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Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Code

TITLE IV DOMESTIC RELATIONS

CHAPTER 9 GUARDIANSHIP
Section 4-9-1. Jurisdiction
Section 4-9-2. Appointment of Guardian in Connection with Probating an Estate
Section 4-9-3. Petition
Section 4-9-4. Notice; Hearing 
Section 4-9-5. Who May Serve as a Guardian
Section 4-9-6. Security for Faithful Performance of Duties 
Section 4-9-7. Oath; Letters of Guardianship 
Section 4-9-8. Inventory and Appraisement
Section 4-9-9. Annual Accounting 
Section 4-9-10. Guardian’s Compensation
Section 4-9-11. Powers and Responsibilities of Guardian
Section 4-9-12. Discharge of Guardian
Section 4-9-13. Guardianship Records 
Section 4-9-14. Temporary Guardianship and Custody 

PTN Code § 4-9-1
Section 4-9-1. Jurisdiction

The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Court shall have authority, whenever it appears necessary or convenient, to appoint guardians for the persons and/or estates, or for the purpose of actual or contemplated litigation of either minors or person incompetent by reason of physical or mental sickness or deficiency, advanced age, or chronic use of drugs or alcohol.

The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Court shall have authority to appoint guardians when the person for whom the guardianship is sought is a member of the Tribe or the child of a member of the Tribe, whether or not he lives on within the Tribe's territory.

The Tribal Court may, in its discretion, refer matters concerning the guardianship of a minor to the Tribal Juvenile Court.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-1, PTN Code § 4-9-1

PTN Code § 4-9-2
Section 4-9-2. Appointment of Guardian in Connection with Probating an Estate

1. The Court may, in the process of administering an estate for which there is a valid will containing a designation of a guardian for minor children if orphaned by the deceased's death, appoint the person therein designated as guardian of the minors involved without the necessity of a separate guardianship hearing.

2. If the person so designated is unable or unwilling to serve, or if such person's appointment is objected to by any child over fourteen (14) years of age, or if the Court deems such to be in the minor's best interests, a separate guardianship hearing shall be held as provided herein.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-2, PTN Code § 4-9-2

PTN Code § 4-9-3
Section 4-9-3. Petition

1. Except as provided in the preceding section, guardianship proceedings shall be initiated by the filing of a petition by a relative or the persons on behalf of the minor or incompetent, or by a minor himself if over fourteen (14) years of age. The Court may initiate proceedings to appoint a guardian if such appointment reasonably appears necessary and no other person has initiated such proceedings.

2. The petition shall set forth the name of the petitioner; the petitioner's relationship to the minor or incompetent; shall list all known relatives of the minor or incompetent and their addresses, relationships and ages insofar as is known to petitioners; shall list all property of the minor or incompetent and their addresses, relationships and ages insofar as is known to petitioners; shall list all property of the minor or incompetent, real and personal, known to petitioner; shall list in detail the present conditions and circumstances which warrant the appointment of a guardian; shall pray that Letters of Guardianship be issued to himself or some other suitable person to act as guardian of the minor or incompetent.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-3, PTN Code § 4-9-3


PTN Code § 4-9-4
Section 4-9-4. Notice; Hearing

1. The petitioner, or the Tribal Court Administrator if a minor, or the Court itself initiates the proceedings, and shall cause notice of the hearing to be given by mail or personal service to all known interested persons listed on the petition not less than five (5) days before scheduled hearing. Such notice need not be given in the case of a minor whose parents appear and consent to waive such notice prior to the hearing or in the case of an adult where the spouse and children living on the Reservation appear and waive such notice. An appearance and waiver may be made personally or by affidavit to the Court.

2. Hearing for a Minor. At a hearing conducted to appoint a guardian for a minor, the Court shall: examine the petition; determine the need to have a guardian; determine which person, either the petitioner or some other person, is most suitable to act as guardian, and that person's willingness to act as such; and make an order appointing a guardian setting forth the scope of the guardian's authority, whether or not security for his performance is to be required, and the duration of such appointment.

