Guardian ad Litem Code of Conduct
COWLITZ COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
GUARDIAN AD LITEM CODE OF CONDUCT
1. The Guardian ad Litem shall represent, investigate and report to the court, the factors relevant to the best interest of the person for whom he or she is appointed.
2. The appointed Guardian ad Litem shall make a reasonable inquiry as to the facts and issues in dispute and shall decline the appointment if they are not qualified, competent, or able to complete the matter in a timely manner.
3. The Guardian ad Litem shall maintain the ethical principles of their own profession.
4. The Guardian ad Litem shall remain qualified for the registry to which they are appointed and shall promptly advise the court of any grounds for disqualification or unavailability to serve.
5. The Guardian ad Litem shall maintain independence and objectivity in their investigation.
6. The Guardian ad Litem shall avoid any actual or apparent conflict of interest or impropriety in the conduct of their duties. The Guardian ad Litem shall avoid self-dealing or association from which the Guardian ad Litem might directly or indirectly benefit, other than from compensation as Guardian ad Litem. The Guardian ad Litem shall take action immediately to resolve any potential conflict or impropriety. The Guardian ad Litem shall advise the court and the parties of action taken, or resign from the matter, as may be necessary to resolve the conflict or impropriety.
7. The Guardian ad Litem shall treat the parties with respect, courtesy, fairness, professionalism and good faith regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, cultural heritage, gender, age, education, economic status, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.
8. The Guardian ad Litem shall inform the court concerning all pertinent information disclosed or made available to them during the course of their appointment.
9. The Guardian ad Litem shall not guarantee or create the impression that any portion of the investigation will remain confidential, and shall inform all witnesses that information gathered by the Guardian ad Litem must be reported to the court.
10. The Guardian ad Litem shall maintain the privacy of the parties, and shall make no disclosures about the case or investigation except in reports to the court, to the parties and their attorneys, or as necessary to perform the duties of the Guardian ad Litem.
11. The Guardian ad Litem shall perform his or her duties in a prompt and timely manner, and shall file any report as required by court order or statue.
12. The Guardian ad Litem shall maintain adequate documentation of the investigation conducted, to substantiate the reported facts, as well as any recommendations or conclusions.
13. The Guardian ad Litem shall keep complete and contemporaneous records of actions taken, time spent, and expense incurred during the investigation.
14. All records, including time and expense records, of the Guardian ad Litem shall promptly be made available to the parties and their attorneys for review upon request, without formal discovery request(s) being made. Copies of the records may be made by the parties and their attorneys under circumstances which assure that the file remains complete, organized and intact.
15. The Guardian ad Litem shall not have ex parte contact with any judicial officer involved in a matter in which they are appointed or serving.
16. The Guardian ad Litem shall be available to testify if properly subpoenaed by a party.
17. The Guardian ad Litem shall report to law enforcement and/or child protective services any child abuse or neglect as defined RCW 26.44 or adult abuse as defined in RCW 74.34 as found by him or her.