GUARDIANSHIPS FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED INDIVIDUALS
1. General service requirements
Once you have filed a petition for guardianship, a hearing date before a judge has been scheduled, and an attorney has been appointed for the individual, you must notify certain individuals of this petition and hearing within certain time limits in order to satisfy due process requirements.
Personal service: You may serve an individual personally (i.e., by hand delivery) by giving him/her relevant documents at least 7 days prior to the hearing. [In the case of an emergency hearing for a temporary guardian, notice may be given personally to the individual at any time prior to the hearing.]
Mail service: You may serve an individual by mailing copies of the petition and Notice of Hearing to him/her at least 14 days prior to the hearing.
Publication: You must serve an individual whose whereabouts are unknown by publishing a notice of the hearing ("Publication of Notice of Hearing") in an Ingham County newspaper at least 14 days prior to the hearing.
2. Who needs notice
You must serve all interested persons with notice of the hearing on your petition. Statute specifies the following individuals as interested persons in a petition for guardianship of a developmentally disabled individual:
- the respondent (i.e., alleged developmentally disabled individual);
- the individual's attorney;
- the alleged developmentally disabled individual's presumptive heirs this includes the spouse of the individual, if there is one, and any children of the individual; if the individual has no children, then the parent or parents of the individual; if there are no parents, then any siblings (and any children of these if any are pre-deceased);
- the director of any facility in which the individual may be residing;
- the preparer or preparers of the report accompanying the petition;
- the nominated guardian; and
- the guardian, conservator, or guardian ad litem of any interested person.
If any interested person other than the respondent is under a disability (e.g., a minor, mentally incapacitated), someone else must receive service for that person. For a minor, if there is a parent who is not the petitioner, that parent can file an Appearance of Parent of Minor in order to receive service. For other situations, a guardian ad litem may need to be appointed so service can be received.
For a hearing on a request for a temporary guardian based on an emergency, you only need to serve the alleged developmentally disabled individual (personally).
3. How to provide notice
To provide standard notice to individuals, you must provide them with a copy of your petition, the accompanying report, and a completed Notice of Hearing.
On the Notice of Hearing form, provide the case file number, the name of the person for whom you are seeking guardianship, the date and time of the hearing, the place of the hearing (313 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI 48933), and the judge. The purpose of the hearing is to hear a petition for guardianship. When you are done, date the notice and print your name and address.
For each person to whom you give or mail service, make a copy of your petition, report, and Notice of Hearing.
If there is an interested person whose whereabouts are unknown, you will have to publish notice of the hearing. First indicate on your Proof of Service (see below) that you cannot find the person. Then fill out a Declaration of Intent to Give Notice by Publication, explaining what efforts you made to find the person. Finally, fill out a Publication of Notice of Hearing form and publish it once in a general circulation newspaper in Ingham County (e.g., the Lansing State Journal); remember to specifically name any person whose whereabouts are unknown after "TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS including:"
4. Proof of service
In order for the hearing on your petition to proceed as scheduled, we will need to have proof that complete and adequate notice has been provided to all interested persons. Concerning anyone to whom you give or mail a copy of your petition, report, and the Notice of Hearing, you must record what you did on a Proof of Service.
If you mail a copy of your petition, report, and Notice of Hearing, record the name, the address you used, and the date you mailed them.
If you personally hand the petition, report, and Notice of Hearing to someone, record their name, where you gave them service, and the date and time of service.
Remember to fill out the top of the form with the case number, the name of the person for whom you are seeking guardianship, and that you served the petition, report, and a Notice of Hearing.
In cases of publication, service information is not recorded on the Proof of Service. Rather, we will need an affidavit of publication from the newspaper.
The proof of service and affidavit of publication must be filed by the time of your hearing.