Kelley v. Pierce County: The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling that quasi-judicial immunity did not apply guardian ad litem.
By Christina A. Meserve and Charles E. Szurszewski, Family lawyers
The legal issue is whether quasi-judicial immunity applies to a court-appointed guardian ad litem who is alleged to have stalked, assaulted, and sexually harassed the mother in a parental termination case. The mother’s declarations included claims that the GAL had continuously called and texted her, including when he was under the influence of alcohol; stopped by her job when she was not there; stopped by her home near midnight; sent text messages of himself holding alcoholic beverages and asking if he could buy her a drink, etc.
The court rejected the notion that such acts, if true, would qualify for total immunity. Accordingly, the trial court’s ruling that quasi-judicial immunity did not apply was affirmed in Kelley v. Pierce County. The case was remanded for trial on the mother’s claims.
Christina A. Meserve and Charles E. Szurszewski practice family law in Olympia, Washington with the law firm of Connolly Tacon & Meserve.
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