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Connecticut Public Acts 1996

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Senate Bill No. 296

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-170

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND AND PAYMENT OF FEES BY THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 45a-82 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Probate Court Administration Fund is established, to consist of the amounts hereinafter provided, to be paid over as herein provided to the State Treasurer.

(b) The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the fund, with power to administer it, and to invest and reinvest as much of said fund as is not required for current disbursements in accordance with the provisions of the general statutes regarding the investment of savings banks.

(c) All payments from said fund authorized by sections 17a-77, 17a-274, 17a-498, 17a-510, 45a-1 to 45a-12, inclusive, 45a-18 to 45a-26, inclusive, 45a-34 to 45a-57, inclusive, sections 45a-62 to 45a-68, inclusive, 45a-74 to 45a-83, inclusive, 45a-90 to 45a-94, inclusive, 45a-98, 45a-99, 45a-105, 45a-119 to 45a-123, inclusive, 45a-128, 45a-130, 45a-131, 45a-133, 45a-152, 45a-175 to 45a-180, inclusive, 45a-199 and 45a-202, shall be made upon vouchers approved by the Probate Court Administrator.

(d) Monthly there shall be transferred from the fund established by this section to the retirement fund established by section 45a-35 not less than sufficient moneys, taking into account receipts by said retirement fund under the provisions of sections 45a-44 and 45a-45, to enable said retirement fund to meet its obligations as estimated by the Retirement Commission, until the Retirement Commission certifies that the retirement fund is on a sound actuarial basis.

(e) On or before July first annually, the Retirement Commission shall certify to the State Treasurer, on the basis of an actuarial determination, the amount to be transferred to the retirement fund to maintain the actuarial funding program adopted by the Retirement Commission.

(f) In addition to the aforesaid payments, there shall be transferred from time to time from the fund established by this section to the retirement fund established by section 45a-35 such amounts as are determined by the Probate Court Administrator not to be required for other purposes of sections 45a-20 and 45a-76 to 45a-83, inclusive, until the Retirement Commission certifies that the retirement fund is on a sound actuarial basis. Thereafter there shall be transferred from time to time from the fund established by this section to the General Fund such amounts as are determined by the Probate Court Administrator not to be required for the purposes of said sections.

(g) If at any time thereafter the Retirement Commission certifies that the retirement fund established by section 45a-35 is no longer on a sound actuarial basis, transfers from this fund to the retirement fund shall be resumed until the Retirement Commission again certifies that said retirement fund is on a sound actuarial basis, at which time transfers from this fund to the General Fund shall be resumed.

(h) All payments of assessments imposed by section 45a-92 with respect to income received by any judge of probate on or after January 1, 1968, shall be paid in accordance with the schedule set forth in section 45a-92.

(i) The State Treasurer shall, on or before October first, annually, give an accounting of the Probate Court Administration Fund, showing the receipts and disbursements and the balance or condition thereof, as of the preceding June thirtieth, to the Probate Assembly and to the joint standing committee on the judiciary.

(j) IN THE EVENT THAT ANY COURT OF PROBATE OTHERWISE RECEIVES INCOME WHICH IS INSUFFICIENT TO MEET, ON AN ONGOING BASIS, THE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY FINANCIAL NEEDS OF THAT COURT, INCLUDING THE SALARIES OF THE JUDGE AND THE JUDGE'S STAFF, THERE SHALL BE TRANSFERRED FROM TIME TO TIME FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND SUCH AMOUNTS AS ARE DETERMINED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR TO BE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY FOR THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF EACH SUCH COURT. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (k) OF SECTION 45a-92, THE JUDGE'S ANNUAL SALARY SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AVERAGE ANNUAL SALARY OF SUCH JUDGE FOR THE THREE-YEAR PERIOD NEXT PRECEDING THE REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

(k) EACH JUDGE OF PROBATE REQUESTING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AT ANY TIME DURING ANY CALENDAR YEAR SHALL FILE WITH THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR A SWORN STATEMENT SHOWING THE ACTUAL GROSS RECEIPTS AND ITEMIZED EXPENSES OF THE JUDGE'S COURT AND THE AMOUNT REQUESTED, TOGETHER WITH AN EXPLANATION THEREFOR. THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR MAY APPROVE AND ISSUE AN INVOICE TO THE STATE COMPTROLLER PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (c) OF THIS SECTION, AUTHORIZING PAYMENT TO THE COURT OF PROBATE IN SUCH AMOUNTS AS SHALL HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR.

