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H.B. 357 Enrolled

             1     

GUARDIAN AD LITEM AMENDMENTS

             2     
2012 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: LaVar Christensen

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Todd Weiler

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies provisions of Title 78A, Chapter 2, Judicial Administration, Title
             10      78B, Chapter 7, Protective Orders, and Title 78B, Chapter 15, Utah Uniform Parentage
             11      Act, by amending the procedures for appointing a guardian ad litem to represent a
             12      minor.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This bill:
             15          .    repeals provisions relating to the appointment of a guardian ad litem from the Office
             16      of Guardian ad Litem in a district court case;
             17          .    states the public policy in favor of a guardian ad litem balancing parental rights with
             18      the best interest of a child;
             19          .    describes the procedure for the appointment of a private attorney guardian ad litem
             20      to district court cases;
             21          .    requires the court to limit a private attorney guardian ad litem's representation to
             22      specific issues within a case, to the extent possible;
             23          .    provides a procedure for terminating a private attorney guardian ad litem's
             24      appointment;
             25          .    describes the duties of a private attorney guardian ad litem;
             26          .    authorizes the Office of Guardian ad Litem to establish, by rule, the system for
             27      appointing and paying a private attorney guardian ad litem;
             28          .    states that, if it appears from a petition for a protective order that domestic violence
             29      or abuse has occurred, a court may appoint a private attorney guardian ad litem;


             30          .    authorizes the court to appoint a private attorney guardian ad litem for a child who
             31      is the subject of a petition for protective order;
             32          .    authorizes the court to appoint a private attorney guardian ad litem for district court
             33      cases and the Office of Guardian ad Litem for juvenile cases; and
             34          .    makes technical changes.
             35      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             36          None
             37      Other Special Clauses:
             38          This bill provides effective dates.
             39      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             40      AMENDS:
             41          30-3-5.2, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
             42          51-9-408, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 218
             43          78A-2-228, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 32
             44          78B-3-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 79
             45          78B-7-106, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 146
             46          78B-7-202, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
             47          78B-15-612, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
             48      ENACTS:
             49          78A-2-227.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             50      REPEALS:
             51          78A-2-227, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 32
             52     
             53      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             54          Section 1. Section 30-3-5.2 is amended to read:
             55           30-3-5.2. Allegations of child abuse or child sexual abuse -- Investigation.
             56          When, in any divorce proceeding or upon a request for modification of a divorce
             57      decree, an allegation of child abuse or child sexual abuse is made, implicating either party, the


             58      court, after making an inquiry, may order that an investigation be conducted by the Division of
             59      Child and Family Services within the Department of Human Services in accordance with Title
             60      62A, Chapter 4a, Child and Family Services. A final award of custody or parent-time may not
             61      be rendered until a report on that investigation, consistent with Section 62A-4a-412 , is received
             62      by the court. That investigation shall be conducted by the Division of Child and Family
             63      Services within 30 days of the court's notice and request for an investigation. In reviewing this
             64      report, the court shall comply with [Section 78A-2-227 ] Sections 78A-2-228 and 78B-15-612 .
             65          Section 2. Section 51-9-408 is amended to read:
             66           51-9-408. Children's Legal Defense Account.
             67          (1) There is created a restricted account within the General Fund known as the
             68      Children's Legal Defense Account.
             69          (2) The purpose of the Children's Legal Defense Account is to provide for programs
             70      that protect and defend the rights, safety, and quality of life of children.
             71          (3) The Legislature shall appropriate money from the account for the administrative
             72      and related costs of the following programs:
             73          (a) implementing the Mandatory Educational Course on Children's Needs for
             74      Divorcing Parents relating to the effects of divorce on children as provided in Sections 30-3-4 ,
             75      30-3-7 , 30-3-10.3 , 30-3-11.3 , 30-3-15.3 , and 30-3-18 , and the Mediation Pilot Program - Child
             76      Custody or Parent-time as provided in Sections 30-3-15.3 and 30-3-18 ;
             77          (b) implementing the use of guardians ad litem as provided in Sections 30-3-5.2 ,
             78      [ 78A-2-227 ] 78A-2-228 , 78A-6-321 , 78A-6-902 , and 78B-3-102 ; the training of guardians ad
             79      litem and volunteers as provided in Section 78A-6-902 ; and termination of parental rights as
             80      provided in Sections 78A-6-117 , 78A-6-118 , and 78A-6-1103 , and Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part
             81      5, Termination of Parental Rights Act. This account may not be used to supplant funding for
             82      the guardian ad litem program in the juvenile court as provided in Section 78A-6-902 ; and
             83          (c) implementing and administering the Expedited Parent-time Enforcement Program
             84      as provided in Section 30-3-38 .
             85          (4) The following withheld fees shall be allocated only to the Children's Legal Defense


