2018 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 45a - Probate Courts and Procedure
Chapter 802h - Protected Persons and Their Property
Section 45a-654 - (Formerly Sec. 45-72). Appointment of temporary conservator. Duties.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 45a-654 (2018)

(a) Upon written application for appointment of a temporary conservator brought by any person considered by the court to have sufficient interest in the welfare of the respondent, including, but not limited to, the spouse or any relative of the respondent, the first selectman, chief executive officer or head of the department of welfare of the town of residence or domicile of any respondent, the Commissioner of Social Services, the board of directors of any charitable organization, as defined in section 21a-190a, or the chief administrative officer of any nonprofit hospital or such officer's designee, the Court of Probate may appoint a temporary conservator if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that: (1) The respondent is incapable of managing his or her affairs or incapable of caring for himself or herself, (2) immediate and irreparable harm to the mental or physical health or financial or legal affairs of the respondent will result if a temporary conservator is not appointed, and (3) appointment of a temporary conservator is the least restrictive means of intervention available to prevent such harm. The court shall require the temporary conservator to give a probate bond. The court shall limit the duties and authority of the temporary conservator to the circumstances that gave rise to the application and shall make specific findings, by clear and convincing evidence, of the immediate and irreparable harm that will be prevented by the appointment of a temporary conservator and that support the appointment of a temporary conservator. In making such specific findings, the court shall consider the present and previously expressed wishes of the respondent, the abilities of the respondent, any prior appointment of an attorney-in-fact, health care representative, trustee or other fiduciary acting on behalf of the respondent, any support service otherwise available to the respondent and any other relevant evidence. In appointing a temporary conservator pursuant to this section, the court shall set forth each duty or authority of the temporary conservator. The temporary conservator shall have charge of the property or of the person of the conserved person, or both, for such period or for such specific occasion as the court finds to be necessary, provided a temporary appointment shall not be valid for more than thirty days, unless at any time while the appointment of a temporary conservator is in effect, an application is filed for appointment of a conservator of the person or estate under section 45a-650. The court may (A) extend the appointment of the temporary conservator until the disposition of such application under section 45a-650, or for an additional thirty days, whichever occurs first, or (B) terminate the appointment of a temporary conservator upon a showing that the circumstances that gave rise to the application for appointment of a temporary conservator no longer exist. No appointment of a temporary conservator under this section may be in effect for more than sixty days from the date of the initial appointment.

(b) Unless the court waives the medical evidence requirement pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, an appointment of a temporary conservator shall not be made unless a report is filed with the application for appointment of a temporary conservator, signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery in this state, stating: (1) That the physician has examined the respondent and the date of such examination, which shall not be more than three days prior to the date of presentation to the judge; (2) that it is the opinion of the physician that the respondent is incapable of managing his or her affairs or incapable of caring for himself or herself; and (3) the reasons for such opinion. Any physician's report filed with the court pursuant to this subsection shall be confidential. The court shall provide for the disclosure of the medical information required pursuant to this subsection to the respondent on the respondent's request, to the respondent's attorney and to any other party considered appropriate by the court.

(c) Upon receipt of an application for the appointment of a temporary conservator, the court shall issue notice to the respondent, appoint counsel for the respondent and conduct a hearing on the application in the manner set forth in sections 45a-649, 45a-649a and 45a-650, except that (1) notice to the respondent shall be given not less than five days before the hearing, which shall be conducted not later than seven days after the application is filed, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, or (2) where an application has been made ex parte for the appointment of a temporary conservator, notice shall be given to the respondent not more than forty-eight hours after the ex parte appointment of a temporary conservator, with the hearing on such ex parte appointment to be conducted not later than three days after the ex parte appointment, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Service on the respondent of the notice of the application for the appointment of a temporary conservator shall be in hand and shall be made by a state marshal, constable or an indifferent person. Notice shall include (A) a copy of the application for appointment of a temporary conservator and any physician's report filed with the application pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, (B) a copy of an ex parte order, if any, appointing a temporary conservator, and (C) the date, time and place of the hearing on the application for the appointment of a temporary conservator. The court may not appoint a temporary conservator until the court has made the findings required in this section and held a hearing on the application, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. If notice is provided to the next of kin with respect to an application filed under this section, the physician's report shall not be disclosed to the next of kin except by order of the court.

