New York obligations of guardian ad litem in a mortgage foreclosure action

Guardian ad litem and a military lawyer usually is appointed on behalf of any defendant who may be an absentee, an infant, an incompetent, or who may be an unknown successor in interest of said defendants in action. As to defendants in the military service of the United States of America, guardian ad litem is appointed to represent them and protect their interests.

The GAL is appointed to try to locate the defendant and to ensure that the defendant’s due process rights are considered by the Court, even if the person cannot ultimately be found.  The defendant may have moved without leaving a forwarding address or maybe evading service of process.   In other cases, the defendant may be in active military service or may have died.

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The court holds that a guardian ad litem and a temporary administrator for the estate play an essential role in the protection of defendants who are otherwise not able to defend or protect themselves, and this function consists of the faithful performance of a series of obligations to start with. The guardian ad litem should obtain the entire file from the plaintiff and become thoroughly familiar with it. They ought to review the efforts made by the plaintiff to locate the missing defendants and determine if they are enough.

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