In KRL v. DCF, the GAL Program replaced a volunteer GAL who objected to TPR for a staff GAL who supported it. The issue was live at OA; but, in the written opinion, the Third DCA is silent about the substitution except for a footnote pointing out that GAL #2 had never seen the mother with the child.
This seems right to me. The GAL Program is appointed as an organization to represent the child’s best interests, and it can assign whoever it wants to work the cases (separation of powers and all). The risk of substitution is that the replaced GAL will become a defense witness and the trial court will be skeptical of the substituted GAL’s opinion. For me that’s a question of trial tactics and volunteer recruitment politics, not law.
As for the substance of the case, it’s basically a road map to defending a failure-to-protect expedited TPR, in four easy steps:
- Create the appearance of culpability in someone else.
- Get a doctor to say that the injuries were non-obvious.
- Get a psychiatrist/psychologist to say that the non-abusive parent isn’t a direct risk.
- Create the appearance that the allegedly abusive parent is out-of-the-picture for good.