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Rule 6-507. Courtvisitors.

 

Intent:

Toset forth the appointment and role of court visitors. To establish a processfor the review of court visitor reports.?

 

Applicability:

This rule applies to court visitor reports inguardianship and conservatorship cases.

 

Statement of the Rule:

(1)Definition. A visitor is, withrespect to guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, a person who istrained in law, nursing, or social work and is an officer, employee, or specialappointee of the court with no personal interest in the proceedings.

 

(2)Appointment and role of court visitor.Upon its own initiative or motion of a party or an ?interested person,? as thatterm is defined in Utah Code section 75-1-201, the court may appoint a courtvisitor in a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding to conduct an inquiryinto the following:

 

(2)(A)whether to waive the respondent?s presence at the hearing under Section 75-5-303(5)(a);

 

(2)(B)to confirm a waiver of notice submitted by the respondent in a guardianship orconservatorship proceeding under Sections 75-5-309(3) or 75-5-405(1);

 

(2)(C)to investigate the respondent?s circumstances and well-being, including when anattorney is not appointed under 75-5-303(5)(d);

 

(2)(D)to review annual reports from the guardian and conservator or gather additionalfinancial information;

 

(2)(E) to locate guardians, conservators, and respondents;

 

(2)(F)to investigate the proposed guardian?s future plans for the respondent?sresidence under Section 75-5-303(4); or

 

(2)(G) to conduct any other investigation or observation asdirected by the court.

 

(3)Motion to excuse respondent or confirmwaiver of hearing. The petitioner, the respondent, or any interested personseeking to excuse the respondent or confirm a waiver of hearing, shall file anex parte motion at least 21 days prior to the hearing.

 

(3)(A)Upon receipt of the motion, the court shall appoint a court visitor to conductan investigation in accordance with paragraph (2) unless a court visitor is notrequired under Utah Code section 75-5-303.

 

(3)(B)Upon appointment to conduct an inquiry into whether to excuse the respondentfrom the hearing, the court visitor will:

 

(3)(B)(i) interview the petitioner, the proposed guardian, and therespondent;

 

(3)(B)(ii)visit the respondent's present dwelling or any dwelling in which the respondentwill reside if the guardianship or conservatorship appointment is made;

 

(3)(B)(iii)interview any physician or other person who is known to have treated, advised,or assessed the respondent?s relevant physical or mental condition;

 

(3)(B)(iv) confirm a waiver of notice if submitted by therespondent; and

 

(3)(B)(iv) conduct any other investigation the court directs.

 

(4)Other inquiries. If the courtappoints a visitor under paragraphs (2)(B) through (2)(G), the court visitorwill conduct the inquiry in accordance with the court?s order orappointment.?

 

(5)Language access. If the courtvisitor does not speak or understand the respondent?s, proposed guardian?s,proposed conservator?s, or petitioner?s primary language, the court visitormust use an interpretation service approved by the Administrative Office of theCourts to communicate with the respondent, proposed guardian, proposedconservator, or petitioner.

 

(6) Courtvisitor report.

 

(6)(A)Service of the court visitor report.Except for court visitor appointments made under paragraph (2)(E), inaccordance with Rule 5 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, the court visitor programmust file and serve a court visitor report upon all parties and upon anyinterested person who has requested the appointment of the court visitor.

 

(6)(B)Request to Submit for Decision. The courtvisitor program will file with each court visitor report a request to submitfor decision.

 

(6)(C)Report regarding waiver of respondent?spresence. In cases involving a motion to excuse the respondent from thehearing, the court visitor will file with the report a court-approved proposedorder.? The report, a request to submitfor decision, and a proposed order will be filed five days before the hearing.

 

(7)Termination of court visitorappointment. The appointment of the court visitor terminates and the courtvisitor is discharged from the court visitor?s duties upon the date identifiedin the order of appointment. The court may extend the appointment with orwithout a request from a party.

 

(8) Courtfindings.

 

(8)(A)Reports regarding waiver of respondent?spresence. When a court visitor has filed a report regarding a request towaive the respondent?s presence at the hearing, the court will issue findings andan order as to the waiver at least two days prior to the hearing upon which therequest has been made.

 

(8)(B)All other reports. When a courtvisitor has filed a report involving matters other than the waiver of therespondent?s presence, the court will issue findings and an order as to thosematters in accordance with the timelines of Rule 3-101.

 

Effective November 1,2020