California : Family Code: 3110-3117
(provided by Divorce Source, Inc.)
3110. As used in this chapter, "court-appointed investigator" means a probation officer, domestic relations investigator, or court-appointed evaluator directed by the court to conduct an investigation pursuant to this chapter.
3111. (a) Where directed by the court, the court-appointed investigator shall conduct a custody investigation and file a written confidential report on it. At least 10 days before any hearing regarding custody of the child, the report shall be filed with the clerk of the court in which the custody hearing will be conducted and served on the parties or their attorneys. The report may be considered by the court.
(b) The report shall not be made available other than as provided in subdivision (a). (c) The report may be received in evidence on stipulation of all interested parties and is competent evidence as to all matters contained in the report.
(d) On and after January 1, 1998, no person shall be a court-appointed investigator under this chapter unless the person has completed the domestic violence training program described in Section 1816. The Judicial Council shall prescribe standards that the training shall meet.
(e) The Judicial Council shall draft a statewide rule of court requiring domestic violence training for all court-appointed persons who evaluate or investigate child custody matters.
3112. (a) Where a court-appointed investigator is directed by the court to conduct a custody investigation or to undertake visitation work, including necessary evaluation, supervision, and reporting, the court shall inquire into the financial condition of the parent, guardian, or other person charged with the support of the minor. If the court finds the parent, guardian, or other person able to pay all or part of the expense of the investigation, report, and recommendation, the court may make an order requiring the parent, guardian, or other person to repay the county the amount the court determines proper.
(b) The repayment shall be made to the county officer designated by the board of supervisors, who shall keep suitable accounts of the expenses and repayments and shall deposit the collections in the county treasury.
3113. Where there has been a history of domestic violence between the parties, or where a protective order as defined in Section 6218 is in effect, at the request of the party alleging domestic violence in a written declaration under penalty of perjury or at the request of a party who is protected by the order, the parties shall meet with the court-appointed investigator separately and at separate times.
3114. Nothing in this chapter prohibits a court-appointed investigator from recommending to the court that counsel be appointed pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3150) to represent the minor child. In making that recommendation, the court-appointed investigator shall inform the court of the reasons why it would be in the best interest of the child to have counsel appointed.
3115. No statement, whether written or oral, or conduct shall be held to constitute a waiver by a party of the right to cross-examine the court-appointed investigator, unless the statement is made, or the conduct occurs, after the report has been received by a party or his or her attorney.
3116. Nothing in this chapter limits the duty of a court-appointed investigator to assist the appointing court in the transaction of the business of the court.
3117. The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 1999, do both of the following:
(a) Adopt standards for full and partial court-connected evaluations, investigations, and assessments related to child custody.
(b) Adopt procedural guidelines for the expeditious and cost-effective cross-examination of court-appointed investigators, including, but not limited to, the use of electronic technology whereby the court-appointed investigator may not need to be present in the courtroom. These guidelines shall in no way limit the requirement that the court-appointed investigator be available for the purposes of cross-examination. These guidelines shall also provide for written notification to the parties of the right to cross-examine these investigators after the parties have had a reasonable time to review the investigator's report.
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