Containing Style Changes)
RULE 8.7 GUARDIAN AD LITEM
A person appointed as a guardian ad litem pursuant to North Dakota Century Code § 14-09-06.4 shall meet or adhere to the following standards:
MinimumQualification. ATo qualify as a guardian ad litem under N.D.C.C. § 14-09-06.4, a person shallmust be a licensedan attorney licensed in the state of North Dakota.
(b) Training Requirements.
ATo be eligible for appointment as a guardian ad litem, an attorney must have completed complete18 hours of court-approved guardian ad litem training within three years prior to the appointment. To remain eligible to be appointed as guardian ad litem, an individual shall complete an additional 18 hours of guardian ad litem-related training every three-year period. All guardian ad litem training shall be approved by the court
(c) Criteria for Appointment. A guardian ad litem
shallmust be appointed whenif the court finds after a hearing thatan appointment is necessary to protect the best interests of the child (ren)involved. In determining whether to appoint a guardian ad litem, the court shall consider , but not be limited to, the followingamong other factors:
allegationsthere is an allegation of sexual abuse of a party or other family member have been made;
(2) whether there
are allegationsis an allegation of an incident ofdomestic violence resulting in serious bodily injury or involving the use of a dangerous weapon; or
(3) whether there is an allegation of
there existsa pattern of domestic violence occurring within a reasonable time proximate to the proceeding resulting in a reasonable fear for the safety of a party or the minor child;
(3)(4) whether athe minorchild involvedhas special needs or behavioral/emotional needs requiring special protection;
(4)(5) whether the minorchild has, at any time, been placed in foster care, or in the home of a third party; or
(6) whether there is an
serious allegations have been made thatallegation the child is in an unstable environment;
5.(7) whether there has been repeated post-decree litigation involving custody/visitationcustody or visitation issues;
6.(8) whether it is apparentthe interests of the child and either or both parents are in substantial conflict;
(7)(9) whether a guardian ad litem could provide the court with significant information not otherwise available or likely to be presented by the parents; orand
(8)(10) whether there are any other areas of special concern thatwhich may impact onthe best interests of the child.
(d) Responsibilities of Guardian ad Litem.
(1) A guardian ad litem shall
be anadvocate forthe best interests of a minorthe child as to legal custody, physical placement, visitation, and support. TheA guardian ad litem shall function independently, in the same manner as an attorney for a party to the action, and shall consider, but shall not benot be bound by, the wishes of the minorchild or the positions ofothers as to the best interests of the minorchild.
(2) After appointment, a guardian ad litem shall
complete the following tasks:
a.(A) work with a custody investigator, if appointed, to coordinate investigation activities and so as not to duplicateavoid duplicating services;
b.(B) interview and observe the child to ascertain the facts relevant to custody, the child's wishes, the need for independent evaluation, and the need for orand appropriateness of interim judicial relief;
c.(C) advise the child and the child's parents of the role and responsibilities of the guardian ad litem;
d.(D) interview potential witnesses, lay and expert, with relevant knowledge of the child or parties; and
e.(E) participate in staffings andmeetings that impactimpacting the life of the child, including , but not limited to,permanency planning meetings and staffings within the educational and mental health settings or suchand other activities as may be directed by the court.
(3) A guardian ad litem may apply for
appropriatea court ordersorder to protect the child, orto obtain temporary relief, to determine custody, or to determine visitation.
(4) A guardian ad litem shall participate whenever any party requests an
Interiminterim court order which may affect the child.
(5) A guardian ad litem may
, when appropriate,request an independent court-ordered evaluationsevaluation or studiesstudy, including a custody investigationsinvestigation.
(6) A guardian ad litem shall participate
fullyin all pretrial procedures and negotiations and endeavor to resolve the case without the need for a trial.
(7) A guardian ad litem shall observe all statutes, rules, and regulations concerning confidentiality. A guardian ad litem
shallmay not disclose informationor participate in the disclosure of information related to an appointed caseto any person who is not a party to the case, except as necessary to perform the guardian ad litem duties or as may be specifically provided by law.
(E) Court Proceedings. A guardian ad litem may present a case, cross-examine
witnessesa witness, deliver a summation, prepare memorandaa memorandum of law, regarding issues related to the best interests of the child,file motionsa motion, and file or otherwiseparticipate in appealsan appeal on issues involving the best interests of the child.
Rule 8.5 was adopted, effective _______________________.
SOURCES: Procedure Committee Minutes of _________________________________.