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Proposals for Changes to the California Rules of Court, Judicial Council Forms, and Legislation

Saturday, April 14, 2018  
Posted by: Wendy Ikebe
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Invitation to Comment (Probate)

To interested persons and organizations:

Attached is a list summarizing the proposals for changes to the California Rules of Court, Judicial Council forms, and legislation that are currently circulating for comment. Copies of the proposals may be viewed at the California Courts website at: An additional proposal revising several Judicial Council forms to promote an informed response to a petition for guardianship is anticipated to circulate for comment in the near future.

The following items may be of particular interest to those involved in probate law proceedings:

Technology: Remote Access to Electronic Records  (PDF, 335 KB)
Item Number: SPR18-37
Deadline for Comments:June 8, 2018 5:00 PM(Pacific)
Submit Comment Online Or,

The proposal makes limited amendments to rules governing public access to electronic trial court records and creates a new set of rules governing remote access to such records by parties, parties’ attorneys, court-appointed persons, authorized persons working in a legal organization or qualified legal services project, and government entities. The purpose of the proposal is to facilitate existing relationships and provide clear authority to the courts.

The project to develop the new rules originated with the California Judicial Branch Tactical Plan for Technology, 2017–2018. Under the tactical plan, a major task under the “Technology Initiatives to Promote Rule and Legislative Changes” is to develop rules “for online access to court records for parties and justice partners.” (Judicial Council of Cal., California Judicial Branch Tactical Plan for Technology, 2017–2018 (2017), p. 47.)

Probate Conservatorship: Major Neurocognitive Disorder (PDF, 998 KB)
Item Number: SPR18-31
Deadline for Comments:June 8, 2018 5:00 PM(Pacific)
Submit Comment Online Or,

The Probate & Mental Health Advisory Committee proposes revising eight forms to implement recent legislation that replaced the term “dementia” with “major neurocognitive disorder” to conform to current usage in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Guardianship and Conservatorship: Court-Appointed Counsel (PDF, 839 KB)
Item Number: SPR18-33
Deadline for Comments:June 8, 2018 5:00 PM(Pacific)
Submit Comment Online Or,

The Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee proposes amending one rule of court that establishes minimum qualifications for court-appointed counsel in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings under the Probate Code. The committee also proposes revising two mandatory forms used by attorneys to certify that they meet the requirements for appointment. The rule amendments, in response to apparent inconsistencies with statute that were pointed out by courts, stakeholders, and disability rights advocates, would resolve any inconsistencies with statute, protect the rights of wards and conservatees by promoting more effective advocacy, and simplify the process of complying with the requirements.

Importance of the comment process
We encourage you to review the proposals carefully. The comment process is vitally important to the work of the Judicial Council. Proposals are frequently revised because of the comments received. Your comments will make a valuable contribution to the council’s decision-making process.

Submitting comments
Please submit comments electronically on the California Courts website, at: by e-mail to: deadline for comment is5:00 p.m., Friday, June 8, 2018.

When submitting comments, please:
·         Identify the proposal that you are commenting on by its title. (If you are commenting on more than one proposal, please submit separate comments.)
·         Indicate whether you agree with the proposal, would agree with the proposal if it is modified, or do not agree with the proposal.
·         Clearly identify any specific provisions of the proposal that you are submitting narrative comments about.

All comments will be reviewed and recommendations for changes will be made to the Judicial Council’s Rules and Projects Committee and then to the full council. Comments received will become part of the public record. In addition, please note that Judicial Council reports, which include charts with summaries of all comments and responses to comments will be posted on the website when the proposals are submitted to the Judicial Council for consideration.

The comment process is intended to give the courts and interested persons and organizations a systematic procedure for ensuring that proposed changes to statutes, rules, standards, forms, and jury instructions receive proper consideration. We welcome your comments on this process as well as on the proposals themselves.

If you have any questions, please contact Camilla Kieliger, at:, or at 415-865-7681.

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