language to be deleted (2) new language
Laws of Minnesota 1986 CHAPTER 469-S.F.No. 2102 An act relating to marriage dissolution and legal separation; requiring appointment of guardians ad litem in certain child custody proceedings; amending Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 518.165; and Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 626.556, subdivision 2. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 518.165, is amended to read: 518.165 [GUARDIANS FOR MINOR CHILDREN.] Subdivision 1. [PERMISSIVE APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM.] In all proceedings for child custody or for dissolution or legal separation where custody or visitation of a minor child is in issue, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem from a panel established by the court to represent the interests of the child. The guardian ad litem shall advise the court with respect to custody, support and visitation.
The court may enter an order for costs, fees and disbursements in favor of the child's guardian ad litem. The order may be made against either or both parties, except that any part of the costs, fees, and disbursements which the court finds the parties are incapable of paying shall be borne by the county.Subd. 2. [REQUIRED APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM.] In all proceedings for child custody or for marriage dissolution or legal separation in which custody or visitation of a minor child is an issue, if the court has reason to believe that the minor child is a victim of domestic child abuse or neglect, as those terms are defined in sections 260.015 and 626.556, respectively, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem shall represent the interests of the child and advise the court with respect to custody, support, and visitation. If the child is represented by a guardian ad litem in any other pending proceeding, the court may appoint that guardian to represent the child in the custody or visitation proceeding. No guardian ad litem need be appointed if the alleged domestic child abuse or neglect is before the court on a juvenile dependency and neglect petition. Nothing in this subdivision requires the court to appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding for child custody, marriage dissolution, or legal separation in which an allegation of domestic child abuse or neglect has not been made. Subd. 3. [FEES.] A guardian ad litem appointed under either subdivision 1 or 2 may be appointed either as a volunteer or on a fee basis. If a guardian ad litem is appointed on a fee basis, the court shall enter an order for costs, fees, and disbursements in favor of the child's guardian ad litem. The order may be made against either or both parties, except that any part of the costs, fees, or disbursements which the court finds the parties are incapable of paying shall be borne by the county in which the proceeding is being held. In no event may the court order that costs, fees, or disbursements be paid by a party receiving public assistance or legal assistance or by a party whose annual income falls below the poverty line as established under United States Code, title 42, section 9902 (2). Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 626.556, subdivision 2, is amended to read: Subd. 2. [DEFINITIONS.] As used in this section, the following terms have the meanings given them unless the specific content indicates otherwise: (a) "Sexual abuse" means the subjection by a person responsible for the child's care, or by a person in a position of authority, as defined in section 609.341, subdivision 10, to any act which constitutes a violation of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, or 609.345, or sections 609.364 to 609.3644. Sexual abuse also includes any act which involves a minor which constitutes a violation of sections 609.321 to 609.324 or 617.246. (b) "Person responsible for the child's care" means (1) an individual functioning within the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a parent, guardian, or other person having similar care responsibilities, or (2) an individual functioning outside the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a teacher, school administrator, or other lawful custodian of a child having either full-time or short-term care responsibilities including, but not limited to, day care, baby sitting whether paid or unpaid, counseling, teaching, and coaching. (c) "Neglect" means failure by a person responsible for a child's care to supply a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter or medical care when reasonably able to do so or failure to protect a child from conditions or actions which imminently and seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so. Nothing in this section shall be construed to (1) mean that a child is neglected solely because the child's parent, guardian or other person responsible for his care in good faith selects and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment or care of disease or remedial care of the child, or (2) impose upon persons, not otherwise legally responsible for providing a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter or medical care, a duty to provide that care. Neglect also means "medical neglect" as defined in section 260.015, subdivision 10, clause (e). (d) "Physical abuse" means any physical injury inflicted by a person responsible for the child's care on a child other than by accidental means, or any physical injury that cannot reasonably be explained by the child's history of injuries. (e) "Report" means any report received by the local welfare agency, police department or county sheriff pursuant to this section. (f) "Facility" means a day care facility, residential facility, agency, hospital, sanitorium, or other facility or institution required to be licensed pursuant to sections 144.50 to 144.58, 241.021, or 245.781 to 245.812. (g) "Operator" means an operator or agency as defined in section 245.782. (h) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services. (i) "Assessment" includes authority to interview the child, the person or persons responsible for the child's care, the alleged perpetrator, and any other person with knowledge of the abuse or neglect for the purpose of gathering the facts, assessing the risk to the child, and formulating a plan. (j) "Practice of social services," for the purposes of subdivision 3, includes but is not limited to employee assistance counseling and the provision of guardian ad litem services. Sec. 3. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] Section 1 is effective January 1, 1987. Approved April 1, 1986