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      (a) Definitions.  The term "guardian ad litem" is used for both guardians ad litem and

court visitors throughout the Thurston County Local Court Rules.  The term "guardian" and "guardianship" shall also apply to conservators and conservatorships under Title 11 unless stated otherwise.

      (b) Appointment of Guardians ad Litem for Minors This portion of the rule applies to appointment of guardians ad litem under Title 26 and appointments under Title 11 for minors.
     (1) Joint Recommendation. The parties or their attorneys may agree to jointly recommend a GAL from the registry. The court may adopt the joint recommendation or require the parties to use the procedures set forth in (2), below.
     (2) By Rotation. If the parties are not in agreement to a GAL from the registry, then the court will direct the parties to contact the Registry Manager for a list of the next three names from the GAL registry.
          (A) If after reviewing the three names the parties agree upon a GAL from the list, then they may present an Order of Appointment to the court for approval by stipulation.
          (B) If after reviewing the three names the parties cannot agree, each party may strike one name from the list of three. The court will appoint as GAL the first remaining name on the strike list. The Registry Manager will notify the parties or attorneys of the GAL appointed. If the court chooses a GAL other than from the list provided to the parties, then the court shall make findings on the record.
     (3) Failure of Guardian ad Litem to Accept Appointment. A GAL chosen to serve by stipulation or from the rotational list who chooses not to serve shall go to the bottom of the rotational list.
     (4) Indigent Parties. If either of the parties are found to be indigent, then the court shall determine whether to appoint the Family Court Investigator or a GAL from the registry at whole or partial county expense. The court may require either or both parties to contribute to the cost of the GAL investigation.

     (c) Appointment of Guardians ad Litem – Title 11 for Adult Guardianships or Conservatorships. Appointment of GALs in Title 11 RCW cases for an adult is by a strict rotation selection. The party seeking appointment of a GAL shall contact the Registry Manager for the next name on the register. The party shall be responsible for contacting that GAL to determine if the GAL is able to take the case. If the GAL is unavailable for whatever reason, the party shall contact the Registry Manager for the next name on the register. When an order appointing a Title 11 GAL for an adult does not specify the maximum hours or fees that the GAL is authorized to expend, the maximum shall be 10 hours, unless the court authorizes more hours or fees by court order before they are expended.

     (c) Appointment of Guardians ad Litem – Title 13. These GAL rules do not apply to appointment or management of Title 13 RCW GALs or CASAs. The CASA program is managed separately.

     (d) Complaints from Guardians ad Litem. Complaints from guardians ad litem regarding registry or appointment matters shall be made in writing and be addressed to the GAL Coordinator. A response to the complaint shall be provided within fifteen working days of receipt of the complaint.

[Adopted effective September 1, 2002. Amended as emergency rule December 30, 2003, April 2, 2004. Amended effective September 1, 2004, September 1, 2007; September 1, 2019; September 1, 2019. Amended as emergency rule January 1, 2021.]