Guardian ad Litem

A Guardian ad Litem is a person appointed by the court to protect and represent the interests of one incapable of acting on his or her own behalf, such as child or incompetent person.

The Laws of Washington require that each court establish a registry of pre-approved guardians ad litem for each case type. The following is a summary of Chelan County procedures for the appointment of guardians ad litem.

Guardianship Cases

RCW 11.88.090 (3)(a), alleged incapacity

Guardians ad litem will be appointed from the registry of those individuals pre-approved to serve in such cases. Appointments are made from a rotational registry except in extraordinary circumstances such as the need for particular expertise. Counsel and litigants may present fill-in-the-name orders appointing a GAL to the court. Counsel and litigants may contact the court’s GAL Registry Administrator for the next name on the rotational registry. Once a GAL has accepted an appointment, counsel and litigants are required to advise the Registry Administrator of the appointment. In the alternative, counsel and litigants may present fill-in-the-name orders appointing a GAL to the court.

Juvenile Dependency Cases

RCW 13.34.100, juvenile dependency

Guardians ad litem appointed are volunteer CASAs from the Chelan-Douglas CASA/GAL Program.

Domestic Relations Cases

RCW 26.12.175,domestic relations

Guardians ad litem will be appointed from the registry of those individuals pre-approved to serve in such cases. In such domestic relations cases the parties may stipulate to the appointment of one of the pre-approved guardians ad litem, and are encouraged to do so. In the event that the parties are not able or willing to so stipulate, one of the parties should contact the GAL Registry Administrator to request the next name on the rotational registry. Once a GAL has accepted an appointment, counsel and litigants are required to advise the Registry Administrator of the appointment. In the alternative, counsel and litigants may present fill-in-the-name orders appointing a GAL to the court.

Court Forms for appointing a GAL in a family law/domestic relations are available on the Washington State Court's webpage at Court Forms: Appointing a Guardian Ad Litem

Settlement GALS Civil Matters

This list is NOT a rotational registry, but rather a list of Chelan/Douglas County attorneys who have indicated an interest in serving as guardians ad litem in civil matters requiring a settlement GAL.