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Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code § 19-3-203. Guardian ad litem

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(1) Upon the filing of a petition under section 19-3-502 that alleges abuse or neglect of a minor child, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem, who shall be an attorney-at-law licensed to practice in Colorado. Nothing in this section shall limit the power of the court to appoint a guardian ad litem prior to the filing of a petition for good cause.

(2) The guardian ad litem shall be provided with all reports relevant to a case submitted to or made by any agency or person pursuant to this article, including reports of examination of the child or persons responsible for the neglect or dependency of the child. The county department shall share with the guardian ad litem the reports of fingerprint-based criminal history record checks from the Colorado bureau of investigation and from the federal bureau of investigation if the court orders the county department to share that information with the guardian ad litem. The court and social workers assigned to the case shall keep the guardian ad litem apprised of significant developments in the case, particularly prior to further neglect or dependency court appearances.

(3) The guardian ad litem shall be charged in general with the representation of the child's interests. To that end, the guardian ad litem shall make such further investigations as the guardian ad litem deems necessary to ascertain the facts and shall talk with or observe the child involved, examine and cross-examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory and dispositional hearings, introduce and examine the guardian ad litem's own witnesses, make recommendations to the court concerning the child's welfare, appeal matters to the court of appeals or the supreme court, and participate further in the proceedings to the degree necessary to adequately represent the child. In addition, the guardian ad litem, if in the best interest of the child, shall seek to assure that reasonable efforts are being made to prevent unnecessary placement of the child out of the home and to facilitate reunification of the child with the child's family or, if reunification is not possible, to find another safe and permanent living arrangement for the child. In determining whether said reasonable efforts are made with respect to a child, and in making such reasonable efforts, the child's health and safety shall be the paramount concern.

(4) A guardian ad litem already appointed to represent a youth's best interests pursuant to this article 3 shall begin acting as counsel and providing client-directed representation immediately upon the youth's eighteenth birthday and shall act in this role until either the case is dismissed or new counsel is appointed, unless the youth is deemed incapacitated pursuant to section 19-3-704, in which case the guardian ad litem shall remain in that role and separate counsel for the youth shall be appointed.

(5) At the first hearing following a youth's eighteenth birthday, the court shall advise each youth who has a current guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to this section of the youth's right to counsel and the option to either consent to have the same person continue as counsel, if the lawyer remains available and has no conflict of interest, or to have a new person appointed as counsel. If the youth elects to have a new person appointed as counsel, the court shall appoint an attorney from the list of attorneys approved by the office of the child's representative.

Cite this article: - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code § 19-3-203. Guardian ad litem - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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