Drawing of State Library BuildingConnecticut State Library Home

Connecticut Public Acts 1996

Previous Page TOC Next Page Public Acts Listings


Substitute Senate Bill No. 570

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-202

AN ACT CONCERNING PROBATE MATTERS.

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

Section 1. Section 17a-541 of the general statutes, as amended by section 48 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No patient hospitalized or treated in any public or private facility for the treatment of persons with psychiatric disabilities shall be deprived of any personal, property or civil rights, including the right to vote, hold or convey property, and contract, except in accordance with due process of law, and unless [he] SUCH PATIENT has been declared [incompetent] INCAPABLE pursuant to sections 45a-644 to 45a-662, inclusive. Any finding of [incompetency] INCAPABILITY shall specifically state which civil or personal rights the patient is [incompetent to exercise] INCAPABLE OF EXERCISING.

Sec. 2. Section 17a-543 of the general statutes, as amended by section 48 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) No patient shall receive medication for the treatment of the psychiatric disabilities of such patient without the informed consent of such patient, except in accordance with procedures set forth in subsections (b), (d), (e) and (f) of this section or in accordance with section 17a-566 AS AMENDED or 54-56d AS AMENDED.

(b) No medical or surgical procedures may be performed without the patient's written informed consent or, if the patient has been declared incapable of caring for himself or herself pursuant to sections 45a-644 to 45a-662, inclusive, and a conservator of the person has been appointed pursuant to section 45a-650, the written consent of such conservator. If the head of the hospital, in consultation with a physician, determines that the condition of an involuntary patient not declared incapable of caring for himself or herself pursuant to said sections is of an extremely critical nature and such patient is incapable of informed consent, medical or surgical procedures may be performed with the written informed consent of: (1) The patient's CONSERVATOR OR guardian, if he or she has one; or (2) such person's next of kin; or (3) a qualified physician appointed by a judge of the Probate Court. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if obtaining the consent provided for in this section would cause a medically harmful delay to a voluntary or involuntary patient whose condition is of an extremely critical nature, as determined by personal observation by a physician or the senior clinician on duty, emergency treatment may be provided without consent.

(c) No psychosurgery or shock therapy shall be administered to any patient without such patient's written informed consent, except as provided in this subsection. Such consent shall be for a maximum period of thirty days and may be revoked at any time. If it is determined by the head of the hospital and two qualified physicians that the patient has become incapable of giving informed consent, shock therapy may be administered upon order of the Court of Probate if, after hearing, such court finds that the patient is incapable of informed consent and there is no other reasonable alternative procedure.

(d) A facility may establish an internal procedure governing decisions concerning involuntary medication treatment for inpatients. This procedure shall provide (1) that any decision concerning involuntary medication treatment shall be made by a person who is not employed by the facility in which the patient is receiving treatment, provided the selection of such person shall not be made until the patient's advocate has had reasonable opportunity to discuss such selection with the facility, (2) written and oral notification to the patient of available advocacy services, (3) the right of the patient to representation during any proceeding for the determination of the necessity for involuntary medication treatment, (4) questioning of any witness at any such proceeding and (5) a written decision. If a decision is made in accordance with the standards set forth in this section that a patient shall receive involuntary medication, and there is substantial probability that without such medication for the treatment of the psychiatric disabilities of such patient the condition of the patient will rapidly deteriorate, such involuntary medication may be provided for a period not to exceed thirty days or until a decision is made by the Probate Court under subsection (e) or (f), whichever is sooner.

(e) If it is determined by the head of the hospital and two qualified physicians that a patient is incapable of giving informed consent to medication for the treatment of such patient's psychiatric disabilities and such medication is deemed to be necessary for such patient's treatment, a facility may utilize the procedures established in subsection (d) of this section and may apply to the Court of Probate for appointment of a conservator of the person under section 45a-650. The conservator shall meet with the patient and the physician, review the patient's written record and consider the risks and benefits from the medication, the likelihood and seriousness of adverse side effects, the preferences of the patient, the patient's religious views, and the prognosis with and without medication. After consideration of such information, the conservator shall either consent to the patient receiving medication for the treatment of the patient's psychiatric disabilities or refuse to consent to the patient receiving such medication.

