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News Notice: Revised Appointment Forms and New Notice Process

Effective February 8, 2021
2/11/2021
  • Probate and Family Court

The Probate and Family Court has revised the Category E and F GAL appointment form (CJD 167) and has also revised the appointment form to appoint a guardian to assert or waive a privilege under Category F or Category G (CJD 168) and created a new Notice form (CJD 171) for the guardian’s report.

The changes to the CJD 167 form are listed below.

Section 1 - Additional space was added to provide direction to the GAL regarding the issues to be addressed in the GAL report.

Section 2 - The form now clarifies the three options of appointments – (1) limited focused assessment for no more than 8 hours; (2) limited focused assessment – for no more than 15 hours; and (3) a complete GAL evaluation/investigation for no more than 35 hours. If a judge selects the third option, the judge can specify the number of hours allotted for the appointment, but it cannot be for more than 35 hours.

Section 6 - Space has been provided to indicate whether someone needs an interpreter and for which language.

Section 7 - The form now has a default with regard to collaterals. Each party may provide the GAL with 3 collaterals to contact. The GAL may interview additional collaterals at the GAL’s discretion.

Section 10 - The form now has boxes for the judge to select some or all of the factors to be addressed in the GAL report. The form also has space for the judge to fill in additional factors not already listed.

Section 13 - The form now has boxes for the judge to select how the GAL report will be distributed if both parties are represented by counsel. Under the first option, the Court provides counsel with a copy of the report. Under the second option, the GAL provides a copy to counsel after the report has been filed with the Court.

Section 14 - The form now clarifies that a motion to request a copy of a GAL report may be handled administratively.

Court Liaison Section - Each appointment must include a Court Liaison. There is now space on the form for the Court Liaison’s name and email address. The Court Liaison is responsible for answering questions that the GAL may have about the appointment.

The changes to the CJD 168 form and information about the new form CJD 171 are listed below.

Section 1 - A different appointment form must now be used for each person whose privilege is being considered. If there are multiple children in a family, the same guardian may be appointed to investigate, but a separate appointment form must be used for each child. This requirement is because the guardian may make different determinations for different people.

Section 4 - The appointment form now addresses only the date by which the report must be filed. After the guardian files the report with the Court, the Court provides notice using form CJD 171.

Section 5 - The language now clarifies that a report must be filed by the guardian and that it must include the summary of the steps taken in making the determination. The report must also address any other topics the judge identifies.  The report is impounded.

Section 6 - The language now clarifies that the guardian’s determination is binding. This language addresses some confusion about whether or not judicial action is required after the report is filed. The guardian makes a binding decision. It is not a recommendation for the judge to accept or not.

Court Liaison Section - Each appointment must include a Court Liaison. There is now space on the form for the Court Liaison’s email address. The Court Liaison is responsible for answering questions that the guardian may have about the appointment.

The Notice form CJD 171 will be generated by the Court once the guardian report has been filed, docketed, and impounded.

Samples of the forms are included here.

Probate and Family Court 

The Probate and Family Court Department handles matters involving families and children, like divorce, child support, and wills.
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