3. Hearing for Incompetent. At a hearing conducted to appoint a guardian for an incompetent, the Court shall: examine the petition; determine the need to have a guardian appointed by taking such testimony as any interested party wishes to present, orally, under oath, to the effect that the incompetent is not presently able to handle his property or affairs, the anticipated duration of the incapacity, and that the best interests of the incompetent will be served by having a guardian appointed; determine which person, either the petitioner or some other person, is most suitable to act as guardian and that person's willingness to act as such; and make an order appointing a guardian, setting forth the authority of the guardian, whether or not security for his performance is to be required, and the duration of such appointment.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-4, PTN Code § 4-9-4


PTN Code § 4-9-5
Section 4-9-5. Who May Serve as a Guardian

Any adult person twenty-one (21) years of age or older and subject to the jurisdiction of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Court, may serve as a guardian. Preference shall be given to relatives of the minor or incompetent in order of their closeness of relationship and some preference shall also be given to a person with whom the minor or incompetent is living at the time of the guardianship hearing. Preference of the guardian shall be given to a person fourteen (14) years of age or older, but in all cases, the Court shall determine the best interests of the minor or incompetent in selecting a guardian.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-5, PTN Code § 4-9-5

PTN Code § 4-9-6
Section 4-9-6. Security for Faithful Performance of Duties

The Court may, but need not, require a guardian to provide security in the form of a bond or otherwise to assure the faithful performance of the guardian's duties. Any surety of any such security will be deemed to have consented to the jurisdiction of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Court for the purposes of action against such security.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-6, PTN Code § 4-9-6

PTN Code § 4-9-7
Section 4-9-7. Oath; Letters of Guardianship

1. The guardian appointed by the Court shall be required to take an oath, the form of which to be prescribed by the Court, to the effect that he will faithfully perform his duties as guardian.

2. Upon taking the oath and filing with the Court such security, if any, as may have been required, the guardian shall be issued letters of Guardianship, issued by the Tribal Court Administrator under the seal of the Court, as evidence of his appointment. Any limitations in the authority of the guardian shall be set forth on the letters so issued.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-7, PTN Code § 4-9-7

PTN Code § 4-9-8
Section 4-9-8. Inventory and Appraisement

1. Within forty-five (45) days after the appointment of a general guardian or a guardian of property or estate of a minor or incompetent, the guardian shall prepare and submit to the Court an inventory and appraisement of the estate.

2. The appraisement shall be made by three (3) disinterested persons who shall certify under oath to their appraisement and may receive reasonable compensation for their services.

3. No appraisement shall be required of items of obvious, readily ascertainable value; e.g. bank account assets, or where the value of the estate is reasonably believed by the guardian to be less than $1,000.00. If no appraisement is required, the guardian shall certify under oath to the obvious or estimated value of the assets not appraised.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-8, PTN Code § 4-9-8

PTN Code § 4-9-9
Section 4-9-9. Annual Accounting

1. The guardian of every estate in value over $1,000.00 shall submit an annual account of the estate to the Court for approval, on such notice as the Court may direct, in each year in which the value of the estate is or is reasonably believed to be in excess of $1,000.00.

2. Such account shall be verified on the oath of the guardian and shall contain an accounting of all additions to and withdrawals from the estate, and shall be accompanied by supporting cancelled checks, vouchers, receipts, statements, etc.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-9, PTN Code § 4-9-9

PTN Code § 4-9-10
Section 4-9-10. Guardian's Compensation

1. No guardian shall receive any compensation for acting as such without the prior approval of the Court.

2. The guardian of an estate in excess of $1,000.00 in value may receive annual compensation for acting as such in amount not less than $25.00 nor greater than ten percent (10%) of the gross income of the estate.

3. The guardian of an estate less than $1,000.00 in value shall receive no compensation unless specifically ordered by the Court for extraordinary service to the estate.