(f) If it is determined by the head of the hospital and two qualified physicians that (1) a patient is capable of giving informed consent but refuses to consent to medication for treatment of such patient's psychiatric disabilities, (2) there is no less intrusive beneficial treatment and (3) without medication, the psychiatric disabilities with which the patient has been diagnosed will continue unabated, and places the patient or others in direct threat of harm, as defined in subsection (h) of section 17a-540, AS AMENDED the facility may utilize the procedures established in subsection (d) of this section and may apply to the Court of Probate to authorize the administration to the patient of medication for the treatment of the patient's psychiatric disabilities, despite the refusal of the patient to consent to such medication.

(g) No order for medication under subsection (e) or (f) of this section shall be effective for more than one hundred twenty days. Any hearing under subsection (e) or (f) of this section shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in sections 45a-649 and 45a-650, to the extent such provisions are not inconsistent with the standards of this section.

(h) If a decision has been made to administer involuntary medication to a patient pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the patient may petition the Court of Probate to expedite the hearing on an application filed by the facility pursuant to subsection (e) or (f) of this section or, if no application has been filed, to hold a hearing to decide whether to allow the administration of involuntary medication. Either hearing shall be held within fifteen days after the date of the patient's petition.

(i) For the purposes of this section, "voluntary patient" means any patient eighteen years of age or older who applies in writing for, and is admitted to, a hospital for observation, diagnosis or treatment of a mental disorder.

Sec. 3. Section 7-53 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:

Upon receipt of the record of adoption referred to in subsection (e) of section 45a-745 AS AMENDED or of other evidence satisfactory to the Department of Public Health that a person born in this state has been adopted, said department shall prepare a new birth certificate of such adopted person. Such new birth certificate shall include all the information required to be set forth in a certificate of birth of this state as of the date of birth, except that the adopting parents shall be named as the parents instead of the genetic parents and, when a certified copy of the birth of such person is requested by an authorized person, a copy of the new certificate of birth as prepared by the department shall be provided, except that the registrar of vital statistics of any town in which the birth of such person was recorded or the Department of Public Health may issue a certified copy of the original certificate of birth on file, marked with a notation by the issuer that such original certificate of birth has been superseded by a new certificate of birth as on file, or may permit the examination of such record upon a written order, in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-751, signed by the judge of the probate court for the district in which the adopted person was ADOPTED OR born or upon written order of the Probate Court in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-752, stating that [he or it] THE COURT is of the opinion that the examination of the birth record of the adopted person by the adopting parents or the adopted person, if over eighteen years of age, or by the person wishing to examine the same or that the issuance of a copy of such birth certificate to the adopting parents, adopted person, if over eighteen years of age or to the person applying therefor will not be detrimental to the public interest or to the welfare of the adopted person or to the welfare of the genetic or adoptive parent or parents. Immediately after a new certificate of birth has been prepared, an exact copy of such certificate, together with a written notice of the evidence of adoption, shall be transmitted by the department to the registrar of vital statistics of each town in this state in which the birth of the adopted person is recorded. The new birth certificate, the original certificate of birth on file and the evidence of adoption shall be filed and indexed, under such regulations as the Department of Public Health makes to carry out the provisions of this section and to prevent access to the records of birth and adoption and the information therein contained without due cause, except as herein provided. Any person, except such parents or adopted person, who discloses any information contained in such records, except as herein provided, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both. Whenever a certified copy of an adoption decree from a court of a foreign country, having jurisdiction of the adopted person, is filed with the Department of Public Health under the provisions of this section, such decree, when written in a language other than English, shall be accompanied by an English translation, which shall be subscribed and sworn to as a true translation by an American consulate officer stationed in such foreign country.

Sec. 4. Section 45a-175 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Courts of probate shall have jurisdiction of the interim and final accounts of testamentary trustees, trustees appointed by the courts of probate, conservators, guardians, persons appointed by probate courts to sell the land of minors, executors, administrators and trustees in insolvency, and, to the extent provided for in this section, shall have jurisdiction of accounts of the actions of trustees of inter vivos trusts and attorneys-in-fact acting under powers of attorney [created in accordance with section 45a-562.]

(b) A trustee or settlor of an inter vivos trust or an attorney-in-fact OR THE SUCCESSOR OF THE TRUSTEE, SETTLOR OR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT or the grantor of such power of attorney OR HIS LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE may make application to the court of probate for the district where the trustee or the attorney-in-fact has his or its principal place of business or to the court of probate for the district where the trustee or any one of them or the settlor or the attorney-in-fact or the grantor of the power resides or, in the case of a deceased settlor or grantor, to the court of probate having jurisdiction over the estate of the settlor or grantor for submission to the jurisdiction of the court of an account for allowance of the trustee's or attorney's actions under such trust or power.

