CHAPTER 801b
PROBATE COURT PROCEDURES

Table of Contents

Sec. 45a-132a. Examination of allegedly incapable party. Refusal to undergo examination. Expense.
Sec. 45a-151. (Formerly Sec. 45-231). Compromise and settlement of claims. Conveyance of real property.
Sec. 45a-186. (Formerly Sec. 45-288). Appeals from probate. Venue. Service of process.
Sec. 45a-186a. Appeal from probate court after a hearing on the record. Transcripts. Expense.
Sec. 45a-186b. Appeal from probate court after a hearing on the record: Standard of review.
Sec. 45a-186c. Appeal from probate court: Costs; waiver; tolling of appeal period.
Secs. 45a-191 and 45a-192. (Formerly Secs. 45-293 and 45-294). Interest of appellant to be stated. Order of notice.

PART II
PROBATE COURT PROCEEDINGS IN GENERAL

      Sec. 45a-132a. Examination of allegedly incapable party. Refusal to undergo examination. Expense. In any matter before a court of probate in which the capacity of a party to the action is at issue, the court may order an examination of the allegedly incapable party by a physician or psychiatrist or, where appropriate, a psychologist, licensed to practice in the state, except that a conserved person, as defined in section 45a-644, the respondent to an application for involuntary representation made under section 45a-648 or a respondent to an application for appointment of a temporary conservator made under section 45a-654 may refuse to undergo an examination ordered by the court under this section. The expense of such examination may be charged against the petitioner, the respondent, the party who requested such examination or the estate of the allegedly incapable party in such proportion as the judge of the court determines. If any such party is unable to pay such expense and files an affidavit with the court demonstrating the inability to pay, the reasonable compensation shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department, except that if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, such compensation shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

      (P.A. 94-54; P.A. 96-170, S. 15, 23; P.A. 97-90, S. 5, 6; P.A. 07-116, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 96-170 changed funding of expense of examination from Probate Court Administration Fund to funds appropriated to Judicial Department, unless funds not included in budget of Judicial Department for such purpose, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 97-90 revised effective date of P.A. 96-170 but without affecting this section; P.A. 07-116 added exception for conserved persons and respondents to refuse to undergo examination and made technical changes.

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PART IV
COMPROMISE, SETTLEMENT AND ARBITRATION
OF CLAIMS

      Sec. 45a-151. (Formerly Sec. 45-231). Compromise and settlement of claims. Conveyance of real property. (a) Upon application by executors, guardians, conservators, administrators and trustees appointed, or whose appointment has been approved, by the Court of Probate, the court may, after such notice as the court shall direct and hearing, authorize such fiduciaries to compromise and settle any doubtful or disputed claims or actions, or any appeal from probate in favor of or against the estates or persons represented by them.

      (b) In order to accomplish such compromise or settlement, the court may, after deduction of attorney's fees and costs, authorize such settlement as proposed by the fiduciary in a lump sum or in periodic payments to the estate, to an existing trust or to a newly created trust for the benefit of those represented by the fiduciary. Such trusts may include those created in compliance with Section 1917(d)(4) of the Social Security Act, 42 USC 1396p(d)(4), as from time to time amended. In the case of a gift or transfer in trust, any transfer to a court-approved trust created by a fiduciary shall be subject to continuing Probate Court jurisdiction as if it were a testamentary trust. In deciding whether the net settlement as proposed by the fiduciary is beneficial, the court shall consider the best interests of those represented by the fiduciary, and in the case of a decedent's estate, the intention of the decedent. The court may also authorize the conveyance, with or without requiring a bond, of the whole or any part of, or any easement or other interest in, any real property situated in this state forming part of the trust estate or owned by any such trustee, executor or administrator or owned by any deceased person, ward, conserved person or incapable person for whom such an executor, guardian, conservator or administrator was appointed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7016; P.A. 80-476, S. 73; P.A. 98-52, S. 6; 98-219, S. 20; 98-232, S. 1; P.A. 07-116, S. 26.)

      History: P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs., rephrased provisions and substituted "real property" for "real estate"; Sec. 45-231 transferred to Sec. 45a-151 in 1991; P.A. 98-52 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting "public" before "notice"; P.A. 98-219 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting "trustees in insolvency" and "public" before "notice"; P.A. 98-232 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision that court may, after deduction of attorneys' fees and costs, authorize settlement in lump sum or periodic payments to an existing or newly created trust, and any gift or transfer to court-approved trust shall be subject to continuing probate court jurisdiction; P.A. 07-116 added reference to "conserved person" in Subsec. (b).

