West Virginia Code Chapter 55. Actions, Suits and Arbitration; Judicial Sale § 55-7-21. Creating presumption of good faith for court-appointed licensed psychologists and psychiatrists conducting a child custody evaluation;  method for assigning court and legal fees




(a) A licensed psychologist or licensed psychiatrist who has been appointed by a court to conduct a child custody evaluation in a judicial proceeding shall be presumed to be acting in good faith if the evaluation has been conducted consistent with standards established by the American psychological association's guidelines for child custody evaluations in divorce proceedings.

(b) No complaint to a licensing or accrediting entity against a court-appointed licensed psychologist or psychiatrist relating to a child custody evaluation shall be considered if it is filed anonymously and does not include the full name, address and telephone number of the complainant.

(c) Any action filed against a licensed psychologist or licensed psychiatrist alleging tortious conduct related to evidence provided while acting as a court-appointed expert in a child custody matter shall contain a recitation of a specific allegation of breaches of American psychological association's guidelines for child custody evaluations in divorce proceedings.  Failure to specifically plead such violations shall be cause for dismissal of the action.

(d) Any licensed psychologist or licensed psychiatrist who is named in a civil action as a defendant because of his or her performance of a child custody evaluation while acting as a court-appointed expert and who prevails due to a finding that he or she acted consistently with the American psychological association's guidelines shall be entitled to reimbursement of all reasonable costs and attorneys fees expended.





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