Probate and Family Court Department
|| Hon. Sean M. Dunphy,
Chief Justice (617) 788-6600
ON: October 1, 2001
PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT RELEASES
NEW GUARDIANSHIP GUIDES
part of the Probate and Family Court's continuing effort to provide
more information to lawyers, litigants and staff about court processes
and procedures, Chief Justice Sean M. Dunphy has released six pamphlets
addressing the filing of a petition for guardianship of a minor.
Since over seventy percent of guardianship of minor petitions are
now filed by pro se or unrepresented litigants, these new
pamphlets provide step by step instructions on how to fill out the
various forms required to petition for appointment as guardian.
Dunphy said he hopes the simplified language in the pamphlets will
make the court process more understandable and enable individuals
to complete the filing and notice requirements in a better informed
and less stressful manner. The staff at the Registries of Probate
will continue to be available to answer questions and provide additional
information to all court users.
keeping with the court's position that all litigants should seek
legal advice, all of the pamphlets contain language warning readers
that probate and family law matters involve complex and valuable
legal rights and that they should speak with an attorney before
filing any court papers. The pamphlets, however, are specifically
designed for use by those potential guardians who are unable to
obtain an attorney. Chief Justice Dunphy said "Most petitioners
in guardianship of minor cases are family members who find themselves
caring for young relatives needing immediate care. All too often
the adult has no funds with which to hire an attorney. Court staff
and volunteer Lawyers for the Day have made outstanding efforts
to assist these individuals. I hope that these pamphlets will enable
petitioners to become better informed and better able to help themselves."
other general information pamphlets entitled "Looking for Legal
Assistance?", "Before Asking for Help...", and "Before Going into
Court..." were released in June. All of the pamphlets are available
at the Registries of Probate and Probation Offices of the fourteen
Divisions of the Probate and Family Court.