(d) (1) If the court determines that the delay resulting from giving notice and appointing an attorney to represent the respondent as required in subsection (c) of this section would cause immediate and irreparable harm to the mental or physical health or financial or legal affairs of the respondent, the court may, ex parte and without prior notice to the respondent, appoint a temporary conservator upon receiving evidence and making the findings required in subsection (a) of this section, provided the court makes a specific finding in any decree issued on the application stating the immediate or irreparable harm that formed the basis for the court's determination and why such hearing and appointment was not required before making an ex parte appointment. If an ex parte order of appointment of a temporary conservator is made, a hearing on the application for appointment of a temporary conservator shall be commenced not later than three days after the ex parte order was issued, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. An ex parte order shall expire not later than three days after the order was issued unless a hearing on the order that commenced prior to the expiration of the three-day period has been continued for good cause.

(2) After a hearing held under this subsection, the court may appoint a temporary conservator or may confirm or revoke the ex parte appointment of the temporary conservator or may modify the duties and authority assigned under such appointment.

(e) The court may waive the medical evidence requirement under subsection (b) of this section if the court finds that the evidence is impossible to obtain because of the refusal of the respondent to be examined by a physician. In any such case the court may, in lieu of medical evidence, accept other competent evidence. In any case in which the court waives the medical evidence requirement as provided in this subsection, the court may not appoint a temporary conservator unless the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that (1) the respondent is incapable of managing his or her affairs or incapable of caring for himself or herself, and (2) immediate and irreparable harm to the mental or physical health or financial or legal affairs of the respondent will result if a temporary conservator is not appointed pursuant to this section. In any case in which the court waives the requirement of medical evidence as provided in this subsection, the court shall make a specific finding in any decree issued on the application stating why medical evidence was not required.

(f) Upon the termination of the temporary conservatorship, the temporary conservator shall file a written report with the court and, if applicable, a final accounting as directed by the court, of his or her actions as temporary conservator.

(1955, S. 2908d; 1957, P.A. 449; February, 1965, P.A. 590, S. 2; 1967, P.A. 385; P.A. 75-72; P.A. 77-446, S. 6; 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 79-631, S. 83, 111; P.A. 80-227, S. 9, 24; 80-476, S. 130; P.A. 84-202; 84-271, S. 6; 84-294, S. 8; P.A. 90-230, S. 58, 101; P.A. 93-262, S. 65, 87; P.A. 95-89; P.A. 96-170, S. 9, 23; P.A. 97-90, S. 5, 6; P.A. 04-142, S. 4; P.A. 05-154, S. 1; P.A. 06-195, S. 77; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a); 07-116, S. 18; P.A. 10-32, S. 137.)

