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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

Januray 29, 2016
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

As readers of the NPO blog know, Vladek Filler has been embroiled in a legal battle that is now nine years long. It began with his divorce and child custody case in which his wife leveled charges of rape and sexual battery against him in an effort to gain custody of their children. The ploy failed. Filler was given primary custody by the family court that found his ex’s allegations to be untrue and made for the purpose of gaining an advantage in the custody litigation.

Undeterred by that finding by the family court, Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett and ADA Paul Cavanaugh proceeded with criminal charges against Filler who eventually prevailed on those as well, with the exception of one misdemeanor charge. In doing so, Kellett violated numerous rules regarding discovery in criminal cases and still other articles of prosecutorial ethics. Filler complained to the state bar association and Kellett became the first ADA in the history of the state to be sanctioned for prosecutorial misconduct.

But Filler wasn’t done. He filed suit alleging civil rights violations by Kellett, Cavanaugh, various police officers involved in his criminal case and others. Kellett and Cavanaugh filed motions to dismiss his complaints and, on January 27th of this year, Federal Judge John Woodcock denied those motions, with minor exceptions.

The bottom line is this: the denial of a motion to dismiss in federal court means, for all practical purposes, that the case has enough merit to go to a jury. Anyone who knows the details of Mr. Filler’s case knows that, if a jury hears the facts, Kellett, Cavanaugh and others are very likely to be found liable in damages to him. Put simply, they appear to have knowingly and intentionally violated his constitutional rights, various rules of discovery and evidence and possibly criminal laws in order to try to railroad him into prison. I can’t see a jury liking that.

So Vladek Filler will finally have his day in court. He’ll get the opportunity to make public the behavior of the Hancock County prosecutors when plainly false allegations of sexual assault are made in the course of divorce and child custody proceedings. The people of the State of Maine will be the beneficiaries of Filler’s dauntless efforts to gain justice in both family and criminal courts.

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