(l) THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR MAY ISSUE REGULATIONS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (1) OF SUBSECTION (b) OF SECTION 45a-77 IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE INTENT OF SUBSECTIONS (j) AND (k) OF THIS SECTION.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 17a-77 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Upon receipt of such application, the court shall assign a time for the hearing, not later than ten business days after such receipt, unless such application has been transferred in accordance with section 17a-76, in which event such hearing shall be held by the Superior Court within ten business days of receipt of such application. The court hearing the matter shall further assign a place for hearing such application and shall cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the child, his or her parents and the hospital for mental illness named in such application and to such relatives and others as it deems advisable. The notice shall inform the child (1) that he or she has a right to be present at the hearing; (2) that he or she has a right to present evidence and to cross-examine witnesses testifying at any hearing upon such application; (3) that the court has appointed an attorney to represent him or her, and the name, address and telephone number of such attorney. Counsel appointed to represent such child shall also be appointed guardian ad litem for such child unless the court deems it appropriate to appoint a separate guardian ad litem. The fees for counsel appointed to represent the child shall be paid by the parents or guardian or the estate of such child. The notice to the child's parents or legal guardian shall inform them that (A) they have the right to be present at the hearing; (B) they have the right to present evidence and to cross-examine witnesses testifying at the hearing upon such application and (C) they may be represented by an attorney and if they cannot afford an attorney, that the court shall appoint an attorney to represent them. The notice to the hospital for mental illness of children shall inform such hospital of the time and place of the hearing, and request that if such hospital is unable to admit such child, it shall so inform the court immediately. Prior to such hearing, counsel for the child and counsel for the parents, respectively, in accordance with the provisions of section 52-146e, shall be afforded access to all records including, without limitation, hospital records if such child is hospitalized, and shall be entitled to take notes therefrom. If such child is hospitalized at the time of any hearing held under this section, the hospital shall make available at such hearing for use by the court or his or her counsel and by counsel for the parents all records in its possession relating to the child's need for hospitalization. The reasonable compensation of counsel appointed under the provisions of this section for persons who are indigent or otherwise unable to pay shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 17a-78 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) If any child is hospitalized under this section, the child and the guardian of such child shall be promptly informed by the hospital that such child has the right to consult an attorney and the right to a hearing under subsection (d) of this section, and that if such a hearing is requested or an application for commitment is filed, such child has the right to be represented by counsel, and that counsel will be provided at the state's expense if the child is unable to pay for such counsel. The reasonable compensation for counsel provided to persons unable to pay shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 4. Subsection (d) of section 17a-274 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) Notice to the respondent and commissioner of mental retardation shall include: The names of all persons filing the application, the allegations made in the application, the time, date and place of the hearing, and the name, address and telephone number of the attorney who will represent the respondent. The notice shall state the right of the respondent to be present at the hearing, to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses who testify at the hearing, to an independent diagnostic and evaluative examination by a licensed psychologist of his own choice, who may testify on his behalf [and who, if] IF the court finds the respondent is indigent, [shall be compensated from the Probate Court Administration Fund, and to be] THE NOTICE SHALL FURTHER STATE THE RESPONDENT MAY BE represented by counsel of his own choosing, and, if the court finds the respondent is indigent, that counsel shall be provided without cost. The reasonable compensation for counsel provided to indigent respondents shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 17a-498 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 11 and 48 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) If the court finds such respondent is indigent or otherwise unable to pay for counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for such respondent, unless such respondent refuses counsel and the court finds that the respondent understands the nature of his or her refusal. The court shall provide such respondent a reasonable opportunity to select his or her own counsel to be appointed by the court. If the respondent does not select counsel or if counsel selected by the respondent refuses to represent such respondent or is not available for such representation, the court shall appoint counsel for the respondent from a panel of attorneys admitted to practice in this state provided by the Probate Court Administrator in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Probate Court Administrator in accordance with section 45a-77. The reasonable compensation of appointed counsel shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND. Prior to such hearing, such respondent or his or her counsel, in accordance with the provisions of sections 52-146d to 52-146i, inclusive, shall be afforded access to all records including, without limitation, hospital records if such respondent is hospitalized, and shall be entitled to take notes therefrom. If such respondent is hospitalized at the time of the hearing, the hospital shall make available at such hearing for use by the patient or his or her counsel all records in its possession relating to the condition of the respondent. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 52-146d to 52-146i, inclusive, all such hospital records directly relating to the patient shall be admissible at the request of any party or the Court of Probate in any proceeding relating to confinement to or release from a hospital for psychiatric disabilities. Nothing herein shall prevent timely objection to the admissibility of evidence in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.

Sec. 6. Subsection (b) of section 45a-716 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The court shall cause notice of the hearing to be given to the following persons as applicable: (1) The parent or parents of the minor child, including any parent who has been removed as guardian on or after October 1, 1973, under section 45a-606; (2) the father of any minor child born out of wedlock, provided at the time of the filing of the petition (A) he has been adjudicated the father of such child by a court of competent jurisdiction, or (B) he has acknowledged in writing to be the father of such child, or (C) he has contributed regularly to the support of such child, or (D) his name appears on the birth certificate, or (E) he has filed a claim for paternity as provided under section 46b-172a, or (F) he has been named in the petition as the father of the minor child by the mother; (3) the guardian or any other person whom the court shall deem appropriate; (4) the Commissioner of Children and Families. If the recipient of the notice is a person described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection or is any other person whose parental rights are sought to be terminated in the petition, the notice shall contain a statement that the respondent has the right to be represented by counsel and that if he is unable to pay for counsel, counsel will be appointed for him. The reasonable compensation for such counsel shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF A PROBATE COURT MATTER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND [or, in the case of a Probate Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.]

