Article IV. Post-Hearing Procedures; Miscellaneous Provisions

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Rule 37: Appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem for the Child.

(a) In delinquent and unruly proceedings, the court at any stage of a proceeding, on application of a party or on its own initiative, shall appoint a guardian ad litem for a child if such child has no parent, guardian or custodian appearing on such child's behalf; or such parent's, guardian's or custodian's interests conflict with the child's; or in any other case in which the interests of the child require a guardian.

(b) In any proceeding resulting from a report of harm or an investigation report under T.C.A. §§ 37-1-401 – 37-1-411 and T.C.A. § 37-1-101, et. seq., the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child who is or may be the subject of such report. The guardian ad litem shall comply with the requirements of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 40.

(c) A party to the proceeding or the party's employee or representative shall not be appointed as the child’s guardian ad litem.

Advisory Commission Comments [2007].

The 2007 amendment conforms Rule 37 to T.C.A. § 37-1-149 and Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 13, which set out the provisions for the appointment of guardians ad litem. T.C.A. § 37-1-401, et. seq., is the law on mandatory child abuse reports. T.C.A. § 37-1-402 states that the purpose of this law is to protect children whose physical or mental health and welfare are adversely affected by brutality, abuse or neglect. The amendment also refers practitioners to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 40, which provides for the responsibilities of the guardian ad litem in neglect, abuse and dependency proceedings.

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