Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) is an attorney appointed for the children. This attorney is supposed to tell the court what the child wants and what the attorney thinks is in the child’s best interest (which may be two different things).
A parent, unhappy with the GAL’s representation, sued a Maryland GAL. The Court of Special Appeals held that the GAL had immunity from suit as a special agent of the Court. However the Court of Appeals reversed and said there was no basis for immunity in the Maryland Code.
This resulted in dozens of GAL’s resigning and the court is now hard pressed to find lawyers willing to serve in this capacity. It also caused legislators to introduce bills that would provide some form of immunity for GAL’s. A fight is brewing as judges, lawyers and parents weigh in on both sides.