Mass. General Laws c.190B § 5A-206

Appropriate forum

This is an unofficial version of a Massachusetts General Law.

Table of Contents

Section 5A-206

(a) A court of the commonwealth that has jurisdiction under section 5A–203 to appoint a guardian or issue a protective order may decline to exercise its jurisdiction if the court determines, at any time, that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum.

(b) If a court of the commonwealth declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection (a), it shall either dismiss or stay the proceeding. The court may impose any condition the court considers just and proper, including the condition that a petition for the appointment of a guardian or issuance of a protective order be filed promptly in another state.

(c) In determining whether it is an appropriate forum, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) any expressed preference of the respondent;

(2) whether abuse, neglect or exploitation of the respondent has occurred or is likely to occur and which state could best protect the respondent from the abuse, neglect or exploitation;

(3) the length of time the respondent was physically present in or was a legal resident of the commonwealth or another state;

(4) the distance of the respondent from the court in each state;

(5) the financial circumstances of the respondent's estate;

(6) the nature and location of the evidence;

(7) the ability of the court in each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present evidence;

(8) the familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the proceeding; and

(9) if an appointment was made, the court's ability to monitor the conduct of the guardian or conservator.

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