Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1438

January Session, 2007

 

LCO No. 5708

 

*05708_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE OF CERTAIN PROBATE COURT HEARINGS AND THE FILING OF CERTAIN REPORTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (c) of section 45a-607 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(c) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon receipt of an application for temporary custody under this section, the court shall promptly set the time and place for a hearing to be held on such application. The court shall order notice of the hearing on temporary custody to be given, [by regular mail] at least five days prior to the date of the hearing, to the Commissioner of Children and Families by first class mail and [by personal service in accordance with section 52-50] to both parents and to the minor child, if over twelve years of age, [at least five days prior to the date of the hearing,] by personal service or service at the parent's usual place of abode or the minor's usual place of abode, as the case may be, in accordance with section 52-50, except that in lieu of personal service on, or service at the usual place of abode of, a parent or the father of a minor child born out of wedlock who is either an applicant or who signs under penalty of false statement a written waiver of [personal] such service on a form provided by the Probate Court Administrator, the court may order notice to be given by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only,] at least five days prior to the date of the hearing. If the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, or if such delivery cannot reasonably be effected, then notice shall be ordered to be given by publication. Such notice may be combined with the notice under section 45a-609, as amended by this act, or with the notice required under section 45a-716, as amended by this act. If the parents are not residents of the state or are absent from the state, the court shall order notice to be given by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only,] at least five days prior to the date of the hearing. If the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, or if delivery cannot reasonably be effected, the court may order notice to be given by publication. Any notice by publication under this subsection shall be in a newspaper which has a circulation at the last-known place of residence of the parents. In either case, such notice shall be given at least five days prior to the date of the hearing, except in the case of notice of a hearing on immediate temporary custody under subsection (b) of this section. If the applicant alleges that the whereabouts of a respondent are unknown, such allegation shall be made under penalty of false statement and shall also state the last-known address of the respondent and the efforts which have been made by the applicant to obtain a current address. The applicant shall have the burden of ascertaining the names and addresses of all parties in interest and of proving to the satisfaction of the court that [he or she] the applicant used all proper diligence to discover such names and addresses. Except in the case of newspaper notice, such notice shall include: (1) The time and place of the hearing, (2) a copy of the application for removal or application for termination of parental rights, (3) a copy of the motion for temporary custody, (4) any affidavit or verified petition filed with the motion for temporary custody, (5) any other documents filed by the applicant, (6) any other orders or notices made by the court of probate, and (7) any request for investigation by the Department of Children and Families or any other person or agency. Such notice shall also inform the respondent of the right to have an attorney represent [him or her] the respondent and, if [he or she] the respondent is unable to obtain or pay for an attorney, the respondent may request the court of probate to appoint an attorney to represent [him or her] the respondent. Newspaper notice shall include such facts as the court may direct.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 45a-609 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(b) The court shall order notice of the hearing to be given, [by regular mail] at least ten days before the date of the hearing, to the Commissioner of Children and Families by first class mail and [by personal service in accordance with section 52-50] to both parents and to the minor, if over twelve years of age, [at least ten days before the time of the hearing,] by personal service or service at the parent's usual place of abode or the minor's usual place of abode, as the case may be, in accordance with section 52-50, except that in lieu of personal service on, or service at the usual place of abode of, a parent or the father of a child born out of wedlock who is either a petitioner or who signs under oath a written waiver of [personal] such service on a form provided by the Probate Court Administrator, the court may order notice to be given by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only,] at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If such delivery cannot reasonably be effected, then notice shall be ordered to be given by publication. If the parents reside out of or are absent from the state, the court shall order notice to be given by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only,] at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, or if delivery cannot reasonably be effected, the court may order notice to be given by publication. Any notice by publication under this subsection shall be in [some] a newspaper which has a circulation at the parents' last-known place of residence. In either case, such notice shall be given at least ten days before the [time] date of the hearing. If the applicant alleges that the whereabouts of a respondent are unknown, such allegation shall be made under penalty of false statement and shall also state the last-known address of the respondent and the efforts which have been made by the applicant to obtain a current address. The applicant shall have the burden of ascertaining the names and addresses of all parties in interest and of proving to the satisfaction of the court that [he or she] the applicant used all proper diligence to discover such names and addresses. Except in the case of newspaper notice, the notice of hearing shall include the following: (1) The notice of hearing, (2) the application for removal of parent as guardian, (3) any supporting documents and affidavits filed with such application, (4) any other orders or [notice] notices made by the Court of Probate, and (5) any request for investigation by the Department of Children and Families or any other person or agency. Such notice shall also inform the respondent of the right to have an attorney represent [him or her] the respondent in the matter, and if [he or she] the respondent is unable to obtain or to pay an attorney, the respondent may request the Court of Probate to appoint an attorney to represent [him or her] the respondent. Newspaper notice shall include such facts as the court may direct.

