of my daughter Jane Doe (or to those that know or have information regarding Jane Doe), grant Mr. Del Gallo any and all records that he may ask for and require, and to grant all interviews, and to cooperate in fullest manner, as if I were making the request myself.

    I hereby state that I have no objection to Mr. Del Gallo meeting with Jane Doe, but cannot direct him, ask him, suggest to him, or encourage him to do so, as this would violate my current restraining order. To the full extent that I have legal power, and to the full extent that my restraining order does not forbid, I grant Rinaldo Del Gallo, III the absolute right to meet with my daughter Jane Doe, at the time, place and manner of his choosing. While I do not object to Mr. Del Gallo meeting with Jane Doe, if he is to do so, I fully understand that it is completely of Mr. Del Gallo’s own choosing and I do not offer any solicitation, request, or even encouragement on my part that he meet with my daughter, Jane Doe, until such time as any legal impediment for me to confer this right is lifted. I hereby grant permission for Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III to meet with my daughter, Jane Doe. By "permission," I state that while I do not encourage or solicit the act of Mr. Del Gallo contacting Jane Doe, I do not object to it. My act of not objecting to Mr. Del Gallo meeting with Jane Doe should not be interpreted as giving direction, encouragement, or asking Mr. Del Gallo to speak with Jane Doe, as I am not allowed to do so by law, and intend to comply with the law. If this contract is any way ambiguous, it should be interpreted in a manner so that it is compliant with law. My lack of objection should be taken at face value: I do not object to Mr. Del Gallo meeting with Jane Doe but I do not affirmatively request that he do so. Should the restraining order forbidding me to contact my daughter Jane Doe be lifted, or should the restraining order be altered to allow for third party contact of Jane Doe, or should the restraining order be modified to allow me to ask Mr. Del Gallo to meet with Jane Doe, I hereby peremptorily demand that all teachers, religious leaders or councilors, psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctors, guidance counselors, principals, councilors of any nature or sort, or clinicians, of my daughter Jane Doe (or to those that know or have information regarding Jane Doe) provide open, full, total, and complete access to Jane Doe for Mr. Del Gallo, to the absolute full extent that I would be allowed myself. I also fully authorize Mr. Del Gallo to speak to any friend, relative, or acquaintance of Jane Doe.

    I authorize Mr. Del Gallo to examine and/or obtain any criminal or civil court record, of any nature, sort, or kind, as if I were asking to examine and/or obtain the records myself. I specifically grant Mr. Del Gallo the power to inspect all records concerning myself or Jane Doe at the Berkshire Family and Probate Court, or any criminal records at the Berkshire District Court concerning myself, although this grant of specific authority should not be construed as denying Mr. Del Gallo the right to search all other criminal records. I fully and absolutely grant Mr. Del Gallo the right to inspect and have duplicates of any documents from any private organization, governmental organization, quasi-governmental organization, corporation, partnership, non-profit organization, or individual, of any nature, kind or sort, regarding myself or Jane Doe, to which I would have legal access, and the right to interview anyone in these same organizations to the extent that I would. I grant Mr. Del Gallo the right and power of attorney to affix my signature on any document to be submitted to any of these organizations for the purposes of obtaining information, documents, or interviewing individuals I fully grant Mr. Del Gallo any rights I would have to obtain information, obtain copies of documents, and to interview individuals, from the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) or any other federal, state or local governmental organization that would have information regarding Jane Doe or myself or both of us. I, Mr. John Doe Jr., understand that Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III does not represent or warrant that he will represent me in any upcoming litigation and that he does not represent me now. I, Mr. John Doe Jr., make this grant of power of attorney irrevocably. Jane Doe is an intended beneficiary of this contract, meaning that this contract is intended to benefit I, Mr. John Doe, also understand that I shall not in any way, shape, or manner, direct or command which information, documents, or access to individuals, Mr. Del Gallo shall try to seek or obtain. This agreement represents the full and only agreement between Rinaldo Del Gallo, III and Mr. John Doe. There are no other agreements. This agreement is severable, and should Mr. Del Gallo not be able to excise one right, he shall still be able to exercise all others this contract confers. I also fully grant Mr. Del Gallo the right to act as counsel for Jane Doe should he desire, or to file an amicus curia (friend of the court) brief to the court. Any ambiguities in this contract shall first be construed as to be compliant with law, and secondly to should be constructed in favor of Mr. Del Gallo. I hereby grant Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo the right to select the forum and court to enforce this contract. There have been no other representations by Mr. Del Gallo outside of this contract. I HEREBY REPRESENT AND WARRANT THAT I HAVE READ THIS CONTRACT IN FULL.

