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A288, R348, S980
Sponsors: Senator Lourie
Document Path: l:\council\bills\nbd\11882ac08.doc
Introduced in the Senate on January 10, 2008
Introduced in the House on April 30, 2008
Passed by the General Assembly on June 4, 2008
Governor's Action: June 11, 2008, Signed
Summary: Guardian ad litem program
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1/10/2008 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-3 1/10/2008 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-3 1/15/2008 Senate Referred to Subcommittee: Ritchie (ch), Rankin, Lourie, Scott, Ceips 4/23/2008 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary SJ-17 4/24/2008 Senate Committee Amendment Adopted SJ-65 4/24/2008 Senate Read second time SJ-65 4/29/2008 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-52 4/30/2008 House Introduced and read first time HJ-4 4/30/2008 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-4 5/28/2008 House Recalled from Committee on Judiciary HJ-184 6/3/2008 House Read second time HJ-27 6/4/2008 House Read third time and enrolled HJ-52 6/5/2008 Ratified R 348 6/11/2008 Signed By Governor 6/18/2008 Copies available 6/18/2008 Effective date 06/11/08 6/19/2008 Act No. 288
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A288, R348, S980)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-121, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE CREATION, PURPOSE, AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A COUNTY PROVIDING GUARDIAN AD LITEM SERVICES ON THIS ACT'S EFFECTIVE DATE MAY CONTINUE TO PROVIDE THESE SERVICES IF THE COUNTY'S PROGRAM IS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE ASSOCIATION AND TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH PROGRAMS MUST COMPLY WITH ALL STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 20-7-126 AND 20-7-127, BOTH AS AMENDED, RELATING, RESPECTIVELY, TO CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS AND IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY, SO AS TO FURTHER SPECIFY THAT THESE PROVISIONS APPLY TO COUNTY GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAMS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-129, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO FUNDING PROVIDED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE SOUTH CAROLINA GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH FUNDING MUST NOT BE PROVIDED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR A COUNTY GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
County guardian ad litem programs
SECTION 1. Section 20-7-121 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 450 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 20-7-121. (A) There is created the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program to serve as a statewide system to provide training and supervision to volunteers who serve as court-appointed special advocates for children in abuse and neglect proceedings within the family court, pursuant to Section 20-7-110. This program must be administered by the Office of the Governor.
(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A), a county providing the guardian ad litem services set forth in subsection (A) prior to the effective date of this act may continue to provide such services, provided the county guardian ad litem program is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. However, a county guardian ad litem program operating pursuant to this subsection must comply with all state and federal laws, even if compliance with state or federal laws would result in the violation of a requirement for membership in the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association."
Confidentiality applies to county guardian ad litem programs
SECTION 2. Section 20-7-126 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 450 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 20-7-126. (A) All reports and information collected pursuant to this subarticle maintained by the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program, or a county guardian ad litem program operating pursuant to Section 20-7-121(B), are confidential except as provided for in Section 20-7-690(C). A person who disseminates or permits the unauthorized dissemination of the information is guilty of contempt of court and, upon conviction, may be fined or imprisoned, or both, pursuant to Section 20-7-1350.
(B) The name, address, and other identifying characteristics of a person named in a report determined to be judicially unfounded must be destroyed one year from the date of the determination. The name, address, and other identifying characteristics of any person named in a report determined to be judicially indicated must be destroyed seven years from the date that the guardian ad litem formally is relieved of responsibility as guardian ad litem by the family court.
(C) The director of the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program or the director's designee, or the chief administrator of a county guardian ad litem program operating pursuant to Section 20-7-121(B), may disclose to the media information contained in child protective services records, if disclosure is limited to discussion of the program's activities in handling the case. The program may incorporate into its discussion of the handling of the case any information placed in the public domain by other public officials, a criminal prosecution, the alleged perpetrator or the attorney for the alleged perpetrator, or other public judicial proceedings. For purposes of this subsection, information is considered 'placed in the public domain' when it has been reported in the news media, is contained in public records of a criminal justice agency, is contained in public records of a court of law, or has been the subject of testimony in a public judicial proceeding."
Immunity from liability applies to court guardians ad litem
SECTION 3. Section 20-7-127 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 450 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 20-7-127. After participating in the training program of the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program, or a county guardian ad litem program operating pursuant to Section 20-7-121(B), a person who is appointed to serve as guardian ad litem and serves without compensation is not liable for any civil damages for any personal injury as a result of any act or omission by the person in the discharge of the responsibilities of a guardian ad litem if the person acts in good faith and is not guilty of gross negligence."
State funding not to be provided to county guardian ad litem program
SECTION 4. Section 20-7-129 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 450 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 20-7-129. The General Assembly shall provide the funds necessary for the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program to carry out the provisions of Sections 20-7-121 through 20-7-127 and 20-7-690(B)(5). The General Assembly shall not provide any funding for a county guardian ad litem program."
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 5th day of June, 2008.
Approved the 11th day of June, 2008.
This web page was last updated on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 1:30 P.M.