Sec. 7. Section 45a-717 of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-238 and section 8 of public act 95-316, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) At the hearing held on any petition for the termination of parental rights filed in the Court of Probate under section 45a-715, or filed in the Superior Court under section 17a-112, or transferred to the Superior Court from the Court of Probate under section 45a-715, any party to whom notice was given shall have the right to appear and be heard with respect to the petition. If the parent who is consenting to the termination of his parental rights appears at the hearing on the petition for termination of parental rights, the court shall explain to the parent the meaning and consequences of termination of parental rights. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the appearance of a consenting parent at the hearing regarding the termination of his parental rights except as otherwise provided by court order.

(b) If a party appears without counsel, the court shall inform him of his right thereto and upon request, if he is unable to pay for counsel, shall appoint counsel to represent him. No party may waive counsel unless the court has first explained the nature and meaning of a petition for the termination of parental rights. Unless the appointment of counsel is required under section 46b-136, the court may appoint counsel to represent or appear on behalf of any child in a hearing held under this section to speak on behalf of the best interests of the child. If the respondent parent is unable to pay for his own counsel or if the child or the parent or guardian of the child is unable to pay for the child's counsel, in the case of a Superior Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department and, in the case of a Probate Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF A PROBATE COURT MATTER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

(c) The court shall, if a claim for paternity has been filed in accordance with section 46b-172a, continue the hearing under the provisions of this section until the claim for paternity is adjudicated, provided the court may combine the hearing on the claim for paternity with the hearing on the termination of parental rights petition.

(d) Upon finding at the hearing or at any time during the pendency of the petition that reasonable cause exists to warrant an examination, the court, on its own motion or on motion by any party, may order the child to be examined at a suitable place by a physician, psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist appointed by the court. The court may also order examination of a parent or custodian whose competency or ability to care for a child before the court is at issue. The expenses of any examination if ordered by the court on its own motion shall be paid for by the petitioner or, if ordered on motion by a party, shall be paid for by the party moving for such an examination unless such party or petitioner is unable to pay such expenses in which case, [in a Superior Court matter,] they shall be paid for by funds appropriated to the Judicial Department HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF A PROBATE COURT MATTER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND [and in a Probate Court matter, they shall be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.] The court may consider the results of the examinations in ruling on the merits of the petition.

(e) (1) The court may, and in any contested case shall, request the Commissioner of Children and Families or any child-placing agency licensed by the commissioner to make an investigation and written report to it, within ninety days from the receipt of such request. The report shall indicate the physical, mental and emotional status of the child and shall contain such facts as may be relevant to determine whether the proposed termination of parental rights will be for the welfare of the child, including the physical, mental, social and financial condition of the natural parents, and any other factors which the commissioner or such agency finds relevant to determine whether the proposed termination will be for the welfare of the child. (2) If such a report has been requested, upon the expiration of such ninety-day period or upon receipt of the report, whichever is earlier, the court shall set a day for a hearing not more than thirty days thereafter. The court shall give reasonable notice of such adjourned hearing to all parties to the first hearing, including the child, if over fourteen years of age, and to such other persons as the court shall deem appropriate. (3) The report shall be admissible in evidence, subject to the right of any interested party to require that the person making it appear as a witness, if available, and subject himself to examination.

(f) At the adjourned hearing or at the initial hearing where no investigation and report has been requested, the court may approve the petition terminating the parental rights and may appoint a guardian of the person of the child, or if the petitioner requests, the court may appoint a statutory parent, if it finds, upon clear and convincing evidence that the termination is in the best interest of the child and that, with respect to any consenting parent, such parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to termination of his parental rights with respect to such child or that, with respect to any nonconsenting parent, over an extended period of time which, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, shall not be less than one year: (1) The child has been abandoned by the parent in the sense that the parent has failed to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of the child; or (2) the child has been denied, by reason of an act or acts of parental commission or omission, the care, guidance or control necessary for his physical, educational, moral or emotional well-being. Nonaccidental or inadequately explained serious physical injury to a child shall constitute prima facie evidence of acts of parental commission or omission sufficient for the termination of parental rights; or (3) there is no ongoing parent-child relationship which is defined as the relationship that ordinarily develops as a result of a parent having met on a continuing, day-to-day basis the physical, emotional, moral and educational needs of the child and to allow further time for the establishment or reestablishment of the parent-child relationship would be detrimental to the best interests of the child; or (4) the parent of a child who has been found by the Superior Court to have been neglected or uncared for in a prior proceeding has failed to achieve such degree of personal rehabilitation as would encourage the belief that within a reasonable time, considering the age and needs of the child, such parent could assume a responsible position in the life of the child. If the court denies a petition for consent termination of parental rights, it may refer the matter to an agency to assess the needs of the child, the care the child is receiving and the plan of the parent for the child.

