Sen. John M. Sullivan

Filed: 5/7/2015





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 2628 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 5. The Juvenile Court Act of 1987 is amended by
5changing Sections 2-17 and 2-17.1 and by adding Sections
62-17.2, 2-17.3, 2-17.4, 2-17.5, and 2-17.6 as follows:
7    (705 ILCS 405/2-17)  (from Ch. 37, par. 802-17)
8    Sec. 2-17. Guardian ad litem.
9    (1) Immediately upon the filing of a petition alleging that
10the minor is a person described in Sections 2-3 or 2-4 of this
11Article, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the
12minor if:
13        (a) such petition alleges that the minor is an abused
14    or neglected child; or
15        (b) such petition alleges that charges alleging the
16    commission of any of the sex offenses defined in Article 11



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1    or in Sections 11-1.20, 11-1.30, 11-1.40, 11-1.50,
2    11-1.60, 12-13, 12-14, 12-14.1, 12-15 or 12-16 of the
3    Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012, have
4    been filed against a defendant in any court and that such
5    minor is the alleged victim of the acts of defendant in the
6    commission of such offense.
7    Unless the guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to this
8paragraph (1) is an attorney at law he shall be represented in
9the performance of his duties by counsel. The guardian ad litem
10shall represent the best interests of the minor and shall
11present recommendations to the court consistent with that duty.
12    (2) Before proceeding with the hearing, the court shall
13appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor if
14        (a) no parent, guardian, custodian or relative of the
15    minor appears at the first or any subsequent hearing of the
16    case;
17        (b) the petition prays for the appointment of a
18    guardian with power to consent to adoption; or
19        (c) the petition for which the minor is before the
20    court resulted from a report made pursuant to the Abused
21    and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
22    (3) The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor
23whenever it finds that there may be a conflict of interest
24between the minor and his parents or other custodian or that it
25is otherwise in the minor's best interest to do so.
26    (4) Unless the guardian ad litem is an attorney, he shall



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1be represented by counsel.
2    (5) The reasonable fees of a guardian ad litem appointed
3under this Section shall be fixed by the court and charged to
4the parents of the minor, to the extent they are able to pay.
5If the parents are unable to pay those fees, they shall be paid
6from the general fund of the county.
7    (6) A guardian ad litem appointed under this Section, shall
8receive copies of any and all classified reports of child abuse
9and neglect made under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting
10Act in which the minor who is the subject of a report under the
11Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, is also the minor for
12whom the guardian ad litem is appointed under this Section.
13    (7) The appointed guardian ad litem shall remain the
14child's guardian ad litem throughout the entire juvenile trial
15court proceedings, including permanency hearings and
16termination of parental rights proceedings, unless there is a
17substitution entered by order of the court.
18    (8) The guardian ad litem or an agent of the guardian ad
19litem shall have a minimum of one in-person contact with the
20minor and one contact with one of the current foster parents or
21caregivers prior to the adjudicatory hearing, and at least one
22additional in-person contact with the child and one contact
23with one of the current foster parents or caregivers after the
24adjudicatory hearing but prior to the first permanency hearing.
25The guardian ad litem or an agent of the guardian ad litem
26shall have and one additional in-person contact with the child



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1and one contact with one of the current foster parents or
2caregivers each subsequent year, but if the child's parent or
3caregiver has been the subject of at least 3 indicated reports
4filed under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act then
5the guardian ad litem or an agent of the guardian ad litem
6shall have a minimum of one additional in-person contact with
7the child and one contact with one of the current foster
8parents or caregivers once every 3 months. For good cause
9shown, the judge may excuse face-to-face interviews required in
10this subsection.
11    (9) In counties with a population of 100,000 or more but
12less than 3,000,000, each guardian ad litem must successfully
13complete a training program approved by the Department of
14Children and Family Services. The Department of Children and
15Family Services shall provide training materials and documents
16to guardians ad litem who are not mandated to attend the
17training program. The Department of Children and Family
18Services shall develop and distribute to all guardians ad litem
19a bibliography containing information including but not
20limited to the juvenile court process, termination of parental
21rights, child development, medical aspects of child abuse, and
22the child's need for safety and permanence.
23(Source: P.A. 96-1551, eff. 7-1-11; 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13.)
24    (705 ILCS 405/2-17.1)
25    Sec. 2-17.1. Court appointed special advocate.



