2002 Legislation
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SENATE BILL NO. 1315 – Disabled persons, visitors, appt


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Daily Data Tracking History

S1315................................................by JUDICIARY AND RULES
DISABLED PERSONS - VISITORS - Amends existing law to provide certain
restrictions on the appointment of visitors and guardians ad litem for
disabled persons.
01/22    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/23    Rpt prt - to Jud
02/04    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/05    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/08    3rd rdg - PASSED - 33-0-2
      AYES -- Andreason, Boatright, Branch(Bartlett), Brandt, Bunderson,
      Burtenshaw, Cameron, Davis, Deide, Dunklin, Frasure, Geddes, Goedde,
      Hill, Ingram, Ipsen, Keough, King-Barrutia, Little, Lodge, Marley,
      Noh, Richardson, Risch, Sandy, Schroeder, Sims, Sorensen, Stegner,
      Stennett, Thorne, Wheeler, Williams
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Darrington, Hawkins
    Floor Sponsor - Richardson
    Title apvd - to House
02/11    House intro - 1st rdg - to Jud
03/08    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/11    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/12    3rd rdg - PASSED - 65-0-5
      AYES -- Aikele, Barraclough, Barrett, Bedke, Bell, Bieter, Black,
      Block, Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Bruneel, Callister, Campbell, Clark,
      Collins, Crow, Cuddy, Denney, Ellis, Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(13),
      Field(20), Gould, Hadley, Hammond, Harwood, Henbest, Higgins,
      Hornbeck, Jaquet, Kellogg, Kendell, Kunz, Lake, Langford, Loertscher,
      Mader, Martinez, McKague, Meyer, Montgomery, Mortensen, Moyle,
      Pearce, Pomeroy, Raybould, Ridinger, Roberts, Robison, Sali,
      Schaefer, Sellman, Shepherd, Smith(33), Smith(23), Smylie, Stevenson,
      Stone, Tilman, Wheeler, Wood, Young, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Deal, Gagner, Jones, Pischner, Trail
    Floor Sponsor - Sellman
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/13    To enrol
    Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/14    Sp signed - to Governor
03/22    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 217
         Effective: 07/01/02

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-sixth Legislature                  Second Regular Session - 2002
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                    SENATE BILL NO. 1315
                              BY JUDICIARY AND RULES COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
  5    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  6        SECTION 1.  That Section 15-5-308, Idaho Code, be, and the same is  hereby
  7    amended to read as follows:
  8        15-5-308.  VISITOR  IN  GUARDIANSHIP  PROCEEDING.  (1)  A visitor is, with
  9    respect to guardianship proceedings, a person who is trained in law,  nursing,
 10    psychology,  social  work, or counseling or has other qualifications that make
 11    him suitable to perform the function and is an officer,  employee  or  special
 12    appointee  of  the  court  with  no  personal interest in the proceedings. The
 13    visitor's report is to include the following information: a description of the
 14    nature, cause and degree of incapacity, and the basis upon which this judgment
 15    is made; a description of the needs of the person alleged to be  incapacitated
 16    for  care  and treatment and the probable residential requirements; an evalua-
 17    tion of the appropriateness of the guardian or conservator  whose  appointment
 18    is  sought and a description of the steps the proposed guardian or conservator
 19    has taken or intends to take to meet the needs of the incapacitated person;  a
 20    description  of the abilities of the alleged incapacitated person and a recom-
 21    mendation as to whether a full  or  limited  guardianship  or  conservatorship
 22    should  be  ordered and, if limited, the visitor's recommendation of  the spe-
 23    cific areas of authority the limited guardianship or conservator  should  have
 24    and  the  limitations to be placed on the incapacitated person; any expression
 25    of approval or disapproval made by the alleged incapacitated person concerning
 26    the proposed guardianship or conservatorship; an  analysis  of  the  financial
 27    status  and assets of the alleged incapacitated person; identification of peo-
 28    ple with significant interest in the welfare of the alleged incapacitated per-
 29    son who should be informed of the proceedings; a description of the qualifica-
 30    tions and relationship of the proposed guardian or conservator; an explanation
 31    of how the alleged incapacitated person responded to the advice  of  the  pro-
 32    ceedings  and  the  right to be present at the hearing on the petition; in the
 33    case of conservatorship, a recommendation for or against  a  bond  requirement
 34    for  the  proposed conservator, taking into account the financial statement of
 35    the person whose appointment is sought.
 36        (2)  Any person appointed as a visitor shall be personally immune from any
 37    liability for acts, omissions or errors in the same manner as if  such  person
 38    were  a  volunteer  or  director under the provisions of section 6-1605, Idaho
 39    Code.
 40        (3)  The visitor may not also be appointed as guardian ad  litem  for  the
 41    person  alleged to be incapacitated nor may the guardian ad litem for the per-
 42    son alleged to be incapacitated be appointed as visitor, nor may  the  visitor
 43    and  the  guardian ad litem for the person alleged to be incapacitated be mem-
  1    bers or employees of the same entity including, but not limited to, being mem-
  2    bers or employees of the same law firm.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                            RS 11691
In a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding, the interests of
the person alleged to be incapacitated are protected by the
appointment of three different persons: (1) a physician who
renders a medical opinion to the court; (2) a guardian ad litem
who acts somewhat as an attorney for the person alleged to be
incapacitated, although having additional duties and
responsibilities; and, (3) a court visitor, who is an impartial
expert who does extensive investigation of the circumstances and
condition of the person alleged to be incapacitated and renders a
written opinion to the court as set forth in paragraph 1, above. 
Each of these persons performs a different role and each is
required to fully protect the rights of the person alleged to be
incapacitated.  However, some courts have been appointing the
same person as both guardian ad litem and court visitor, or
appointing persons who are members of the same law firm, which
removes substantial protections required by the statute.  The
amendment therefore makes it clear that the visitor and the
guardian ad litem must be two different persons and must be
independent, at least to the extent of not being members or
employees of the same entity, such as a law firm.

                          FISCAL NOTE

This bill will have no fiscal impact.

CONTACT:  Robert L. Aldridge
          1209 North Eighth Street
          Boise, Idaho 83702-4297
          Telephone: office: (208) 336-9880  home: (208) 888-4668
          Fax: (208) 336-9882
          e-mail: rlaldridge@hotmail.com