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 45a-616 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(c) Upon receipt by the court of an application pursuant to this section, the court shall set a time and place for a hearing to be held within thirty days of the application, unless the court requests an investigation in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-619, in which case the court shall set a day for hearing not more than thirty days following receipt of the results of the investigation. The court shall order notice of the hearing to be given to the minor, if over twelve years of age, by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested, deliverable to the addressee only,] at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. In addition, notice by [regular] first class mail shall be given to the petitioner and all other parties in interest known by the court.

Sec. 4. Section 45a-671 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(a) Within forty-five days of the filing of such application for guardianship in the Court of Probate, such court shall assign a time and place for hearing such application. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 45a-7, the court may hold the hearing on [said] the application at a place within the state other than its usual courtroom if it would facilitate the presence of the respondent. Such court shall cause a citation and notice to be served upon the respondent by personal service made by a state marshal, constable or an indifferent person not less than seven days prior to such hearing date.

(b) The court shall direct notice by [certified] first class mail to the following: (1) The parents of the respondent, provided the parents are not the applicants; (2) the spouse of the respondent, provided the spouse is not the applicant; (3) children of the respondent, if any; and (4) the person in charge of the hospital, nursing home, residential facility or other institution in which the respondent may reside.

(c) The court shall order such notice as it directs to the following: (1) The applicant; and (2) the siblings of the respondent or their representatives, if the respondent has no living parents, and the spouse or children of the respondent.

(d) The court in its discretion may order such notice as it directs to other persons having an interest in the respondent.

Sec. 5. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 45a-716 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition, certified by the petitioner, the petitioner's agent or attorney, or the clerk of the court, shall be served at least ten days before the date of the hearing by personal service or service at the person's usual place of abode on the persons enumerated in subsection (b) of this section who are within the state, and by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested,] on the Commissioner of Children and Families and the Attorney General. If the address of any person entitled to personal service or service at the person's usual place of abode is unknown, or if personal service or service at the person's usual place of abode cannot be reasonably effected within the state, or if any person enumerated in subsection (b) of this section is out of the state, a judge or the clerk of the court shall order notice to be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by publication at least ten days before the date of the hearing. Any such publication shall be in a newspaper of general circulation in the place of the last-known address of the person to be notified, whether within or without this state, or, if no such address is known, in the place where the petition has been filed.

(d) In any proceeding pending in the Court of Probate, in lieu of personal service on, or at the usual place of abode of, a parent or the father of a child born out of wedlock who is either a petitioner or who signs under penalty of false statement a written waiver of personal service on a form provided by the Probate Court Administrator, the court may order notice to be given by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only,] at least ten days before the date of the hearing. If such delivery cannot reasonably be effected, or if the whereabouts of the parents is unknown, notice shall be ordered to be given by publication as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

Sec. 6. Subsection (c) of section 17a-11 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(c) Not more than one hundred twenty days after admitting a child or youth on a voluntary basis, the department shall petition the probate court for the district in which a parent or guardian of the child or youth resides for a determination as to whether continuation in care is in the child's or youth's best interest and, if so, whether there is an appropriate case service or permanency plan. A case service plan shall be required for all children and youths receiving services voluntarily from the department who are not in an out-of-home placement. A permanency plan shall be required for all children and youths voluntarily admitted to the department and placed by the department in a foster home licensed pursuant to section 17a-114 or a facility licensed pursuant to section 17a-145 or 17a-154. Upon receipt of such application, the court shall set a time and place for hearing to be held within thirty days of receipt of the application, unless continued by the court for cause shown. The court shall order notice of the hearing to be given by [regular] first class mail at least five days prior to the hearing to the Commissioner of Children and Families, and by [certified] first class mail [, return receipt requested,] at least five days prior to the hearing to the parents or guardian of the child and the minor, if over twelve years of age. If the whereabouts of the parent or guardian are unknown, or if delivery cannot reasonably be effected, then notice shall be ordered to be given by publication. In making its determination, the court shall consider the items specified in subsection (d) of this section. The court shall possess continuing jurisdiction in proceedings under this section.