             86      Account and used only for the purposes provided in Subsections (3)(a) through (c):
             87          (a) the additional $10 fee withheld on every marriage license issued in the state of Utah
             88      as provided in Section 17-16-21 ; and
             89          (b) a fee of $4 shall be withheld from the existing civil filing fee collected on any
             90      complaint, affidavit, or petition in a civil, probate, or adoption matter in every court of record.
             91          (5) The Division of Finance shall allocate the money described in Subsection (4) from
             92      the General Fund to the Children's Legal Defense Account.
             93          (6) Any funds in excess of $200,000 remaining in the restricted account as of June 30
             94      of any fiscal year shall lapse into the General Fund.
             95          Section 3. Section 78A-2-227.5 is enacted to read:
             96          78A-2-227.5. Public policy regarding guardian ad litem -- Training.
             97          (1) A guardian ad litem may not presume that a child and the child's parent are
             98      adversaries.
             99          (2) A guardian ad litem shall be trained in:
             100          (a) the parental rights and child and family protection principles provided in Section
             101      62A-4a-201 ;
             102          (b) the fundamental liberties of parents and the public policy of the state to support
             103      family unification to the fullest extent possible;
             104          (c) the constitutionally protected rights of parents, in cases where the state is a party;
             105      and
             106          (d) the use of a least restrictive means analysis regarding state claims of a compelling
             107      child welfare interest.
             108          Section 4. Section 78A-2-228 is amended to read:
             109           78A-2-228. Private attorney guardian ad litem -- Appointment -- Costs and fees --
             110      Duties -- Conflicts of interest -- Pro bono obligation -- Indemnification -- Minimum
             111      qualifications.
             112          (1) [(a)] The court may appoint a private attorney as guardian ad litem to represent the
             113      best interests of the minor in any district court action [in which the custody of or visitation with


             114      a minor is at issue. The attorney guardian ad litem shall be certified by the Director of the
             115      Office of Guardian Ad Litem as having met the minimum qualifications for appointment, but
             116      may not be employed by or under contract with the Office of Guardian Ad Litem.] when:
             117          [(b) When appointing an attorney guardian ad litem for a minor under this section, a
             118      court may appoint the same attorney guardian ad litem who represents the minor in another
             119      proceeding, or who has represented the minor in a previous proceeding, if that attorney
             120      guardian ad litem is available.]
             121          [(c) If, after appointment of the attorney guardian ad litem, an allegation of abuse,
             122      neglect, or dependency of the minor is made the court shall:]
             123          [(i) determine whether it is in the best interests of the minor to continue the
             124      appointment; or]
             125          [(ii) order the withdrawal of the private attorney guardian ad litem and appoint the
             126      Office of Guardian Ad Litem.]
             127          (a) child abuse, child sexual abuse, or neglect is alleged in any proceeding; or
             128          (b) the custody of, or parent-time with, a child is at issue.
             129          (2) (a) The court shall consider the limited number of eligible private attorneys
             130      guardian ad litem, as well as the limited time and resources available to a private attorney
             131      guardian ad litem, when making an appointment under Subsection (1) and prioritize case
             132      assignments accordingly.
             133          (b) The court shall make findings regarding the need and basis for the appointment of a
             134      private guardian ad litem.
             135          (c) A court may not appoint a private guardian ad litem in a criminal case.
             136          (3) When appointing a private attorney guardian ad litem, the court shall:
             137          (a) state in its order that the court is appointing a private attorney guardian ad litem, to
             138      be assigned by the Office of Guardian ad Litem, to represent the best interests of the child in
             139      the matter; and
             140          (b) send the order described in Subsection (3)(a) to the Director of the Office of
             141      Guardian ad Litem, in care of the Private Attorney Guardian ad Litem program.