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1    (1) The court may appoint a special advocate upon the
2filing of a petition under this Article or at any time during
3the pendency of a proceeding under this Article. Except in
4counties with a population over 3,000,000, the court appointed
5special advocate may also serve as guardian ad litem by
6appointment of the court under Section 2-17 of this Act. The
7court shall not deny a petition to appoint a special advocate
8for the sole reason that the child is not or has not been in
9foster care.
10    (2) The court appointed special advocate shall act as a
11monitor and shall be notified of all administrative case
12reviews pertaining to the minor and work with the parties'
13attorneys, the guardian ad litem, and others assigned to the
14minor's case to protect the minor's health, safety and best
15interests and insure the proper delivery of child welfare
16services. The court may consider, at its discretion, testimony
17of the court appointed special advocate pertaining to the
18well-being of the child.
19    (3) Court appointed special advocates shall serve as
20volunteers without compensation and shall receive training
21consistent with nationally developed standards.
22    (4) No person convicted of a criminal offense as specified
23in Section 4.2 of the Child Care Act of 1969 and no person
24identified as a perpetrator of an act of child abuse or neglect
25as reflected in the Department of Children and Family Services
26State Central Register shall serve as a court appointed special



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2    (5) All costs associated with the appointment and duties of
3the court appointed special advocate shall be paid by the court
4appointed special advocate or an organization of court
5appointed special advocates. In no event shall the court
6appointed special advocate be liable for any costs of services
7provided to the child.
8    (6) The court may remove the court appointed special
9advocate or the guardian ad litem from a case upon finding that
10the court appointed special advocate or the guardian ad litem
11has acted in a manner contrary to the child's best interest or
12if the court otherwise deems continued service is unwanted or
14    (7) In any county in which a program of court appointed
15special advocates is in operation, the provisions of this
16Section shall apply unless the county board of that county, by
17resolution, determines that the county shall not be governed by
18this Section.
19    (8) Any court appointed special advocate acting in good
20faith within the scope of his or her appointment shall have
21immunity from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise
22might result by reason of his or her actions, except in cases
23of willful and wanton misconduct. For the purpose of any civil
24or criminal proceedings, the good faith of any court appointed
25special advocate shall be presumed.
26(Source: P.A. 90-28, eff. 1-1-98; 90-608, eff. 6-30-98; 91-357,



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1eff. 7-29-99.)
2    (705 ILCS 405/2-17.2 new)
3    Sec. 2-17.2. Powers and duties of guardian ad litem.
4    (a) A guardian ad litem appointed to represent a child:
5        (1) shall:
6            (A) within a reasonable time after the
7        appointment, interview:
8                (i) the child in a developmentally appropriate
9            manner, if the child is 4 years of age or older;
10                (ii) each person who has significant knowledge
11            of the child's history and condition, including
12            any foster parent of the child; and
13                (iii) the parties to the proceeding;
14            (B) seek to elicit in a developmentally
15        appropriate manner the child's expressed objectives of
16        representation;
17            (C) consider the impact on the child in formulating
18        the presentation of the child's expressed objectives
19        of representation to the court;
20            (D) investigate the facts of the case to the extent
21        the guardian ad litem considers appropriate;
22            (E) obtain and review copies of relevant records
23        relating to the child as provided by Section 2-17.6;
24            (F) participate in the conduct of the proceedings
25        to the same extent as an attorney for a party;



