refused to allow the mother’s attorney to cross-examine the GAL. 83 The mother’s attorney did
not make a subsequent formal request that the GAL’s report be stricken from the record, 84 and
the Court did not do so. 85
The trial court proceeded with the hearing. The GAL was allowed to examine witnesses to
corroborate the information provided in the GAL Report, including calling the child herself. 86
The trial court later issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law modifying custody and
allowing relocation, noting that the child’s maturity, academic ability, intelligence, and a poor
relationship with her Kentucky-based mother were all factors in the decision. 87 The trial court
also mentioned in the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law that the GAL was in support of
the modification, specifically referencing the GAL’s report. 88
B. The Court of Appeals
After the trial court’s ruling was issued, the mother appealed, arguing that the GAL had served as
a professional advisor/reporter to the court, 89 and that the trial court violated her right to due
process by refusing to allow her to cross-examine the GAL. 90 She highlighted the contradiction
in the Kentucky statutes, arguing that the provision of the family code that applied to court
83 Morgan, 441 S. W.3d at 98 (“The court advised Morgan that she would not be allowed to call the GAL as a
witness, the GAL being ‘like [A.G.’s] representative.’ Morgan would, however, be allowed to challenge the report,
in effect, by her questioning of the persons referred to in the report.”).
85 Id. (“The trial court deferred ruling on the motion, and the hearing proceeded.”).
89 Morgan v. Getter, No. 2012-CA-000655-ME, 2013 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 517, at 3 (Ct. App. Feb. 22, 2013).