             142          (4) The court shall:
             143          (a) specify in the order appointing a private attorney guardian ad litem the specific
             144      issues in the proceeding that the private attorney guardian ad litem shall be involved in
             145      resolving, which may include issues relating to the custody of the child and a parent-time
             146      schedule;
             147          (b) to the extent possible, bifurcate the issues described in Subsection (3)(a) from the
             148      other issues in the case in order to minimize the time constraints placed upon the private
             149      attorney guardian ad litem; and
             150          (c) except as provided in Subsection (6), issue a final order within one year after the
             151      day on which the private attorney guardian ad litem is appointed in the case:
             152          (i) resolving the issues described in Subsection (4)(a); and
             153          (ii) terminating the private attorney guardian ad litem from the appointment to the case.
             154          (5) The court shall issue an order terminating the appointment of a private guardian ad
             155      litem made under this section if:
             156          (a) after receiving input from the private attorney guardian ad litem, the court
             157      determines that the minor no longer requires the services of the private attorney guardian ad
             158      litem; or
             159          (b) there has been no activity in the case for a period of six consecutive months.
             160          (6) A court may issue an order extending the one-year period described in Subsection
             161      (4)(c) for a specified amount of time if the court makes a written finding that there is a
             162      compelling reason that the court cannot comply with the requirements described in Subsection
             163      (4)(c) within the one-year period.
             164          (7) When appointing a private attorney guardian ad litem under this section, a court
             165      may appoint the same private attorney guardian ad litem who represents the minor in another
             166      proceeding, or who has represented the minor in a previous proceeding, if that private attorney
             167      guardian ad litem is available.
             168          (8) Upon receipt of the court's order, described in Subsection (3), the director or the
             169      director's designee shall assign the case to an eligible private attorney guardian ad litem, if


             170      available and as established by rule under Subsection (17).
             171          [(2) (a) The] (9) (a) When appointing a private attorney guardian ad litem, the court
             172      shall:
             173          (i) assess all or part of the attorney guardian ad litem fees, courts costs, and paralegal,
             174      staff, and volunteer expenses against the parties in a proportion the court determines to be
             175      just[.]; and
             176          [(b) If the court finds a party to be impecunious, under the provisions of Section
             177      78A-2-302 , the court may direct the impecunious party's share of the assessment to be covered
             178      by the attorney guardian ad litem pro bono obligation established in Subsection (6)(b).]
             179          (ii) designate in the order whether the private attorney guardian ad litem shall, as
             180      established by rule under Subsection (17):
             181          (A) be paid a set fee and initial retainer;
             182          (B) not be paid and serve pro bono; or
             183          (C) be paid at a rate less than the set fee established by court rule.
             184          (b) If a party claims to be impecunious, the court shall follow the procedure and make a
             185      determination, described in Section 78A-2-302 , to set the amount that the party is required to
             186      pay, if any, toward the private attorney guardian ad litem's fees and expenses.
             187          (c) The private attorney guardian ad litem may adjust the court-ordered fees or retainer
             188      to an amount less than what was ordered by the court at any time before being released from
             189      representation by the court.
             190          (10) Upon accepting the court's appointment, the assigned attorney shall:
             191          (a) file a notice of appearance with the court within five business days of the day on
             192      which the attorney was assigned; and
             193          (b) represent the best interests of the minor until released by the court.
             194          (11) The private attorney guardian ad litem:
             195          (a) shall be certified by the director of the Office of Guardian ad Litem as meeting the
             196      minimum qualifications for appointment; and
             197          (b) may not be employed by, or under contract with, the Office of Guardian ad Litem


