Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
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A Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is an adult who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child or an incapacitated person involved in a case in Superior Court. Under the direction of the court, a GAL performs an investigation and prepares a report for the court of the GAL's findings and recommendations.
To become a GAL, an individual must complete an approved training program, provide background information to the court in which the GAL wishes to serve, and meet all eligibility requirements set by local court rule or policy.
A GAL is different from a Certified Professional Guardian (CPG). A CPG is an individual or agency who serves as the legal guardian of at least three indifiduals and provides this service as a profession.
The Yakima County Superior Court Facilitator maintains GAL registries under Title 26 (representing children in dissolutions, modifications, paternity, relocation and third party custody cases). Title 11 (alleged incapacitated persons), and minor settlements.
For representation of children in the foster care system, please see CASA Program on the Juvenile Court website.
GALs do not act as lawyers, therapists, or parties in the case, and therefore do not provide legal advice, counseling, or diagnosis.
Private Pay Registry
Under limited circumstances for those parties who qualify, the Court may appoint and pay for the GAL under Titles 26 or 11. For all other cases, parties pay the GAL the rate which the GAL established under the "private pay" registry. (Verify current hourly rates and retainers with individual GALs).
- Training Opportunities
- Revised Code of Washington (RCWs) Please view RCW 11.88 , and RCW 11.92 for more information.
- Washington State Superior Court Guardian Ad Litem Rules
- Yakima County Superior Court Local Rules (PDF)
- Yakima County GAL Registry Code of Conduct
- Yakima County Guardian ad Litem Qualifications
- Yakima County Guardian ad Litem Payment @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
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- Proof of Completion of Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) online guardian training must be filed with the petition to establish guardianship.
- All letters of guardianship issued after July 2011 will have an expiration date. In Yakima County this will typically be 120 days after the anniversary date of appointment. Annual reports must be submitted within 90 days of the anniversary date of appointment so the report can be approved before letters expire.
- The following forms must be completed and filed within 90 days from date of guardian appointment:
- Designation Standby Guardian (Form #23 WPF GDN 04.0350)
- Notice of Right to Request Special Notice (Form #25, WPF GDN 04.0800)
- A Guardianship Summary information form must be included in any Order Appointing Guardian/Successor Guardian. If an attorney is representing the petitioner, he/she will prepare this form. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- When submitting an annual report (Periodic Personal Care Plan or Guardian's Report and Accounting) a guardian must submit proof of the AOC online training, or submit a Petition and Order waiving training (Form #59A and 59B). (One time only, not required annually).
- After this year's Order Approving is signed, take it to the Clerk's Office, Room 323 and have new letters of guardianship reissued.
- A Guardian Summary must be provided in all Orders Approving Report & Accounting and Care Plans. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
Guardianship Monitoring Program
- Please complete the application and provide the necessary documentation. Once completed, please send to the Court Facilitator. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>