Sec. 7. Section 46b-150 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

Any minor who has reached such minor's sixteenth birthday and is residing in this state, or any parent or guardian of such minor, may petition the superior court for juvenile matters or the probate court for the district in which either the minor or the parents or guardian of such minor resides for a determination that the minor named in the petition be emancipated. The petition shall be verified and shall state plainly: (1) The facts which bring the minor within the jurisdiction of the court, (2) the name, date of birth, sex and residence of the minor, (3) the name and residence of the minor's parent, parents or guardian, and (4) the name of the petitioner and the petitioner's relationship to the minor. Upon the filing of the petition in the Superior Court, the court shall cause a summons to be issued to the minor and the minor's parent, parents or guardian, in the manner provided in section 46b-128. Service on an emancipation petition filed in the superior court for juvenile matters pursuant to this section shall not be required on the petitioning party. Upon the filing of the petition in the Probate Court, the court shall assign a time, not later than thirty days thereafter, and a place for hearing such petition. The court shall cause a citation and notice to be served on the minor and the minor's parent, if the parent is not the petitioner, by personal service or service at the minor's place of abode and the parent's place of abode, at least seven days prior to the hearing date, by a state marshal, constable or indifferent person. The court shall direct notice by [certified] first class mail to the parent, if the parent is the petitioner. The court shall order such notice as it directs to: (A) The Commissioner of Children and Families, (B) the Attorney General, and (C) other persons having an interest in the minor. The Attorney General may file an appearance and shall be and remain a party to the action if the child is receiving or has received aid or care from the state, or if the child is receiving child support enforcement services, as defined in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231.

Sec. 8. Subsection (a) of section 46b-172a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(a) Any person claiming to be the father of a child born out of wedlock may at any time, but no later than sixty days after the date of notice under section 45a-716, as amended by this act, file a claim for paternity with the court of probate for the district in which either the mother or the child resides, on forms provided by such court. The claim shall contain the claimant's name and address, the name and last-known address of the mother and the month and year of the birth or expected birth of the child. Not later than five days after the filing of a claim for paternity, the judge of the court of probate shall cause a certified copy of such claim to be [mailed by certified mail to] served upon the mother or prospective mother of such child [at the last-known address shown on the claim for paternity] by personal service or service at her usual place of abode, and to the Attorney General by first class mail. The Attorney General may file an appearance and shall be and remain a party to the action if the child is receiving or has received aid or care from the state, or if the child is receiving child support enforcement services, as defined in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231. The claim for paternity shall be admissible in any action for paternity under section 46b-160, and shall estop the claimant from denying his paternity of such child and shall contain language that he acknowledges liability for contribution to the support and education of the child after its birth and for contribution to the pregnancy-related medical expenses of the mother.

Sec. 9. Subsection (g) of section 45a-92 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(g) Upon the completion of each calendar year, and in any event on or before the first day of [April] March of the succeeding calendar year, each person required to make payment under this section shall make a report signed under penalty of false statement to the Probate Court Administrator, upon forms prescribed by and subject to regulations [promulgated] issued by the administrator, of the following: (1) The gross income received by virtue of such office; (2) actual expenses incurred in connection with the office; (3) the net income of such office prior to the payment of the assessment installments hereinbefore provided; (4) the amount paid during the preceding calendar year to the State Treasurer on account of the foregoing estimate; and (5) the amount of the difference, if any, between the amount so paid and the amount actually due. [This] The report shall be open to public inspection.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2007

45a-607(c)

Sec. 2

October 1, 2007

45a-609(b)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2007

45a-616(c)

Sec. 4

October 1, 2007

45a-671

Sec. 5

October 1, 2007

45a-716(c) and (d)

Sec. 6

October 1, 2007

17a-11(c)

Sec. 7

October 1, 2007

46b-150

Sec. 8

October 1, 2007

46b-172a(a)

Sec. 9

October 1, 2007

45a-92(g)

Statement of Purpose:

To (1) amend the methods for delivering or serving notice of certain probate court hearings, and (2) change from April to March the deadline for the filing of reports related to certain assessments due from probate judges.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]