Jamie L. Manning was appointed on my case as a Guardian Ad Litem in Hennepin County frpm 2007-2013. In my opinion, throughout her appointment, Ms. Manning has failed to perform the statutory responsibilities of a guardian ad litem, described in Minnesota Statutes Section 518.165. I have documentation to support my claims, which I will share on this blog.
It is my belief, based on personal experiences and observations, that the actions of Ms. Jamie Manning have not only compromised the safety of my children but contributed to actual physical and emotional harm done to them.
2012- I had a meeting with Jamie and reported that I felt my children are endangered in the care of their father. I gave several specific examples as well as collateral contacts. I watched Jamie take notes. Jamie refused to look into my concerns. Jamie never did a home visit, and has not observed the children in over a year. Jamie told a third party that my concerns about the children being abused are not valid, and I need to learn “not to speak negative” about their father. This is after my oldest child came home with a bite mark on his neck, and you could see the teeth indented into his skin!
When I contacted Jamie by phone and e-mail, she did not return my calls for several months–even when I called her to report an emergency with my children. Instead of focusing on valid issues, Jamie began to target me as the problem!
Due to Jamie’s recommendations, my parenting time with my children has been wrongly taken away. There has not been any proof, evidence or complaints against me to warrant this. In fact, all observations of my parenting, and my interactions with the children have been positive. Despite Jamie’s numerous recommendations in favor of the allegedly abusive father, my children are still reporting abuse in their father’s home, and still suffer from behavioral problems that cannot be attributed to me because my contact has been so greatly restricted.
This is taken from a 2010 complaint I filed with the Court, and with the Guardian ad Litem Program Supervisor (who never responded to my complaint). Judge Ivy Bernhardson praised Jamie and told me that I have too much of an emotional connection with my children to understand what great work Jamie is doing in the courts.
Judge Bernhardson openly praised Jamie, and drew upon her close relationship with Jamie to deny my complaint, and never looked into what I was saying. To me, it is another example of how the Court has failed in its duty to protect my children, and to ensure that all parties are treated fairly.
Jamie L. Manning, Guardian ad Litem, 4th Judicial District (Hennepin County):
Ms. Jamie Manning has acted both unprofessionally and unethically, and caused irreparable damage to family. Specifically, Ms. Manning contributed to mental, emotional and physical harm to children by advocating custody to an alleged abuser (with 12+ allegations against him).
Ms. Manning has violated every aspect of the rules of procedure.
State of Minnesota in Supreme Court CO096-1475 states: (l) The guardian ad litem shall comply with all state and federal laws regarding the reporting of child abuse and/or neglect.
–Ms. Manning has ignored serious allegations of child abuse, and failed to contact witnesses with information and/or knowledge about these reported incidents.
– I provided Ms. Manning with credible information that my children are endangered in the care of their father, not only did she ignore the information I presented, but also told me I need to “focus” on my children, and not make complaints about physical or mental abuse. As a result of her actions, and failure to follow up on complaints, my children have suffered physical, emotional and mental harm.
–Ms. Manning ignored the very real effects of abuse, and the medical evidence stating my children were suffering from abuse and/or trauma and instead, blamed me for causing all of my children’s problems. I later obtained a neutral expert report from a firm specializing in high conflict custody cases with allegations of child abuse, which clearly showed I am not a risk to their children—but their father is. Ms. Manning refused to consider this important piece of evidence, and its implications on the safety and well-being of my children in her reports to the Court.
Rule 8. (d) The guardian ad litem shall complete work in a timely manner, and advocate for timely court reviews and judicial intervention, if necessary.
Ms. Manning did not prepare and submit her reports in a timely manner. She would contact me a day or two before our scheduled court appointment, often calling late at night to gather information. She also has written reports the same day as our court hearing, and served me with papers minutes before I enter the courtroom.
Ms. Manning refused to contact important witnesses then wrote reports and recommendations to the Court without knowing all the facts. Witnesses include: therapists, police reports, daycare providers, doctors and family members.
Rule 8. i) The guardian ad litem shall treat all individuals with dignity and respect while carrying out her or his responsibilities.
Ms. Manning has showed bias to the other party, and held different standards, and gave legal advice to the other party which gave him an advantage in court.
Ms. Manning threatened, on multiple occasions, that if I did not do what she wanted, she would recommend to the Court that I lose custody and/or parenting time.
Ms. Manning has changed Court orders, on a whim, to give unsupervised parenting time to the father—who was in supervised visits at the time. I was told if I did not comply, I was told that I would lose custody of my children. After one visit, which Ms. Manning forced, my child was screaming and crying uncontrollably for 20 minutes.
Due to domestic violence, I am enrolled in an address confidentiality program in which my home address is to be kept confidential, and not released to my alleged abuser. Ms. Manning has compromised my address, and has pressured me into revealing my address to the abuser. When I told Ms. Manning about a threat the abuser made to me, which caused me to be afraid, Ms. Manning took the abuser’s side, and said his remark was “understandable”.
Ms. Manning gave false and misleading testimony to the Court, including telling the Court that my participation in an address confidentiality program is a sign that I am “keeping secrets” from the abuser, which caused me to lose custody. Ms. Manning also based her testimony and reports on herasay information from the abuser, rather than collecting information or documentation, or interviewing contacts.
Another example of bias is that Ms. Manning has ignored serious concerns with the other party including: his outstanding arrest warrants, a report by the court psychological evaluator and various allegations of abuse towards the children.
While ignoring these concerns, Ms. Manning has greatly exaggerated concerns with me, who has been the primary caregiver of both children since birth. I have no criminal or civil history. I hold a steady job, volunteer in my community and have completed several classes in parenting and domestic violence education. My efforts to provide a stable, nurturing home for my children have been substantiated by reports from providers and people who have worked with my family, all of which should have been considered when Ms. Manning made her reports.
The Court has refused my motion, on two separate occasions, to request another guardian ad litem, I believe my children are currently endangered.