"Only judges may make decisions in child custody cases." Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order adopting a new Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure that will eliminate the use of parent coordinators in child custody cases.The new rule says:
On December 31, 2008, a former client of mine lost his appeal challenging the legality of parent coordinators under Pennsylvania law. Although that battle was lost, the war (as they say) appears to have been won.
Rule 1915.11-1. Elimination of Parenting Coordination.The California courts have said that judges cannot delegate custody decisions.
Only judges may make decisions in child custody cases. Masters and hearing officers may make recommendations to the court. Courts shall not appoint any other individual to make decisions or recommendations or alter a custody order in child custody cases. Any order appointing a parenting coordinator shall be deemed vacated on the date this rule becomes effective. Local rules and administrative orders authorizing the appointment of parenting coordinators also shall be deemed vacated on the date this rule becomes effective.
I know, judges like Commissioner I. Joseph do it all the time, and just rubber-stamp the recommendations. I have pointed out the illegality on appeal, but I got nowhere.