1. Id .
2. See : Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act (1998), §102(5). For a copy of the Act, see : www.nccusl. org .
3. In re Guardianship of Gabriel Halasz , King County Cause No. 02-4-06260-9SEA, WA State, Declaration of Gabriel Halasz, December 4, 2003, p. 1, ¶ 2.
4 . See , e.g. : Wash. Rev. Code § 11.88.005; Wash. Rev. Code § 11.88.010(1)(f); and N.J. § 30:4-165.13.
5. Wagner is discussed in DIANE G. ARMSTRONG, THE NIGHTMARE RETIREMENT: HOW TO SAVE YOURSELF FROM YOUR HEIRS AND PROTECTORS (Prometheus Books, 2000), p. 119. In Wagner , the mother was eventually released from guardianship, which is unusual. Id . at 122.
6. The practice of professional guardians petitioning for their own clients has been more derisively termed “bounty hunting for the elderly.” See e.g. , Guardianship of Joan M. Gammon , King County Cause No. 04-4-01218- 7SEA, WA State, Larry Gammon’s Motion for Reconsideration to Vacate Order Appointing Guardian as Void, and for Fees, p. 20 (“The potential for abuse is boundless”).
7. Robin Fields, Evelyn Larrubia and Jack Leonard, When a Family Matter Turns into a Business , LA TIMES, November 13, 2005.
8. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS DICTIONARY
9. Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act (1998), § 305 (describing the role of the “court visitor,” including the duty to file a report with recommendations).
10. Cf. Margaret K. Dore, Court-Appointed Parenting Evaluators and Guardians ad Litem: Practical Realities and an Argument for Abolition , DIVORCE LITIGATION, Vol. 18, No. 4, April 2006 (Parenting evaluators and guardians ad litem investigate custody arrangements and report back to the court with their recommendations [or provide a brief]). ( http://www.margaretdore.com/docs/Dore_Div_Lit_ Article_4-06.pdf ).
11. See e.g. , Wash. Rev. Code § 11.88.090(5)(describing the duties of the “guardian ad litem,” with such duties being similar to those of a court visitor under the Uniform Act, § 305).
12. The tendency for evaluators/guardians ad litem to follow their own criteria has been documented in at least one reported decision. See : Gilbert v. Gilbert , 664 A.2d 239, 242 at fn.2 (Vt 1995) (describing survey results, including that “many [guardians ad litem] are not following applicable law”). This tendency is also documented in an article by Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D. He states: When an evaluator recommends [a child’s placement] we are learning not about the relative capacities of the parties but, instead, about the relative values of the evaluators. Paul S. Abbelbaum, M.D., “ The Medicalization of Judicial Decision-Making ”, THE ELDER LAW REPORT, Vol. X, No. 7, February 1999, p. 3, ¶1, last line.
13. Cf. Dore, supra at 53.
14. Id . at 54.
15. Id .
16. Cf. Cheryl Phillips, Maureen O’Hagan and Justin Mayo, Secrecy Hides Cozy Ties in Guardianship Cases , SEATTLE TIMES, December 4, 2006 (“the Snohomish County Court appointed the guardian ad litem whom [the petitioner’s attorney] recommended . . .”).
17. Id .
18. Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act (1998), § 311, Comment (“The clear and convincing evidence standard for the appointment of a guardian is new to the Act, but mandated by the Constitution . . .”).
19. See e.g. , Wash. Rev. Code § 11.88.090(5)(g) and Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act (1998), § 305(b)(Alternate 1).
20. Id . 21. Wash. Rev. Code § 11.88.090(10).
22. Professors Raven Lidman and Betsy Hollingsworth make a similar point: If the guardian ad litem is being paid by one party or can only reasonably expect payment from one party, her judgment and recommendation may be or may appear to be infl uenced by this consideration. (Emphasis removed). Raven C. Lidman and Betsy R. Hollingsworth, The Guardian ad Litem in Child Custody Cases: The Contours of Our Judicial System Stretched Beyond Recognition, 6 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 255, 302 (1998).
23. Wash. Rev. Code § 11.88.045(2).
24. Cf. Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act (1998), § 305(b)(Alternate 2), which states: Unless the respondent [the proposed ward] is represented by a lawyer, the court shall appoint a lawyer to represent the respondent in the proceeding.
25. See e.g. , Written Testimony of Tami Ingraham before the Washington State Senate Judiciary Committee, January 26, 2007 (regarding a proposed public awareness campaign). Contact email@example.com