On June 10, Taft Columbus partner Jessica Mager provided testimony before the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee to expand intimidation offenses for Guardian ad Litems (GAL) and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The bill would make it a first-degree misdemeanor for someone to abuse, threaten, or harass a GAL or a CASA in carrying out their court-mandated duties. Representative Adam Miller initially introduced the bipartisan legislation in March.
GALs are court-appointed individuals who assist a domestic or juvenile court in determining what is in the best interest of a minor child or other court-designated parties. GALs most often serve in dependency, neglect or abuse cases, and divorce and contested custody matters. CASA are volunteers who have been trained to advocate for the best interest of a child who has been abused or neglected.
“Nothing pleases me more than work on both sides of the aisle that achieves good law and protections to the citizens of the great State of Ohio. I am intimately familiar with the risk and dangers that our most vulnerable citizens face in our communities, often times in the care of their own family members or friends. I have not wavered in my belief that it is incumbent upon the systems and dedicated professionals that I have come to know in my experience to do all that is within their abilities to give those systems all the tools they need to be effective in doing so,” said Mager.
To view the full hearing, visit The Ohio Channel here.
For over 20 years, Mager has focused her practice solely on domestic relations and child custody matters. She routinely represents clients in all aspects of domestic relations litigation, including complex divorce with an emphasis on child custody matters, establishment and enforcement of child and spousal support, establishment of paternity, and general civil litigation. Jessica plays a major role in supporting the introduction of HB 226 in Ohio.