An Act To Improve the Quality of Guardian ad Litem Services for the Children and Families of Maine
Sec. 1. 4 MRSA c. 32 is enacted to read:
CHILDREN'S GUARDIANS AD LITEM
§ 1551. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 1552. Children's guardians
§ 1553. Roster of guardians ad litem
Rules adopted by the Supreme Judicial Court govern the establishment and maintenance of a roster of guardians ad litem. The rules must address:
§ 1554. Guardian ad litem responsibilities
§ 1555. Appointment of guardians ad litem in Title 18-A and Title 19-A cases
(1) The wishes of the parties;
(2) The age of the child;
(3) The nature of the proceeding, including the contentiousness of the hearing;
(4) The financial resources of the parties;
(5) The extent to which a guardian ad litem may assist in providing information concerning the best interests of the child;
(6) Whether the family has experienced a history of domestic abuse;
(7) Abuse of the child by one of the parties; and
(8) Other factors the court determines relevant.
(1) The income of the parties;
(2) The marital and nonmarital assets of the parties;
(3) The division of property made or anticipated as part of the final divorce or separation;
(4) Which party requested appointment of a guardian ad litem; and
(5) Other factors considered relevant by the court, which must be stated with specificity in the appointment order.
§ 1556. Appointment of guardian ad litem in child protection cases under Title 22
§ 1557. Complaint process
§ 1558. Repeal
This chapter is repealed October 1, 2017.
Sec. 2. Information technology system. In developing the request for proposals for the new case management system for the courts, the judicial branch shall require the inclusion of at least the following information about guardians ad litem:
1. Information on rostering, training status, availability and case assignment; and
2. Case management information relating to guardians ad litem, including:
Sec. 3. Post-judgment evaluation policy and process. The judicial branch shall develop and implement a post-judgment evaluation policy and process to collect and analyze data from the parties in cases in which guardians ad litem have been appointed.
Sec. 4. Report. The Chief Judge of the District Court shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over judiciary matters by February 15, 2017 on the following with regard to implementing the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 4, chapter 32:
1. The adoption of rules;
2. The establishment of a complaint process;
3. The development of a post-judgment evaluation policy and process; and
4. The adoption of standards of conduct for guardians ad litem.
Sec. 5. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.
Courts - Supreme, Superior and District 0063
Initiative: Provides funds for one Family Process Specialist position and one part-time Administrative Assistant position and related costs effective January 1, 2015 to provide oversight of guardians ad litem.
POSITIONS - LEGISLATIVE COUNT
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$0||$90,000|
Sec. 6. Effective date. Those sections of this Act that require the judicial branch to develop and implement a post-judgment evaluation policy and process to collect and analyze data and that require the Chief Judge of the District Court to report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over judiciary matters take effect January 1, 2015.