(g) The court may waive the requirement that one year expire prior to the termination of parental rights if it finds: (1) From the totality of the circumstances surrounding the child that such a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child. Abandonment of a child under the age of six months shall constitute prima facie evidence that a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child, provided (A) the parent has neither had nor initiated contact with the child or the guardian or caretaker of the child for at least sixty consecutive days and (B) the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, despite a diligent search for the parent by the Department of Children and Families. The department shall file an affidavit indicating the efforts used to locate the parent; or (2) the child is under seven years of age and has been in the custody and care of the Department of Children and Families for at least three months pursuant to a commitment under subsection (d) of section 46b-129, and the child will be at imminent risk of abuse or neglect if returned to the parent, provided (A) the parent has had parental rights terminated with respect to a sibling of the child or (B) a sibling of the child has suffered nonaccidental or inadequately explained death as a result of parental acts of omission or commission.

(h) Except in the case where termination is based on consent, in determining whether to terminate parental rights under this section, the court shall consider and shall make written findings regarding: (1) The timeliness, nature and extent of services offered or provided to the parent and the child by an agency to facilitate the reunion of the child with the parent; (2) the terms of any applicable court order entered into and agreed upon by any individual or agency and the parent, and the extent to which all parties have fulfilled their obligations under such order; (3) the feelings and emotional ties of the child with respect to his parents, any guardian of his person and any person who has exercised physical care, custody or control of the child for at least one year and with whom the child has developed significant emotional ties; (4) the age of the child; (5) the efforts the parent has made to adjust his circumstances, conduct or conditions to make it in the best interest of the child to return him to his home in the foreseeable future, including, but not limited to, (A) the extent to which the parent has maintained contact with the child as part of an effort to reunite the child with the parent, provided the court may give weight to incidental visitations, communications or contributions and (B) the maintenance of regular contact or communication with the guardian or other custodian of the child; and (6) the extent to which a parent has been prevented from maintaining a meaningful relationship with the child by the unreasonable act or conduct of the other parent of the child, or the unreasonable act of any other person or by the economic circumstances of the parent.

(i) If the parental rights of only one parent are being terminated, the remaining parent shall be sole parent and, unless otherwise provided by law, guardian of the person.

(j) Consent for termination of the parental rights of one parent does not diminish the parental rights of the other parent of the child, nor does it relieve the other parent of the duty to support the child.

(k) In the case where termination of parental rights is granted, the guardian of the person or statutory parent shall report to the court within ninety days of the date judgment is entered on a case plan, as defined by the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, for the child. At least every six months thereafter, such guardian or statutory parent shall make a report to the court on the implementation of the plan. The court shall convene a hearing for the purpose of reviewing the plan no more than fifteen months from the date judgment is entered and at least once a year thereafter until such time as any proposed adoption plan has become finalized.

Sec. 8. Section 46b-172a of the general statutes, as amended by sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person claiming to be the father of a child born out of wedlock may at any time but no later than sixty days after the date of notice under section 45a-716, file a claim for paternity with the court of probate for the district in which either the mother or the child resides, on forms provided by such court. The claim shall contain the claimant's name and address, the name and last-known address of the mother and the month and year of the birth or expected birth of the child. Within five days after the filing of a claim for paternity, the judge of the court of probate shall cause a certified copy of such claim to be mailed by certified mail to (1) the vital records section of the Department of Public Health and (2) to the mother or prospective mother of such child at the last-known address shown on the claim for paternity. The claim for paternity shall be admissible in any action for paternity under section 46b-160, and shall estop the claimant from denying his paternity of such child and shall contain language that he acknowledges liability for contribution to the support and education of the child after its birth and for contribution to the pregnancy-related medical expenses of the mother.

(b) If a claim for paternity is filed by the father of any minor child born out of wedlock, the court of probate shall schedule a hearing on such claim, send notice of the hearing to all parties involved and proceed accordingly.

(c) The child shall be made a party to the action. Said child shall be represented by a guardian ad litem appointed by the court in accordance with section 45a-708. Payment shall be made in accordance with such section from [the Probate Court Administration Fund] FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

(d) In the event that the mother or the claimant father is a minor, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent him or her in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-708. Payment shall be made in accordance with said section from [the Probate Court Administration Fund] FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

(e) Upon the motion of the putative father, the mother, or his or her counsel, or the judge of probate having jurisdiction over such application, filed not later than three days prior to any hearing scheduled on such claim, the Probate Court Administrator shall appoint a three-judge court from among the several judges of probate to hear such claim. Such three-judge court shall consist of at least one judge who is an attorney-at-law admitted to practice in this state. The judge of the court of probate having jurisdiction over such application under the provisions of this section shall be a member, provided such judge may disqualify himself in which case all three members of such court shall be appointed by the Probate Court Administrator. Such three-judge court when convened shall have all the powers and duties set forth under sections 17a-75 to 17a-83, inclusive, 17a-450 to 17a-484, inclusive, 17a-495 to 17a-528, inclusive, 17a-540 to 17a-550, inclusive, 17a-560 to 17a-576, inclusive, and 17a-615 to 17a-618, inclusive, and shall be subject to all of the provisions of law as if it were a single-judge court. The judges of such court shall designate a chief judge from among their members. All records for any case before the three-judge court shall be maintained in the court of probate having jurisdiction over the matter as if the three-judge court had not been appointed.

