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Notice of Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Amendments to Rules of Guardian Ad Litem Procedure and Related Guardian Ad Litem Rules

Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Request for Comments about Proposed Amendments to Rules: The Rules of Guardian Ad Litem Procedure became effective January 1, 1999, and govern the procedures for appointment and responsibilities of guardians ad litem in juvenile protection and family court matters. Additional rules found in the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts relate to appointment of GALs in family court, child support, and paternity matters. The Rules Committee has monitored the implementation of the Rules and is proposing several amendments. The Committee welcomes your input regarding the proposed amendments, the text of which you can view via the links at the bottom of this page, and which include the following key provisions:

  • Rule 901.01: Clarifying that the GAL Rules do not govern the appointment or roles of GALs in child support and paternity matters.
  • Rule 902: Deleting the minimum qualifications for persons who serve as GALs and placing those minimum qualifications in the GAL Program Standards and Procedures Manual established by the Office of the State Court Administrator with the advice and consent of the Judicial Council.
  • Rule 903.02: Authorizing GALs appointed in adoption proceedings to receive copies of adoption home study and post-placement assessment reports.
  • Rule 903.02: Clarifying that if a person serving as a GAL in a family court case and files a CHIPS petition involving the child, that person will serve as the Petitioner in the CHIPS case and another person needs to be appointed as the GAL in the CHIPS case.
  • Rule 903.04: Precluding a person appointed as a GAL on one case from serving on the same case as a parenting time evaluator or consultant, family group decision maker facilitator, or early neutral evaluator.
  • Rule 903.04: Clarifying that the role of a GAL is not the same as the role of a mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, custody evaluator, or neutral as those roles are described in Rule 114 of the Rules of General Practice.
  • Rule 904: Establishing that complaints about GALs shall be governed by the policies set forth in the GAL Program Standards and Procedures Manual established by the Office of the State Court Administrator with the advice and consent of the Judicial Council.
  • Rule 905: Adding that the GAL's independent investigation to determine the facts relevant to the situation of the child authorizes investigation regarding the child's parent, legal custodian, or other household or family members.
  • Rule 905: Clarifying that the role of a GAL includes preparing written reports regarding the child's best interests and that those reports should include or attach documentation supporting the recommendations.
  • Rule 907.01: Establishing that the GAL's exercise of the rights set forth in Rule 907 is not the unauthorized practice of law.
  • Civil Procedure Rule 17.02: Clarifying that a person appointed as a GAL under that Rule is not a GAL within the meaning of the Rules of GAL Procedure.
  • General Rule of Practice 108.02: Deleting the provision providing that a GAL appointed under Rule 108 is nit a GAL within the meaning of the GAL Rules.
  • General Rule of Practice 357: Clarifying that a child support magistrate may appoint a GAL for a child or minor parent who is a party in an expedited child support proceeding, but the role of the GAL is to serve as a representative of the child or minor parent as authorized under Rule 17.02 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Instructions for Submitting Written Comments: All comments must be submitted in writing by Tuesday, November 29, 2005, to Judy Nord at the e-mail address below. In the alternative, if you do not have e-mail capability, you may submit your comment via fax or U.S. Mail at the address below. Unless a comment relates to the Rules in general, each written comment should reference a specific rule (for example: Rule 40.03, subd. 1(a)). Due to differences in printing systems and resulting pagination problems, please do not reference page numbers when submitting comments.

All written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Please direct any questions and any written comments (preferably via e-mail) to:

[comment period has expired]

View proposed amendments to Guardian Ad Litem Procedure and Related Guardian Ad Litem Rules: Word DOC, Adobe PDF