State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > California > Prob > 1510-1517

PROBATE CODE
SECTION 1510-1517



1510.  (a) A relative or other person on behalf of the minor, or the
minor if 12 years of age or older, may file a petition for the
appointment of a guardian of the minor.
   (b) The petition shall request that a guardian of the person or
estate of the minor, or both, be appointed, shall specify the name
and address of the proposed guardian and the name and date of birth
of the proposed ward, and shall state that the appointment is
necessary or convenient.
   (c) The petition shall set forth, so far as is known to the
petitioner, the names and addresses of all of the following:
   (1) The parents of the proposed ward.
   (2) The person having legal custody of the proposed ward and, if
that person does not have the care of the proposed ward, the person
having the care of the proposed ward.
   (3) The relatives of the proposed ward within the second degree.
   (4) In the case of a guardianship of the estate, the spouse of the
proposed ward.
   (5) Any person nominated as guardian for the proposed ward under
Section 1500 or 1501.
   (6) In the case of a guardianship of the person involving an
Indian child, any Indian custodian and the Indian child's tribe.
   (d) If the proposed ward is a patient in or on leave of absence
from a state institution under the jurisdiction of the State
Department of Mental Health or the State Department of Developmental
Services and that fact is known to the petitioner, the petition shall
state that fact and name the institution.
   (e) The petition shall state, so far as is known to the
petitioner, whether or not the proposed ward is receiving or is
entitled to receive benefits from the Veterans Administration and the
estimated amount of the monthly benefit payable by the Veterans
Administration for the proposed ward.
   (f) If the petitioner has knowledge of any pending adoption,
juvenile court, marriage dissolution, domestic relations, custody, or
other similar proceeding affecting the proposed ward, the petition
shall disclose the pending proceeding.
   (g) If the petitioners have accepted or intend to accept physical
care or custody of the child with intent to adopt, whether formed at
the time of placement or formed subsequent to placement, the
petitioners shall so state in the guardianship petition, whether or
not an adoption petition has been filed.
   (h) If the proposed ward is or becomes the subject of an adoption
petition, the court shall order the guardianship petition
consolidated with the adoption petition, and the consolidated case
shall be heard and decided in the court in which the adoption is
pending.
   (i) If the proposed ward is or may be an Indian child, the
petition shall state that fact.



1511.  (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (f) and (g), at least
15 days before the hearing on the petition for the appointment of a
guardian, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given
as provided in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section.
The notice shall be accompanied by a copy of the petition. The court
may not shorten the time for giving the notice of hearing under this
section.
   (b) Notice shall be served in the manner provided in Section
415.10 or 415.30 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or in any manner
authorized by the court, on all of the following persons:
   (1) The proposed ward if 12 years of age or older.
   (2) Any person having legal custody of the proposed ward, or
serving as guardian of the estate of the proposed ward.
   (3) The parents of the proposed ward.
   (4) Any person nominated as a guardian for the proposed ward under
Section 1500 or 1501.
   (c) Notice shall be given by mail sent to their addresses stated
in the petition, or in any manner authorized by the court, to all of
the following:
   (1) The spouse named in the petition.
   (2) The relatives named in the petition, except that if the
petition is for the appointment of a guardian of the estate only the
court may dispense with the giving of notice to any one or more or
all of the relatives.
   (3) The person having the care of the proposed ward if other than
the person having legal custody of the proposed ward.
   (d) If notice is required by Section 1461 or Section 1542 to be
given to the Director of Mental Health or the Director of
Developmental Services or the Director of Social Services, notice
shall be mailed as so required.
   (e) If the petition states that the proposed ward is receiving or
is entitled to receive benefits from the Veterans Administration,
notice shall be mailed to the office of the Veterans Administration
referred to in Section 1461.5.
   (f) Unless the court orders otherwise, notice shall not be given
to any of the following:
   (1) The parents or other relatives of a proposed ward who has been
relinquished to a licensed adoption agency.
   (2) The parents of a proposed ward who has been judicially
declared free from their custody and control.
   (g) Notice need not be given to any person if the court so orders
upon a determination of either of the following:
   (1) The person cannot with reasonable diligence be given the
notice.
   (2) The giving of the notice would be contrary to the interest of
justice.
   (h) Before the appointment of a guardian is made, proof shall be
made to the court that each person entitled to notice under this
section either:
   (1) Has been given notice as required by this section.
   (2) Has not been given notice as required by this section because
the person cannot with reasonable diligence be given the notice or
because the giving of notice to that person would be contrary to the
interest of justice.
   (i) If notice is required by Section 1460.2 to be given to an
Indian custodian or tribe, notice shall be mailed as so required.




