Bill Text: TX SB1783 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to guardianships, alternatives to guardianship, and supports and services for incapacitated persons.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-15 - Committee report sent to Calendars [SB1783 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB1783-Comm_Sub.html
 
 
  By: Zaffirini S.B. No. 1783
 
  (Neave)
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to guardianships, alternatives to guardianship, and
  supports and services for incapacitated persons.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 1023.005, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 1023.005.  COURT ACTION. (a)  On hearing an
  application or motion under Section 1023.003, if [good cause is not
  shown to deny the transfer and] it appears that transfer of the
  guardianship is in the best interests of the ward and either the
  ward has resided in the county to which the guardianship is to be
  transferred for at least six months or good cause is not otherwise
  shown to deny the transfer, the court shall enter an order:
               (1)  authorizing the transfer on payment on behalf of
  the estate of all accrued costs; [and]
               (2)  requiring that any existing bond of the guardian
  must remain in effect until a new bond has been given or a rider has
  been filed in accordance with Section 1023.010; and
               (3)  certifying that the guardianship is in compliance
  with this code at the time of transfer.
         (b)  In making a determination that the transfer is in the
  best interests of the ward under Subsection (a), the court may
  consider:
               (1)  the interests of justice;
               (2)  the convenience of the parties; and
               (3)  the preference of the ward, if the ward is 12 years
  of age or older.
         (c)  On receipt of an order described by Subsection (a), the
  county shall accept the transfer of the guardianship.
         SECTION 2.  Section 1023.008, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 1023.008.  CONTINUATION OF GUARDIANSHIP. (a)  When a
  guardianship is transferred from one county to another in
  accordance with this chapter:
               (1)  [,] the guardianship proceeds in the court to
  which it was transferred as if it had been originally commenced in
  that court;
               (2)  the court to which the guardianship is transferred
  becomes the court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction;
               (3)  a proceeding relating to the guardianship that is
  commenced in the court ordering the transfer continues in the court
  to which the guardianship is transferred as if the proceeding
  commenced in the receiving court;
               (4)  a judgment or order entered in the guardianship
  before the transfer has the same effect and must be enforced as a
  judgment or order entered by the court to which the guardianship is
  transferred; and
               (5)  the court ordering the transfer does not retain:
                     (A)  jurisdiction of the ward who is the subject
  of the guardianship; and
                     (B)  the authority to enforce an order entered for
  a violation of this title that occurred before or after the
  transfer.
         (b)  It is not necessary to record in the receiving court any
  of the papers in the case that were recorded in the court from which
  the case was transferred.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 1023, Estates Code, is amended by adding
  Section 1023.011 to read as follows:
         Sec. 1023.011.  NO LIABILITY OF JUDGE. (a)  When a
  guardianship is transferred from one county to another in
  accordance with this chapter, a judge of the court from which the
  guardianship is transferred may not be held civilly liable for any
  injury, damage, or loss to the ward or the ward's estate that occurs
  after the transfer.
         (b)  A judge of the court to which a guardianship is
  transferred as described by Subsection (a) may not be held civilly
  liable for any injury, damage, or loss to the ward or the ward's
  estate that occurred before the transfer.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter D, Chapter 1055, Estates Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER D.  MEDIATION
         Sec. 1055.151.  MEDIATION OF CONTESTED GUARDIANSHIP
  PROCEEDING. (a)  Subject to Subsection (b), on [On] the written
  agreement of the parties or on the court's own motion, the court may
  refer a contested guardianship proceeding to mediation.
         (b)  If the court refers to mediation a proceeding under
  Subsection (a) regarding the appointment of a guardian for a
  proposed ward:
               (1)  a determination of incapacity of the proposed ward
  may be an issue to be mediated, but the applicant for guardianship
  must still prove to the court that the proposed ward is an
  incapacitated person in accordance with the requirements of Chapter
  1101; and
               (2)  all parties to the proceeding shall evaluate
  during the mediation alternatives to guardianship and supports and
  services available to the proposed ward, including whether the
  supports and services and alternatives to guardianship would be
  feasible to avoid the need for appointment of a guardian.
         (c)  The cost of mediation shall be paid by the parties to the
  proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the court. If the parties
  are unable to pay the cost of mediation, the court may refer the
  parties to a local alternative dispute resolution center providing
  services as part of a system for resolution of disputes established
  under Section 152.002, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, if a
  system has been established in the county, and the local center may
  waive mediation costs as appropriate.
         Sec. 1055.152.  MEDIATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS. (a)  A
  mediated settlement agreement is binding on the parties if the
  agreement:
               (1)  provides, in a prominently displayed statement
  that is in boldfaced type, in capital letters, or underlined, that
  the agreement is not subject to revocation by the parties;
               (2)  is signed by each party to the agreement; and
               (3)  is signed by the party's attorney, if any, who is
  present at the time the agreement is signed.
