2019 Montana Code Annotated
Title 72. Estates, Trusts, and Fiduciary Relationships
Chapter 5. Upc -- Persons Under Disability Guardianship and Conservatorship
Part 3. Guardians of Incapacitated Persons
72-5-315. Procedure for court appointment of guardian -- hearing -- examination -- interview -- procedural rights

Universal Citation: MT Code § 72-5-315 (2019)

72-5-315. Procedure for court appointment of guardian -- hearing -- examination -- interview -- procedural rights. (1) The incapacitated person or any person interested in the incapacitated person's welfare, including the county attorney, may petition for a finding of incapacity and appointment of a guardian.

(2) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall set a date for hearing on the issues of incapacity. The allegedly incapacitated person may have counsel of the person's own choice or the court may, in the interest of justice, appoint an appropriate official or order the office of state public defender, provided for in 2-15-1029, to assign counsel pursuant to the Montana Public Defender Act, Title 47, chapter 1, to represent the person in the proceeding.

(3) The person alleged to be incapacitated must be examined by a physician appointed by the court who shall submit a report in writing to the court and must be interviewed by a visitor sent by the court. Whenever possible, the court shall appoint as visitor a person who has particular experience or expertise in treating, evaluating, or caring for persons with the kind of disabling condition that is alleged to be the cause of the incapacity. The visitor shall also interview the person who appears to have caused the petition to be filed and the person who is nominated to serve as guardian and visit the present place of abode of the person alleged to be incapacitated and the place it is proposed that the person will be detained or reside if the requested appointment is made and submit the visitor's report in writing to the court. Whenever possible without undue delay or expense beyond the ability to pay of the alleged incapacitated person, the court, in formulating the judgment, shall utilize the services of any public or charitable agency that offers or is willing to evaluate the condition of the allegedly incapacitated person and make recommendations to the court regarding the most appropriate form of state intervention in the person's affairs.

(4) The person alleged to be incapacitated is entitled to be present at the hearing in person and to see or hear all evidence bearing upon the person's condition. The person is entitled to be present by counsel, to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, including the court-appointed physician and the visitor, and to trial by jury. The issue may be determined at a closed hearing without a jury if the person alleged to be incapacitated or the person's counsel requests it.

History: En. 91A-5-303 by Sec. 1, Ch. 365, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 222, L. 1977; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 514, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 91A-5-303; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 344, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 65, Ch. 449, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 184, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 43, Ch. 358, L. 2017.

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