Eighth Judicial Court Rules

Rule 5.13 – Child interview and outsource evaluation reports.

Rule 5.13. Child interview and outsource evaluation reports.

  • (a) A written child interview report or outsource evaluation report prepared by the Family Mediation Center or an outsource evaluator shall be delivered to the judge in chambers. Only the parties and their attorneys are entitled to read the written reports, which are confidential except as provided by order of the judge.

    (b) Only a licensed attorney may retain possession of a written report outside the court. An attorney retaining a copy of a written report may not make copies of the report or disclose its contents to anyone without advance permission of the judge. If an attorney retaining a copy of a written report leaves the case, the attorney may not give the written report to the client. The attorney must either turn the written report over to another licensed attorney who has appeared as successor counsel for that party or return the written report to the judge or hearing master who ordered the report.

    (c) No copy of a written report, or any part thereof, may be made an exhibit to, or a part of, the open court file except by the judge. No child who is the subject of a written report may see a copy of the report or be advised of its contents by anyone. No party may reproduce a copy of a written report or any part thereof or share the contents of a written report with any other person. A written report may be received as direct evidence of the facts contained therein that are within the personal knowledge of the specialist who prepared the report.

    (d) If a party is proceeding in proper person, that party may not retain a copy of a written report. That party is entitled to read a written report in the judge’s courtroom or chambers or at such other place designated by the judge.

    (e) Any confidential exhibits attached to a written report may not be distributed to anyone without an order of the court. Such exhibits may be viewed, upon request of counsel or a party proceeding in proper person, in the judge’s courtroom or chambers or such other place designated by the judge. Statements of a child may only be viewed upon order of the court.

    (f) The original written report and any confidential exhibits must be returned to the clerk and sealed in a separate file or kept by the judge in chambers subject to the direction of the judge who is assigned the case. This separate file may not be viewed by or released to anyone except a judicial officer or an employee of a judicial officer without an order from the court.

    [Added; effective November 27, 2003.]