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Name: In re Charles T.
Case #: C040423
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/04/2002
Subsequent History: None

In these dependency proceedings, the court appointed counsel for the minor but not a guardian ad litem. Appellant, the minor’s mother, did not object. On appeal, she argued that the parental rights termination order had to be set aside because no guardian ad litem had been appointed for the minor under Welfare and Institutions Code section 326.5. The appellate court here found that mother had standing to raise the issue, and that the issue was not waived, but that legal counsel for the minor can also act as a dependency guardian ad litem and fulfill the same function. California Rules of Court, rule 1438 requires appointment of counsel for a dependent minor, which counsel also functions as an independent guardian ad litem. However, if the minor would not benefit from appointment of counsel, the rule requires appointment of a guardian ad litem.