Eighth Judicial Court Rules

Rule 5.69 – Court appointed special advocate.

Rule 5.69. Court appointed special advocate.

  • (a) Under appropriate circumstances, the judge or master may appoint a court appointed special advocate (CASA) as an advocate for any minor child. When an advocate is appointed, the CASA Office shall supervise the advocate’s activities.

    (b) The CASA Office is divided into two program areas: juvenile and family.

    (1) Juvenile services focus on the permanency planning needs of minor children who have been declared to be wards of the State of Nevada and adults involved with those children, ascertaining the children’s concerns, desires and needs with regard to issues before the court.

    (2) Family services focus on the best interest of minor children who are the subject of a custody dispute and adults involved with those children and on ascertaining the children’s concerns, desires and needs with regard to the issues before the court.

    (c) A judge or master may refer a case to the CASA Office for any of the above services or combination of services or for other specialized services as may be set forth in the Office’s scope of services. A form order, approved by the court, may be used for these referrals.

    (d) Services will be conducted by an advocate under the procedures adopted by the CASA Office.

    (e) If the pleadings or papers filed with the court contain allegations of domestic violence by one spouse against another spouse, then any referral to CASA must contain an order that the Office implement its domestic violence protocol in the handling of the case.

    (f) The judge or master may continue any matter for the purpose of obtaining CASA services.

    (g) In family adjudication matters any written report prepared by the advocate shall be delivered to the judge or master in chambers. Only the parties and their attorneys are entitled to read the written report. Written reports are confidential, except as provided by order of the judge or master.

    Only a licensed attorney may retain possession of a written report outside the court. Any attorney retaining a copy of a written report may neither make copies of it nor disclose its contents to anyone without advance permission of the judge or master. If an attorney retaining a copy of a written report leaves the case, the attorney may not give the copy 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 copy to the judge or master who ordered the written report.

    (h) No copy of the written report, or any part thereof, may be made an exhibit to, or a part of, any file. No child who is the subject of the written report may see a copy of the written report or be advised of its contents by anyone. No party may reproduce a copy of a written report or any part thereof except the recommendations section, if any, or share the contents of the written report with any other person. The written report may be received as direct evidence of the facts contained therein which are within the personal knowledge of the advocate who prepared the report.

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

    (j) Any confidential exhibits attached to a report may not be distributed to anyone without an order of the court but may be viewed, upon request of counsel or the party in the event the party is in proper person, in the judge’s or master’s courtroom or chamber or such other place designated by the judge or master. Statements of a child may not be viewed without an order of the court.

    (k) All original written reports and confidential exhibits must be returned to the clerk and sealed in a separate file or kept by the master or judge in chambers subject to the direction of the judge or master who 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.

    (l) In juvenile adjudication matters, any written report prepared by the advocate shall be filed with the clerk and shall be covered by all aspects of the confidentiality rules pertinent to juvenile adjudication court files.

    (m) The CASA Office may formulate guidelines, procedures and policies relevant to the scope of services offered by CASA, subject to approval by the family division administrator and the family division judges.

    [Amended; effective August 21, 2000.]