Making a Complaint about a Guardian ad Litem
If you have a serious concern about misconduct, bias, or other action of the GAL or CASA GAL in a child protection case or a family matters case you may file a complaint as follows:
If your case is ongoing, you may:
1. File a written request (motion) asking that the court remove the GAL or CASA GAL.
Only parties in the case have the right to file a motion to remove the GAL. These parties are:
- Either parent in a family matters case (Divorce or Parental Rights & Responsibilities);
- Either parent in a child protection case;
- The Department of Health and Human Services in a child protection case; or
- Any other individual who has been given party status by the judge or magistrate in a child protection case or family matters case.
In the motion, explain why you believe the GAL should be removed. If you want a court hearing on your request, you must ask for a hearing in your motion. Send copies of your motion to all of the other parties in the case and to the GAL.
How the court decides
The court must remove the GAL from your case if the GAL has been:
- Suspended or removed from the roster of GALs;
- Convicted of a serious crime; or
- The Department of Health and Human Services has found that the GAL abused or neglected a child.
In all other cases, it is up to the court to decide whether to remove the GAL from the case. If the GAL is removed, the court will decide whether to appoint a new GAL or whether the case should continue without a GAL. Neither the GAL nor anyone else may appeal the court’s decision.
2. In the alternative, you may file a complaint with the Guardian ad Litem Review Board.
All parties to a case involving the GAL have the right to file a complaint. Judges may also file complaints.
If your case is finished and you have serious concerns about the GAL
You must file a complaint with the Guardian ad Litem Review Board. Your complaint must be filed within six (6) years after the act about which you are complaining. Use the complaint form on Guardian ad Litem Review Board website.
Administrative Order JB-05-5 (A.7-16.2) (fee schedule for court-appointed GALs)
GAL Order of Appointment in a Family Matters Case (FM-125) (sample order)
Maine CASA (website)