     

  1. On November 3, 2001, after reading the power of attorney, Mr. John Doe affixed his name to it, and his sister, Ms. Lisa Houghington affixed her signature as a witness.
  2. Mr. John Doe is a hard working laborer that happens to not be well educated, has difficulty reading, and would greatly benefit from an investigation from an attorney who is educated, and articulate.
  3. Mr. John Doe would benefit from an independent investigation that would shed exculpatory light on his case before the Berkshire Family and Probate Court.
  4. A demand letter, accompanied by a copy of the power of attorney, was faxed to Ms. Marge Cohen, Chief Administrator of Berkshire Mental Health, on November 7, 2001, which read as follows:

 

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III
Attorney At Law

Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition
79 Nancy Avenue
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Phone: (413) 443-3150
Fax: (413) 499-0187

November 7, 2001

Ms. Marge Cohen
Senior Administrator
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of the Berkshires
333 East Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201.

Dear Ms. Cohen:

Please find with this fax a power of attorney. I have all powers to examine papers, have copies of papers and documents, and interview people that Mr. John Doe would. For all legal purposes, I stand in Mr. John Doe shoes and I am fully entitled to do anything Mr. John Doe would be entitled to do. Mr. John Doe has not to his knowledge been in a parental termination proceeding, and retains full legal custody of his children. I have spoken to a number of members of your organization, and they are not aware of a termination of legal custody over Jane Doe. All parents, with a rare exception not applicable in the present circumstances, have legal custody of their children as of right. Legal custody has to be removed or modified by court order in order for it to terminate, which to date he has not. If you have a court order establishing that Mr. John Doe does not have full legal custody, please immediately (within two hours) fax it to me. Please be advised that a court order indicating that Mr. John Doe must stay away from Ms. Jane Doe or a court order (or DSS own action) to deprive Mr. John Doe of physical custody in no way of itself deprives Mr. John Doe of his right as a legal guardian of Ms. Jane Doe. You are legally bound to provide Mr. John Doe a copy of all medical, physiological, clinical, or any other record of any nature and sort to Mr. John Doe. You are also legally bound to provide him with access to clinicians, doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist, and any other staff member that has spoken with Jane Doe.

  1. I hereby respectfully demand a copy of any and all documents, papers, notes, observations, which has been or currently is recorded in any medium, that in any way relates to Ms. Jane Doe. You may mail this information to my house, or send it by fax. I respectfully demand this information to be dispatched to me today.
  2. I hereby respectfully demand that I be able to interview Jane Doe today.
  3. I hereby respectfully demand that I be given the names of all staff members that have interacted with Jane Doe, their positions, and a one or two sentence description of the their involvement. (I.e., "John Smith was her clinician" will suffice.) I respectfully demand that all such personal be told to cooperate with me.

 

Your failure to comply with these demands would not only be in non-compliance with law, they would not be in the best interest of the child and would trample on the rights Mr. John Doe has a father to Jane Doe. It is my hope that you behave lawfully and immediately comply with these respectful demands. I await your immediate response.

Sincerely,

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

 

  1. Ms. Marge Cohen flatly stated that she will not comply with any of the demands of the letter directed toward her, and that she did not recognize Mr. John Doe as a father having any rights to be honored.
  2. Ms. Marge Cohen stated that she was not aware of any court document or order denying Mr. John Doe legal custody of Jane Doe.
  3. Ms. Marge Cohen was informed by Mr. Del Gallo that he was not aware of any court order denying Mr. John Doe legal custody of Jane Doe.
  4.  

