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Name: In re C.G.
Case #: B175094
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 05/05/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 8/10/05

The developmentally disabled mother in this dependency case contended on appeal that the appointment of a guardian ad litem at the detention hearing violated her due process rights. The appellate court agreed and reversed. Nothing in the record suggested that the appointment of the guardian ad litem was explained to mother or that she had any idea what it was, consented to it, or was given an opportunity to state her position. In addition, the court failed to adequately inquire about mother’s competence; it merely granted counsel’s request to appoint a guardian. The error in this case was structural because mother was deprived of her status as a party in the case, and therefore reversal was required.