(f) By filing a claim under this section, the putative father submits to the jurisdiction of the Court of Probate, and waives his right to a jury trial.

(g) Once alleged parental rights of the father have been adjudicated in his favor under subsection (b) of this section, or acknowledged as provided for under section 46b-172, his rights and responsibilities shall be equivalent to those of the mother, including those rights defined under section 45a-606. Thereafter, disputes involving custody, visitation or support shall be transferred to the Superior Court under chapter 815j, except that the probate court may enter a temporary order for custody, visitation or support until an order is entered by the Superior Court.

(h) Failing perfection of parental rights as prescribed by this section, any person claiming to be the father of a child born out of wedlock (1) who has not been adjudicated the father of such child by a court of competent jurisdiction, or (2) who has not acknowledged in writing that he is the father of such child, or (3) who has not contributed regularly to the support of such child or (4) whose name does not appear on the birth certificate shall cease to be a legal party in interest in any proceeding concerning the custody or welfare of the child, including but not limited to guardianship and adoption, unless he has shown a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility for the child's welfare.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, after the death of the father of a child born out of wedlock, a party deemed by the court to have a sufficient interest may file a claim for paternity on behalf of such father with the probate court for the district in which either the putative father resided or the party filing the claim resides. If a claim for paternity is filed pursuant to this subsection, the court of probate shall schedule a hearing on such claim, send notice of the hearing to all parties involved and proceed accordingly.

Sec. 9. Section 45a-654 of the general statutes, as amended by public act 95-89, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Upon written application for appointment of a temporary conservator brought by any person deemed by the court to have sufficient interest in the welfare of the respondent, including but not limited to the spouse or any relative of the respondent, the first selectman, chief executive officer or head of the department of welfare of the town of residence or domicile of any respondent, the Commissioner of Social Services, the board of directors of any charitable organization, as defined in section 21a-190a, or the chief administrative officer of any nonprofit hospital or such officer's designee, the Court of Probate may appoint a temporary conservator, if it finds that: (1) The respondent is incapable of managing his affairs or incapable of caring for himself and (2) irreparable injury to the mental or physical health or financial or legal affairs of the respondent will result if a temporary conservator is not appointed pursuant to this section. The court may, in its discretion, require the temporary conservator to give a probate bond. The temporary conservator shall have charge of the property or of the person of the respondent or both for such period of time or for such specific occasion as the court finds to be necessary, provided a temporary appointment shall not be valid for more than thirty days, unless at any time while the appointment of a temporary conservator is in effect, an application is filed for appointment of a conservator of the person or estate under section 45a-650. The court may extend the appointment of the temporary conservator until the disposition of such application, or for an additional thirty days, whichever occurs first.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, an appointment of a temporary conservator shall not be made unless a report is presented to the judge, signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery in this state, stating: (1) That the physician has examined such person and the date of such examination, which shall not be more than three days prior to the date of presentation to the judge; (2) that it is the opinion of the physician that the respondent is incapable of managing his affairs or of caring for himself; and (3) the reasons for such opinion.

(c) The court may, ex parte and without prior notice to the respondent, appoint a temporary conservator upon making the findings required by subsection (a) of this section. After making such appointment, the court shall immediately: (1) Appoint an attorney to represent the respondent, provided if the respondent is unable to pay for the services of such attorney, the reasonable compensation for such attorney shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND; and (2) give notice by mail, or such other notice as the court deems appropriate, to the respondent, the respondent's next of kin and such attorney, which notice shall include: (A) A copy of the application for appointment of temporary conservator and the accompanying physician's report; and (B) a copy of the decree appointing a temporary conservator. If the court determines that notice to the respondent under this subsection would be detrimental to the health or welfare of the respondent, the court may give such notice only to the respondent's next of kin and the respondent's attorney. Thereafter, the court shall, upon the written request of the respondent, the respondent's next of kin or the respondent's attorney, or may upon its own motion, hold a hearing. Such hearing shall be held within seventy-two hours of receipt of such request, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and upon such notice as the court deems appropriate. After hearing, the court may confirm or revoke the appointment of the temporary conservator.

