Current through 2020 Legislative Session
Section 1513 - Investigation and report (a) Unless waived by the court, a court investigator, probation officer, or domestic relations investigator shall make an investigation and file with the court a report and recommendation concerning each proposed guardianship of the person or guardianship of the estate. Investigations where the proposed guardian is a relative shall be made by a court investigator. Investigations where the proposed guardian is a nonrelative shall be made by the county agency designated to investigate potential dependency. The report for the guardianship of the person shall include, but need not be limited to, an investigation and discussion of all of the following: (1) A social history of the guardian. (2) A social history of the proposed ward, including, to the extent feasible, an assessment of any identified developmental, emotional, psychological, or educational needs of the proposed ward and the capability of the petitioner to meet those needs. (3) The relationship of the proposed ward to the guardian, including the duration and character of the relationship, where applicable, the circumstances whereby physical custody of the proposed ward was acquired by the guardian, and a statement of the proposed ward's attitude concerning the proposed guardianship, unless the statement of the attitude is affected by the proposed ward's developmental, physical, or emotional condition. (4) The anticipated duration of the guardianship and the plans of both natural parents and the proposed guardian for the stable and permanent home for the child. The court may waive this requirement for cases involving relative guardians. (b) If the proposed ward is or may be described by Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the court may refer the matter to the local child welfare services agency to initiate an investigation of the referral pursuant to Sections 328 and 329 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and to report the findings of that investigation to the court. Pending completion of the investigation, the court may take any reasonable steps it deems appropriate to protect the child's safety, including, but not limited to, appointment of a temporary guardian or issuance of a temporary restraining order. If dependency proceedings are initiated, the guardianship proceedings shall be stayed in accordance with Section 304 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Nothing in this section shall affect the applicability of Section 16504 or 16506 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If a dependency proceeding is not initiated, the probate court shall retain jurisdiction to hear the guardianship matter. (c) Prior to ruling on the petition for guardianship, the court shall read and consider all reports submitted pursuant to this section, which shall be reflected in the minutes or stated on the record. Any person who reports to the court pursuant to this section may be called and examined by any party to the proceeding. (d) All reports authorized by this section are confidential and shall only be made available to persons who have been served in the proceedings or their attorneys. The clerk of the court shall make provisions to limit access to the reports exclusively to persons entitled to receipt. The reports shall be made available to all parties entitled to receipt no less than three court days before the hearing on the guardianship petition. (e) For the purpose of writing either report authorized by this section, the person making the investigation and report shall have access to the proposed ward's school records, probation records, and public and private social services records, and to an oral or written summary of the proposed ward's medical records and psychological records prepared by any physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist who made or who is maintaining those records. The physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist shall be available to clarify information regarding these records pursuant to the investigator's responsibility to gather and provide information for the court. (f) This section does not apply to guardianships resulting from a permanency plan for a dependent child pursuant to Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. (g) For purposes of this section, a "relative" means a person who is a spouse, parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, first cousin, or any person denoted by the prefix "grand" or "great," or the spouse of any of these persons, even after the marriage has been terminated by death or dissolution. (h) In an Indian child custody proceeding, any person making an investigation and report shall consult with the Indian child's tribe and include in the report information provided by the tribe.
Amended by Stats 2012 ch 638 (AB 1757),s 14, eff. 1/1/2013.
Amended by Stats 2006 ch 838 (SB 678),s 24, eff. 1/1/2007.
Amended by Stats 2002 ch 784 (SB 1316), s 576, eff. 1/1/2003.