Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings - Guam

Date:

Making The Appointment

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, §§ 13101; 13308

A guardian ad litem (GAL) is a person appointed by the court whose role is to protect and promote the needs and interests of the child.

The court shall appoint a GAL for the child to serve throughout the pendency of the child protective proceeding. A GAL's appointment shall terminate automatically upon an award of permanent custody of the child by the court, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

If the child's expressed wishes are not in agreement with the GAL's determination of the child's best interests, the court shall evaluate the necessity for appointing special counsel for the child to serve as the child's legal advocate concerning those issues and during the proceedings as the court deems to be in the best interests of the child.

The Use of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs)

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Qualifications/Training

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Specific Duties

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13308

The GAL shall report to the court in writing at 6-month intervals, or as otherwise ordered by the court, regarding his or her activities on behalf of the child and offer recommendations concerning the manner in which the court should proceed in the best interests of the child. In addition, the GAL shall make face-to-face contact with the child in the child's family or foster home at least once every 3 months. The GAL shall also inform the court of the child's perceived interests if they differ from those being advocated by the child's GAL.

A GAL shall be given all the following:

  • Access to the child by the caregivers of the child whether the caregivers are individuals, authorized agencies, or health-care providers
  • The authority to inspect and receive copies of any records, notes, and electronic recordings concerning the child that are relevant to the child protection proceedings without the consent of the child or individuals and authorized agencies who have control of the child
  • Notice of all hearings and proceedings, civil or criminal (including, but not limited to, grand juries), involving the child and shall protect the best interests of the child at those proceedings or hearings, unless otherwise ordered by the court

How the Representative Is Compensated

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13308

A GAL or counsel appointed for the child or other party shall be paid for by the court, unless the party for whom counsel is appointed has an independent estate sufficient to pay such costs. The court may order the appropriate parties to pay reimbursement to the court for the costs and fees of the GAL and other counsel appointed for the child.