Rules of the Superior Court of California, County of Ventura, Rule 10.01
Southern California Local Court Rules
Ventura County
Superior Court
Superior Court of California County of Ventura Local Rules of Court
Chapter 10. Probate, Conservatorships, Guardianships and Trusts (Refs & Annos)

Rule 10.01. Guardianship

A. Guardianship Procedures.

1. Investigation. It is the policy of Ventura County to require investigation, pursuant to Probate Code section 1513, of all petitioners for guardianship except upon judicial finding that good cause exists to waive the investigation.

A copy of all filed documents shall be provided for the court investigator by presenting an extra copy of the filed documents to the probate clerk at the time of the filing of the petition.

The Investigation report regarding petition for guardianship of the person of a minor required under Probate Code section 1513, for proposed guardians who are relatives of the minor, shall be prepared by Family Court Services and for a non-relatives shall be prepared by the Ventura County Human Services Agency. The clerk of the court shall provide notice of the petition to the appropriate investigator upon the filing of all necessary documents. The completed reports shall include and discuss the information required under Probate Code section 1513(a).

Upon filing of a petition to terminate the guardianship of a minor, the clerk shall set the matter for hearing. At the hearing, the court may grant or deny the petition or may refer the matter to the appropriate investigator for a report and recommendation regarding the termination of the guardianship and continue the hearing to a date when the report will be completed. When the guardian is a relative the matter will be referred to the Family Court Services for a report. When the guardian is a non-relative the matter will be referred to the Human Services Agency for report.

2. Natural, Custodial Parent. A proposed guardian who is also a natural, custodial parent may request a waiver by the court of the appointment of a court investigator, probate officer or domestic relations investigator as provided by Probate Code section 1513, prior to or after the filing of the petition for guardianship, by either an ex parte motion or notice of motion for good cause.

3. Questionnaire. Proposed guardians shall submit a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), pursuant to Probate Code sections 1510(f), 1512, and a "Guardianship Questionnaire", pursuant to Probate Code section 1513, at the time the petition for guardianship is filed.

A copy of a birth certificate, custody order or declaration of a person present at birth, shall be attached to the questionnaire. If such records are not readily available, date of birth shall be proved by other evidence, such as school records.

4. Records Check. Law enforcement and Children's Protective Services record checks will be conducted on all proposed guardians.

5. Duties and Responsibilities. Prior to issuance of Letters, Guardians of the person of a minor and of the Estate are required to file with the clerk an acknowledgment of receipt of the duties and responsibilities of their office. (Judicial Council Form GC-248.)

6. Coordination of Pending Custody Proceedings in Superior Court of California, County of Ventura. Where a petition for guardianship of the person of a minor is pending, and where it appears to the court that a custody proceeding concerning the same minor is pending in any other department of the Ventura County Superior Court, the Probate Guardianship Court shall coordinate the proceedings to avoid conflicting custody orders. The Supervising Judge of the Family Law Department shall resolve any conflict and determine in which court the combined custody/guardianship proceedings shall be held.

7. Notification to Other Counties with Custody Proceedings re Ventura County Guardianship Orders.

a. Where it appears to the court that custody proceedings exist for the same minor child in one or more counties other than Ventura, the Ventura County Superior Court will notify the other county or counties of the appointment of a guardian for the minor.

b. Parties contemplating petitioning for guardianship of a minor child in Ventura County when there are already existing custody proceedings and orders filed in another county are strongly encouraged to file their petition for guardianship in the county where custody has or will be determined so as to avoid the possibility of conflicting custody orders.

B. Guardianship Mediation.

1. General. The court may order the parties in any guardianship proceeding to participate in mediation with Family Court Services for the purpose of attempting to resolve any disputes, including custody of and visitation with the minor. Mediation shall be conducted in accordance with the laws, rules, standards, and procedures specified for Family Law custody and visitation issues, including, but not limited to, the provision of Family Code section 3160 et seq, California Rules of Court, rule 5.210 et seq, and Ventura County Superior Court Local Rules 5.30 et seq. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, the mediator shall submit a recommendation to the court and provide a copy to all parties who participated in the mediation.