History: 1965 act authorized board of directors of charitable organization to make application for appointment of temporary conservator; 1967 act allowed appointment to cover charge of person in lieu of or in addition to the estate; P.A. 75-72 authorized applications by chief administrative officer of any nonprofit hospital or his designee; P.A. 77-446 authorized applications by first selectman, chief executive officer or head of town department of welfare or by commissioner of social services, rephrased provision so that court makes finding as to respondent's capability where provisions had been phrased to imply that such finding was previously made and added hearing provisions; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of social services with commissioner of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-631 replaced human resources commissioner with commissioner of children and youth services; P.A. 80-227 substituted “probate bond” for “bond, conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties, in an amount to be determined by the judge”, effective July 1, 1981; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; P.A. 84-202 and P.A. 84-294 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing commissioner of children and youth services with commissioner of human resources as authority empowered to apply for appointment of temporary conservator; P.A. 84-271 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing provision allowing “written application by the husband, wife or any relative” with “written application of any person deemed by the court to have sufficient interest in the welfare of the respondent, including but not limited to the spouse or any relative of the respondent”, and deleting “commissioner of children and youth services” and adding “commissioner of human resources” and “the commissioner on aging” as agency heads authorized to make application, and amended Subsec. (c) by requiring the application to be acted upon within 48 hours of filing, Saturdays and Sundays excluded, unless continued for cause shown; P.A. 90-230 corrected an internal reference in Subsec. (a); Sec. 45-72 transferred to Sec. 45a-654 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 replaced reference to commissioners of human resources and aging with commissioner of social services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-89 amended Subsec. (a) by specifying applicability to appointment of temporary conservators, by adding irreparable harm to health or financial or legal affairs as ground for appointment, by granting discretionary power to require that bond be posted and by authorizing extension of appointment in cases where application for appointment of conservator under Sec. 45a-650 is filed, amended Subsec. (b) by changing requirement of two physicians to one physician and added provision re date of examination and opinion, deleted former provisions of Subsec. (c) and added new provisions re ex parte appointment of temporary conservator, added Subsec. (d) re hearing and notice where ex parte appointment not appropriate, added Subsec. (e) re waiver of medical evidence requirement and added Subsec. (f) re written report on termination of temporary conservatorship; P.A. 96-170 amended Subsec. (c) by changing funding of compensation of counsel from Probate Court Administration Fund to funds appropriated to Judicial Department, unless funds not included in budget of Judicial Department for such purpose, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 97-90 revised effective date of P.A. 96-170 but without affecting this section; P.A. 04-142 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provisions re confidentiality of physician's report filed with the court and re court order for disclosure of required medical information and by making technical changes; P.A. 05-154 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute “immediate and irreparable” for “immediate” in Subdiv. (2), to provide that the court shall limit duties, responsibilities and powers to the circumstances that gave rise to the application, to add factors the court shall consider in making findings, to insert Subpara. (A) designator and “under section 45a-650” in Subpara. (A), and to add new Subpara. (B) re termination of appointment, amended Subsec. (b)(2) to insert “incapable”, amended Subsec. (c) to insert new Subdiv. designators (1) to (3), to insert new language in Subdiv. (1) re court determination that delay will result in injury and requiring specific findings, to insert “ex parte” re appointment and change Subdiv. and Subpara. designators in Subdiv. (2), to insert new Subpara. (B) re scheduling date, place and time of hearing not later than 72 hours after decree, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, to add new Subpara. (C)(iii) re date, place and time of hearing, to delete former provisions re hearings, and to rewrite Subdiv. (3) re court duties after hearing, amended Subsec. (e)(2) to delete “if a hearing has not been held”, added new Subsec. (f) re restrictions on changing respondent's residence, added new Subsec. (g) re placement of respondent in an institution for long-term care, redesignated existing Subsec. (f) as Subsec. (h), and made technical changes, effective June 24, 2005; P.A. 06-195 substituted “health care representative” for “health care agent” in Subsec. (a); pursuant to P.A. 07-73 “Department of Mental Retardation” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Department of Developmental Services” in Subsec. (g)(2), effective October 1, 2007; P.A. 07-116 amended Subsec. (a) to require “clear and convincing evidence”, insert Subdiv. (3) re appointment of temporary conservator as least restrictive means of intervention available to prevent harm, substitute “shall” for “may” re providing probate bond, substitute “duties and authority” for “duties, responsibilities and powers”, “irreparable harm” for “irreparable injury”, “specific findings” for “findings”, “considered” for “deemed” and “conserved person” for “respondent”, provide that court shall set forth each duty or authority of temporary conservator upon appointment, and provide that no appointment may be in effect more than 60 days from initial appointment, amended Subsec. (b) to make conforming changes and replace “may issue an order” re disclosure of medical information with “shall provide for the disclosure of the medical information” to respondent, respondent's attorney and other appropriate party, inserted new Subsec. (c) re notice and service, redesignated existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d) and inserted therein “upon receiving evidence” re appointment, deleted former Subsec. (d), amended Subsec. (e) to require enumerated court findings by clear and convincing evidence in any case where court waives medical evidence requirement, deleted former Subsecs. (f) and (g) re changing respondent's residence or placement in institution for long-term care, redesignated existing Subsec. (h) as Subsec. (f) and added “and, if applicable, a final accounting as directed by the court” therein, and made technical changes; P.A. 10-32 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective May 10, 2010.

See Sec. 45a-132a re respondent's ability to refuse to undergo examination ordered by the court under said section.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Connecticut may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.