Juvenile Code: Dependency

ORS 419B.234

  • duties
  • privilege


A person appointed as a guardian ad litem under ORS 419B.231 (Appointment):


Must be a licensed mental health professional or attorney;


Must be familiar with legal standards relating to competence;


Must have skills and experience in representing persons with mental and physical disabilities or impairments; and


May not be a member of the parent’s family.


The guardian ad litem is not a party in the proceeding but is a representative of the parent.


The guardian ad litem shall:


Consult with the parent, if the parent is able, and with the parent’s attorney and make any other inquiries as are appropriate to assist the guardian ad litem in making decisions in the juvenile court proceeding.


Make legal decisions that the parent would ordinarily make concerning the juvenile court proceeding including, but not limited to, whether to:


Admit or deny the allegations of any petition;


Agree to or contest jurisdiction, wardship, temporary commitment, guardianship or permanent commitment;


Accept or decline a conditional postponement; or


Agree to or contest specific services or placement.


Make decisions concerning the adoption of a child of the parent including release or surrender, certificates of irrevocability and consent to adoption under ORS 109.321 (Consent to adoption) or 418.270 (Surrender of child to child-caring agency) and agreements under ORS 109.305 (Interpretation of adoption laws).


Control the litigation and provide direction to the parent’s attorney on the decisions that would ordinarily be made by the parent in the proceeding.


Inform the court if the parent no longer needs a guardian ad litem.


In making decisions under subsection (3) of this section, the guardian ad litem shall make the decisions consistent with what the guardian ad litem believes the parent would decide if the parent did not lack substantial capacity to either understand the nature and consequences of the proceeding or give direction or assistance to the parent’s attorney on decisions the parent must make in the proceeding.


The parent’s attorney shall follow directions provided by the guardian ad litem on decisions that are ordinarily made by the parent in the proceeding. The parent’s attorney shall inquire at every critical stage in the proceeding as to whether the parent’s competence has changed and, if appropriate, shall request removal of the guardian ad litem.


(a) A parent for whom a guardian ad litem has been appointed under ORS 419B.231 (Appointment) has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional services to the parent:


Between the guardian ad litem and the parent’s attorney or a representative of the attorney; or


Between the guardian ad litem and the parent.


The privilege created by this subsection:


May be claimed by the parent or the guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem may claim the privilege only on behalf of the parent.


Is subject to ORS 40.280 (Rule 511. Waiver of privilege by voluntary disclosure), 40.285 (Rule 512. Privileged matter disclosed under compulsion or without opportunity to claim privilege) and 40.290 (Rule 513. Comment upon or inference from claim of privilege). [2005 c.450 §3]
§§ 419B.500 to 419B.524

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statutes

Due process does not require the appointment of "independent counsel" to represent the child in every adoption or termination of parental rights proceeding. F. v. C., 24 Or App 601, 547 P2d 175 (1976)

When second termination of parental rights proceeding was not itself barred, proof was not limited by res judicata or collateral estoppel principles to facts or evidence which was not considered in or which came in to being after first proceeding. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. Newman, 49 Or App 221, 619 P2d 901 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Chapter 419B

Notes of Decisions

Due process rights of parents are always implicated in construction and application of provisions of this chapter. Department of Human Services v. J.R.F., 351 Or 570, 273 P3d 87 (2012)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021