             198      unless under contract as a conflict guardian ad litem in an unrelated case.
             199          [(3)] (12) The private attorney guardian ad litem appointed under the provisions of this
             200      section shall:
             201          (a) represent the best interests of the minor from the date of the appointment until
             202      released by the court;
             203          (b) conduct or supervise an ongoing, independent investigation in order to obtain,
             204      first-hand, a clear understanding of the situation and needs of the minor;
             205          (c) interview witnesses and review relevant records pertaining to the minor and the
             206      minor's family, including medical, psychological, and school records;
             207          (d) (i) personally meet with the minor, unless:
             208          (A) the minor is outside of the state; or
             209          (B) meeting with the minor would be detrimental to the minor;
             210          (ii) personally interview the minor, unless:
             211          (A) the minor is not old enough to communicate;
             212          (B) the minor lacks the capacity to participate in a meaningful interview; or
             213          (C) the interview would be detrimental to the minor;
             214          (iii) to the extent possible, determine the minor's goals and concerns regarding custody
             215      or visitation; and
             216          (iv) to the extent possible, and unless it would be detrimental to the minor, keep the
             217      minor advised of:
             218          (A) the status of the minor's case;
             219          (B) all court and administrative proceedings;
             220          (C) discussions with, and proposals made by, other parties;
             221          (D) court action; and
             222          (E) the psychiatric, medical, or other treatment or diagnostic services that are to be
             223      provided to the minor;
             224          (e) unless excused by the court, prepare for and attend all mediation hearings and all
             225      court conferences and hearings, and present witnesses and exhibits as necessary to protect the


             226      best interests of the minor;
             227          (f) identify community resources to protect the best interests of the minor and advocate
             228      for those resources; and
             229          (g) participate in all appeals unless excused by the court.
             230          [(4)] (13) (a) The private attorney guardian ad litem shall represent the best interests of
             231      a minor.
             232          (b) If the minor's [wishes] intent and desires differ from the attorney's determination of
             233      the minor's best interests, the attorney guardian ad litem shall communicate to the court the
             234      minor's [wishes] intent and desires and the attorney's determination of the minor's best
             235      interests.
             236          (c) A difference between the minor's [wishes] intent and desires and the attorney's
             237      determination of best interests is not sufficient to create a conflict of interest.
             238          (d) The private attorney guardian ad litem shall disclose the intent and desires of the
             239      minor unless the minor:
             240          (i) instructs the private attorney guardian ad litem to not disclose the minor's intent and
             241      desires; or
             242          (ii) has not expressed an intent and desire.
             243          [(b)] (e) The court may appoint one attorney guardian ad litem to represent the best
             244      interests of more than one [minor] child of a marriage.
             245          (14) In every court hearing where the private attorney guardian ad litem makes a
             246      recommendation regarding the best interest of the minor, the court shall require the private
             247      attorney guardian ad litem to disclose the factors that form the basis of the recommendation.
             248          [(5)] (15) An attorney guardian ad litem appointed under this section is immune from
             249      any civil liability that might result by reason of acts performed within the scope of duties of the
             250      attorney guardian ad litem.
             251          (16) The Office of Guardian ad Litem and the Guardian Ad Litem Oversight
             252      Committee shall compile a list of attorneys willing to accept an appointment as a private
             253      attorney guardian ad litem.


