2018 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 45a - Probate Courts and Procedure
Chapter 802h - Protected Persons and Their Property
Section 45a-609 - (Formerly Sec. 45-44b). Application for removal of parent as guardian. Hearing. Notice. Examination.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 45a-609 (2018)

(a) Upon application for removal of a parent or parents as guardian, the court shall set a time and place for hearing to be held within thirty days of the application, unless the court requests an investigation in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-619. In that case, the court shall set a day for hearing not more than thirty days following receipt of the results of the investigation.

(b) The court shall order notice of the hearing to be given, at least ten days before the date of the hearing, to the Commissioner of Children and Families by first class mail and to both parents and to the minor, if over twelve years of age, by personal service or service at the parent’s usual place of abode or the minor’s usual place of abode, as the case may be, in accordance with section 52-50, except that in lieu of personal service on, or service at the usual place of abode of, a parent or the father of a child born out of wedlock who is either a petitioner or who signs under oath a written waiver of such service on a form provided by the Probate Court Administrator, the court may order notice to be given by first class mail at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If the parent to be notified resides out of or is absent from the state, the court shall order notice to be given by first class mail at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If the whereabouts of the parent to be notified are unknown, or if delivery cannot reasonably be effected, the court may order notice to be given by publication. Any notice by publication under this subsection shall be in a newspaper of general circulation in the place of the last-known address of the parent to be notified, whether within or without this state, or, if no such address is known, in the place where the application was filed. In either case, such notice shall be given at least ten days before the date of the hearing. If the applicant alleges that the whereabouts of a respondent are unknown, such allegation shall be made under penalty of false statement and shall also state the last-known address of the respondent and the efforts which have been made by the applicant to obtain a current address. The applicant shall have the burden of ascertaining the names and addresses of all parties in interest and of proving to the satisfaction of the court that the applicant used all proper diligence to discover such names and addresses. Except in the case of newspaper notice, the notice of hearing shall include the following: (1) The notice of hearing, (2) the application for removal of parent as guardian, (3) any supporting documents and affidavits filed with such application, (4) any other orders or notices made by the Probate Court, and (5) any request for investigation by the Department of Children and Families or any other person or agency. Such notice shall also inform the respondent of the right to have an attorney represent the respondent in the matter, and if the respondent is unable to obtain or to pay an attorney, the respondent may request the Probate Court to appoint an attorney to represent the respondent. Newspaper notice shall include such facts as the court may direct.

(c) If a parent is over eighteen years of age he or she may sign and file a written waiver of notice with the court.

(d) Upon finding at the hearing or at any time during the pendency of the proceeding that reasonable cause exists to warrant an examination, the court, on its own motion or on motion by any party, may order the child to be examined at a suitable place by a physician, psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist appointed by the court. The court may also order examination of a parent or custodian whose competency or ability to care for a child before the court is at issue. The expenses of any examination, if ordered by the court on its own motion, shall be paid for by the applicant, or if ordered on motion by a party, shall be paid for by the party moving for such an examination. If such applicant or party is unable to pay the expense of any such examination, it shall be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund, or, if the matter has been removed to the Superior Court, from funds appropriated to the Judicial Department.

(P.A. 79-460, S. 9; P.A. 83-481, S. 2; P.A. 86-264, S. 2; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 96-202, S. 6; P.A. 99-84, S. 24; P.A. 00-75, S. 6; P.A. 07-184, S. 2; P.A. 17-136, S. 10.)

History: P.A. 83-481 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provisions re personal service in accordance with Sec. 52-50 and notice of hearing; P.A. 86-264 amended Subsec. (b) by changing age of minor from 14 to 12 years of age, permitting notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to parent or father of child born out of wedlock who is petitioner or who waives personal service, requiring notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to parents who are nonresidents or absent from the state and permitting notice by publication if notice by certified mail cannot be reasonably effected; Sec. 45-44b transferred to Sec. 45a-609 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 96-202 added Subsec. (d) re order of examination of child and parent and payment of such examination; P.A. 99-84 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting “oath” and inserting “penalty of false statement”; P.A. 00-75 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision requiring notice of hearing to the Commissioner of Children and Families by regular mail; P.A. 07-184 amended Subsec. (b) to substitute “first class mail” for “regular mail” and “certified mail”, rewrite provisions re service, substitute “date” of hearing for “time” of hearing and make technical changes; P.A. 17-136 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provision re delivery cannot reasonably be effected, replacing “if the parents reside out of or are absent from the state” with “if the parent to be notified resides out of or is absent from the state”, replacing “newspaper which has a circulation at the parents’ last-known place of residence” with “newspaper of general circulation in the place of the last-known address of the parent to be notified, whether within or without this state, or, if no such address is known, in the place where the application was filed” and making technical and conforming changes.

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