Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 37: Juveniles

Chapter 1: Juvenile Courts and Proceedings

Part 1: General Provisions

TCA 37-1-149: Guardian ad litem -- Special advocate -- Appointment.

(a) (1) The court at any stage of a proceeding under this part, on application of a party or on its own motion, shall appoint a guardian ad litem for a child who is a party to the proceeding if such child has no parent, guardian or custodian appearing on such child's behalf or such parent's, guardian's or custodian's interests conflict with the child's or in any other case in which the interests of the child require a guardian. The court, in any proceeding under this part resulting from a report of harm or an investigation report under SCSC 37-1-401 -- 37-1-411, shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child who was the subject of the report. A party to the proceeding or the party's employee or representative shall not be appointed.

(2) Any guardian ad litem appointed by the court shall receive training appropriate to that role prior to such appointment. Such training shall include, but is not limited to, training in early childhood, child and adolescent development provided by a qualified professional.

(b) (1) The court may also appoint a nonlawyer special advocate trained in accordance with that role and in accordance with the standards of the Tennessee Court Appointed Special Advocates Association (CASA) to act in the best interest of a child before, during and after court proceedings.

(2) The court-appointed special advocate shall conduct such investigation and make such reports and recommendations pertaining to the welfare of a child as the court may order or direct.

(3) Any guardian ad litem or special advocate so appointed by the court shall be presumed to be acting in good faith and in so doing shall be immune from any liability that might otherwise be incurred while acting within the scope of such appointment.

History: Acts 1970, ch. 600, SC 48; 1973, ch. 81, SC 4; T.CA., SC 37-248; Acts 1990, ch. 929, SC 1; 2004, ch. 584, SCSC 1, 2; 2012, ch. 1016, SC 2.