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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Superior Court

Guardianship Guardian Ad Litem Registry

Click here to see the list of all Guardian ad Litem's approved to be appointed by the Court.

RCW Title 11 requires the Court to appoint a GAL from a registry in a system of consistent rotation.  Court Administration maintains the Registry and will provide parties the name of the next GAL on the list for inclusion in an Order Appointing GAL. 

An attorney may be provided 3 random names from the list in order to expedite the appointment and facilitate ease in finding an available GAL with the fewest communication, but the attorney shall always attempt to contact the first name provided from the registry. 

The Court does entertain special, out-of-sequence requests for the appointment of a guardian ad litem when the situation requires particular expertise.

Before the Order is signed by a judicial officer, the availability of the GAL to serve on the particular case should be confirmed by the attorney or self-represented parties. 

Please call (360) 709-3295 for the next name on the list.

Kendra Williams, Administrative Assistant

(360) 709-3295

If you need to have a GAL appointed in a Guardianship case follow these procedures for best result:

  1. Call Court Administration at (360) 709-3295. They will give you the name and phone number of the next individual in order on the Registry.
  2. You are responsible for attempting to contact the GAL to determine their availability to serve as a GAL.  PLEASE do not effect the appointment of a GAL until you have spoken with the proposed GAL and determined his/her availability and identified any conflicts.
  3. You must phone Court Administration, if the proposed GAL is unavaliable to accept the case.  Court Administration will provide you the name and phone number of the next individual in order on the Registry.  (This process will continue until a GAL accepts your case.)
  4. File your petition with the Clerk's Office.
  5. Once the Court file is established, take the motion and order to any Judicial officer at ex parte to effect the appointment of the GAL.  It is the preferred practice for you to obtain the Judicial officer’s signature after the file is opened with the clerk.  There is always a Judicial officer available for ex parte matters every day.  For more information about ex parte click here.
  6. Motions for these civil matters are heard at Family & Juvenile Court on Fridays at 2:00 & 3:00 p.m. on the Probate & Guardianship Calendar.  Click here for session availability.

About Guardian Ad Litems

A Guardian ad litem (GAL) is a person appointed by the Court to investigate and report factual information to the Court regarding whether a person is incapacitated to such a degree that he or she cannot care for himself or herself or his or her estate and whether the proposed Guardian would be appropriate. Appointments are made from the Court’s GAL Registry on a rotational basis.

A GAL personally meets with the alleged incapacitated person, determines whether the person desires or needs to be represented by an attorney, obtains a written report from a medical professional defined by RCW 11.88.045 regarding capacity, consults with others who have information related to the alleged incapacitated person, and meets with the proposed Guardian.

Fees are charged for work done by GALs. Each GAL’s rates are posted on the GAL Registry. Public funds are available to pay for a GAL if the alleged incapacitated person lacks funds or an estate to pay.

Becoming a Guardian Ad Litem

The State of Washington requires that all GALs be trained on a curriculum developed by Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts.

  1. Have completed the King County Bar Association Guardian ad Litem training.  Click here for more information.
  2. 8 hours of continuing education related to guardianship work the past 2 years.
  1. Application found here
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Criminal background check authorization found here
  4. Proof of attendance at 8 hours of continuing education related to guardianship work the past 2 years

Applications should be submitted to the GAL Registry Coordinator in Court Administration.

Information for Guardian Ad Litems

If at any time your information changes, please contact the GAL Registry Coordinator so they can update your information.   Your information must be updated every 2 years from being accepted to the Registry.  The Court requires recertification by February 28th in even numbered years.  You can find the recertification application here.

The Court’s policy requires each GAL on our list to accept one case for payment at public expense each year.  The Court pays $50 per hour with a limit of 10 hours without prior approval of the Court.

GALs are expected to be familiar with the Superior Court Rules, with the Local Rules, and with civil procedure.  Non-Attorney GALs should be particularly mindful of timeliness and the requirements of the RCWs.

Guardianship Roundtable

The Guardianship roundtable which includes attorneys, GALs, guardians, and other interested in this area of practice meets intermittently throughout the year.  If you would like to be included on a mailing list, please email Daniel Smerken, the Roundtable Chair, at and leave your address and phone number for future announcements.

Law/Court Rules

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Title 11 can be found here.

Washington State Superior Court Guardian Ad Litem Rules may be found here.

Thurston County Superior Court Guardian ad Litem rules (GALR) may be found here.