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AB-1725 Conservatorship hearings.(2013-2014)

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AB1725:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1725


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

February 14, 2014


An act to amend Sections 5350.2 and, 5352, 5354, and 5360 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to mental health. conservatorships.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1725, as amended, Maienschein. Mental health: conservatorship hearings for the gravely disabled. Conservatorship hearings.
Existing law provides a procedure for the appointment of a conservator for a person who is determined to be gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or an impairment by chronic alcoholism and requires an officer, including a county public guardian or a county mental health program, to conduct a conservatorship investigation. investigation and render a written report to the court of his or her investigation. Under existing law, a professional person in charge of an agency providing comprehensive evaluation or a facility providing intensive treatment for a gravely disabled person may recommend a conservatorship for that person, and the agency is required to disclose any records or information that may facilitate an investigation. Existing law requires the officer providing conservatorship investigation, when he or she concurs with the recommendation of the professional person or facility, to petition the superior court in the patient’s county of residence for a conservatorship.
This bill would include a person who is gravely disabled as a result of substance abuse as a person for whom a conservatorship may be requested and granted. This bill would also provide a procedure for a family member or interested person who believes a conservatorship is necessary to petition the probate court to establish a conservatorship, as specified. This bill would also authorize the court, after a hearing attended by the proposed conservatee or the proposed conservatee’s counsel, or both, to recommend a conservatorship to the officer providing conservatorship investigation when the court, in a conservatorship established proceeding under the Probate Code, determines, based on evidence presented to the court, including medical evidence, that a person, for whom a conservatorship has been established under the Probate Code, may be gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism or substance abuse and is unwilling to accept, or is incapable of accepting, treatment voluntarily. This bill would also require the court to appoint counsel to a proposed conservatee if he or she cannot afford counsel. This bill would require the officer providing conservatorship investigation to petition the superior court in the patient’s county of residence to establish conservatorship if he or she concurs with the recommendation of the court, and to file a copy of his or her report with the court within 30 days of the court’s recommendation. This bill would require an existing probate conservator, if conservatorship is recommended by the court, to disclose any records or information that may facilitate the investigation. This bill would also make conforming changes.
By expanding the duties of the county officer providing conservatorship investigation, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 5350.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

5350.2.
 Reasonable attempts shall be made by the county mental health program, or the petitioning party, to notify family members or any other person designated by the person for whom conservatorship is sought, of the time and place of the conservatorship hearing. The person for whom the conservatorship is sought shall be advised by the facility treating the person, or by the probate court if the recommendation was made pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 5352, that he or she may request that information about the time and place of the conservatorship hearing not be given to family members, in those circumstances where the proposed conservator is not a family member. The request shall be honored by the mental health program. Neither this section nor Section 5350 shall be interpreted to allow the proposed conservatee to request that any proposed conservator not be advised of the time and place of the conservatorship hearing.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5352 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

5352.
 (a) When the professional person in charge of an agency providing comprehensive evaluation or a facility providing intensive treatment determines that a person in his or her care is gravely disabled as a result of mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism or substance abuse and is unwilling to accept, or incapable of accepting, treatment voluntarily, he or she may recommend conservatorship to the officer providing conservatorship investigation of the person’s county of residence prior to admitting him or her the person as a patient in the facility.
(b) The professional person in charge of an agency providing comprehensive evaluation or a facility providing intensive treatment may recommend conservatorship for a person without the person being an inpatient in the facility, if both of the following conditions are met:
(1) The professional person or another professional person designated by him or her has examined and evaluated the person and determined that he or she the person is gravely disabled.
(2) The professional person or another professional person designated by him or her has determined that future examination on an inpatient basis is not necessary for a determination that the person is gravely disabled.

(c)If the officer providing conservatorship investigation concurs with the recommendation of the professional person, he or she shall petition the superior court in the patient’s county to establish conservatorship. If the officer providing conservatorship investigation does not initiate conservatorship proceedings, but a family member or interested person believes a conservatorship is necessary, the family member or interested person may petition the Probate Court under this chapter for the establishment of a conservatorship if the following conditions have been met:

(1)The professional person in charge of an agency providing comprehensive evaluation or a facility providing intensive treatment has examined and evaluated the person and determined that he or she is gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism or substance abuse and is unwilling to accept, or incapable of accepting, voluntary treatment.

(2)The professional person has recommended a conservatorship to the officer providing conservatorship investigation in the county of residence.

(3)The officer providing the investigation has made a report, but declines to initiate conservatorship proceedings.

(d)

(c) (1) The court, after a hearing attended by the proposed conservatee or the proposed conservatee’s counsel, or both, may recommend a conservatorship under this chapter to the officer providing conservatorship investigation of the person’s county of residence when the court in a conservatorship established proceeding under the Probate Code determines based on evidence presented to the court, including medical evidence that a person, for whom a conservatorship has been established under the Probate Code, may be gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism or substance abuse and is unwilling to accept, or is incapable of accepting, treatment voluntarily. If the proposed conservatee cannot afford counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for him or her.
(2) Within 30 days after the recommendation, the officer providing conservatorship investigation shall file a copy of his or her report with the court making the recommendation in the Probate probate conservatorship.
(d) If the officer providing conservatorship investigation concurs with the recommendation of the professional person, pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), or the court, pursuant to subdivision (c), he or she shall petition the superior court in the patient’s county of residence to establish conservatorship.
(e) Where temporary conservatorship is indicated, that fact shall be alternatively pleaded in the petition. The officer providing conservatorship investigation or other county officer or employee designated by the county shall act as the temporary conservator.

SEC. 3.

 Section 5354 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

5354.
 The officer providing conservatorship investigation shall investigate all available alternatives to conservatorship and shall recommend conservatorship to the court only if no suitable alternatives are available. This officer shall render to the court a written report of investigation prior to the hearing. The report to the court shall be comprehensive and shall contain all relevant aspects of the person’s medical, psychological, financial, family, vocational and social condition, and information obtained from the person’s family members, close friends, social worker or principal therapist. The report shall also contain all available information concerning the person’s real and personal property. The facilities providing intensive treatment or comprehensive evaluation shall disclose any records or information which that may facilitate the investigation. If the recommendation for conservatorship was made pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 5352, the existing probate conservator shall disclose any records or information that may facilitate the investigation. If the officer providing conservatorship investigation recommends against conservatorship, he or she shall set forth all alternatives available. A copy of the report shall be transmitted to the individual who, or the court that, originally recommended conservatorship, to the person or agency, if any, recommended to serve as conservator, and to the person recommended for conservatorship. The court may receive the report in evidence and may read and consider the contents thereof in rendering its judgment.

SEC. 4.

 Section 5360 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

5360.
 (a) The officer providing conservatorship investigation shall recommend, in his or her report to the court, for or against imposition of a disability set forth in Section 5357 on the basis of the determination of the professional person who recommended conservatorship pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 5352 or the determination of the physician who presented medical evidence to the court pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 5352.

The

(b) The officer providing conservatorship investigation shall recommend in his or her report any of the additional powers of a conservator set forth in Section 2591 of the Probate Code if the needs of the individual patient or his or her estate require such powers. In making such determination, the officer providing conservatorship investigation shall consult with the professional person who recommended conservatorship pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 5352 or the determination of the physician who presented medical evidence to the court pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 5352.

SEC. 3.SEC. 5.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.