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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.478. Content-based and hours-based education for court investigators, probate attorneys, and probate examiners

(a) Definitions

As used in this rule, the following terms have the meanings specified below, unless the context or subject matter otherwise require:

(1)A "court investigator" is a person described in Probate Code section 1454(a) employed by or under contract with a court to provide the investigative services for the court required or authorized by law in guardianships, conservatorships, and other protective proceedings under division 4 of the Probate Code;

(2)A "probate attorney" is an active member of the State Bar of California who is employed by a court to perform the functions of a probate examiner and also to provide legal analysis, recommendations, advice, and other services to the court pertaining to probate proceedings;

(3)A "probate examiner" is a person employed by a court to review filings in probate proceedings in order to assist the court and the parties to get the filed matters properly ready for consideration by the court in accordance with the requirements of the Probate Code, the rules in title 7 of the California Rules of Court, and the court's local rules;

(4)"Probate proceedings" are decedents' estates, guardianships and conservatorships under division 4 of the Probate Code, trust proceedings under division 9 of the Probate Code, and other matters governed by provisions of that code and the rules in title 7 of the California Rules of Court;

(5)"AOC" is the Administrative Office of the Courts;

(6)"CJER" is the AOC Education Division/Center for Judicial Education and Research.

(b) Content-based requirements for court investigators

(1)Each court investigator must complete 18 hours of education within one year of his or her start date after the effective date of this rule. The education must include the following general topics:

(A)Court process and legal proceedings;

(B)Child abuse and neglect and the effect of domestic violence on children (guardianship investigators); elder and dependent adult abuse, including undue influence and other forms of financial abuse (conservatorship investigators);

(C)Medical issues;

(D)Access to and use of criminal-record information, confidentiality, ethics, conflicts of interest;

(E)Accessing and evaluating community resources for children and mentally impaired elderly or developmentally disabled adults; and

(F)Interviewing children and persons with mental function or communication deficits.

(2)A court investigator may fulfill the education requirement in (1) through AOC-sponsored education, an approved provider (see rule 10.481(a), or education approved by the court executive officer or the court investigator's supervisor as meeting the education criteria specified in rule 10.481(b).

(3) The education required in (1) may be applied to the specific-job portion of the orientation course required for all new court employees under rule 10.474(b)(2)(D) and the continuing education required for all nonmanagerial or nonsupervisory court employees under rule 10.474(c)(2).

(4)The education required in (1) may be by traditional (face-to-face) or distance-learning means, such as broadcasts, videoconferences, or on-line coursework, but may not be by self-study.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2012.)

(c) Content-based education for probate attorneys

(1)Each probate attorney must complete 18 hours of education within six months of his or her start date after January 1, 2008, in probate-related topics, including guardianships, conservatorships, and court-supervised fiduciary accounting.

(2)A probate attorney may fulfill the education requirement in (1) through AOC-sponsored education, an approved provider (see rule 10.481(a), or education approved by the court executive officer or the probate attorney's supervisor as meeting the education criteria specified in rule 10.481(b).

(3)The education required in (1) may be applied to the specific-job portion of the orientation course required for all new court employees under rule 10.474(b)(2)(D) and the continuing education required for all nonmanagerial or nonsupervisory court employees under rule 10.474(c)(2).

(4)The education required in (1) may be by traditional (face-to-face) or distance-learning means, such as broadcasts, videoconferences, or on-line coursework, but may not be by self-study.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2012.)

(d) Content-based education for probate examiners

(1)Each probate examiner must complete 30 hours of education within one year of his or her start date after January 1, 2008, in probate-related topics, of which 18 hours must be in guardianships and conservatorships, including court-appointed fiduciary accounting.

(2)A probate examiner may fulfill the education requirement in (1) through AOC-sponsored education, an approved provider (see rule 10.481(a), or education approved by the court executive officer or the probate examiner's supervisor as meeting the education criteria specified in rule 10.481(b).