  5. A demand letter, accompanied by a copy of the power of attorney, was faxed to Mr. James Mucia, in charge of Child Support Services of Berkshire Mental Heath, on November 7, 2001, which read as follows:

 

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III
Attorney At Law

Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition
79 Nancy Avenue
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Phone: (413) 443-3150
Fax: (413) 499-0187

Mr. James Mucia

Program Director for all Child Adolescents

Crisis Stabilization Unit

251 Fenn Street

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Dear Mr. Mucia:

Please find with this fax a power of attorney. I have all powers to examine papers, have copies of papers and documents, and interview people that Mr. John Doe would. For all legal purposes, I stand in Mr. John Doe shoes and I am fully entitled to do anything Mr. John Doe would be entitled to do. Mr. John Doe has not to his knowledge been in a parental termination proceeding, and retains full legal custody of his children. I have spoken to a number of members of your organization, and they are not aware of a termination of legal custody over Jane Doe. All parents, with a rare exception not applicable in the present circumstances, have legal custody of their children as of right. Legal custody has to be removed or modified by court order in order for it to terminate, which to date he has not. If you have a court order establishing that Mr. John Doe does not have full legal custody, please immediately (within two hours) fax it to me. Please be advised that a court order indicating that Mr. John Doe must stay away from Ms. Jane Doe or a court order (or DSS own action) to deprive Mr. John Doe of physical custody in no way of itself deprives Mr. John Doe of his right as a legal guardian of Ms. Jane Doe. You are legally bound to provide Mr. John Doe a copy of all medical, physiological, clinical, or any other record of any nature and sort to Mr. John Doe. You are also legally bound to provide him with access to clinicians, doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist, and any other staff member that has spoken with Jane Doe.

  1. I hereby respectfully demand a copy of any and all documents, papers, notes, observations, which has been or currently is recorded in any medium, that in any way relates to Ms. Jane Doe. You may mail this information to my house, or send it by fax. I respectfully demand this information to be dispatched to me today.
  2. I hereby respectfully demand that I be able to interview Jane Doe today.
  3. I hereby respectfully demand that I be given the names of all staff members that have interacted with Jane Doe, their positions, and a one or two sentence description of the their involvement. (I.e., "John Smith was her clinician" will suffice.) I respectfully demand that all such personal be told to cooperate with me.

 

Your failure to comply with these demands would not only be in non-compliance with law, they would not be in the best interest of the child and would trample on the rights Mr. John Doe has a father to Jane Doe. It is my hope that you behave lawfully and immediately comply with these respectful demands. I await your immediate response.

Sincerely,

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

 

  1. Mr. James Mucia flatly stated that he will not comply with any of the demands of the letter, and that he did not recognize Mr. John Doe as a father having any rights to be honored.
  2. Mr. James Mucia stated that she was not aware of any court document or order denying Mr. John Doe legal custody of Jane Doe.
  3. Mr. James Mucia was informed by Mr. Del Gallo that he was not aware of any court order denying Mr. John Doe legal custody of Jane Doe.
  4. Mr. James Mucia asked Mr. Del Gallo to direct any other inquires with Attorney John Gobel, of the law firm of Gobel and Hollister, located at 106 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Phone: 443-7337. Fax 413-499-2981.
  5. Mr. John Doe is a father of Jane Doe, and as a father to Jane Doe, has parental rights afforded by the common law, the Massachusetts Constitution, and the United States Constitution.
  6. Neither Mr. John Doe, Ms. Betty Doe (the mother of Jane Doe), nor does any third party, denies that Mr. John Doe is the father of Jane Doe.
  7. Mr. John Doe, the father to Jane Doe, has legal custody of Jane Doe, along with the mother.
  8. As a legal custodial parent, Mr. John Doe has the right to make major decisions regarding the Jane Doe’s welfare including, but not limited to, education, medical care, the use of psychosomatic drugs, and has a say in the child’s emotional, moral, and religious development.
  9. As a parent having legal custody, Mr. John Doe has the right to have access to the academic, clinical, physiological, medical, hospital or other health records of his child, Jane Doe, and he could ask Mr. Del Gallo to help him vindicate this right by granting him power of attorney, and all staff members of Berkshire Mental Health were obliged by law to help Mr. Del Gallo help Mr. John Doe.
  10.  