         (b) [(c)]  If a mediated settlement agreement meets the
  requirements of this section, a party is entitled to judgment on the
  mediated settlement agreement notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules
  of Civil Procedure, or another rule or law.
         (c) [(d)]  Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (b) [and
  (c)], a court may decline to enter a judgment on a mediated
  settlement agreement if the court finds that the agreement is not in
  the ward's or proposed ward's best interests.
         SECTION 5.  Section 1202.001, Estates Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-1) to read as follows:
         (b-1)  A guardianship of the person shall be settled and
  closed when the court finds that the ward's incapacity needs can be
  managed without the necessity for that continued guardianship by an
  alternative to guardianship or with supports and services as
  provided by Subchapter F.
         SECTION 6.  Chapter 1202, Estates Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter F to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER F. TERMINATION OF GUARDIANSHIP OF THE PERSON ON FINDING
  THAT THE WARD'S INCAPACITY NEEDS CAN BE MANAGED WITHOUT
  GUARDIANSHIP
         Sec. 1202.231.  TERMINATION OF GUARDIANSHIP OF THE PERSON ON
  FINDING THAT WARD'S INCAPACITY NEEDS CAN BE MANAGED WITHOUT
  GUARDIANSHIP. On application by the guardian of the person of a
  ward, a court investigator or guardian ad litem appointed by the
  court, or another person interested in the ward's welfare who has
  been granted permission by the court to intervene under Section
  1055.003, or on the court's own motion, the court may order that the
  guardianship of the person of the ward terminate and be settled and
  closed if the court makes the findings required under Section
  1202.232.
         Sec. 1202.232.  FINDINGS REQUIRED. Before ordering the
  termination of a guardianship of the person under Section 1202.231,
  the court must find by a preponderance of the evidence that:
               (1)  the ward remains a partially or completely
  incapacitated person;
               (2)  the current nature and degree of the ward's
  incapacity and the ward's needs can be managed without the
  necessity of a continued guardianship of the person by:
                     (A)  alternatives to guardianship that are
  available to the ward and that are determined to be feasible; or
                     (B)  supports and services that are available to
  the ward and that are determined to be feasible; and
               (3)  termination of the guardianship of the person:
                     (A)  is in the ward's best interest; and
                     (B)  will encourage the development or
  maintenance of maximum self-reliance and independence in the ward.
         Sec. 1202.233.  GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ORDER. A court
  order that terminates a guardianship of the person under this
  subchapter must:
               (1)  contain the findings required under Section
  1202.232;
               (2)  state the guardian's name;
               (3)  state the ward's name;
               (4)  specify:
                     (A)  the supports and services that:
                           (i)  will meet the ward's needs without the
  continued necessity for guardianship of the person; and
                           (ii)  justify the termination of that
  guardianship; or
                     (B)  the alternatives to guardianship that:
                           (i)  will meet the ward's needs without the
  continued necessity for guardianship of the person; and
                           (ii)  justify the termination of that
  guardianship;
               (5)  identify the persons or entities providing or that
  will provide:
                     (A)  the supports and services described by
  Subdivision (4)(A); or
                     (B)  alternatives to guardianship described by
  Subdivision (4)(B);
               (6)  state that the guardian is required to:
                     (A)  immediately settle the guardianship in
  accordance with this title; and
                     (B)  deliver all of the ward's remaining personal
  effects and assets, if any, to the persons or entities identified
  under Subdivision (5)(A) or (B), as applicable; and
               (7)  state that the clerk shall revoke letters of
  guardianship of the person when the guardianship is finally settled
  and closed.
         Sec. 1202.234.  NOTICE; APPOINTMENT OF ATTORNEY AD LITEM OR
  GUARDIAN AD LITEM. A court may enter additional orders in the best
  interest of the ward, including:
               (1)  requiring notice to interested persons; or
               (2)  appointing an attorney ad litem or guardian ad
  litem, or both, for the ward.
         SECTION 7.  Chapter 155, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter G to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER G. GUARDIANSHIP MEDIATION TRAINING
         Sec. 155.301.  TRAINING. (a)  The office by rule shall
  establish a training course with at least 24 hours of training for
  persons facilitating mediations under Title 3, Estates Code, that
  may be provided by a mediation training provider approved by the
  office.  A mediation training provider shall adhere to the
  established curriculum in providing the training course.
         (b)  This section does not require a mediator facilitating a
  mediation under Title 3, Estates Code, to attend or be certified
  under a training course established under Subsection (a).
         SECTION 8.  The changes in law made by this Act apply to a
  guardianship created before, on, or after the effective date of
  this Act.
         SECTION 9.  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas
  Judicial System is required to implement a provision of this Act
  only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that
  purpose.  If the legislature does not appropriate money
  specifically for that purpose, the office may, but is not required
  to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations
  available for that purpose.
         SECTION 10.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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