1512.  Within 10 days after the petitioner in the guardianship
proceeding becomes aware of any proceeding not disclosed in the
guardianship petition affecting the custody of the proposed ward
(including any adoption, juvenile court, marriage dissolution,
domestic relations, or other similar proceeding affecting the
proposed ward), the petitioner shall amend the guardianship petition
to disclose the other proceeding.



1513.  (a) Unless waived by the court, a court investigator,
probation officer, or domestic relations investigator may make an
investigation and file with the court a report and recommendation
concerning each proposed guardianship of the person or guardianship
of the estate. Investigations where the proposed guardian is a
relative shall be made by a court investigator. Investigations where
the proposed guardian is a nonrelative shall be made by the county
agency designated to investigate potential dependency. The report for
the guardianship of the person shall include, but need not be
limited to, an investigation and discussion of all of the following:
   (1) A social history of the guardian.
   (2) A social history of the proposed ward, including, to the
extent feasible, an assessment of any identified developmental,
emotional, psychological, or educational needs of the proposed ward
and the capability of the petitioner to meet those needs.
   (3) The relationship of the proposed ward to the guardian,
including the duration and character of the relationship, where
applicable, the circumstances whereby physical custody of the
proposed ward was acquired by the guardian, and a statement of the
proposed ward's attitude concerning the proposed guardianship, unless
the statement of the attitude is affected by the proposed ward's
developmental, physical, or emotional condition.
   (4) The anticipated duration of the guardianship and the plans of
both natural parents and the proposed guardian for the stable and
permanent home for the child. The court may waive this requirement
for cases involving relative guardians.
   (b) The report shall be read and considered by the court prior to
ruling on the petition for guardianship, and shall be reflected in
the minutes of the court. The person preparing the report may be
called and examined by any party to the proceeding.
   (c) If the investigation finds that any party to the proposed
guardianship alleges the minor's parent is unfit, as defined by
Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the case shall be
referred to the county agency designated to investigate potential
dependencies. Guardianship proceedings shall not be completed until
the investigation required by Sections 328 and 329 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code is completed and a report is provided to the court
in which the guardianship proceeding is pending.
   (d) The report authorized by this section is confidential and
shall only be made available to persons who have been served in the
proceedings or their attorneys. The clerk of the court shall make
provisions for the limitation of the report exclusively to persons
entitled to its receipt.
   (e) For the purpose of writing the report authorized by this
section, the person making the investigation and report shall have
access to the proposed ward's school records, probation records, and
public and private social services records, and to an oral or written
summary of the proposed ward's medical records and psychological
records prepared by any physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist who
made or who is maintaining those records. The physician,
psychologist, or psychiatrist shall be available to clarify
information regarding these records pursuant to the investigator's
responsibility to gather and provide information for the court.
   (f) This section does not apply to guardianships resulting from a
permanency plan for a dependent child pursuant to Section 366.26 of
the Welfare and Institutions Code.
   (g) For purposes of this section, a "relative" means a person who
is a spouse, parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother,
stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew,
first cousin, or any person denoted by the prefix "grand" or "great,"
or the spouse of any of these persons, even after the marriage has
been terminated by death or dissolution.
   (h) In an Indian child custody proceeding, the person making the
investigation and report shall consult with the Indian child's tribe
and include in the report information provided by the tribe.




