ESTATES AND PROTECTED INDIVIDUALS CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 386 of 1998
700.5406 Procedure concerning hearing and order on original petition.
(1) Upon receipt of a petition for a conservator's appointment or another protective order because of minority, the court shall set a date for hearing. If, at any time in the proceeding, the court determines that the minor's interests are or may be inadequately represented, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the minor, giving consideration to the minor's choice if 14 years of age or older. An attorney appointed by the court to represent a minor has the powers and duties of a guardian ad litem.
(2) Upon receipt of a petition for a conservator's appointment or another protective order for a reason other than minority, the court shall set a date for hearing. Unless the individual to be protected has chosen counsel, or is mentally competent but aged or physically infirm, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the person in the proceeding. If the alleged disability is mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, or chronic intoxication, the court may direct that the individual alleged to need protection be examined by a physician or mental health professional appointed by the court, preferably a physician or mental health professional who is not connected with an institution in which the individual is a patient or is detained. The individual alleged to need protection has the right to secure an independent evaluation at his or her own expense. The court may send a visitor to interview the individual to be protected. The visitor may be a guardian ad litem or a court officer or employee.
(3) The court may utilize, as an additional visitor, the service of a public or charitable agency to evaluate the condition of the individual to be protected and make appropriate recommendations to the court.
(4) A guardian ad litem, physician, mental health professional, or visitor appointed under this section who meets with, examines, or evaluates an individual who is the subject of a petition in a protective proceeding shall do all of the following:
(a) Consider whether there is an appropriate alternative to a conservatorship.
(b) If a conservatorship is appropriate, consider the desirability of limiting the scope and duration of the conservator's authority.
(c) Report to the court based on the considerations required in subdivisions (a) and (b).
(5) The individual to be protected is entitled to be present at the hearing in person. If the individual wishes to be present at the hearing, all practical steps must be taken to ensure the individual's presence including, if necessary, moving the site of the hearing. The individual is entitled to be represented by counsel, to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, including a court-appointed physician or other qualified person and a visitor, and to trial by jury. The issue may be determined at a closed hearing or without a jury if the individual to be protected or counsel for the individual so requests.
(6) Any person may request for permission to participate in the proceeding, and the court may grant the request, with or without hearing, upon determining that the best interest of the individual to be protected will be served by granting the request. The court may attach appropriate conditions to the permission.
(7) After hearing, upon finding that a basis for a conservator's appointment or another protective order is established by clear and convincing evidence, the court shall make the appointment or other appropriate protective order.
History: 1998, Act 386, Eff. Apr. 1, 2000
Am. 2000, Act 54, Eff. Apr. 1, 2000
Am. 2000, Act 464, Eff. June 1, 2001
Popular Name: EPIC
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