2007 ORS 419A.170¹
Appointment
  • duties
  • immunity
  • access to information
  • CASA Fund
  • rules

(1) In every case under ORS chapter 419B, the court shall appoint a court appointed special advocate. The court appointed special advocate is deemed a party in these proceedings, and in the furtherance thereof, may be represented by counsel, file pleadings and request hearings and may subpoena, examine and cross-examine witnesses. If the court appointed special advocate is represented by counsel, counsel shall be paid from funds available to the Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer Program. No funds from the Public Defense Services Account or Judicial Department operating funds may be used for this purpose.

(2) Subject to the direction of the court, the duties of the court appointed special advocate are to:

(a) Investigate all relevant information about the case;

(b) Advocate for the child or ward, ensuring that all relevant facts are brought before the court;

(c) Facilitate and negotiate to ensure that the court, Department of Human Services, if applicable, and the child or ward’s attorney, if any, fulfill their obligations to the child or ward in a timely fashion; and

(d) Monitor all court orders to ensure compliance and to bring to the court’s attention any change in circumstances that may require a modification of the court’s order.

(3) If a juvenile court does not have available to it a CASA Volunteer Program, or a sufficient number of qualified CASA volunteers, the court may, in fulfillment of the requirements of this section, appoint a juvenile department employee or other suitable person to represent the child or ward’s interest in court pursuant to ORS 419A.012 (Duties of director or counselor) or 419B.195 (Appointment of counsel for child or ward).

(4) Any person appointed as a court appointed special advocate in any judicial proceeding on behalf of the child or ward is immune from any liability for defamation or statements made in good faith by that person, orally or in writing, in the course of the case review or judicial proceeding.

(5) Any person appointed as a court appointed special advocate, CASA Volunteer Program director, CASA Volunteer Program employee or member of the board of directors or trustees of any CASA Volunteer Program is immune from any liability for acts or omissions or errors in judgment made in good faith in the course or scope of that person’s duties or employment as part of a CASA Volunteer Program.

(6) Whenever the court appoints a court appointed special advocate or other person under subsections (1) to (3) of this section to represent the child or ward, it may require a parent, if able, or guardian of the estate, if the estate is able, to pay, in whole or in part, the reasonable costs of CASA services including reasonable attorney fees. The court’s order of payment is enforceable in the same manner as an order of support under ORS 419B.408 (Enforcement of support order).

(7) Upon presentation of the order of appointment by the court appointed special advocate, any agency, hospital, school organization, division, office or department of the state, doctor, nurse or other health care provider, psychologist, psychiatrist, police department or mental health clinic shall permit the court appointed special advocate to inspect and copy any records relating to the child or ward involved in the case, without the consent of the child, ward or parents.

(8) All records and information acquired or reviewed by a court appointed special advocate during the course of official duties are deemed confidential under ORS 419A.255 (Maintenance).

(9) For the purposes of a Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) grant to this state under Public Law No. 93-247, or any related state or federal legislation, a court appointed special advocate or other person appointed pursuant to subsections (1) to (3) of this section is deemed a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child or ward in proceedings before the court. Any provisions of this section and ORS 419B.035 (Confidentiality of records) and 419B.045 (Investigation conducted on public school premises) that cause this state to lose federal funding are null and void.

(10) There is created a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Fund in the General Fund. The fund consists of all moneys credited to it. Moneys in the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund are continuously appropriated to the State Commission on Children and Families and may be used only to carry out the purposes of this section. The commission may apply for and receive funds from federal and private sources for carrying out the provisions of this section.

(11) The state commission may expend moneys from the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund directly or indirectly through contracts or grants for the creation, supervision and operation of CASA Volunteer Programs statewide in accordance with the provisions of ORS 419A.045 (Policy and purpose) to 419A.048 (Court to comply with fiscal reporting procedures). The commission may also expend moneys from the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund to pay the reasonable costs of its administration of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund. The commission shall adopt rules for carrying out its responsibilities under this section and ORS 419B.035 (Confidentiality of records) and 419B.045 (Investigation conducted on public school premises). [1993 c.33 §44; 1993 c.546 §92; 1993 c.676 §41; 1997 c.130 §12; 2001 c.962 §91; 2003 c.396 §§25,26; 2005 c.755 §35]

Notes of Decisions

Where suitable adoptive place­ment is sought for child, court has discre­tion to order disclosure to court appointed special advocate of home study in­for­ma­­tion submitted to adop­tion committee for considera­tion. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Mitchell, 182 Or App 402, 49 P3d 838 (2002), Sup Ct review denied

Where child is no longer candidate for adop­tion, court may not order disclosure of adop­tion home studies to child's attorney or court appointed special advocate. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Morgan, 183 Or App 140, 51 P3d 637 (2002)

Court appointed special advocate continues to be party to case for as long as juvenile court retains jurisdic­tion over child. State ex rel Dept. of Human Services v. Guldager, 187 Or App 543, 69 P3d 764 (2003)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 419A—Juvenile Code: General Provisions and Definitions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­419a.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 419A, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­419aano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.