Issue: Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act
The proposed model code will impact on state court procedures.
No formal position
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), now known as the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) appointed a committee to draft a uniform code that addresses jurisdiction issues related to which courts have authority to appoint guardians for adults. Other issues to be addressed include the procedures for transferring a guardianship case from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction and the methods by which a guardianship order entered in one jurisdiction can be enforced in another jurisdiction. Guardianship jurisdiction issues arise in intrastate, interstate, and international situations. The current model statutes on guardianship are found in Article V of the Uniform Probate Code (UPC), which, when enacted separately, is referred to as the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act (UGPPA). This Act was originally approved in 1969 and substantially revised in 1982 and 1997. This Act, often with significant amendment, has been enacted in 19 states (AL, AK, AZ, CO, HI, ID, ME, MI, MN, MT, NE, NJ, NM, ND, PA, SC, SD, UT, and WI).
The drafting committee, under the leadership of David Nixon, completed their work in 2005 through 2007. David English, University of Missouri-Columbia Law School, served as the National Conference Reporter on this effort. A draft of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act was presented for a first reading at NCCUSL’s July 2006 meeting.
The drafting committee met on November 17-18, 2006 to consider the input received in the first reading. Some of the issues discussed included whether jurisdiction should be based on domicile or “home state”, the definition of “home state”, taking testimony in another state, the international application, communication between courts, the definition of “unjustifiable conduct”, procedures to transfer jurisdiction between states, and registration procedures. The drafting committee met for a final time on April 21-22, 2007. The final proposal addressed communication and cooperation between courts, jurisdiction, transfer of jurisdiction, and registration and recognition of orders from other states. The final draft was approved at the 2007 ULC Annual Meeting on 8/2/07. The model legislation is posted on ULC’s website. The model legislation has been approved in 4 jurisdictions – AK, CO, DC, and UT. Legislation has been introduced in North Dakota.