1513.1.  (a) Each court or county shall assess (1) the parent,
parents, or other person charged with the support and maintenance of
the ward or proposed ward, and (2) the guardian, proposed guardian,
or the estate of the ward or proposed ward, for court or county
expenses incurred for any investigation or review conducted by the
court investigator, probation officer, or domestic relations
investigator. The court may order reimbursement to the court or to
the county in the amount of the assessment, unless the court finds
that all or any part of the assessment would impose a hardship on the
ward or the ward's estate. A county may waive any or all of an
assessment against the guardianship on the basis of hardship. There
shall be a rebuttable presumption that the assessment would impose a
hardship if the ward is receiving Medi-Cal benefits.
   (b) Any amount chargeable as state-mandated local costs incurred
by a county for the cost of the investigation or review shall be
reduced by any assessments actually collected by the county pursuant
to subdivision (a) during that fiscal year.



1513.2.  (a) To the extent resources are available, the court shall
implement procedures, as described in this section, to ensure that
every guardian annually completes and returns to the court a status
report, including the statement described in subdivision (b). A
guardian who willfully submits any material information required by
the form which he or she knows to be false shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor. Not later than one month prior to the date the status
report is required to be returned, the clerk of the court shall mail
to the guardian by first-class mail a notice informing the guardian
that he or she is required to complete and return the status report
to the court. The clerk shall enclose with the letter a blank status
report form for the guardian to complete and return by mail. If the
status report is not completed and returned as required, or if the
court finds, after a status report has been completed and returned,
that further information is needed, the court shall attempt to obtain
the information required in the report from the guardian or other
sources. If the court is unable to obtain this information within 30
days after the date the status report is due, the court shall either
order the guardian to make himself or herself available to the
investigator for purposes of investigation of the guardianship, or to
show cause why the guardian should not be removed.
   (b) The Judicial Council shall develop a form for the status
report. The form shall include the following statement: "A guardian
who willfully submits any material information required by this form
which he or she knows to be false is guilty of a misdemeanor." The
form shall request information the Judicial Council deems necessary
to determine the status of the guardianship, including, but not
limited to, the following:
   (1) The guardian's present address.
   (2) The name and birth date of the child under guardianship.
   (3) The name of the school in which the child is enrolled, if any.
   (4) If the child is not in the guardian's home, the name,
relationship, address, and telephone number of the person or persons
with whom the child resides.
   (5) If the child is not in the guardian's home, why the child was
moved.
   (c) The report authorized by this section is confidential and
shall only be made available to persons who have been served in the
proceedings or their attorneys. The clerk of the court shall
implement procedures for the limitation of the report exclusively to
persons entitled to its receipt.
   (d) The Judicial Council shall report to the Legislature no later
than December 31, 2004, regarding the costs and benefits of utilizing
the annual status report.



1514.  (a) Upon hearing of the petition, if it appears necessary or
convenient, the court may appoint a guardian of the person or estate
of the proposed ward or both.
   (b) In appointing a guardian of the person, the court is governed
by Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 3020) and Chapter 2 (commencing
with Section 3040) of Part 2 of Division 8 of the Family Code,
relating to custody of a minor.
   (c) The court shall appoint a guardian nominated under Section
1500 insofar as the nomination relates to the guardianship of the
estate unless the court determines that the nominee is unsuitable.
   (d) The court shall appoint the person nominated under Section
1501 as guardian of the property covered by the nomination unless the
court determines that the nominee is unsuitable. If the person so
appointed is appointed only as guardian of the property covered by
the nomination, the letters of guardianship shall so indicate.
   (e) Subject to subdivisions (c) and (d), in appointing a guardian
of the estate:
   (1) The court is to be guided by what appears to be in the best
interest of the proposed ward, taking into account the proposed
guardian's ability to manage and to preserve the estate as well as
the proposed guardian's concern for and interest in the welfare of
the proposed ward.
   (2) If the proposed ward is of sufficient age to form an
intelligent preference as to the person to be appointed as guardian,
the court shall give consideration to that preference in determining
the person to be so appointed.