(d) If the court determines that an ex parte appointment of a temporary conservator pursuant to subsection (c) of this section is not appropriate but finds substantial evidence that appointment of a temporary conservator may be necessary, the court shall hold a hearing on the application. Unless continued by the court for cause, such hearing shall be held within seventy-two hours of receipt of the application, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Prior to such hearing, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the respondent in accordance with subsection (c) of this section and shall give such notice as it deems appropriate to the respondent, the respondent's next of kin and such attorney, which notice shall include a copy of the application for appointment of a temporary conservator and the accompanying physician's report. After hearing and upon making the findings required by subsection (a) of this section, the court may appoint a temporary conservator.

(e) The court may waive the medical evidence requirement under subsection (b) of this section if the court finds that the evidence is impossible to obtain because of the refusal of the respondent to be examined by a physician. In any such case the court may, in lieu of medical evidence, accept other competent evidence. In any case in which the court waives the requirement of medical evidence as provided in this subsection, the court shall (1) make a specific finding in any decree issued on the application stating why medical evidence was not required and (2) if a hearing has not been held, schedule a hearing under subsection (c) of this section, which hearing shall take place within seventy-two hours of the issuance of the court's decree.

(f) On termination of the temporary conservatorship, the temporary conservator shall file a written report with the court of his actions as temporary conservator.

Sec. 10. Subsection (h) of public act 95-138 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(h) All orders by health directors and all applications or petitions for a hearing under [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-138 shall be hand-delivered to the person subject to the order as quickly as reasonably possible and shall inform him that: (1) He or his representative has a right to be present at the hearing; (2) he has a right to counsel and, if indigent or otherwise unable to pay for or to obtain counsel, he has a right to have counsel appointed to represent him; (3) the court shall have the right to appoint and hear additional expert witnesses at the expense of the petitioner; (4) he has a right to be present and to cross-examine witnesses testifying at the hearing; (5) the proceedings before the probate court shall be recorded and shall be transcribed if he appeals or files a writ of habeas corpus; (6) the proceedings before the court shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed unless he or his legal representative requests, or the Probate Court so orders for good cause shown; (7) he has a right to appeal an order of the Probate Court to the Superior Court; and (8) he has a right to apply to the Probate Court to terminate or modify an order it has made under subsection (k) of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-138, as provided in subsection (l) of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-138. If the court finds that such person is indigent or otherwise unable to pay for or to obtain counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for him, unless such person refuses counsel and the court finds that the person understands the nature of his refusal. If the person does not select his own counsel, or if counsel selected by the person refuses to represent him or is not available for such representation, the court shall appoint counsel for the person from a panel of attorneys admitted to practice in this state provided by the Probate Court administrator in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Probate Court Administrator in accordance with section 45a-77. The reasonable compensation of appointed counsel for a person who is indigent or otherwise unable to pay for counsel shall be established by and paid from [the Probate Court Administration Fund] FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 11. Subsection (g) of section 17a-498 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 11 and 48 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(g) The hospital shall notify each patient at least annually that such patient has a right to a further hearing pursuant to this section. In the event that the patient requests such hearing it shall be held by the court of probate which ordered the confinement of such patient. Any such request shall be immediately filed with the appropriate court by the hospital. After such request is filed with the Probate Court, it shall proceed in the manner provided in subsections (a), (b), (c) and (f) of this section. In addition, the hospital shall furnish each court of probate on a monthly basis with a list of all patients confined therein involuntarily by such court who have been confined without release for one year since the last annual review under this section of the patient's commitment or since the original commitment. The hospital shall include in such notification the type of review which the patient last received. If the patient's last annual review had a hearing, the probate court notified shall, within fifteen business days thereafter, appoint an impartial physician who is a psychiatrist from the list provided by the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services as set forth in subsection (c) of this section and not connected with the hospital in which the patient is confined nor related by blood or marriage to the original applicant or to the respondent, which physician shall see and examine each such patient within fifteen business days after his appointment and make a report forthwith to such court of the condition of the patient on forms provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. If the Court of Probate concludes that the confinement of any such patient should be reviewed by such court for possible release of the patient, the court, on its own motion, shall proceed in the manner provided in subsections (a), (b), (c) and (f) of this section, except that the examining physician shall be considered one of the physicians required by subsection (c) of this section. If the patient's last annual review did not result in a hearing, and in any event at least every two years, the probate court notified shall, within fifteen business days, proceed with a hearing in the manner provided in subsections (a), (b), (c) and (f) of this section. All costs and expenses, including Probate Court entry fees provided by statute, in conjunction with the annual psychiatric review and the judicial review under this subsection, except costs for physicians appointed pursuant to this subsection, shall be [paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund in accordance with rates established by the Probate Court Administrator] ESTABLISHED BY, AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH COSTS AND EXPENSES, SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND. Compensation of any physician appointed to conduct the annual psychiatric review, to examine a patient for any hearing held as a result of such annual review or for any other biennial hearing required pursuant to sections 17a-75 to 17a-83, inclusive, 17a-450 to 17a-484, inclusive, 17a-495 to 17a-528, inclusive, 17a-540 to 17a-550, inclusive, 17a-560 to 17a-576, inclusive, and 17a-615 to 17a-618, inclusive, shall be paid by the state from funds appropriated to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in accordance with rates established by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Sec. 12. Subsection (c) of section 17a-502 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 11 and 48 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) Any person admitted and detained under this section shall be promptly informed by the admitting facility that such person has the right to consult an attorney, the right to a hearing under subsection (d) of this section, and that if such a hearing is requested or a probate application is filed, such person has the right to be represented by counsel, and that counsel will be provided at the state's expense if the person is unable to pay for such counsel. The reasonable compensation for counsel provided to persons unable to pay shall be established bym [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 13. Section 17a-510 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 11 and 48 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any person who is a patient in a hospital for psychiatric disabilities upon the order of any court of probate, or his or her representative, may make application to the court of probate for the district in which such hospital is located for his or her release from said hospital. Upon receipt of any such application, such court shall assign a time, not later than ten days thereafter, and a place for hearing such application, and shall cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the applicant, the superintendent of the hospital where the applicant is confined and to such relative or relatives and friends as it deems advisable. Such notice shall inform the applicant that he or she has a right to be present at the hearing and to present evidence at the hearing; that he or she has a right to counsel; that he or she, if indigent, has a right to have counsel appointed to represent him or her; and that he or she has a right to cross-examine witnesses at any hearing upon such application. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 899, hospital records shall be admissible in evidence. Nothing herein shall prevent timely objection to the admissibility of evidence in accordance with the rules of civil procedure. Unless the court finds that further confinement of the applicant is necessary in accordance with the standards set forth in section 17a-498, the court shall order the release of such person. All of the expenses in connection with an application filed under this section shall be paid by the applicant, unless the applicant is indigent or otherwise unable to pay such expenses, in which case such expenses shall be paid by the state from funds appropriated to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in accordance with rates established by said department, and attorney's fees shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator, and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH ATTORNEY'S FEES, SUCH FEES SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND, provided in no event shall the expenses be paid for any one applicant for more than two hearings in any one year, including the hearing provided for in subsection (g) of section 17a-498. Such court may, for reasonable cause shown, order any person confined in a hospital for psychiatric disabilities to be removed to any other hospital for psychiatric disabilities in this state. If the officers, directors or trustees of a state hospital for psychiatric disabilities are notified by the superintendent of such institution or other person in a managerial capacity that he has reason to believe that any person committed thereto by order of a probate court does not have psychiatric disabilities or a suitable subject to be confined in such institution, or is appropriate for voluntary status, such officers, directors or trustees may discharge such person or convert the status of such person to voluntary status pursuant to section 17a-506. The superintendent or other director of such institution shall notify such person's next of kin or close friend of such person's discharge, provided such patient consents in writing to such notification.

