2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 9-5-89, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT SHALL NOT ASSESS GUARDIAN AD LITEM COSTS AGAINST THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES WHERE THE DEPARTMENT IS NOT THE INITIATING PARTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 9-5-89, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
9-5-89. (1) The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to any infant or defendant of unsound mind, and allow him suitable compensation payable out of the estate of such party, but the appointment shall not be made except when the court shall consider it necessary for the protection of the interest of such defendant; and a decree or judgment of any court shall not be void or erroneous because of the failure to have a guardian ad litem.
(2) (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the court shall not assess guardian ad litem fees, court costs, transportation costs or attorney fees against the Department of Human Services, its county offices, nor any of its officers, employees or representatives.
(b) The court shall not assess other fees, costs or expenses against its department, its offices, officers, employees or representatives, except as are specially required by statute to be paid by the department or its representatives.
(c) If a proceeding is brought by the Department of Human Services, it may pay a guardian ad litem fee for a minor child or sibling group in an amount not to exceed Six Hundred Fifty Dollars ($650.00), if funds for this purpose are available to the department.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.