Bill Text: IA SSB1008 | 2021-2022 | 89th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act relating to the appointment of a guardian ad litem for certain child prosecution witnesses.(See SF 180.)

Spectrum: Committee Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-27 - Committee report approving bill, renumbered as SF 180. [SSB1008 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2021-SSB1008-Introduced.html
Senate Study Bill 1008 - Introduced SENATE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY BILL BY CHAIRPERSON ZAUN) A BILL FOR An Act relating to the appointment of a guardian ad litem for 1 certain child prosecution witnesses. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 1320XC (1) 89 as/rh
S.F. _____ Section 1. Section 915.37, subsection 1, Code 2021, is 1 amended to read as follows: 2 1. a. A prosecuting witness who is a child , as defined 3 in section 702.5 , in a case involving a violation of chapter 4 709 or 710A , or section 726.2 , 726.3 , 726.6 , or 728.12 , is 5 entitled to have the witness’s interests represented by a 6 guardian ad litem at all stages of the proceedings arising from 7 such violation. The guardian ad litem shall be a practicing 8 attorney and shall be designated by the court after due 9 consideration is given to the desires and needs of the child 10 and the compatibility of the child and the child’s interests 11 with the prospective guardian ad litem. If a guardian ad litem 12 has previously been appointed for the child in a proceeding 13 under chapter 232 or a proceeding in which the juvenile court 14 has waived jurisdiction under section 232.45 , the court shall 15 appoint the same guardian ad litem under this section . The 16 guardian ad litem shall receive notice of and may attend 17 all depositions, hearings, and trial proceedings to support 18 the child and advocate for the protection of the child but 19 shall not be allowed to separately introduce evidence or to 20 directly examine or cross-examine witnesses. However, the 21 guardian ad litem shall file reports to the court as required 22 by the court. If a prosecuting witness is fourteen, fifteen, 23 sixteen, or seventeen years of age, and would be entitled to 24 the appointment of a guardian ad litem if the prosecuting 25 witness were a child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem 26 if the requirements for guardians ad litem in this section are 27 met, and the guardian ad litem agrees to participate without 28 compensation. 29 b. For purposes of this subsection, “child” means a person 30 under eighteen years of age. 31 EXPLANATION 32 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 33 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 34 Under current law, in a case involving sexual abuse, human 35 -1- LSB 1320XC (1) 89 as/rh 1/ 2
S.F. _____ trafficking, incest, neglect or abandonment of a dependent 1 person, child endangerment, or sexual exploitation of a minor, 2 a prosecuting witness who is a child (under the age of 14 3 years) is entitled to have the witness’s interests represented 4 by a guardian ad litem at all stages of the proceedings in 5 such cases. If a prosecuting witness is 14, 15, 16, or 17 6 years of age and would be entitled to the appointment of a 7 guardian ad litem if the prosecuting witness was under the 8 age of 14, a court may appoint a guardian ad litem for such a 9 prosecuting witness if the requirements for the appointment of 10 the guardian ad litem are met and the guardian ad litem agrees 11 to participate without compensation. The bill strikes the 12 latter provision and provides that a prosecuting witness who 13 is a child under the age of 18 years in a case involving sexual 14 abuse, human trafficking, incest, neglect or abandonment of a 15 dependent person, child endangerment, or sexual exploitation of 16 a minor is entitled to have the witness’s interests represented 17 by a guardian ad litem at all stages of the proceedings in such 18 cases. 19 -2- LSB 1320XC (1) 89 as/rh 2/ 2
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