Sec. 14. Subsection (c) of section 45a-111 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) If a petitioner or applicant to a court of probate claims that unless his obligation to pay the fees and the necessary costs of the action, including the cost of service of process, is waived, he will be deprived by reason of his indigency of his right to bring a petition or application to such court or that he is otherwise unable to pay the fees and necessary costs of the action, he may file with the clerk of such court of probate an application for waiver of payment of such fees and necessary costs. Such application shall be under oath, shall state the applicant's financial circumstances, and shall identify the fees and costs sought to be waived and the approximate amount of each. If the court finds that the applicant is unable to pay such fees and costs it shall order such fees and costs waived. If such costs include the cost of service of process, the court, in its order, shall indicate the method of service authorized and the cost of such service shall be paid from [the Probate Court Administration Fund] FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH COSTS, SUCH COSTS SHALL BE PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND. Any fee waived under this section shall be reimbursed to the court of probate from the [Probate Court Administration Fund established under section 45a-82,] FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND pursuant to rules and regulations established by the Probate Court Administrator.

Sec. 15. Section 45a-132a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

In any matter before a court of probate in which the capacity of a party to the action is at issue, the court may order an examination of any allegedly incapable party by a physician or psychiatrist or, where appropriate, a psychologist, licensed to practice in the state. The expense of such examination may be charged against the petitioner, the respondent, the party who requested such examination or the estate of the alleged incapable in such proportion as the judge of the court determines. If any such party is unable to pay such expense and files an affidavit with the court demonstrating the inability to pay, the reasonable compensation shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 16. Section 45a-620 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Court of Probate may appoint counsel to represent or appear on behalf of any minor in proceedings brought under sections 45a-603 to 45a-622, inclusive, to speak on behalf of the best interests of the minor. Counsel should be knowledgeable about the needs and protection of children. The Court of Probate shall appoint counsel to represent any respondent who notifies the court that he or she is unable to obtain counsel, or is unable to pay for counsel. The cost of such counsel shall be paid by the person whom he or she represents, except that if such person is unable to pay for such counsel and files an affidavit with the court demonstrating his or her inability to pay, the reasonable compensation of appointed counsel shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND. In the case of a minor, such affidavit may be filed by a suitable person having knowledge of the financial status of such minor.

