Rule 17.1. Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem for an Alleged Incapacitated Person or an Adult i...
Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of ArizonaEffective: January 1, 2023
Effective: January 1, 2023
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 17.1
Rule 17.1. Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem for an Alleged Incapacitated Person or an Adult in Need of Protection
(a) Appointment. Any party in a civil proceeding governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure may move for the appointment of a guardian ad litem (hereinafter referred to as a “GAL”) for a party who might be incapacitated or in need of protection (hereinafter referred to as the “subject person”), including the attorney for the subject person. On such motion, or on its own initiative, the court may appoint a GAL for a party if the court finds reasonable cause to believe that the party is, or may be, an incapacitated person (as defined in Rule 17(a)(4)) or an adult in need of protection (as defined in Rule 17(a)(1)) and the party is or may be in need of a guardian or conservator, or both, or other protective order under Chapter 5 of Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. The court must notify the parties and the GAL of the appointment within 3 days.
(c) Stay of Proceedings Upon Appointment. Unless the court orders otherwise, the court's appointment of a GAL under this rule automatically stays the civil proceeding, except that all previously issued orders remain in effect. This stay remains in effect until the court enters an order lifting the stay.
(d) Role. The role of a GAL appointed under this rule is limited to investigating whether the subject person may be in need of a guardian, conservator, or other protective order under Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, and, if so, to initiate and prosecute proceedings under Chapter 5 of Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. The GAL does not represent the subject person in the civil proceeding and may not be called to testify in that proceeding or be asked to advise the subject person or the court on any pending issue in the civil proceeding except on whether the subject person may be in need of a guardian, conservator, or other protective order under Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
(1) communicate with, and obtain and review records from, any person or entity who has knowledge or information relevant to whether the subject person is in need of a guardian, a conservator, or other protective order under Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. This power to obtain records includes access to all medical, substance abuse, psychiatric, psychological, and counseling records of the subject person, including records that are otherwise privileged or confidential;
(2) meet with the subject person at any location where that person may be located and meet and interview other individuals living in the same household as the subject person or, if the subject person is at a care facility, treatment agency, or hospital, the persons in charge of providing treatment to, or care for, the subject person;
(5) consult with any person who may be entitled to initiate, or has initiated, guardianship, conservatorship, or other protective proceedings under Chapter 5 of Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, and investigate and review the background of any person who is interested in becoming the guardian or conservator, including but not limited to the person's criminal arrests and convictions and credit history;
(2) Confidentiality. Notwithstanding Rule 17(g)(1), the GAL may not disclose any communication with the subject person except as is necessary to investigate and advise whether the subject person may be in need of a guardian, conservator, or other protective order under Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, or to initiate and prosecute proceedings under Chapter 5 of Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
(3) Subject Person's Privileges and Confidentiality. The appointment of a GAL for a subject person and the receipt of otherwise privileged or confidential documents or information by the GAL does not waive any of the subject person's privileges or rights of confidentiality. As a result, the GAL may not be compelled by any party to the civil proceeding to produce any privileged documents the GAL obtains.
(h) Independent Evaluation. On the GAL's motion, or on its own initiative, the court may order an evaluation of the subject person by a physician, psychologist, or registered nurse to assist the GAL in determining whether the subject person is an incapacitated person or an adult in need of protection. The physician, psychologist, or registered nurse must provide the results of that evaluation only to the guardian ad litem, and the evaluation is not subject to discovery in the civil proceeding.
(i) Report. Within the time set by the court, the GAL must file a report in the civil proceeding regarding the status and results of the GAL's investigation, including whether the GAL, or anyone else, intends to or has initiated guardianship proceedings, conservatorship proceedings, or both. If the report contains privileged or confidential information, the GAL must request to file the report under seal. The GAL must provide the parties to the civil proceeding with a copy of the report, but not any privileged or confidential information.
(j) Fees and Costs of GAL and Physician, Psychologist, or Registered Nurse. A GAL and any physician, psychologist, or registered nurse appointed under this rule are entitled to receive reasonable compensation for the work they performed and costs they incurred. Such compensation must be taxed as part of the action's costs.
Added Aug. 29, 2022, effective Jan. 1, 2023.
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 17.1, AZ ST RCP Rule 17.1
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through November 15, 2023. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through November 1, 2023.
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