AO 1998-007


Administrative Order No.




IN RE: Appointment of Guardian ad Litem


To insure that the interests of minor children are represented in courts of the Third Judicial
Circuit, it is hereby

ORDERED as follows:

1. At the time of indictment or of the filing of an information of any alleged physical or
sexual abuse of a child (under the age of 18 at the time the charging document is filed of record), the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem shall be automatic. The Guardian ad Litem Program shall be notified by the furnishing of a copy of the information or the indictment by the Office of the Clerk of Courts or the State Attorney.

2. Upon presentation of Administrative Order 98-007 to any agency, hospital, school,
organization, person or office, including the Clerk of Court, Office of the State Attorney,
Department of Children and Family Services, Human Service Agencies, Pediatricians, Psychologists, Police and Sheriff Departments, Medical and Mental Health providers, the aforementioned shall permit the Guardian ad Litem to inspect and/or copy any records relating to the child/ren.

3. The Office of the State Attorney, upon receipt of any Child Protection Team Report, Medical or Mental Health reports/records or other written documentation regarding the child/ren, shall, within 48 hours, furnish a copy of such reports/records to the Guardian ad Litem.

4. The Guardian ad Litem shall have reasonable access to the child/ren at his/her home or school.  Such access will also include the right to be present during any interview with the child/ren by law enforcement, the Department of Children and Family Services, Mental Health, medical personnel, other agencies or the State Attorney, any State Attorney hearing, and any deposition or interview conducted by any attorney for any party.

5. The Guardian ad Litem assigned shall maintain any information received from
any source regarding the minor child as confidential, and will not disclose same
except in response to a subpoena (unless privilege is claimed), in reports to the
Court or by court order.

6. The Guardian ad Litem shall appear at all hearings or proceedings relating to the
children and shall assure proper representation of the child/ren at said hearing(s).

7. Written notice shall be given the Guardian ad Litem by the State of all motion
days, pretrial conferences, plea calendar and the Guardian ad Litem shall receive a
copy of any written pleading, motions, and notices of hearing pertaining to the
child filed herein from the party filing same.

8. The Guardian ad Litem assigned to this cause, shall be consulted if reasonably practical on behalf of the child as to pretrial release, change in conditions of release, and as to any pretrial diversion agreement or plea agreement to be entered in this cause. This order shall not be a limitation on the inherent authority of the State Attorney to make disposition(s) that office deems appropriate.

9. The Guardian ad Litem’ s absence after reasonable notice at any of the above delineated
proceedings shall constitute a waiver of participation in that proceeding by the Guardian ad Litem.

DONE AND ORDERED this 16th day of March, 1998, in Chambers at Lake City,
Columbia County, Florida

Paul S. Bryan, Chief Judge

Paul S. Bryan, Chief Judge
Chief Judge
All Judges, Third Judicial Circuit
All Clerks, Third Judicial Circuit
Hon. Jerry M. Blair, State Attorney
Hon. C. Dennis Robers, Public Defender