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2021 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.815. Appointment of legal guardians for wards of the juvenile court; modification or termination of guardianship Legal guardianship-wards (§§ 366.26, 727.3, 728)

(a) Proceedings in juvenile court

Proceedings for the appointment of a legal guardian for a child who is a ward of the juvenile court may be held in the juvenile court. under the procedures specified in section 366.26.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2021; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Hearing to consider guardianship

On the recommendation of the probation officer supervising the child in the social study and case plan required by sections 706.5(c)-(d) and 706.6(n), the motion of the child's attorney under section 778, or the court's determination under section 727.3 that a legal guardianship is the appropriate permanent plan for the child, the court must set a hearing to consider the establishment of a legal guardianship and must order the probation officer to prepare an assessment that includes:

(1)  All the elements required to be addressed in the assessment prepared under Welfare and Institutions Code section 727.31(b); and

(2)  A statement confirming that the proposed guardian has been provided with a copy of Becoming a Child's Guardian in Juvenile Court (form JV-350-INFO) or La funci´┐Żn de un tutor nombrado por la corte de menores (form JV-350-INFO S).

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2021; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Probation officer's recommendation

The probation officer's recommendation for appointment of a legal guardian may be included in the social study report and case plan submitted under sections 706.5 and 706.6. Neither a separate petition nor a separate hearing is required.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2021; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Notice (§ 728(c))

The clerk must provide notice of the hearing to the child, the child's parents, and other individuals as required by section 294.

(Subd (d) amended effective July 1, 2016.)

(e) Conduct of hearing

The proceedings for appointment of a legal guardian must be conducted according to the procedural requirements of section 366.26, except for subdivision (j). The court must read and consider the assessment prepared by the probation officer and any other relevant evidence. The preparer of the assessment must be available for examination by the court or any party to the proceedings.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2021.)

(f) Findings and orders

If the court makes the necessary findings under section 366.26(c)(4)(A), the court must appoint a legal guardian for the child and order the clerk to issue letters of guardianship (Letters of Guardianship (Juvenile) (form JV-330)) as soon as the appointed guardian has signed them. These letters are not subject to the confidentiality protections in section 827.

(1)  The court may issue orders regarding visitation and contact between the child and a parent or other relative.

(2)  After the appointment of a legal guardian, the court may continue juvenile court wardship and supervision or may terminate wardship.

(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2021; previously amended effective July 1, 2006, and January 1, 2007.)

(g) Modification or termination of the juvenile court guardianship

A petition to modify or terminate a legal guardianship established by the juvenile court, including a petition to appoint a co-guardian or successor guardian, must be filed and heard in juvenile court. The procedures described in rule 5.570 must be followed, and Request to Change Court Order (form JV-180) must be used. The hearing on the petition may be held concurrently with any regularly scheduled hearing regarding the child.

(Subd (g) amended effective January 1, 2021; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 5.815 amended effective January 1, 2021; adopted as rule 1496.2 effective January 1, 2004; previously amended effective July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2016; previously amended and renumbered as rule 5.815 effective January 1, 2007

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