             254          [(6) (a)] (17) Upon the advice of the director of the Office of Guardian ad Litem and
             255      the Guardian Ad Litem Oversight Committee, the Judicial Council shall establish by rule
             256      [establish]:
             257          (a) the minimum qualifications and requirements for appointment by the court as an
             258      attorney guardian ad litem[.];
             259          [(b) An attorney guardian ad litem may be required to appear pro bono in one case for
             260      every five cases in which the attorney is appointed with compensation.]
             261          (b) the standard fee rate and retainer amount for a private attorney guardian ad litem;
             262          (c) the percentage of cases a private attorney guardian ad litem may be expected to take
             263      on pro bono;
             264          (d) a system to:
             265          (i) select a private attorney guardian ad litem for a given appointment; and
             266          (ii) determine when a private attorney guardian ad litem shall be expected to accept an
             267      appointment pro bono; and
             268          (e) the process for handling a complaint relating to the eligibility status of a private
             269      attorney guardian ad litem.
             270          (18) Any savings that result from assigning a private attorney guardian ad litem in a
             271      district court case, instead of a guardian ad litem from the Office of Guardian ad Litem, shall
             272      be applied to the Office of Guardian ad Litem to reduce caseloads and improve current
             273      practices.
             274          Section 5. Section 78B-3-102 is amended to read:
             275           78B-3-102. Injury of a child -- Suit by parent or guardian.
             276          (1) Except as provided in Title 34A, Chapter 2, Workers' Compensation Act, a parent
             277      or guardian may bring an action for the injury of a minor child when the injury is caused by the
             278      wrongful act or neglect of another.
             279          (2) A civil action may be maintained against the person causing the injury or, if the
             280      person is employed by another person who is responsible for that person's conduct, also against
             281      the employer.


             282          (3) If a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian is the alleged defendant in
             283      an action for the injury of a child, a guardian ad litem may be appointed for the injured child
             284      according to the procedures outlined in Section [ 78A-2-227 ] 78A-2-228 .
             285          Section 6. Section 78B-7-106 is amended to read:
             286           78B-7-106. Protective orders -- Ex parte protective orders -- Modification of
             287      orders -- Service of process -- Duties of the court.
             288          (1) If it appears from a petition for an order for protection or a petition to modify an
             289      order for protection that domestic violence or abuse has occurred or a modification of an order
             290      for protection is required, a court may:
             291          (a) without notice, immediately issue an order for protection ex parte or modify an
             292      order for protection ex parte as it considers necessary to protect the petitioner and all parties
             293      named to be protected in the petition; or
             294          (b) upon notice, issue an order for protection or modify an order after a hearing,
             295      whether or not the respondent appears.
             296          (2) A court may grant the following relief without notice in an order for protection or a
             297      modification issued ex parte:
             298          (a) enjoin the respondent from threatening to commit or committing domestic violence
             299      or abuse against the petitioner and any designated family or household member;
             300          (b) prohibit the respondent from harassing, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise
             301      communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly;
             302          (c) order that the respondent is excluded from the petitioner's residence and its
             303      premises, and order the respondent to stay away from the residence, school, or place of
             304      employment of the petitioner, and the premises of any of these, or any specified place
             305      frequented by the petitioner and any designated family or household member;
             306          (d) upon finding that the respondent's use or possession of a weapon may pose a
             307      serious threat of harm to the petitioner, prohibit the respondent from purchasing, using, or
             308      possessing a firearm or other weapon specified by the court;
             309          (e) order possession and use of an automobile and other essential personal effects, and