4. The right to receive compensation as guardian of an estate shall be deemed waived for all years in which such is not requested and received.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-10, PTN Code § 4-9-10


PTN Code § 4-9-11
Section 4-9-11. Powers and Responsibilities of Guardian

1. Except as otherwise specifically ordered or limited by the Court.

a. A general guardian or guardian of the person of a minor or incompetent shall have the right to take or provide for the custody of the person of the minor or incompetent and shall be required to care for the health, safety and welfare of such minor or incompetent and provide for their education and medical care as needed or appropriate.

b. A general guardian or guardian of an estate or property of a minor or incompetent shall have authority to invest, manage and dispose of the property of the minor or incompetent in a prudent and reasonable manner and expend such portions of the estate, income, income and then principle, as he shall deem reasonably necessary for the support, care, including medical care, and education of the minor or incompetent given the size and nature of the estate and the station in life and needs of the minor or incompetent.

c. A guardian ad litem shall have power and authority to represent a minor or incompetent's best interests in actual, threatened or contemplated litigation and other proceedings of a legal nature (other than of a criminal nature and/or under the Juvenile Code), and to employ counsel, and settle or compromise suit or claims, subject to the approval of the court.

d. A guardian of any kind may petition the Court for authority to do any act about which he is uncertain, and the Court may grant such authority, after such notice and hearing, if any, as the Court may direct if such appears to be consistent with the best interests of the minor or incompetent.

e. A guardian of any kind shall be in a fiduciary relationship to the minor or incompetent ward; shall exercise a high degree of care in managing the estate of his ward; shall derive no personal benefit of any kind from his management of his estate of his ward; and shall be civilly liable to said ward for any losses to the estate attributable to a breach of these duties. Action to enforce such liability may be brought by the ward or a subsequently appointed guardian on behalf of the ward within two years after the appointment of a new guardian or the removal of the incompetency or the arriving at the age of majority.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-11, PTN Code § 4-9-11


PTN Code § 4-9-12
Section 4-9-12. Discharge of Guardian

1. Every guardian appointed as provided herein shall serve until discharged by the Court.

2. A guardian of a minor, not otherwise incompetent, or the minor himself, may petition the Court on or after the date the minor reaches the age of majority to have the guardian discharged and the estate turned over to the minor. The Court shall grant such discharge with or without notice and hearing, upon the receipt of sufficient, competent evidence that the minor has reached the age of majority unless the minor appears to be otherwise incompetent, in which case a hearing with notice, shall be held to determine such fact.

3. A person, other than a minor, who has had a guardian appointed for reasons of incompetency, or the guardian or a relative of such incompetent may petition the Court for a determination of his restoration to capacity and for the discharge of the guardian. The Court shall hold a hearing, after such notice to known interested parties as the Court shall direct, and receive evidence, both of a medical nature and otherwise, of the ward's competency. If it be found that the ward is of sound mind and capable of taking care of himself and his property, his restoration to capacity shall be adjudged and his guardianship and guardian discharged.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-12, PTN Code § 4-9-12

PTN Code § 4-9-13
Section 4-9-13. Guardianship Records

The Tribal Court Administrator shall keep a separate, permanent file for each guardianship proceeding and shall file all papers relevant thereto, including petitions, notices, orders for hearing, etc. Any guardian duly appointed shall be entitled to receive, without charge, three (3) certified copies of the Letters of Guardianship. Certified copies of filed copies shall be otherwise available at a fee per copy to be established by the Tribal Court Administrator.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-13, PTN Code § 4-9-13


PTN Code § 4-9-14
Section 4-9-14. Temporary Guardianship and Custody

The Court shall have the power to entertain and grant or deny petitions for temporary guardianship and custody when it determines it to be in the best interests of the child, incompetent or non-competent person involved; provided that full notice and opportunity to be heard be given to all parties within ten (10) days thereafter, and further provided that no guardian so appointed shall sell, dispose of, convey or otherwise alienate title to or interest in the ward's property during such temporary period.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 4-9-14, PTN Code § 4-9-14

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