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1            (G) take any action consistent with the child's
2        interests that the guardian ad litem considers
3        necessary to expedite the proceedings;
4            (H) encourage settlement and the use of
5        alternative forms of dispute resolution;
6            (I) review and sign, or decline to sign, a proposed
7        or agreed order affecting the child;
8            (J) review the medical care provided to the child
9        and in a developmentally appropriate manner, seek to
10        elicit the child's opinion on the medical care
11        provided; and
12            (K) become familiar with the American Bar
13        Association's standards of practice for attorneys who
14        represent children in abuse and neglect cases, the
15        suggested amendments to those standards adopted by the
16        National Association of Counsel for Children, and the
17        American Bar Association's standards of practice for
18        attorneys who represent children in custody cases;
19        (2) must be trained in child advocacy or have
20    experience determined by the court to be equivalent to that
21    training; and
22        (3) is entitled to:
23            (A) request clarification from the court if the
24        role of the guardian ad litem is ambiguous;
25            (B) request a hearing or trial on the merits;
26            (C) consent or refuse to consent to an interview of



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1        the child by another attorney;
2            (D) receive a copy of each pleading or other paper
3        filed with the court;
4            (E) receive notice of each hearing regarding the
5        child;
6            (F) participate in any case staffing concerning
7        the child conducted by an authorized agency; and
8            (G) attend all legal proceedings regarding the
9        child.
10    (b) Except as otherwise provided by this Section, the
11guardian ad litem appointed for a child shall, in a
12developmentally appropriate manner:
13        (1) advise the child; and
14        (2) represent the child's expressed objectives of
15    representation and follow the child's expressed objectives
16    of representation during the course of proceedings if the
17    guardian ad litem determines that the child is competent to
18    understand the nature of an attorney-client relationship
19    and has formed that relationship with the guardian ad
20    litem.
21    (c) Except as provided by subsection (e), a guardian ad
22litem appointed for a child shall:
23        (1) meet before each court hearing with:
24            (A) the child, if the child is at least 4 years of
25        age; and
26            (B) the individual or individuals with whom the



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1        child ordinarily resides, including the child's
2        parent, conservator, guardian, caretaker, or
3        custodian; and
4        (2) if the child or individual is not present at the
5    court hearing, file a written statement with the court
6    indicating that the guardian ad litem complied with
7    paragraph (1) of this subsection (c).
8    (d) A meeting required by subsection (c) must take place:
9        (1) a sufficient time before the hearing to allow the
10    guardian ad litem to prepare for the hearing in accordance
11    with the child's expressed objectives of representation;
12    and
13        (2) in a private setting that allows for confidential
14    communications between the guardian ad litem and the child
15    or individual with whom the child ordinarily resides, as
16    applicable.
17    (e) A guardian ad litem appointed for a child is not
18required to comply with subsection (c) before a hearing if the
19court finds at that hearing that the guardian ad litem has
20shown good cause why the guardian ad litem's compliance with
21that subsection is not feasible or in the best interest of the
22child. Additionally, a court may, on a showing of good cause,
23authorize a guardian ad litem to comply with subsection (c) by
24conferring with the child or other individual, as appropriate,
25by telephone or video conference.



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1    (705 ILCS 405/2-17.3 new)
2    Sec. 2-17.3. Substituted judgment of attorney for child.
3    (a) A guardian ad litem appointed to represent a child may
4determine that the child cannot meaningfully formulate the
5child's objectives of representation in a case because the
7        (1) lacks sufficient maturity to understand and form an
8    attorney-client relationship with the guardian ad litem;
9        (2) despite appropriate legal counseling, continues to
10    express objectives of representation that would be
11    seriously injurious to the child; or
12        (3) for any other reason is incapable of making
13    reasonable judgments and engaging in meaningful
14    communication.
15    (b) A guardian ad litem who determines that the child
16cannot meaningfully formulate the child's expressed objectives
17of representation may present to the court a position that the
18guardian ad litem determines will serve the best interests of
19the child.
20    (705 ILCS 405/2-17.4 new)
21    Sec. 2-17.4. Discipline of guardian ad litem. A guardian ad
22litem who is an attorney and who fails to perform the duties
23required by Sections 2-17 and 2-17.2 is subject to disciplinary
24action in accordance with the Illinois Supreme Court Rules of
25Professional Conduct.