Sec. 17. Subsection (b) of section 45a-649 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) (1) The notice required by subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section shall specify (A) the nature of involuntary representation sought and the legal consequences thereof, (B) the facts alleged in the application, (C) the time and place of the hearing. (2) The notice shall further state that the respondent has a right to be present at the hearing and has a right to be represented by an attorney at his or her own expense. If the respondent is unable to request or obtain counsel for any reason, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the respondent in any proceeding under this title involving the respondent. If the respondent is unable to pay for the services of such attorney, the reasonable compensation for such attorney shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND. If the respondent notifies the court in any manner that he or she wants to attend the hearing on the application but is unable to do so because of physical incapacity, the court shall schedule the hearing on the application at a place which would facilitate attendance by the respondent but if not practical, then the judge shall visit the respondent, if he or she is in the state of Connecticut, before the hearing. Notice to all other persons required by this section shall state only the nature of involuntary representation sought, the legal consequences thereof and the time and place of the hearing.

Sec. 18. Subsection (c) of section 45a-660 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) The court shall review each conservatorship at least every three years, and shall either continue, modify or terminate the order for conservatorship. The court shall receive and review written evidence as to the condition of the ward. The conservator, the attorney for the ward and a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state, shall each submit a written report to the court within forty-five days of the court's request for such report. If the ward is unable to request or obtain an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney. If the ward is unable to pay for the services of the attorney, the reasonable compensation of such attorney shall be established by [4m, [0m [the Probate Court Administrator and paid for from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND. The physician shall examine the ward within the forty-five-day period preceding the date of submission of his report.

Sec. 19. Section 45a-673 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Unless the respondent is represented by counsel, the court shall immediately appoint counsel for the respondent. If the respondent is indigent or otherwise unable to pay for counsel, the cost for such counsel shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 20. Subsection (a) of section 45a-681 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The court shall review each guardianship of the mentally retarded person or limited guardianship of the mentally retarded person at least every three years and shall either continue, modify or terminate the order for guardianship. The court shall receive and review written evidence as to the condition of the ward. The guardian, the attorney for the ward and a Department of Mental Retardation assessment team appointed by the Commissioner of Mental Retardation or his designee shall each submit a written report to the court within forty-five days of the court's request for such report. If the ward is unable to request or obtain an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney for the ward. If the ward is unable to pay for the services of the attorney, the reasonable compensation of such attorney shall be established by [the Probate Court Administrator and paid for from the Probate Court Administration Fund] AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO, THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND. The Department of Mental Retardation assessment team shall personally observe or examine the ward within the forty-five-day period preceding the date of submission of its report.

Sec. 21. Section 45a-708 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) When, with respect to any petition filed under section 17a-112, section 45a-715 or section 45a-716, it appears that either parent of the child is a minor or incompetent, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for such parent. The guardian ad litem shall be an attorney-at-law authorized to practice law in Connecticut or any duly authorized officer of a child-placing agency if the agency is not the petitioner.

(b) The guardian ad litem may be allowed reasonable compensation by the court appointing him which shall be assessed against the petitioner.

(c) If the court finds the petitioner is unable to pay the compensation, the reasonable compensation shall [, in the case of the Superior Court,] be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department [and, in the case of a court of probate, be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.] HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF A PROBATE COURT MATTER, IF FUNDS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH COMPENSATION, SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR AND PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND.

Sec. 22. (NEW) Funds appropriated to the Judicial Department for purposes of implementing subsection (a) of section 17a-77, as amended by section 2 of this act, subsection (c) of section 17a-78, as amended by section 3 of this act, subsection (d) of section 17a-274, as amended by section 4 of this act, subsection (b) of section 17a-498, as amended by section 5 of this act, subsection (b) of section 45a-716, as amended by section 6 of this act, section 45a-717, as amended by section 7 of this act, section 46b-172a, as amended by section 8 of this act, section 45a-654, as amended by section 9 of this act, subsection (h) of public act 95-138, as amended by section 10 of this act, subsection (g) of section 17a-498, as amended by section 11 of this act, subsection (c) of section 17a-502, as amended by section 12 of this act, section 17a-510, as amended by section 13 of this act, subsection (c) of section 45a-111, as amended by section 14 of this act, section 45a-132a, as amended by section 15 of this act, section 45a-620, as amended by section 16 of this act, subsection (b) of section 45a-649, as amended by section 17 of this act, subsection (c) of section 45a-660, as amended by section 18 of this act, section 45a-673, as amended by section 19 of this act, subsection (a) of section 45a-681, as amended by section 20 of this act, and section 45a-708 of the general statutes, as amended by section 21 of this act, shall be appropriated to a specific "other current expense" account.

Sec. 23. This act shall take effect July 1, 1998.

Approved May 31, 1996. Effective July 1, 1998.

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