IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR HARDEE, HIGHLANDS, AND POLK COUNTIES

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 4-3.0

RE: GUARDIANSHIP PROCEDURES IN THE TENTH CIRCUIT

WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 744 Fla.Stat.(1989) to reform the existing guardianship laws this Court finds the following are essential for the effective administration of its guardianship caseload:

1. PAPERS TO BE FILED

a) The attorney of record shall file the following simultaneously:

i) petition to determine incapacity (Fla. Bar Form G-2.010)

ii) order appointing counsel for the ward (Fla. Bar form G-2.030)

iii) petition for appointment of guardian

iv) application for appointment of guardian, with finger print card.

b) The attorney of record shall be responsible for mailing a copy of the order appointing counsel to the counsel for the ward.

2. EXAMINING COMMITTEE

a) The order appointing the examining committee (Fla. Bar Form G-2.040) shall be filed within 5 days of filing the petition to determine incapacity.

b) The Clerk of Courts shall send copies of the order of appointment to the examining committee. The Clerk will file certificate of service.

c) The examining committee shall submit their report to the attorney of record within 15 days of appointment. (Fla. Bar Form 2.050)

d) The attorney of record shall file the report promptly. The attorney is to mail copies to and counsel for the ward so that they are received no later than 5 days prior to the hearing.

e) The report of the examining committee shall be notarized if they do not wish to appear at the hearing.

f) The examining committee shall submit their bill to the attorney of record in care of the Clerk of Courts. The attorney shall file an order of compensation with the bill from the committee. When the order is signed the Clerk is to send copies to the Board of County Commissioners.

3. RESULTS OF COMMITTEE REPORT

a) If the report shows that there is no incapacity, the attorney of record shall move to dismiss the incapacitation procedure.

b) If the report shows incapacitation, the attorney of record shall set a hearing, to be held no more than 14 days after filing the committee's report.

4. PAPERS TO BE SERVED ON THE ALLEGED INCAPACITATED

a) The attorney of record shall have the sheriff or a certified process server, serve formal notice of the petition to determine incapacity and for appointment of guardian (Fla. Bar Form G-2.020), with the required attachments, on the alleged incapacitated. The process server shall read the petition to the alleged incapacitated as required in S744.331 Fla. Stat..

b) The Court is to get the original back with the affidavit of service attached. The Clerk is to mail copies to the next of kin and counsel for the ward.

5. ITEMS THAT MUST BE AT THE HEARING

a) The attorney of record shall bring the following items to the hearing or bring them to the Clerk prior to the hearing:

i) order to determine incapacity (Fla. Bar Form G-2.060 or G-2.061)

ii) oath of guardian (Fla. Bar Form G-3.070)

iii) letter of guardian

iv) order appointing guardian

v) incapacitated's drivers license

6. COUNSEL FOR WARD: ATTORNEY FEES

a) Counsel for the ward shall provide an affidavit of hours to the attorney of record.

b) Attorney of record shall file the affidavit of hours and a petition and order with the Clerk of Courts.

c) When the order is signed by the judge the Clerk shall forward copies to the Board of County Commissioners.

7. INITIAL REPORTS

a) The attorney of record shall mail copies of the initial guardianship report to counsel for the ward.

b) After the counsel for the ward reviews the reports counsel should notify the attorney of record, in writing, of any objections or stating that there are no objections.

c) If there are no objections counsel should file a letter to that effect with the Clerk.

d) The Clerk will then prepare an order releasing counsel and the clerk will mail copies after the order is signed.

The foregoing are effective as of the 1st day of June, 1990.

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Bartow, Polk County, Florida this 7th day of May, 1990.

OLIVER L. GREEN, JR., CHIEF JUDGE

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