In May 2000, Joseph M. Buckner, Chief District Court Judge for Judicial District 15-B, asked key representatives in the legal and mental health communities to develop local court rules for Chatham and Orange Counties to implement the use of GALs and PCs in high conflict custody cases. In June 2001, he signed Judicial District 15-B’s Custody and Visitation Local Rules that govern the use of Civil District GALs and PCs. It was determined there was the need for a committee to monitor this newly established program in the Judicial District. Judge Buckner asked several members of the original committee to continue to serve the community by overseeing this program. This oversight committee became the first Board of Directors of the Center.
A judicial staff member serves ex officio as liason with the Chief District Judge and provides staff support by tracking the appointment of GALs and PCs in the District, and maintaining the lists of professionals serving as GALs and PCs.
Since tracking began in 2001, there have been many cases where Civil District GALs or parent coordinators were appointed. Judicial District 15-B requires special training to serve as a Civil District GAL or PC. The Center for Cooperative Parenting periodically offers training for new GALs and PCs, as well as advanced training on associated topics.