Oregon Statutes - Chapter 419B - Juvenile Code: Dependency - Section 419B.234 - Qualifications; duties; privilege.

(1) A person appointed as a guardian ad litem under ORS 419B.231:

(a) Must be a licensed mental health professional or attorney;

(b) Must be familiar with legal standards relating to competence;

(c) Must have skills and experience in representing persons with mental and physical disabilities or impairments; and

(d) May not be a member of the parentís family.

(2) The guardian ad litem is not a party in the proceeding but is a representative of the parent.

(3) The guardian ad litem shall:

(a) Consult with the parent, if the parent is able, and with the parentís attorney and make any other inquiries as are appropriate to assist the guardian ad litem in making decisions in the juvenile court proceeding.

(b) Make legal decisions that the parent would ordinarily make concerning the juvenile court proceeding including, but not limited to, whether to:

(A) Admit or deny the allegations of any petition;

(B) Agree to or contest jurisdiction, wardship, temporary commitment, guardianship or permanent commitment;

(C) Accept or decline a conditional postponement; or

(D) Agree to or contest specific services or placement.

(c) Make decisions concerning the adoption of a child of the parent including release or surrender, certificates of irrevocability and consent to adoption under ORS 109.312 or 418.270 and agreements under ORS 109.305.

(d) Control the litigation and provide direction to the parentís attorney on the decisions that would ordinarily be made by the parent in the proceeding.

(e) Inform the court if the parent no longer needs a guardian ad litem.

(4) In making decisions under subsection (3) of this section, the guardian ad litem shall make the decisions consistent with what the guardian ad litem believes the parent would decide if the parent did not lack substantial capacity to either understand the nature and consequences of the proceeding or give direction or assistance to the parentís attorney on decisions the parent must make in the proceeding.

(5) The parentís attorney shall follow directions provided by the guardian ad litem on decisions that are ordinarily made by the parent in the proceeding. The parentís attorney shall inquire at every critical stage in the proceeding as to whether the parentís competence has changed and, if appropriate, shall request removal of the guardian ad litem.

(6)(a) A parent for whom a guardian ad litem has been appointed under ORS 419B.231 has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional services to the parent:

(A) Between the guardian ad litem and the parentís attorney or a representative of the attorney; or

(B) Between the guardian ad litem and the parent.

(b) The privilege created by this subsection:

(A) May be claimed by the parent or the guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem may claim the privilege only on behalf of the parent.

(B) Is subject to ORS 40.280, 40.285 and 40.290. [2005 c.450 §3]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008