(c) (1) Any beneficiary of an inter vivos trust may petition a court of probate having jurisdiction under this section for an accounting by the trustee or trustees. The court may, after hearing with notice to all interested parties, grant the petition and require an accounting for such periods of time as it determines are reasonable and necessary on finding that: (A) The beneficiary has an interest in the trust sufficient to entitle him to an accounting, (B) cause has been shown that an accounting is necessary, and (C) the petition is not for the purpose of harassment. (2) A court of probate shall have jurisdiction to require an accounting under subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section if (A) a trustee of the trust resides in its district, (B) in the case of a corporate trustee, the trustee has its principal place of business in the district, (C) any of the trust assets are maintained or evidences of intangible property of the trust are situated in the district, or (D) the settlor resides in the district. (3) As used in subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section, "beneficiary" means any person currently receiving payments of income or principal from the trust, or who may be entitled to receive income or principal or both from the trust at some future date, or the legal representative of such person.

(d) The action to submit an accounting to the court, whether by an inter vivos trustee or attorney acting under a power of attorney [created in accordance with section 45a-562] or whether pursuant to petition of another party, shall not subject the trust or the power of attorney to the continuing jurisdiction of the probate court.

(e) If the court finds such appointment to be necessary and in the best interests of the estate, the court upon its own motion may appoint an auditor to be selected from a list provided by the Probate Court Administrator, to examine accounts over which the court has jurisdiction under this section, except those accounts on matters in which the fiduciary or cofiduciary is a corporation having trust powers. The Probate Court Administrator shall promulgate regulations in accordance with section 45a-77 concerning the compilation of a list of qualified auditors. Costs of the audit may be charged to the fiduciary, any party in interest and the estate, in such proportion as the court shall direct if the court finds such charge to be equitable. Any such share may be paid from the fund established under section 45a-82, subject to the approval of the Probate Court Administrator, if it is determined that the person obligated to pay such share is unable to pay or to charge such amount to the estate would cause undue hardship.

(f) Upon the allowance of any such account, the court shall determine the rights of the fiduciaries or the attorney-in-fact rendering the account and of the parties interested in the account, subject to appeal as in other cases. The court shall cause notice of the hearing on the account to be given in such manner and to such parties as it directs.

Sec. 5. Section 45a-316 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Whenever, upon the application of a creditor or other person interested in the estate of a deceased person [or insolvent debtor,] it is found by the court of probate having jurisdiction of the estate that the granting of administration on the estate or the probating of the will of the deceased [or the appointment of a trustee in insolvency] will be delayed, or that it is necessary for the protection of the estate of the deceased [or insolvent person,] the court may, with or without notice, appoint a temporary administrator [or trustee] to hold and preserve the estate until the appointment of an administrator [or trustee] or the probating of the will. The court shall require from such administrator [or trustee] a probate bond. If the court deems it more expedient, it may order any deputy sheriff or constable to take possession of the estate until the appointment of an administrator [,] OR executor [or trustee.]

Sec. 6. Section 45a-609 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Upon application for removal of a parent or parents as guardian, the court shall set a time and place for hearing to be held within thirty days of the application, unless the court requests an investigation in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-619. In that case, the court shall set a day for hearing not more than thirty days following receipt of the results of the investigation.

