Questions Generally Asked by the Judge during the Court Approval Hearing
Depending on the age of the minor child, the judge will ask him or her about his or her injuries and present medical condition, about the accident itself, and, if the child is closer to age eighteen, about how he or she feels about the settlement. I have found that if my minor child client is older, sometimes questions about school or post–high school plans are discussed along with any plans as regard the settlement funds. The guardian ad litem is usually asked, especially if he or she is one of the parents, whether the minor child has fully recovered from his or her injuries. If the minor child client is very young, I have had judges show them a box of toys in the corner so they can watch the child walk to the toys just to make sure they look fine and have fully recovered from any injuries.
As an aside, this is important part of the judicial approval process for an injured child's bodily injury settlement for many reasons. The courts want to make sure the settlement is fair to the child and part of doing this is asking questions of the child. This is why I always stress the importance of the injured child to attend the hearing. Each case I have I always stress the importance of the above, and the child gets to hear from the judge his or her opinion on the settlement. It is a win/win situation.
Legal Research for the Above FAQ: 138 CRC (Probate Rules) 7.952.