Human Services Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5255

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING GUARDIANSHIP OF PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY.

Vote Date:

3/10/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/3/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Human Services Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill refines confidentiality provisions, removes obsolete terms and simplifies language in statutes concerning guardianships of persons with intellectual disabilities.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

PAUL J. KNIERIM, Probate Court Administrator, submitted testimony: “Probate Courts have jurisdiction over cases involving guardianship for adults with intellectual disability . . . . After a guardian is appointed, the Probate Courts oversee the guardian's work through regular reporting and review requirements.

“Section 2 of the bill refines the provisions governing the confidentiality of guardianship matters. Under the revised language, both the court's file and hearings continue to be closed to the public. But the amendment adds greater specificity to the exceptions. In particular, the bill provides that parties to the specific case and their attorneys, the Department of Developmental Services and the Office of the Probate Court Administrator may have access to the court file.

“If a guardian is appointed, the name of the guardian and protected person become a matter of public record. This provision is necessary so that third parties can verify the guardian's authority with the court. Finally, the bill authorizes the judge to permit disclosure of records for good cause after a hearing with notice to the protected person, that person's attorney and the guardian.

“All other sections of the bill are technical changes.” It updates obsolete language, expands categories of entity that are eligible to serve as guardian, and repeals a section in state statutes concerning payment of fees in guardianship matters.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Except for the above, none submitted.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None submitted.

Reported by: Nancy V. Ahern

Date: March 18, 2016