TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: September 11, 2014
RE: Rule 17, N.D.R.Juv.P., Juvenile Court Guardian ad Litem
The board proposes that Rule 17(c) be amended to specify that a person is not eligible for service as a lay guardian ad litem if the person has been convicted of a felony. The rationale for this amendment is that some people being considered as lay guardians may have had misdemeanor convictions in their past, which would have completely disqualified them under the previous language. The board wanted to allow people with past misdemeanors to be considered for appointment as lay guardians.
There was some discussion at the board meeting that the language that follows the proposed amendment, "or substantiated instance of child abuse or neglect," was not clear. The board wants this language to specify that when a substantiated claim of child abuse or neglect has been made against a person, regardless of whether a criminal conviction was obtained, that person is not eligible to be a lay guardian. The committee may wish to discuss whether the language can be clarified.
A copy of the proposed amendments is attached.