1514.5.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except
provisions of law governing the retention and storage of data, a
family law court shall, upon request from the court in any county
hearing a probate guardianship matter proceeding before the court
pursuant to this part, provide to the court all available information
the court deems necessary to make a determination regarding the best
interest of a child, as described in Section 3011 of the Family
Code, who is the subject of the proceeding. The information shall
also be released to a guardianship investigator, as provided in
subdivision (a) of Section 1513, acting within the scope of his or
her duties in that proceeding. Any information released pursuant to
this section that is confidential pursuant to any other provision of
law shall remain confidential and may not be released, except to the
extent necessary to comply with this section. No records shared
pursuant to this section may be disclosed to any party in a case
unless the party requests the agency or court that originates the
record to release these records and the request is granted. In
counties that provide confidential family law mediation, or
confidential dependency mediation, those mediations are not covered
by this section.


1515.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, no guardian
of the person may be appointed for a minor who is married or whose
marriage has been dissolved. This section does not apply in the case
of a minor whose marriage has been adjudged a nullity.



1516.  (a) In each case involving a petition for guardianship of the
person, the petitioner shall mail a notice of the hearing and a copy
of the petition, at least 15 days prior to the hearing, to the local
agency designated by the board of supervisors to investigate
guardianships for the court. The local social services agency
providing child protection services shall screen the name of the
guardian for prior referrals of neglect or abuse of minors. The
results of this screening shall be provided to the court.
   (b) This section does not apply to guardianships resulting from a
permanency plan for a dependent child pursuant to Section 366.25 of
the Welfare and Institutions Code.



1516.5.  (a) A proceeding to have a child declared free from the
custody and control of one or both parents may be brought in
accordance with the procedures specified in Part 4 (commencing with
Section 7800) of Division 12 of the Family Code within an existing
guardianship proceeding, in an adoption action, or in a separate
action filed for that purpose, if all of the following requirements
are satisfied:
   (1) One or both parents do not have the legal custody of the
child.
   (2) The child has been in the physical custody of the guardian for
a period of not less than two years.
   (3) The court finds that the child would benefit from being
adopted by his or her guardian. In making this determination, the
court shall consider all factors relating to the best interest of the
child, including, but not limited to, the nature and extent of the
relationship between all of the following:
   (A) The child and the birth parent.
   (B) The child and the guardian, including family members of the
guardian.
   (C) The child and any siblings or half siblings.
   (b) The court shall appoint a court investigator or other
qualified professional to investigate all factors enumerated in
subdivision (a). The findings of the investigator or professional
regarding those issues shall be included in the written report
required pursuant to Section 7851 of the Family Code.
   (c) The rights of the parent, including the rights to notice and
counsel provided in Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division
12 of the Family Code, shall apply to actions brought pursuant to
this section.
   (d) This section does not apply to any child who is a dependent of
the juvenile court or to any Indian child.



1517.  (a) This part does not apply to guardianships resulting from
the selection and implementation of a permanent plan pursuant to
Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. For those
minors, Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and
Division 3 (commencing with Rule 5.500) of Title Five of the
California Rules of Court specify the exclusive procedures for
establishing, modifying, and terminating legal guardianships. If no
specific provision of the Welfare and Institutions Code or the
California Rules of Court is applicable, the provisions applicable to
the administration of estates under Part 4 (commencing with Section
2100) govern so far as they are applicable to like situations.
   (b) This chapter shall not be construed to prevent a court that
assumes jurisdiction of a minor child pursuant to Section 300 of the
Welfare and Institutions Code, or a probate court, as appropriate,
from issuing orders or making appointments, on motion of the child's
counsel, consistent with Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions
Code or Divisions 4 to 6, inclusive, of the Probate Code necessary to
ensure the appropriate administration of funds for the benefit of
the child. Orders or appointments regarding those funds may continue
after the court's jurisdiction is terminated pursuant to Section 391
of the Welfare and Institutions Code.