(3)The education required in (1) may be applied to the specific-job portion of the orientation course required for all new court employees under rule 10.474(b)(2)(D) and the continuing education required for all nonmanagerial or nonsupervisory court employees under rule 10.474(c)(2).

(4)The education required in (1) may be by traditional (face-to-face) or distance-learning means, such as broadcasts, videoconferences, or online coursework, but may not be by self-study.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2012.)

(e) Hours-based education for court investigators

(1)Each court investigator must complete 12 hours of continuing education on some or all of the general topics listed in (b)(1) each calendar year. For court investigators employed by or performing services under contract with the court before the effective date of this rule, the first calendar year the education is required begins on January 1, 2008. For court investigators who begin their employment or performance of services under contract with the court after the effective date of this rule, the first year this education is required begins on January 1 of the year immediately following completion of the education required in (b).

(2)A court investigator may fulfill the education requirement in (1) through AOC-sponsored education, an approved provider (see rule 10.481(a), or education approved by the court executive officer or the court investigator's supervisor as meeting the education criteria specified in rule 10.481(b).

(3)The education required in (1) may be applied to the continuing education required for all nonmanagerial or nonsupervisory court employees under rule 10.474(c)(2).

(4)The education required in (1) may be by traditional (face-to-face) or distance-learning means, such as broadcasts, videoconferences, or online coursework, but may not be by self-study.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2012.)

(f) Hours-based education for probate attorneys

(1)Each probate attorney must complete 12 hours of continuing education each calendar year in probate-related subjects, of which six hours per year must be in guardianships and conservatorships, including court-supervised fiduciary accounting. For probate attorneys employed by or performing services under contract with the court before the effective date of this rule, the first calendar year the education is required begins on January 1, 2008. For probate attorneys who begin their employment with the court after the effective date of this rule, the first year this education is required begins on January 1 of the year immediately following completion of the education required in (c).

(2)A probate attorney may fulfill the education requirement in (1) through AOC-sponsored education, an approved provider (see rule 10.481(a), or education approved by the court executive officer or the probate attorney's supervisor as meeting the education criteria specified in rule 10.481(b).

(3)The education required in (1) may be applied to the continuing education required for all nonmanagerial or nonsupervisory court employees under rule 10.474(c)(2).

(4)The education required in (1) may be by traditional (face-to-face) or distance-learning means, such as broadcasts, videoconferences, or online coursework, but may not be by self-study.

(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2012.)

(g) Hours-based education for probate examiners

(1)Each probate examiner must complete 12 hours of continuing education each calendar year in probate-related subjects, of which six hours per year must be in guardianships and conservatorships, including court-appointed fiduciary accounting. For probate examiners employed by the court before the effective date of this rule, the first calendar year the education is required begins on January 1, 2008. For probate examiners who begin their employment with the court after the effective date of this rule, the first year this education is required begins on January 1 of the year immediately following completion of the education required in (d).

(2)A probate examiner may fulfill the education requirement in (1) through AOC-sponsored education, an approved provider (see rule 10.481(a), or education approved by the court executive officer or the probate examiner's supervisor as meeting the education criteria specified in rule 10.481(b).

(3)The education required in (1) may be applied to the continuing education required for all nonmanagerial or nonsupervisory court employees under rule 10.474(c)(2).

(4)The education required in (1) may be by traditional (face-to-face) or distance-learning means, such as broadcasts, videoconferences, or online coursework, but may not be by self-study.

(Subd (g) amended effective January 1, 2012.)

(h) Extension of time

The provisions of rule 10.474(d) concerning extensions of time apply to the content-based and hours-based education required under this rule.

(i) Record keeping and reporting

(1)The provisions of rule 10.474(e) concerning the responsibilities of courts and participating court employees to keep records and track the completion of educational requirements apply to the education required under this rule.

(2)The AOC may require courts to report participation by court investigators, probate attorneys, and probate examiners in the education required by this rule as necessary to ensure compliance with Probate Code section 1456.

Rule 10.478 amended effective January 1, 2012; adopted effective January 1, 2008.

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