102 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 37: 1 2017]
with individuals with knowledge of custodial arrangements and refer children for assessments. 144
The de facto Friend of the Court’s report must be provided to the court and counsel, and they are
subject to cross examination. 145 In addition, any fact witnesses or other people consulted by the
de facto Friend of the Court regarding best interests determinations may also be cross-examined. 146
II. MORGAN v. GETTER: THE AFTERMATH
Morgan reached the Kentucky Supreme Court after the child had already turned eighteen,
rendering the legal issues moot. 147 Still, the Court reviewed the issue as a matter of public
interest, noting that the Court was in a position to provide lower courts with a consistent
framework for making important decisions related to children. 148 The impact of Morgan has
reached further than anticipated. The case has been cited multiple times in both private custody
and child protection matters, each time clarifying the role of the child advocate. 149 From the
cases, it is obvious that courts, practitioners, and attorneys now have to grapple with how to
separate the role of court investigator/.reporter from the role of the GAL. 150 Following Morgan,
the Kentucky Court of Appeals began reversing the decisions of trial courts that had asked GALs
to serve in hybrid roles as investigator/reporters and advocates. 151
144 Id. at 118.
145 Id. at 119.
146 KY. REV. STAT. ANN. § 403.300( 3) (West, Westlaw through Ch. 7, 12, 13 of the 2017 Reg. Sess.).
147 Morgan, 441 S.W.3d at 98.
148 Id. at 103.
149 See, e.g., Hoskins v. Hoskins, 2013-CA-001748-ME, 2015 WL 222177, at 1 (Ky. App. Jan. 16, 2015), reh'g
denied (Mar. 30, 2015), review denied (Aug. 12, 2015); Dhawan v. Naumchenko, 2014-CA-000088-MR, 2015 WL
3533214, at 1 (Ky. App. June 5, 2015); S.E.A. v. R.J.G., 470 S. W. 3d 739 (Ky. Ct. App. 2015); M.L. W. v. Heart to
Home Adoption Agency, 2015-CA-001110-ME, 2016 WL 3213493, at 1 (Ky. App. June 10, 2016).
150 Morgan, 441 S.W.3d at 119.
151 See, e.g., Hoskins v. Hoskins, 2013-CA-001748-ME, 2015 WL 222177, at 1 (Ky. App. Jan. 16, 2015), reh'g
denied (Mar. 30, 2015), review denied (Aug. 12, 2015).