             310      direct the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the petitioner to the residence of
             311      the parties to ensure that the petitioner is safely restored to possession of the residence,
             312      automobile, and other essential personal effects, or to supervise the petitioner's or respondent's
             313      removal of personal belongings;
             314          (f) grant to the petitioner temporary custody of any minor children of the parties;
             315          (g) order the appointment of [the office of the Guardian Ad Litem to represent the
             316      interests of any minor children of the parties, if abuse or neglect of the minor children is
             317      alleged, or appoint a private guardian ad litem, if appropriate, pursuant to Section 78A-2-228 ] a
             318      private attorney guardian ad litem under Section 78A-2-228 , if appropriate;
             319          (h) order any further relief that the court considers necessary to provide for the safety
             320      and welfare of the petitioner and any designated family or household member; and
             321          (i) if the petition requests child support or spousal support, at the hearing on the
             322      petition order both parties to provide verification of current income, including year-to-date pay
             323      stubs or employer statements of year-to-date or other period of earnings, as specified by the
             324      court, and complete copies of tax returns from at least the most recent year.
             325          (3) A court may grant the following relief in an order for protection or a modification
             326      of an order after notice and hearing, whether or not the respondent appears:
             327          (a) grant the relief described in Subsection (2); and
             328          (b) specify arrangements for parent-time of any minor child by the respondent and
             329      require supervision of that parent-time by a third party or deny parent-time if necessary to
             330      protect the safety of the petitioner or child.
             331          (4) Following the protective order hearing, the court shall:
             332          (a) as soon as possible, deliver the order to the county sheriff for service of process;
             333          (b) make reasonable efforts to ensure that the order for protection is understood by the
             334      petitioner, and the respondent, if present;
             335          (c) transmit electronically, by the end of the next business day after the order is issued,
             336      a copy of the order for protection to the local law enforcement agency or agencies designated
             337      by the petitioner; and


             338          (d) transmit a copy of the order to the statewide domestic violence network described
             339      in Section 78B-7-113 .
             340          (5) (a) Each protective order shall include two separate portions, one for provisions, the
             341      violation of which are criminal offenses, and one for provisions, the violation of which are civil
             342      violations, as follows:
             343          (i) criminal offenses are those under Subsections (2)(a) through (e), and under
             344      Subsection (3)(a) as it refers to Subsections (2)(a) through (e); and
             345          (ii) civil offenses are those under Subsections (2)(f), (h), and (i), and Subsection (3)(a)
             346      as it refers to Subsections (2)(f), (h), and (i).
             347          (b) The criminal provision portion shall include a statement that violation of any
             348      criminal provision is a class A misdemeanor.
             349          (c) The civil provision portion shall include a notice that violation of or failure to
             350      comply with a civil provision is subject to contempt proceedings.
             351          (6) The protective order shall include:
             352          (a) a designation of a specific date, determined by the court, when the civil portion of
             353      the protective order either expires or is scheduled for review by the court, which date may not
             354      exceed 150 days after the date the order is issued, unless the court indicates on the record the
             355      reason for setting a date beyond 150 days;
             356          (b) information the petitioner is able to provide to facilitate identification of the
             357      respondent, such as Social Security number, driver license number, date of birth, address,
             358      telephone number, and physical description; and
             359          (c) a statement advising the petitioner that:
             360          (i) after two years from the date of issuance of the protective order, a hearing may be
             361      held to dismiss the criminal portion of the protective order;
             362          (ii) the petitioner should, within the 30 days prior to the end of the two-year period,
             363      advise the court of the petitioner's current address for notice of any hearing; and
             364          (iii) the address provided by the petitioner will not be made available to the respondent.
             365          (7) Child support and spouse support orders issued as part of a protective order are


