2017 ORS 419B.112¹
Court appointed special advocate
  • duties
  • immunity
  • access to information
  • funding
  • 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 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 in the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund established under ORS 184.498 (Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund). Counsel representing a court appointed special advocate may not be paid from moneys in the Public Defense Services Account established by ORS 151.225 (Public Defense Services Account), from moneys appropriated to the Public Defense Services Commission or from Judicial Department operating funds.

(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, the 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 an order of the court.

(3) If a juvenile court does not have a sufficient number of qualified court appointed special advocates available to it, 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, the court 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 court appointed special advocate 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, and may consult with the court appointed special advocate regarding, 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 P.L. 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. [2012 c.97 §2; 2012 c.107 §105; 2017 c.630 §9]

Note: 419B.112 (Court appointed special advocate) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 419B or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statutes

Due process does not require the appoint­ment of “independent counsel” to represent the child in every adop­tion or termina­tion of parental rights pro­ceed­ing. F. v. C., 24 Or App 601, 547 P2d 175 (1976)

When sec­ond termina­tion of parental rights pro­ceed­ing was not itself barred, proof was not limited by res judicata or collateral estoppel principles to facts or evidence which was not considered in or which came in to being after first pro­ceed­ing. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. Newman, 49 Or App 221, 619 P2d 901 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 419 A.170)

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)

Chapter 419B

Notes of Decisions

Due process rights of parents are al­ways implicated in construc­tion and applica­tion of pro­vi­sions of this chapter. Depart­ment of Human Services v. J.R.F., 351 Or 570, 273 P3d 87 (2012)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 419B—Juvenile Code: Dependency, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors419B.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 419B, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano419B.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
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.