2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 10. Children
§10-7505-1.2. Appointment of attorney and guardian ad litem.
A. 1. In a proceeding pursuant to the Oklahoma Adoption Code, the court shall appoint an attorney for a minor in a contested proceeding pursuant to the Oklahoma Adoption Code and may appoint an attorney for a child in an uncontested proceeding or appoint an attorney for the child to examine all expenses and attorney fees presented to the court for approval.
2. The attorney shall be charged with the representation of the child. To that end, the attorney shall make such further investigation as the attorney deems necessary to ascertain the facts, to interview witnesses, examine and cross-examine witnesses at the preliminary hearing and trial, make recommendations to the court, and participate further in the proceedings to the degree appropriate for adequately representing the child.
3. The attorney shall be given access to all reports relevant to the case and to any reports of examination of the child's parents or other custodian made pursuant to this section.
4. Upon approval of the court, the attorney may be allowed a reasonable fee for services provided by this section.
B. 1. The court may appoint a separate guardian ad litem for the minor in a contested proceeding and shall appoint a separate guardian ad litem upon the request of a party, the minor, the attorney of the minor, prospective adoptive parent, or a person or agency having physical or legal custody of the child.
2. The guardian ad litem shall not be a district attorney, an employee of the office of the district attorney, an employee of the court, an employee of a juvenile bureau, or an employee of any public agency having duties or responsibilities towards the minor.
3. The guardian ad litem shall be appointed to objectively advocate on behalf of the minor and act as an officer of the court to investigate all matters concerning the best interests of the minor. In addition to other duties required by the court and as specified by the court, a guardian ad litem shall have the following responsibilities:
a.review relevant documents, reports and other information,
b.meet with and/or observe the child,
c.consider the child's wishes, as appropriate,
d.interview parents, caregivers and others with knowledge relevant to the case,
e.advocate for the minor's best interests by participating in appropriate aspects of the case and advocating for appropriate community and other services when necessary,
f.maintain the confidentiality of information related to the case,
g.monitor the minor's best interests throughout any judicial proceeding, and
h.advise the court of his or her findings and recommendations, if any, and the facts upon which they are based.
4. The guardian ad litem shall be given access to the court file and access to all records and reports relevant to the case and to any records and reports of examination of the minor's parent or other custodian, as specified by the court, subject to such protective orders regarding identifying information as the court deems advisable.
5. Any person participating in a judicial proceeding as a guardian ad litem shall be presumed prima facie to be acting in good faith and in so doing shall be immune from any civil liability that otherwise might be incurred or imposed.
Added by Laws 1997, c. 366, § 20, eff. Nov. 1, 1997. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 415, § 17, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 385, § 12, eff. Nov. 1, 2000; Laws 2009, c. 107, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2009.
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