State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-601

§ 7B‑601.  Appointmentand duties of guardian ad litem.

(a)        When in a petitiona juvenile is alleged to be abused or neglected, the court shall appoint aguardian ad litem to represent the juvenile. When a juvenile is alleged to bedependent, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the juvenile.The juvenile is a party in all actions under this Subchapter. The guardian adlitem and attorney advocate have standing to represent the juvenile in allactions under this Subchapter where they have been appointed. The appointmentshall be made pursuant to the program established by Article 12 of this Chapterunless representation is otherwise provided pursuant to G.S. 7B‑1202 orG.S. 7B‑1203. The appointment shall terminate when the permanent plan hasbeen achieved for the juvenile and approved by the court. The court mayreappoint the guardian ad litem pursuant to a showing of good cause upon motionof any party, including the guardian ad litem, or of the court. In every casewhere a nonattorney is appointed as a guardian ad litem, an attorney shall beappointed in the case in order to assure protection of the juvenile's legalrights throughout the proceeding. The duties of the guardian ad litem programshall be to make an investigation to determine the facts, the needs of thejuvenile, and the available resources within the family and community to meetthose needs; to facilitate, when appropriate, the settlement of disputedissues; to offer evidence and examine witnesses at adjudication; to explore optionswith the court at the dispositional hearing; to conduct follow‑upinvestigations to insure that the orders of the court are being properlyexecuted; to report to the court when the needs of the juvenile are not beingmet; and to protect and promote the best interests of the juvenile untilformally relieved of the responsibility by the court.

(b)        The court mayauthorize the guardian ad litem to accompany the juvenile to court in anycriminal action wherein the juvenile may be called on to testify in a matterrelating to abuse.

(c)        The guardian adlitem has the authority to obtain any information or reports, whether or notconfidential, that may in the guardian ad litem's opinion be relevant to thecase. No privilege other than the attorney‑client privilege may beinvoked to prevent the guardian ad litem and the court from obtaining suchinformation. The confidentiality of the information or reports shall berespected by the guardian ad litem, and no disclosure of any information orreports shall be made to anyone except by order of the court or unlessotherwise provided by law. (1979, c. 815, s. 1; 1981, c. 528; 1983, c. 761, s.159; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1090, s. 5; 1993, c. 537, s. 1; 1995, c. 324,s. 21.13; 1998‑202, s. 6; 1999‑432, s. 1; 1999‑456, s. 60.)