Containing Style Changes)
RULE 8.6 CUSTODY INVESTIGATORS
A person ordered to complete a custody investigation pursuant to North Dakota Century Code § 14-09-06.3 shall meet or adhere to the following standards:
MinimumQualifications. A custody investigator must:To qualify as a custody investigator under N.D.C.C. § 14-09-06.3, a person must:
(1) have an Associate Degree in an academic field related to child care or children's services, or have at least five (5) years of experience in the delivery or supervision of child care or children's services;
completehave completed at least eighteen (18 )hours of specialized custody investigation training regarding the duties of a custody investigator through a program approved by the courtin a court-approved program;
six (6 )hours of annual custody investigation training regarding the duties of a custody investigator through a program approved by the courtin a court-approved program each year after receiving the 18 hours of specialized training;
demonstratedthe communication skills necessary to successfully conduct interviewsan interview, prepare a written reportsreport, and make an oral presentationspresentation;
nothave a record ofno criminal convictionsconviction or substantiated instance of child abuse or neglect reports; and
be certifiedhave certification as a custody investigator by the presiding judge of the district in which the investigator serveswhere the proceeding is pending.
InvestigationInvestigatory Responsibilities. A custody investigator has the following responsibilitiesshall:
as familiar as possible withknowledgeable about the child's and family's history and present situation by reviewing and/or obtainingreviewing copies ofthe court file; reviewing and/or obtainingreviewing copies of all relevantrecords and reports, including medical, law enforcement, psychological, psychiatric, orand educational records orand reports; and researching information about any related criminal and/oror child protection proceedingsproceeding, investigationsinvestigation, or allegationsallegation;
(2) obtain necessary
from appropriate personsauthorizations for release of information;
when appropriate,interview, as appropriate, social workers and probation officers to obtain background and current information regarding the child and family;
when appropriate,interview, as appropriate, service providers (i.e. teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, andnurses, )neighbors, and others (i.e. neighbors) who are knowledgeable about the child's and family's past and present situation;
meet with andinterview, as appropriate, the child's parents ,and siblings, personsand the people with whom the child resides or may reside, and other personspeople who are significant in the child's daily life;
withand /orobserve the child in a manner consistent with the child's developmental capabilities;
when appropriate,observe, as appropriate, parent and child interaction .;
(8) prepare a written report regarding the child's best interests, including conclusions and recommendations and the facts upon which they are based;
(9) file the written report with the court and serve it on
counsel forthe parties and any party not represented by counsel asat least 30 days prior to the hearing; and
when appropriate,recommend, as appropriate, psychological evaluations, psychiatric evaluations, physical evaluations ;, parenting evaluations, chemical dependency evaluations, or other evaluations.
(c) Court Proceedings. A custody investigator shall attend all court proceedings and shall testify when requested. A custody investigator
shallmay not have the right tocall witnessesa witness, question witnessesa witness, file motionsa motion, or act in any wayas a legal advocate.
(d) Post Investigation Duties.
In cases where there is no guardian ad litem, theThe custody investigator, by order of the court, may assist in custody and visitation issues after thesubmission of the report.
Rule 8.5 was adopted, effective _______________________.
SOURCES: Procedure Committee Minutes of _______________________.