(a) The Department of Law Enforcement Agency receiving a report under 45.2002 or 45.2003, in addition to taking immediate steps under paragraph (a)(2) of 45.0201 and 45.2005 as may be required to protect a child, shall inform the Court within 72 hours that the child appears to be within the Court’s jurisdiction. Upon receipt of the information, the Court makes an immediate investigation to determine whether protection of the child from further abuse is required and upon that determination may authorize the filing of a petition, as provided for in 45.0302.
(b) In any proceeding initiated under this section, the Court shall name as respondents all persons alleged by the petition to have caused or permitted the abuse or neglect alleged in the petition. In each case, the responsible person is named as respondent. Summons is issued for all named respondents in accordance with 45.0311 to 45.0318.
(c) The Court in each case filed under this section appoints a guardian ad litem in accordance with 45.0326. The guardian ad litem is given access to all reports relevant to the case made to or by any public agency or person under this chapter and 45.0304 and to reports of any examination of the responsible person made under this section. The guardian ad litem is charged in general with the representation of the child’s interests. To that end he makes further investigation he considers necessary to ascertain the facts, interview witnesses, and examine and cross-examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory and dispositional hearings and may introduce and examine his own witnesses, make recommendations to the Court concerning the child’s welfare, and participate further in the proceedings to the degree necessary to adequately represent the child.
(d) If the prayer of the petition is granted, the costs of this proceeding, including guardian ad litem and expert witness fees, may be charged by the Court against the respondent. If the prayer of the petition is not granted, the costs may be charged against the Territory of American Samoa.History: 1980, PL 16-71 § 1; amd 1988, PL 20-71.
Research Guide: CRS 19-10-1 13, 21 ASC 2911