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1    (705 ILCS 405/2-17.5 new)
2    Sec. 2-17.5. Duties of court appointed special advocate.
3    (a) Subject to any specific limitation in the order of
4appointment, a court appointed special advocate shall advocate
5the best interests of the child after reviewing the facts and
6circumstances of the case. In determining the best interests of
7the child, a court appointed special advocate shall consider
8the child's expressed objectives of representation.
9    (b) A court appointed special advocate shall, in a
10developmentally appropriate manner:
11        (1) with the consent of the child, ensure that the
12    child's expressed objectives of representation are made
13    known to the court;
14        (2) explain the role of the court appointed special
15    advocate to the child; and
16        (3) inform the child that the court appointed special
17    advocate may use information that the child provides in
18    providing assistance to the court.
19    (c) A court appointed special advocate shall become
20familiar with the American Bar Association's standards of
21practice for attorneys who represent children in custody cases.
22    (d) A court appointed special advocate may not disclose
23confidential communications between the court appointed
24special advocate and the child unless the court appointed
25special advocate determines that disclosure is necessary to



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1assist the court regarding the best interests of the child.
2    (705 ILCS 405/2-17.6 new)
3    Sec. 2-17.6. Access to child and information relating to
5    (a) In conjunction with an appointment under Section 2-17
6or Section 2-17.1, the court shall issue an order authorizing
7the guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate to
8have immediate access to the child and any information relating
9to the child.
10    (b) Without requiring a further order or release, the
11custodian of any relevant records relating to the child,
12including records regarding social services, law enforcement
13records, school records, records of a probate or court
14proceeding, and records of a trust or account for which the
15child is a beneficiary, shall provide access to a person
16authorized to access the records under subsection (a).
17    (c) Without requiring a further order or release, the
18custodian of a medical, mental health, or drug or alcohol
19treatment record of a child that is privileged or confidential
20under any other law shall release the record to a person
21authorized to access the record under subsection (a), except
22that a child's drug or alcohol treatment record that is
23confidential under 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2 may only be released as
24provided under applicable federal regulations.
25    (d) The disclosure of a confidential record under this



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1Section does not affect the confidentiality of the record, and
2the person provided access to the record may not disclose the
3record further except as provided by court order or other law.
4    Section 10. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of
5Marriage Act is amended by changing Section 604 as follows:
6    (750 ILCS 5/604)  (from Ch. 40, par. 604)
7    Sec. 604. Interviews.)
8    (a) The court may interview the child in chambers to
9ascertain the child's wishes as to his custodian and as to
10visitation, but if the child's parent or caregiver has been the
11subject of at least 3 indicated reports filed under the Abused
12and Neglected Child Reporting Act and the child is at least 4
13years old then the court shall interview the child in chambers
14to ascertain the child's wishes as to his or her custodian and
15as to visitation. Counsel shall be present at the interview
16unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties. The court shall
17cause a court reporter to be present who shall make a complete
18record of the interview instantaneously to be part of the
19record in the case.
20    (b) The court may seek the advice of professional
21personnel, whether or not employed by the court on a regular
22basis. The advice given shall be in writing and made available
23by the court to counsel. Counsel may examine, as a witness, any
24professional personnel consulted by the court, designated as a



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1court's witness. Professional personnel consulted by the court
2are subject to subpoena for the purposes of discovery, trial,
3or both. The court shall allocate the costs and fees of those
4professional personnel between the parties based upon the
5financial ability of each party and any other criteria the
6court considers appropriate. Upon the request of any party or
7upon the court's own motion, the court may conduct a hearing as
8to the reasonableness of those fees and costs.
9(Source: P.A. 97-47, eff. 1-1-12.)".