  11. As a parent having legal custody, Mr. John Doe has the right to meet with and interview all teachers, principals, other academic personnel, clinicians, counselors, psychologist, doctors, nurses, or any other medical or psychological staff members of Jane Doe, and he could ask Mr. Del Gallo to help him vindicate this right by granting him power of attorney, and all staff members of Berkshire Mental Health were obliged by law to help Mr. Del Gallo help Mr. John Doe.
  12. It is unlawful for any clinicians, counselors, psychologist, doctors, nurses, or any other medical or psychological staff members of Berkshire Mental Health, to deny Mr. John Doe his right to have access to the academic, clinical, physiological, medical, hospital or other health records of his child, Jane Doe, whether Mr. John Doe is acting directly, or through a lawyer given power of attorney such as Mr. Del Gallo.
  13. It is unlawful for any clinicians, counselors, psychologist, doctors, nurses, or any other medical or psychological staff members of Berkshire Mental Health, to deny Mr. John Doe his right to meet with and interview all teachers, principals, other academic personnel, clinicians, counselors, psychologist, doctors, nurses, or any other medical or psychological staff members of Jane Doe, whether Mr. John Doe is acting directly, or through a lawyer given power of attorney such as Mr. Del Gallo.
  14.  

  15. By denying Mr. John Doe his right to have access to the academic, clinical, physiological, medical, hospital or other health records of his child, Jane Doe, and by denying Mr. John Doe his right to clinicians, counselors, psychologist, doctors, nurses, or any other medical or psychological staff members of Jane Doe, the Berkshire Mental Health, Ms. Marge Cohen, Mr. James Mucia, and Ms. Glendan Georgans, violated Mr. John Doe common law rights as a father, and his constitutional rights as a father under both the United States Constitution and Massachusetts Constitution.
  16. Berkshire Mental Health, Ms. Marge Cohen, and Mr. James Mucia were acting unlawfully and without authority by failing to comply with the terms of the demand letters directed towards them by Mr. Del Gallo, who had full power of attorney and possessed all the rights and powers by law that Mr. John Doe had.
  17. The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition needs investigative abilities to perform their function as an independent investigative body that examines allegations of abuse that is apart from the government.
  18. By granting Mr. Del Gallo full power of attorney as previously described, Mr. Del Gallo had the full power to interview personnel of Berkshire Mental Health, and examine and copy records, as did the father Mr. John Doe, and Berkshire Mental Health, Ms. Marge Cohen, and Mr. James Mucia were acting unlawfully in not complying with the terms of the demand letter and respecting the rights of the legal custodial father.
  19. No court has ever denied Mr. John Doe legal custody of Jane Doe.
  20. Mr. John Doe has only been denied physical custody (not legal custody) of Jane Doe by virtue of a restraining order issued under Chapter 209A of the Massachusetts General Laws.
  21. The 209A restraining order only denies Mr. John Doe the right to come near Jane Doe, and does not deny him of the right to interview the teachers, counselors, clinicians, doctors, or psychologists of Jane Doe, and does not deny Mr. John Doe of the right to examine and copy medical records, physiological records, academic records, or other counseling records, or in any way modify or abrogate his right as a legal custodial parent.
  22. If the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition is not allowed to perform an investigation, Mr. John Doe will have both hands tied behind his back with no investigation powers, while the mother and the state have large and unfettered investigation powers.
  23. The Berkshire Probate and Family Court, in an order dated October 13, 2001 by the Honorable Judge Anne M. Geoffrion, has appointed Ms. Leslie A. Curley, Esq., to function as a guardian ad litem and investigator on behalf of Jane Doe.
  24. The appointment of a guardian ad litem does not terminate Mr. John Doe’s legal custody of Jane Doe, and as any other parent where a guardian ad litem has been appointed, Mr. John Doe, as a legal custodial parent, has the right to meet with teachers, clinicians, councilors, psychologist and doctors, and have access to medical, physiological, and academic records.
  25. Jane Doe’s guardian ad litem is not the lawful guardian of Jane Doe with general guardian powers who can make major decisions on behalf of the child on her own accord or can deny the parents access to medical and psychological information, but rather is a special guardian, who has limited powers and duties with respect to her Jane Doe.
  26. The guardian ad litem of Jane Doe, is a special (not general) guardian appointed by the Berkshire Probate and Family Court for the limited and sole purpose to prosecute or defend, in behalf of Jane Doe, the suit before the Berkshire Family and Probate Court and no other, and the guardian ad litem is considered an officer of the court to represent Jane Doe in the action before the Berkshire Family and Probate Court only, and has no other power beyond the scope of her limited authority.
  27. In all other matters outside of the limited scope of her authority in representing Jane Doe before that one action before the Family and Probate Court, the guardian ad litem has no authority to act any more than any other person on the street.
  28. Mr. Gobel, attorney for Berkshire Mental Health, told Mr. Del Gallo that he refused to instruct his client to comply with Mr. Del Gallo’s demand letter because a guardian ad litem had been appointed, and because there was restraining order against Mr. John Doe, and that in some way the advent of a restraining order or a guardian ad litem deprived Mr. John Doe of legal custody of Jane Doe and the rights of a legal custodian, an argument that no reasonable attorney would advance.
  29. Mr. Gobel must know that parents often find themselves in divorce proceedings with the presence of a guardian ad litem, that this is a common and regular event, and that this does not deprive the parent the ability to interview teachers, counselors, doctors, psychologist, or clinicians, or to obtain academic, psychological, or medical information, and that such parents who chose to be kept abreast of their children’s academic performance, or their medical and psychological condition are not acting illegally, but rather in a way the law seeks to encourage and foster, and that Mr. Gobel’s arguments to deny access to Jane Doe are disingenuous.
  30. Jane Doe has and currently resides at the Crisis Stabilization Unit Of Berkshire Mental Health Services, at the "Options For Youth" facility, located at 78 Second Street.
  31. While at the Crisis Stabilization Unit, she was seen by Ms. Glenda Georgens, a clinician for Berkshire Mental Health.
  32. Berkshire Mental Health has in its possession medical, psychological, and clinical information regarding Jane Doe, be it in written or electronic form.
  33. Berkshire Mental Heath has employees that have worked with Jane Doe and have information regarding her.
  34.  

