General Service Requirements
Once you have filed a petition for conservatorship or protective order and a hearing date before a judge has been scheduled, 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.
Who Needs Notice
You must serve all interested persons with notice of the hearing on your petition. Court rule specifies the following individuals as interested persons in a petition for conservatorship or protective order:
- the individual to be protected;
- the alleged protected individuals presumptive heirs
- a spouse is a presumptive heir
- any children (or descendants of deceased children) are presumptive heirs, but if there are none of these, then parents (or descendants of parents if they are deceased) are presumptive heirs;
- a governmental entity paying benefits to the individual to be protected (or before which an application for benefits is pending) e.g., Social Security;
- the nominated conservator;
- a person named as attorney in fact under a durable power of attorney;
- the Administrator of Veterans Affairs (if there are account benefits from the Veterans= Administration); and
- the guardian, conservator, or guardian ad litem of any interested person.
If any interested person other than the individual to be protected 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 for Minor in order to receive service. For other situations, a guardian ad litem may need to be appointed so service can be received.
How to Provide Notice
To provide standard notice to individuals, you must provide them with a copy of your petition and a completed Notice of Hearing. [The alleged protected person must also receive a Notice on Petition for Conservator or Protective Order.]
On the Notice of Hearing provide the case file number, the name of the person for whom you are seeking conservatorship, 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 conservatorship (or petition for protective order). When you are done, date the notice and print your name and address.
For each person you notify, make a copy of your petition and Notice of Hearing.
If there is an interested person whose whereabouts are unknown, you will have to publish notice of the hearing. Fill out a Declaration of Intent to Give Notice by Publication, and then fill out the 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:"
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 and the Notice of Hearing, you must record what you did on a Proof of Service.
If you mail a copy of your petition and Notice of Hearing, record the name, the address you used, and the date you mailed them.
If you personally hand the petition 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 conservatorship or protective order, and that you served both the petition 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.