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Dept. of Human Services v. K. L. W.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-24-2012
Case #: A149505
Nakamoto J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Pages/OpinionsCOA2012.aspx

Family Law: The appointment of a guardian ad litem for an individual will be upheld if sufficient evidence is shown that the guardian ad litem is necessary to advance the individual's interests.

Father appealed the trial court’s decision to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to represent him, and a stipulated judgment, signed by the GAL, that terminated his parental rights. Father based his appeal on two errors; (1) the appointment was unnecessary because he was able to direct his attorney, and (2) because the appointment was unnecessary, the stipulated judgment violated his fundamental right to due process. The State responded that Father was incompetent due to mental illness and appointing a GAL was necessary to keep the father “on point.” The Court of Appeals concluded that the GAL appointment was necessary because Father repeatedly was unable to provide direction to his attorney and the appointment of the GAL was necessary to advance Father’s interests. The Court refused to speculate on whether Father’s right to due process was violated because Father failed to fully develop that argument. Affirmed.