  35. By refusing to comply with Mr. Del Gallo demand letters, Berkshire Mental Health was violating Mr. John Doe parental rights and acted unlawfully.
  36. Mr. Chris Franci and Ms. Melicia Kempt of Berkshire Mental Health had stated to Mr. Del Gallo that he may only have access to Jane Doe records and information, and access to other staff members, only with the permission of the mother, even though Mr. John Doe the father had not lost legal custody of Jane Doe, and in complete defiance of Mr. Doe’s rights as a father.
  37. Mr. Del Gallo stood in Mr. John Doe shoes with his request for information, access to documents, and staff members of Berkshire Mental Health, and their refusal to cooperate with him was in violation and in violation of Mr. Doe’s rights as a father under the common law, the Massachusetts Constitution, and the United States Constitution.
  38.  

    RELIEF SOUGHT

  39. Paragraphs 1-78 are hereby incorporated by reference.
  40. It is sought that the Berkshire Family and Probate Court enter an order that Berkshire Mental Health, Ms. Marge Cohen, Mr. James Mucia, and Ms. Glendan Georgans, be compelled to offer all assistance of any nature, sort, or kind of Mr. Rinaldo Del Gallo’s investigation of Jane Doe’s, including but not limited to, access to medical, counseling, and psychological documents, as well as the ability and opportunity to interview any staff member who contacted Jane Doe or came to know of her state or condition, and the names of all such staff members.
  41. The information about Jane Doe is needed immediately for the upcoming trial at the Family and Probate Court and to make sure that Jane Doe is not in harms way.
  42.  

  43. It is sought that the Berkshire Family and Probate Court enter an order that the demand letter presented to Ms. Marge Cohen, and Mr. James be complied with to the letter of its terms.
  44. Plaintiffs really just want the Defendants to do the right thing, but hereby reserve and request the right to be compensated for all time Mr. Del Gallo has put into trying to obtain access to information of Jane Doe, to which there was not colorable claim to deny him such information and access, which as this writing, amounts to 21 hours of work at a billing rate of $75 per hour.
  45. The Plaintiffs seek all other remedies that a just and appropriate, and that are available under the law.
  46. The Plaintiffs seek that this court sign, endorse and enforce the proposed orders provided with this complaint.

 

Affidavit of Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

I hereby assert that all facts in this complaint are either true or believed to be true, and that all beliefs are believed to be true, and that all assertions of law are believed to be trure.

Dated this 8th day of November, 2001

 

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III
Pro Se

79 Nancy Avenue
Pittsfield, MA 01201

(413) 443-3150

 

Sworn to before me this November 8, 2001

 

__________________________

Notary Public

 


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