Saturday, September 26, 2009

Guardian Ad Litem Has Immunity As To Comments On Mother's Religious Views

In Wood v. Epley, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87490 (SD OH, Sept. 9, 2009), an Ohio federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing as frivolous a lawsuit brought by Kyra Wood seeking $40 million in damages from an attorney who was appointed guardian ad litem by a state juvenile court to represent the interests of her daughter. Wood alleged that she was deprived of her free exercise rights because of unflattering comments the guardian ad litem made to the court about her religious expression. The court said that the guardian ad litem has absolute immunity from liability growing out of his testimony as to what he believes are in the best interest of the Wood's daughter.