Friday, July 15, 2016

Writ Frees Kid from Notice Trap

Alex R. v. Superior Court, No. B270686 (D2d7 Jun 13, 2016)

The trial court in this case refused to appoint a guardian ad litem for a minor who needed to bring a parentage action as part of a process to adjust his immigration status. Because the litigation entailed the severance of the parental relationship between the minor and his father, the trial court conditioned the appointment of the guardian on the minor’s giving notice to the father. But that isn’t right. The guardian ad litem statutes—Code of Civil Procedure § 372 and some provisions of the Family Code—don’t have a notice requirement. And requiring one puts the minor in a Catch-22—without the guardian, the minor can’t file and serve the parentage documents on the father. It is that notice—the service of process—and the subsequent opportunity be be heard that give the father the due process to which he is entitled, should he want it.

Writ granted.

No comments:

Post a Comment