             366      subject to mandatory income withholding under Title 62A, Chapter 11, Part 4, Income
             367      Withholding in IV-D Cases, and Title 62A, Chapter 11, Part 5, Income Withholding in Non
             368      IV-D Cases, except when the protective order is issued ex parte.
             369          (8) (a) The county sheriff that receives the order from the court, pursuant to Subsection
             370      (5)(a), shall provide expedited service for orders for protection issued in accordance with this
             371      chapter, and shall transmit verification of service of process, when the order has been served, to
             372      the statewide domestic violence network described in Section 78B-7-113 .
             373          (b) This section does not prohibit any law enforcement agency from providing service
             374      of process if that law enforcement agency:
             375          (i) has contact with the respondent and service by that law enforcement agency is
             376      possible; or
             377          (ii) determines that under the circumstances, providing service of process on the
             378      respondent is in the best interests of the petitioner.
             379          (9) (a) When an order is served on a respondent in a jail or other holding facility, the
             380      law enforcement agency managing the facility shall make a reasonable effort to provide notice
             381      to the petitioner at the time the respondent is released from incarceration.
             382          (b) Notification of the petitioner shall consist of a good faith reasonable effort to
             383      provide notification, including mailing a copy of the notification to the last-known address of
             384      the victim.
             385          (10) A court may modify or vacate an order of protection or any provisions in the order
             386      after notice and hearing, except that the criminal provisions of a protective order may not be
             387      vacated within two years of issuance unless the petitioner:
             388          (a) is personally served with notice of the hearing as provided in Rules 4 and 5, Utah
             389      Rules of Civil Procedure, and the petitioner personally appears before the court and gives
             390      specific consent to the vacation of the criminal provisions of the protective order; or
             391          (b) submits a verified affidavit, stating agreement to the vacation of the criminal
             392      provisions of the protective order.
             393          (11) A protective order may be modified without a showing of substantial and material


             394      change in circumstances.
             395          (12) Insofar as the provisions of this chapter are more specific than the Utah Rules of
             396      Civil Procedure, regarding protective orders, the provisions of this chapter govern.
             397          Section 7. Section 78B-7-202 is amended to read:
             398           78B-7-202. Petition -- Ex parte determination -- Guardian ad litem -- Referral to
             399      division.
             400          (1) Any interested person may file a petition for a protective order on behalf of a child
             401      who is being abused or is in imminent danger of being abused. The petitioner shall first make
             402      a referral to the division.
             403          (2) Upon the filing of a petition, the clerk of the court shall:
             404          (a) review the records of the juvenile court, the district court, and the management
             405      information system of the division to find any petitions, orders, or investigations related to the
             406      child or the parties to the case;
             407          (b) request the records of any law enforcement agency identified by the petitioner as
             408      having investigated abuse of the child; and
             409          (c) identify and obtain any other background information that may be of assistance to
             410      the court.
             411          (3) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall immediately determine, based on the
             412      evidence and information presented, whether the minor is being abused or is in imminent
             413      danger of being abused. If so, the court shall enter an ex parte child protective order.
             414          (4) The court may appoint [an] a private attorney guardian ad litem under Section
             415      78A-2-228 for district court cases, or the Office of Guardian ad Litem for juvenile court cases
             416      under Section 78A-6-902 , for the child who is the subject of the petition.
             417          Section 8. Section 78B-15-612 is amended to read:
             418           78B-15-612. Minor as party -- Representation.
             419          (1) A minor [child] is a permissible party, but is not a necessary party to a proceeding
             420      under this part.
             421          (2) The tribunal may appoint a private guardian ad litem for district court cases under


             422      Section 78A-2-228 or the Office of Guardian ad Litem for juvenile court cases under Section
             423      78A-6-902 to represent a minor or incapacitated child if the child is a party or the tribunal finds
             424      that the interests of the child are not adequately represented.
             425          Section 9. Repealer.
             426          This bill repeals:
             427          Section 78A-2-227, Appointment of attorney guardian ad litem in child abuse and
             428      neglect proceedings.
             429          Section 10. Effective date.
             430          (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), this bill takes effect on May 8, 2012.
             431          (2) The following sections take effect on July 1, 2013:
             432          (a) Section 30-3-5.2 ;
             433          (b) Section 51-9-408 ;
             434          (c) Section 78A-2-227 ;
             435          (d) Section 78A-2-228 ;
             436          (e) Section 78B-3-102 ;
             437          (f) Section 78B-7-106 ;
             438          (g) Section 78B-7-202 ; and
             439          (h) Section 78B-15-612 .


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