(b) The court shall order notice of the hearing to be given by personal service in accordance with section 52-50 to both parents and to the minor, if over twelve years of age, at least ten days before the time of the hearing, except that in lieu of personal service on a parent or the father of a child born out of wedlock who is either a petitioner or who signs under oath a written waiver of personal service on a form provided by the Probate Court Administrator, the court may order notice to be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only, at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If such delivery cannot reasonably be effected, then notice shall be ordered to be given by publication. If the parents reside out of or are absent from the state, the court shall order notice to be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only, at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, or if delivery cannot reasonably be effected, the court may order notice to be given by publication. Any notice by publication under this subsection shall be in some newspaper which has a circulation at the parents' last-known place of residence. In either case, such notice shall be given at least ten days before the time of the hearing. If the applicant alleges that the whereabouts of a respondent are unknown, such allegation shall be made under oath and shall also state the last-known address of the respondent and the efforts which have been made by the applicant to obtain a current address. The applicant shall have the burden of ascertaining the names and addresses of all parties in interest and of proving to the satisfaction of the court that he or she used all proper diligence to discover such names and addresses. Except in the case of newspaper notice, the notice of hearing shall include the following: (1) The notice of hearing, (2) the application for removal of parent as guardian, (3) any supporting documents and affidavits filed with such application, (4) any other orders or notice made by the Court of Probate, and (5) any request for investigation by the Department of Children and Families or any other person or agency. Such notice shall also inform the respondent of the right to have an attorney represent him or her in the matter, and if he or she is unable to obtain or to pay an attorney, the respondent may request the Court of Probate to appoint an attorney to represent him or her. Newspaper notice shall include such facts as the court may direct.

(c) If a parent is over eighteen years of age he or she may sign and file a written waiver of notice with the court.

(d) UPON FINDING AT THE HEARING OR AT ANY TIME DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE PROCEEDING 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 APPLICANT, OR IF ORDERED ON MOTION BY A PARTY, SHALL BE PAID FOR BY THE PARTY MOVING FOR SUCH AN EXAMINATION. IF SUCH APPLICANT OR PARTY IS UNABLE TO PAY THE EXPENSE OF ANY SUCH EXAMINATION, IT SHALL BE PAID FROM THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND, OR, IF THE MATTER HAS BEEN REMOVED TO THE SUPERIOR COURT, FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.

Sec. 7. Section 45a-622 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any parent or guardian of the person of a minor may apply to the court of probate for the district in which the minor lives for the appointment of a temporary guardian of the person to serve for no longer than one year if the appointing parent or guardian is unable to care for the minor for any reason including, but not limited to, illness and absence from the jurisdiction. The temporary guardian will cease to serve when the appointing parent or guardian notifies the probate court and the temporary guardian to that effect.

(b) The rights and obligations of the temporary guardian shall be those described in subdivisions (5) and (6) of section 45a-604. A TEMPORARY GUARDIAN IS NOT LIABLE AS A GUARDIAN PURSUANT TO SECTION 52-572, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 8 OF THIS ACT.

Sec. 8. Section 52-572 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The parent or parents or guardian, OTHER THAN A TEMPORARY GUARDIAN APPOINTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 45a-622, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT of any unemancipated minor or minors, which minor or minors willfully or maliciously cause damage to any property or injury to any person, or, having taken a motor vehicle without the permission of the owner thereof, cause damage to the motor vehicle, shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor or minors for the damage or injury to an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars, if the minor or minors would have been liable for the damage or injury if they had been adults.

(b) This section shall not be construed to relieve the minor or minors from personal liability for the damage or injury.

(c) The liability provided for in this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other liability which may exist at law.

(d) As used in this section, "damage" shall include depriving the owner of his property or motor vehicle or of the use, possession or enjoyment thereof.

Sec. 9. (NEW) When any minor for whom a guardian has been appointed becomes a resident of any town in the state in a probate district other than the one in which a guardian was appointed, such court in that district may, upon motion of any person deemed by the court to have sufficient interest in the welfare of the respondent, including, but not limited to, the guardian or a relative of the minor under guardianship, transfer the file to the probate district in which the minor under guardianship resides at the time of the application, provided the transfer is in the best interest of the minor. A transfer of the file shall be accomplished by the probate court in which the guardianship matter is on file by making copies of all documents in the court and certifying each of them and then causing them to be delivered to the court for the district in which the minor under guardianship resides. When the transfer is made, the court of probate in which the minor under guardianship resides at the time of transfer shall thereupon assume jurisdiction over the guardianship and all further accounts shall be filed with such court.

Sec. 10. (NEW) The provisions of sections 1 to 3, inclusive, of public act 96-95 shall be effective only as to wills executed on or after January 1, 1997.

Sec. 11. (NEW) The revocation of any will by divorce, annulment or dissolution of marriage, executed on or after October 1, 1967, and prior to January 1, 1997, shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-257 of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 1995.

Sec. 12. Public act 96-95 shall take effect January 1, 1997.

Sec. 13. Section 45a-438a of the general statutes is repealed.

Approved June 4, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

[footer.htm]