Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Public Comment Sought on Guardian Ad Litem Rules

The Ohio Supreme Court will accept public comments on proposed amendments to Rules of Superintendence 48 through 48.07 on guardians ad litem (GAL).

These rules shall apply in all domestic relations and juvenile cases in the court of common pleas where a court appoints a guardian ad litem to act in the best interest of a child.

One of the new amendments will add a limited scope of appointment to Rule 48.02(F) of the Rules of Superintendence. Limited scope appointments are available in other states, but not in Ohio.

Another provision will require a separate attorney to represent a child in abuse, neglect, dependency, unruly, and delinquency cases in which the wishes of the child differ from the recommendations of the GAL.

Another proposal would increase the pre-service education for GALs to 12 hours from six hours. The additional six hours of pre-service may be satisfied by online or live education, teaching, writing, mentoring, or field training activities as approved by the appointing court. There is a grandfather clause that will allow GALs that have undergone pre-service education to continue serving without completing the training again.

Additionally, a proposed amendment would increase the continuing legal education requirements from three hours to six hours each year. 

Finally, Sup.R. 48.07 establishes criteria for the appointment and removal of GALs and procedures to ensure an equitable distribution of the workload among GALs.

Public comment should be submitted in writing or via email by Nov. 6 to:

Children and Families Section
Ohio Supreme Court
65 S. Front Street
Sixth Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3431