Our immediate proposed changes

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the

free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of

the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of



Pay attention to "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


All people have the constitutionally guaranteed right to seek redress of grievances against specific GALs or the GAL Program as MN government employees.  To the extent that a person is being punished by the GAL, GAL Program of Family Courts for exercising that right, it is concerning.


We request your feedback, on abbreviated initial measures toward reform.  These are

measures that the GAL Board retains authority under the mandated and permissive duties of 

the Board.


1) Eliminate self-recommended GAL extensions of appointment.  GALs must follow the 

court rules of procedure.  


2) Enforce existing GAL statutes and educate guardians, attorneys and judicial officers.


3) Enforce existing prohibitions on GAL ex parte case communication with judicial officers.


4) Prohibit a GAL from recommending specific mental health professionals/businesses; 

only the particular expertise.  Parties would each suggest 2 names and then 

alternatively strike names.  


5) Articulate a published process that a GAL must abide by and consider before 

recommending to severely restrict or suspend parenting time.


6) Identify the appointed GAL, by name, in all court filings & orders throughout 



7) Require family court GALs to attend specialized training about domestic violence and 

ongoing impact and challenges for the entire family and co-parenting arrangements.


8) Eliminate GAL hearsay; GAL’s must submit evidence supporting their reports, and that 

evidence must become a part of the record (similar to confidential or financial 

information) and it must be available to the Court, the parties and/or their attorneys, and 

any appellate court.  


9) Prohibit oral only court reports as well as courtroom recommendations that differ 

significantly from the GAL’s formal report filed with the court.  A GAL should file a 

supplemental report to accommodate new information to avoid an “ambush” situation 

the day of the hearing.  


10) Prohibit a GAL from engaging in the unauthorized practice of medicine, including in the 

chemical and mental health subspecialties, by suggesting diagnoses, providing 

diagnoses, interpretations or treatment planning.


11) Mandate that a GAL must relay to the court mental and chemical health professional’s 

diagnoses & treatment plans verbatim by the qualified professionals, without their own 

unqualified interpretation.  


12) The GAL file must be made available for review by parties and/or their attorneys.  GAL’s 

have the same requirements for disclosure and discovery as all participant and parties.  


13) Enforce GAL filing deadlines and adherence to the Minnesota Rules of Civil 



14) Create an external web-based process for submitting GAL complaints and general 



15) Provide for an external review process of review for submitted complaints and to 

provide oversight to ensure the complaints are investigated and appropriately handled 

with actionable outcomes, where appropriate.


16) Metrics should be gathered throughout the stages of the engagement and complaint 



17) Provide written findings to the parties when a GAL has been found to have engaged in 

material misconduct.


We ask the Board to indicate its’ agreement to endorse these specific points of reform and to 

share with us a milestone projection when they might be accomplished.

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