Code Section Group

Probate Code - PROB

DIVISION 2. GENERAL PROVISIONS [100 - 884]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

PART 12. PROBATE REFEREES [400 - 453]

  ( Part 12 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

CHAPTER 1. Appointment and Revocation [400 - 408]
  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

400.
  

(a) The Controller shall appoint at least one person in each county to act as a probate referee for the county.

(b) If there are fewer than three qualified applicants to serve in a county, the Controller may designate a probate referee from another county or make an interim appointment, to serve until the vacancy has been filled by a qualified applicant.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

401.
  

(a) Appointment shall be from among persons passing a qualification examination. A person who passes the examination is eligible for appointment for a period of five years from the date of the examination.

(b) Appointment shall be on the basis of merit without regard to sex, race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, or political affiliation.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

402.
  

(a) The qualification examination for applicants for appointment to act as a probate referee shall be held at times and places within the state determined by the Controller.

(b) The Controller may contract with another agency to administer the qualification examination. Administration of the examination shall include:

(1) Development of standards for passage of the examination.

(2) Preparation of examination questions.

(3) Giving the examination.

(4) Scoring the examination.

(c) Each applicant shall pay a fee for taking the qualification examination. The agency administering the examination shall transmit to the Controller a list of candidates who have received a passing score in the examination. The list is a public record.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

403.
  

(a) The term of office of a probate referee is four years, expiring June 30. A person may be appointed to complete the unexpired term of office of a probate referee whose appointment is revoked or is otherwise terminated. For a period of five years from the date of expiration of the term of office, a person who had been appointed to act as a probate referee is eligible for reappointment.

(b) If the Controller increases the number of probate referees in a county, the Controller shall stagger the terms of the new appointees so that one-quarter, or as close to one-quarter as possible, of the terms of the probate referees in that county expire on June 30 of each succeeding year.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

404.
  

(a) The Controller shall establish and may amend standards of training, performance, and ethics of probate referees. The standards are a public record.

(b) The Controller may revoke the appointment of a person to act as a probate referee for noncompliance with any standard of training, performance, or ethics established under subdivision (a). The Controller may revoke an appointment under this subdivision without notice or a hearing, but the revocation is subject to review by writ of mandate in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

405.
  

Notwithstanding Section 404, the Controller may, at the Controller’s pleasure, revoke the appointment of a person to act as a probate referee. Under this section, the Controller may revoke the appointment of not more than 10 percent of the probate referees in each county in any one calendar year, but may revoke the appointment of at least one probate referee in each county in any one calendar year.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

406.
  

(a) The authority of a person to act as a probate referee ceases immediately upon expiration of the person’s term of office, revocation of the person’s appointment, or other termination pursuant to law.

(b) Upon cessation of authority of a person to act as a probate referee, the Controller shall notify the superior court of the county for which the probate referee was appointed. Upon receipt of notice, or if it otherwise comes to the attention of the court that the authority of a person to act as a probate referee has ceased, the court shall reassign any estate for which the person had been designated as probate referee to another probate referee.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

407.
  

(a) As used in this section, “prohibited political activity” means directly or indirectly soliciting, receiving, or contributing, or being in any manner involved in soliciting, receiving, or contributing, any of the following:

(1)  An assessment, subscription, or contribution to any party, incumbent, committee, or candidate exceeding two hundred dollars ($200) in any one calendar year for any partisan public office of this state.

(2) An assessment, subscription, contribution, or political service in any amount for any campaign for the office of Controller.

(b) Upon a person’s appointment and thereafter in January of each year during the person’s tenure as a probate referee, the person shall file with the Controller a verified statement indicating whether the person has engaged in prohibited political activity during the preceding two calendar years.

(c) The Controller may not appoint or reappoint as a probate referee a person who within the preceding two calendar years has engaged in prohibited political activity, and any such appointment or reappointment is void and shall be revoked. The Controller shall revoke the appointment of a person who, during the person’s tenure as a probate referee, engages in prohibited political activity. However, all acts not otherwise invalid, performed by the person before revocation of the person’s appointment, are valid.

(d) A person shall not engage in prohibited political activity during the time the person is an applicant for appointment or reappointment, or during the person’s tenure as a probate referee. A violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor.

(e) Subdivisions (a), (c), and (d) do not apply to any prohibited political activity that occurred before July 1, 1989, and the applicable law in effect before July 1, 1989, continues to apply. Subdivision (b) applies on July 1, 1989, to persons who apply for appointment on or after July 1, 1989. A person who applied for appointment or who was appointed before July 1, 1989, shall file the first statement required by subdivision (b) on or before July 1, 1989, and thereafter as prescribed in subdivision (b).

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

408.
  

The appointment of a probate referee by the Controller before July 1, 1989, is not invalidated by the repeal of the law under which the appointment was made. Appointment of a probate referee before July 1, 1989, may be revoked under this chapter only if revocation would otherwise be proper under this chapter.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

PROBProbate Code - PROB