Discretionary appointment of counsel

Litigation, Custody Disputes - Children

In Matter of Adoption of a Child by E.T., 302 N.J.Super. 533, 695 A.2d 734 (A.D.1997), the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey held that a court may in its discretion (pursuant to its inherent authority) appoint either a law guardian or a guardian ad litem to represent the child, but stated that:


[B]efore an appointment is made, there should be an articulated showing, on notice and an opportunity of all parties to be heard, as to the need for either a guardian ad litem or law guardian in a contested adoption action. Moreover, the order of appointment should delineate, at least to the extent practical, the reasons for the appointment as a guide to the appointee of the nature of the services expected by the court to be performed. We think it plain that the appointment must not be routine but must be reserved for those actions in which the child or the court clearly requires the specific assistance the appointee can render whether as a law guardian or a guardian ad litem.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no