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HB 0270 - Juvenile proceedings; appointment of guardian ad litem; change provisions

Tracking Level: Passed
Sponsor: Ralston,David 7th
Last Action: 5/24/2007 - House Date Signed by Governor
House Committee: JudyNC
Senate Committee: JUDY
Assigned To:
05. Superior CourtsNext Bill
07. Juvenile CourtsNext Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

Amend Part 1 of Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Title 15.  Relating to general provisions in juvenile proceedings.  �Court appointed special advocate� or �CASA� means a community volunteer who: has been screened and trained regarding deprivation, child development, and juvenile court procedures; has met all of the requirements of an affiliate court appointed special advocate program; is being actively supervised by an affiliate court appointed special advocate program; and has been appointed as a guardian ad litem by the court in a juvenile court deprivation proceeding.  Defines �affiliate court appointed special advocate program�.  Before executing duties and upon completion of a CASA program, the CASA shall be sworn in by a judge of the juvenile court.  When a juvenile court judge determines that a child needs a CASA, the judge shall sing an order appointing a CASA.  The role of the CASA shall be to advocate for the best interest of the child.  In all cases to which a CASA is assigned, a CASA shall: conduct an independent assessment to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the case; maintain regular and sufficient in-person contact with the child; submit written reports to the court regarding the child�s best interests; advocate for timely court hearings to obtain permanency for the child; request judicial citizen review panel and judicial review of the case; collaborate with the child�s attorney, if any; attend all court hearings and other proceedings to advocate for the child�s best interests; monitor compliance with the case plan and all court orders; and review all court related documents.  Upon presentation of an order appointing a CASA as a guardian ad litem, a CASA shall have access to all records and information relevant to the child�s case.  Any CASA, acting in good faith, shall have civil and criminal immunity from liability.  Any CASA who discloses confidential information obtained during the courts of his or her appointment shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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