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PART VII
PROBATE APPEALS

      Sec. 45a-186. (Formerly Sec. 45-288). Appeals from probate. Venue. Service of process. (a) Any person aggrieved by any order, denial or decree of a court of probate in any matter, unless otherwise specially provided by law, may, not later than forty-five days after the mailing of an order, denial or decree for a matter heard under any provision of section 45a-593, 45a-594, 45a-595 or 45a-597, sections 45a-644 to 45a-677, inclusive, or sections 45a-690 to 45a-705, inclusive, and not later than thirty days after mailing of an order, denial or decree for any other matter in a court of probate, appeal therefrom to the Superior Court. Such an appeal shall be commenced by filing a complaint in the superior court in the judicial district in which such court of probate is located, except that (1) an appeal under subsection (b) of section 12-359, subsection (b) of section 12-367 or subsection (b) of section 12-395 shall be filed in the judicial district of Hartford, and (2) an appeal in a matter concerning removal of a parent as guardian, termination of parental rights or adoption shall be filed in the superior court for juvenile matters having jurisdiction over matters arising in such probate district. The complaint shall state the reasons for the appeal. A copy of the order, denial or decree appealed from shall be attached to the complaint. Appeals from any decision rendered in any case after a recording is made of the proceedings under section 17a-498, 17a-685, 45a-650, 51-72 or 51-73 shall be on the record and shall not be a trial de novo.

      (b) Each person who files an appeal pursuant to this section shall serve a copy of the complaint on the court of probate that rendered the order, denial or decree appealed from and on each interested party. The failure of any person to make such service shall not deprive the Superior Court of jurisdiction over the appeal. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 52-50, service of the copy of the complaint shall be by state marshal, constable or an indifferent person. Service shall be in hand or by leaving a copy at the court of probate that rendered the order being appealed, or by leaving a copy at the place of residence of the interested party being served or at the address for the interested party on file with said court of probate, except that service on a respondent or conserved person in an appeal from an action under part IV of chapter 802h shall be in hand by a state marshal, constable or an indifferent person.

      (c) Not later than fifteen days after a person files an appeal under this section, the person who filed the appeal shall file or cause to be filed with the clerk of the Superior Court a document containing (1) the name, address and signature of the person making service, and (2) a statement of the date and manner in which a copy of the complaint was served on the court of probate and each interested party.

      (d) If service has not been made on an interested party, the Superior Court, on motion, shall make such orders of notice of the appeal as are reasonably calculated to notify any necessary party not yet served.

      (e) A hearing in an appeal from probate proceedings under section 17a-77, 17a-80, 17a-498, 17a-510, 17a-511, 17a-543, 17a-543a, 17a-685, 45a-650, 45a-654, 45a-660, 45a-674, 45a-676, 45a-681, 45a-682, 45a-699, 45a-703 or 45a-717 shall commence, unless a stay has been issued pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, not later than ninety days after the appeal has been filed.

      (f) The filing of an appeal under this section shall not, of itself, stay enforcement of the order, denial or decree from which the appeal is taken. A motion for a stay may be made to the Court of Probate or the Superior Court. The filing of a motion with the Court of Probate shall not preclude action by the Superior Court.

      (g) Nothing in this section shall prevent any person aggrieved by any order, denial or decree of a court of probate in any matter, unless otherwise specially provided by law, from filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, a petition for termination of involuntary representation or a petition for any other available remedy.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7071; P.A. 75-190, S. 1, 2; P.A. 76-221; P.A. 78-280, S. 2, 127; P.A. 80-476, S. 92; P.A. 82-472, S. 174, 183; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-225, S. 3, 4; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; 95-254, S. 1, 5; P.A. 97-165, S. 9, 16; P.A. 07-116, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 75-190 added exception re appeals by state; P.A. 76-221 required giving of security for costs, recognizance with surety or bond, replacing less specific requirement for giving of "bond, with sufficient surety to the state, to prosecute such appeal to effect"; P.A. 78-280 replaced "county" with "judicial district"; P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions but made no substantive change; P.A. 82-472 made technical change; Sec. 45-288 transferred to Sec. 45a-186 in 1991; P.A. 93-225 provided exception that appeal under Sec. 12-359(b) or Sec. 12-367(b) shall be filed in judicial district of Hartford-New Britain, effective July 1, 1993 (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230, P.A. 90-98 and P.A. 93-142 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public acts of the 1993 session of the general assembly, effective September 1, 1996); P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-254 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing language re appeal with reference to Subsec. (b) and added Subsec. (b) re appeals, including appeals re matters concerning removal of parent as guardian, termination of parental rights and adoption to be filed in superior court for juvenile matters; P.A. 97-165 amended Subsec. (b) to add reference to Sec. 12-395(b), effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 07-116 amended Subsec. (a) to replace "in accordance with subsection (b) of this section" with "not later than" 45 days re matters heard under enumerated sections, or 30 days re other matters, add provisions re commencement of appeal and complaint, and add references to Secs. 17a-498, 17a-685 and 45a-650, replaced former Subsec. (b) re filing of appeal with new Subsec. (b) re service of a copy of complaint by person who files the appeal, added Subsec. (c) re filing document with clerk of the Superior Court re service made, added Subsec. (d) re authority of Superior Court to make order of notice if service has not been made, added Subsec. (e) re hearing to commence, unless stay has been issued, not later than 90 days after appeal is filed, added Subsec. (f) re filing of appeal not, of itself, staying enforcement of order, denial or decree appealed from, and added Subsec. (g) re ability of person aggrieved to seek available remedy including habeas corpus or termination of involuntary representation.