C. Request for Ex Parte Hearing for Temporary Guardianship of a Minor Person.

1. The petition for appointment of a temporary guardian of a minor person may be brought ex parte, provided the court finds a good cause exception to the notice otherwise required under Probate Code section 2250(e). Any party seeking an ex parte order appointing a temporary guardian must comply with California Rules of Court, rule 7.1012. To comply with California Rules of Court, rule 7.1012 a petitioner (the party seeking the guardianship) must file a Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian of the Person (GC-110(P)) or a Petition for Appointment of a Temporary Guardian of the Person and/or Estate (GC-110) and all supporting documents, which are listed in subsection 3 below.

2. If a petitioner is requesting a good cause exception to the notice required under Probate Code section 2250(e), and is filing GC-110(P), it is recommended that petitioner submit Local Form VN234 REQUEST FOR EX PARTE HEARING ON PETITION FOR TEMPORARY GUARDIANSHIP; ORDER. Otherwise, petitioner must include the information required by California Rules of Court, rule 7.1012(e) in the Petition. If a petitioner is requesting a good cause exception to the notice requirements under Probate Code section 2250(e), and is filing GC-110, it is recommended that the petitioner submit Local Form VN234. Otherwise, the petitioner must prepare a separate writing that includes the information required by California Rules of Court, rule 7.1012(e).

3. A petitioner must complete and submit the following forms to the clerk's office when requesting an ex party hearing:

a. Ex Parte Forms: Request for Ex Parte Hearing On Petition For Temporary Guardianship; Order (VN234) (recommended as set out in subsection 2 above) or a separate writing that includes the reasons for the request for good cause exception.

b. Temporary Guardianship Forms:

1. Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian of the Person (GC-110 (P)) or Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian of the Person and/or Estate (GC-110)

2. Order Appointing Temporary Guardian (GC-140)

3. Letters of Temporary Guardianship (GC-150)

4. Consent of Guardian, Nomination and Waiver of Notice (GC-211)

5. Notice of Hearing (on Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian) (GC-020)

c. General Guardianship Forms:

1. Petition for Appointment of Guardian (GC-210 (P)) or (GC-210)

2. Child Information Attachment (GC-210 (CA))

3. Indian Child Inquiry Attachment (ICWA-010 (A)

4. Declaration under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (FL-105/GC-120)

5. Order Appointing Guardian of Minor (GC-240)

6. Letters of Guardianship (GC-250)

7. Duties of Guardian (GC-248)

8. Confidential Guardian Screening Form (GC-212)

9. Information Release Authorization (VN-043)

10. Guardianship Questionnaire (VN-042)

11. Release of School Information (VN-133)

12. Release of Medical Information (VN-132)

13. Consent of Guardian, Nomination and Waiver of Notice (GC-211)

14. Notice of Hearing (on Petition for Appointment of Guardian) (GC-020)

4. At the time of submitting the documents to the clerk's office, the petitioner must inform the clerk of the request for an ex parte hearing. The clerk's office will deliver the documents to the judge who will grant or deny the request.

5. Ex parte hearings for temporary Guardianship are not favored. In most cases where there is an objection to the guardianship, the court will consider the ex parte request only if the minor has been living with the proposed guardian. If a person believes a child is at risk of harm and the child is not in that person's physical custody, then she or he should contact the hotline for reporting child abuse operated by the Children and Family Service division of the Ventura County Human Services Agency.

6. The clerk's office will notify the party whether the request for an ex parte hearing was granted or denied, and if granted, the date and time of the ex parte hearing.

a. If the request is granted, the petitioner must give notice as required under California Rules of Court, rule 3.1203(a) unless the court orders otherwise, and then the petitioner must give notice as instructed in the court's order. The party must file at or before the time of the ex parte hearing the Declaration re Ex Parte Notice (VN-028).

b. If the request for an ex parte hearing is denied, the matter will be set for hearing on the petition for appointment of a temporary guardianship. The petitioner must give notice of the hearing as set out in Probate Code section 2250(e).

7. The petitioner(s) shall appear at the time set for the ex parte hearing and check in with the court bailiff or clerk. If no person appears opposing the temporary guardianship, the court may grant or deny the request without a hearing. If a person appears opposing the request, the court shall hold a hearing, on the record.

CREDIT(S)

Eff. Jan. 1, 1997. As amended, eff. July 1, 1997; July 1, 1998; July 1, 2000; Jan. 1, 2001; July 1, 2005; Jan. 1, 2007, Jan. 1, 2009; Jan. 1, 2011.

Ventura County Superior Court Rules, Rule 10.01, CA R VENTURA SUPER CT Rule 10.01

Current with amendments received through 3/1/2011                              

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