TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: December 31, 2014
RE: Rule 17, N.D.R.Juv.P., Juvenile Court Guardian ad Litem
The committee discussed the Juvenile Policy Board's proposed amendments to Rule 17(c) at the September meeting and made additional extensive amendments of its own to this subdivision. A copy of the Rule 17 proposal with the committee's amendments (and staff's proposed amendments to the explanatory note) is attached.
The committee decided to postpone final action on Rule 17 because it wanted more information on the North Dakota Child Abuse and Neglect Information Index, which it cited in its amendments. The committee instructed staff to research how names get on the index and the process for appealing placement on the index.
N.D.C.C. § 50-25.1-05.5 requires that an index be maintained to list subject names and case information when a "services required" finding is made. N.D.C.C. § 50-25.1-05.2 requires that when "services required" is found the report must be "promptly" entered on the index. Information is retained on the index for 10 years, but the subject of a "services required" finding may request a hearing under N.D.A.C. ch. 75-03-18. See Raboin v. N.D. Dept. Of Human Services, 552 N.W. 2d 329, 332 (N.D. 1996).
As discussed in Simons v. N.D. Dept. of Human Services, 2011 ND 190, ¶¶6-8, such a hearing would be before an administrative law judge and its result would be appealable to the district court and the Supreme Court. These courts, however, apply a deferential standard of review and must affirm the ALJ decision if "a reasoning mind reasonably could have determined the agency's factual findings were proven by the weight of the evidence." The Simons court at ¶¶ 13-14 also noted that the Legislature lowered the threshold showing required for child abuse in 2007.