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      Sec. 45a-186a. Appeal from probate court after a hearing on the record. Transcripts. Expense. (a) In an appeal from an order, denial or decree of a court of probate made after a hearing that is on the record, not later than thirty days after service is made of an appeal under section 45a-186, or within such further time as may be allowed by the Superior Court, the Court of Probate shall transcribe any portion of the recording of the proceedings that has not been transcribed. The expense for such transcript shall be charged against the person who filed the appeal, except that if the person who filed the appeal is unable to pay such expense and files an affidavit with the court demonstrating the inability to pay, the expense of the transcript shall be paid by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

      (b) The Court of Probate shall transmit to the Superior Court the original or a certified copy of the entire record of the proceeding from which the appeal was taken. The record shall include, but not be limited to, the findings of fact and conclusions of law, separately stated, of the Court of Probate.

      (c) An appeal from an order, denial or decree made after a hearing on the record shall be heard by the Superior Court without a jury, and may be referred to a state referee appointed under section 51-50l. The appeal shall be confined to the record. If alleged irregularities in procedure before the court of probate are not shown in the record or if facts necessary to establish such alleged irregularities in procedure are not shown in the record, proof limited to such alleged irregularities may be taken in the Superior Court. The Superior Court, on request of any party, shall hear oral argument and receive written briefs.

      (P.A. 07-116, S. 3.)

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      Sec. 45a-186b. Appeal from probate court after a hearing on the record: Standard of review. In an appeal taken under section 45a-186 from a matter heard on the record in the Court of Probate, the Superior Court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the Court of Probate as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The Superior Court shall affirm the decision of the Court of Probate unless the Superior Court finds that substantial rights of the person appealing have been prejudiced because the findings, inferences, conclusions or decisions are: (1) In violation of the federal or state constitution or the general statutes, (2) in excess of the statutory authority of the Court of Probate, (3) made on unlawful procedure, (4) affected by other error of law, (5) clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative and substantial evidence on the whole record, or (6) arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion. If the Superior Court finds such prejudice, the Superior Court shall sustain the appeal and, if appropriate, may render a judgment that modifies the Court of Probate's order, denial or decree or remand the case to the Court of Probate for further proceedings. For the purposes of this section, a remand is a final judgment.

      (P.A. 07-116, S. 4.)

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      Sec. 45a-186c. Appeal from probate court: Costs; waiver; tolling of appeal period. (a) In an appeal taken under section 45a-186, costs may be taxed in favor of the prevailing party in the same manner, and to the same extent, that such costs are allowed in judgments rendered by the Superior Court.

      (b) If the appellant claims that such appellant cannot pay the costs of an appeal taken under section 45a-186, the appellant shall, within the time permitted for filing the appeal, file with the clerk of the court to which the appeal is to be taken an application for waiver of payment of such costs, including the requirement of bond, if any. The application for waiver of such costs shall conform to the requirements prescribed by rule of the judges of the Superior Court. After such hearing as the court determines is necessary, the court shall render judgment on the application for waiver of such costs, which judgment shall contain a statement of the facts found by the court and the court's conclusions based on the facts found. The filing of the application for the waiver of such costs shall toll the time limits for the filing of an appeal until such time as a judgment on such application is rendered. A fiduciary acting on an order of the court made after expiration of the period of appeal shall not be liable for actions made in good faith unless such fiduciary has actual notice of the tolling of the appeal period.

      (P.A. 07-116, S. 5.)

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      Secs. 45a-191 and 45a-192. (Formerly Secs. 45-293 and 45-294). Interest of appellant to be stated. Order of notice. Sections 45a-191 and 45a-192 are repealed, effective October 1, 2007.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7075, 7076; P.A. 80-476, S. 97, 98; P.A. 07-116, S. 33.)

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