(A) Except as provided in Rule 24.01 (B) the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem, to act in place of a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian to protect the best interests of the child when it appears, at any stage of the proceedings, that the child is without a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian. If the parent, legal guardian or legal custodian is unavailable, incompetent, indifferent to, hostile to, or has interests in conflict with the child's best interests, a guardian ad litem shall be appointed.
(B) The court may determine not to appoint a guardian ad litem when:
(1) counsel has been appointed or is otherwise retained for the child, and
(2) the court finds that the best interests of the child are otherwise protected.
(C) The court may appoint a guardian ad litem on its own motion or on the motion of the child's counsel or the prosecuting attorney when the court determines that an appointment is in the best interests of the child.
(Amended effective for all juveniles taken into custody and all juvenile delinquency actions commenced or children taken into custody after 12 o'clock midnight September 1, 2003; amended effective for guardians ad litem appointed in Minnesota's juvenile and family courts after 12 o'clock midnight January 1, 2005.)
In every juvenile delinquency court case in which a guardian ad litem is appointed, the guardian ad litem shall:
(1) conduct an independent investigation to determine the facts relevant to the situation of the child and the family, which must include, unless specifically excluded by the court: reviewing relevant documents; meeting with and observing the child in the home setting and considering the child's wishes, as appropriate; and interviewing parents, caregivers, and others relevant to the case;
(2) advocate for the child's best interests by participating in appropriate aspects of the case and advocating for appropriate community services when necessary;
(3) maintain the confidentiality of information related to a case, with the exception of sharing information as permitted by law to promote cooperative solutions that are in the best interests of the child;
(4) monitor the child's best interests throughout the judicial proceeding; and
(5) present written reports on the child's best interests that include conclusions and recommendations and the facts upon which they are based.
(Added effective for guardians ad litem appointed in Minnesota's juvenile and family courts after 12 o'clock midnight January 1, 2005.)
When the court appoints a guardian ad litem, the guardian ad litem shall not be the child's counsel.