May 24, 2022 – In re Z.O. (4th Dist., Div. 3, G060663)

In an appeal from a WIC 366.26 hearing, the Court of Appeal finds the juvenile court appointed a guardian ad litem (GAL) for mother without providing grounds or explanation in the record. This error deprived mother of the ability to participate at critical stages in the proceedings and to effectively appeal and challenge the juvenile court’s reasoning for the appointment of the GAL. In addition, the agency’s reports did not include copies of the correspondence exchanged with or received from the tribes regarding possible Native American ancestry.