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Renewing an LPS Conservatorship

Templates and Forms

Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) conservators may be appointed for “any person who is gravely disabled as a result of mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism” when that person is unwilling or unable to accept treatment voluntarily. (California Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC) §§5350, 5352.) Because they restrict the conservatee’s civil rights, they are time-limited; they expire after one year unless the conservator successfully petitions for reappointment.

In Sacramento, LPS conservatorships are initiated by the Public Guardian (through the County Counsel). When possible, family members are appointed as Conservators of the Person, as they are better suited to ascertain the conservatee’s personal needs on a day-to-day basis.

The primary special power of an LPS conservator is the right to place the conservatee in a treatment facility. WIC §5358(a). The order appointing the conservator may also restrict the conservatee’s right to a driver’s license, to enter into contracts, to vote, to refuse or consent to treatment related to the disability, to refuse or consent to treatment unrelated to the disability, and to possess firearms. WIC §5357. These restrictions must be listed specifically in the order to be effective.

Although the Public Guardian initially assists the family member in being appointed Conservator of the Person, the conservators must renew the appointment every year without the aid of the Public Guardian. Renewal requires obtaining and filing several doctors’ declarations as well as a Petition for Reappointment and other documents. This Guide contains forms and instructions to assist in the renewal.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1

Obtain Doctors’ Declarations

A minimum of 45 days prior to the expiration date of the current conservatorship, send the doctors the declarations for execution. The forms needed for the declarations are:

You may download customizable templates from the links listed above.

2

Complete the Required Forms

Instructions for completing the necessary forms are included at the end of this packet. The forms needed to renew an LPS conservatorship are:

You will also need copies of the current “Order Granting Petition to Appoint LPS Conservator” and “Letters of Conservatorship.” Attach these to the Petition as Exhibit A and Exhibit B.

At the end of this Guide are completed samples of these forms. You may download forms and customizable templates from the links listed above.

3

Make Copies, File Petition, Get Hearing Date, and Have Citation Issued

Make two copies of each:

  • Petition for Reappointment of LPS Conservator
  • Declarations of doctors regarding conservatee
  • Citation for Conservatorship (GC-320)
  • Letters of Conservatorship (GC-350)
  • (Proposed) Order Granting Petition to Reappoint LPS Conservator

Leave the original copies unstapled, and staple each copy.

File the original and one copy of your documents at the Family Relations Courthouse, 3341 Power Inn Road, in Sacramento. There is no fee required. Also ask the clerk to endorse (stamp) the second copy for you. Keep that copy for later.

The clerk will assign a hearing date.

Ask the clerk to “issue” (file-stamp) the Citation. You will receive the original Citation back, now stamped.

4

Fill Out Notice of Hearing

Now that you have a hearing date, fill out the Notice of Hearing. You will be having it personally served on the conservatee and served by mail on the relatives and others who must be notified.

In item 1, list the documents you filed in Step 3. Photocopy all of the endorsed (file-stamped) documents from Step 3 to serve along with the Notice of Hearing. Make sufficient copies to serve one set each on the conservatee, the conservatee’s attorney (the Public Defender), and all other people entitled to notice. This includes relatives to the second degree and anyone else the court instructs you to serve.

5

Have Citation, Petition, and Notice of Hearing Personally Served on Conservatee

Citation and a copy of the Petition must be served on the proposed conservatee by personal delivery (by a non-party who is over 18) at least 15 days before the hearing.

Fill out, but do not sign, (1) the Certificate of Service on the last page of the Citation and (2) the Proof of Personal Service of Notice of Hearing—Guardianship or Conservatorship (GC-020(P)). Make a copy of the filled-out-but-unsigned Certificate of Service and Proof of Personal Service before proceeding.

The server then personally delivers to the conservatee and the conservatee’s attorney (the Public Defender) the issued Citation, a copy of the Petition and all other documents filed in Step 3, and the Notice of Hearing, along with copies of the unsigned Certificate of Service and Proof of Personal Service forms.

The server then signs the Certificate of Service on the last page of the original Citation and the Proof of Personal Service of Notice of Hearing—Guardianship or Conservatorship (GC-020(P)) and gives the signed documents back to you.

For more information, see our Guide on Personal Service.

6

Have Notice of Hearing and Petition Served by Mail on Relatives

Under California Probate Code §1822, the Notice of Hearing must be mailed (by a non-party who is over 18) to the proposed conservatee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, if any; to relatives within the second degree (parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren); and to anyone else the Court instructs you to serve, at least 15 days before the hearing date.

Fill out, but do not sign, the Proof of Service by Mail on page 2 of the Notice of Hearing. You must list all people to be served. If you do not have room, you can attach Attachment to Notice of Hearing Proof of Service by Mail (Probate—Decedents’ Estates and Guardianships and Conservatorships, GC-20(MA) to list the remainder. Be sure to check Box 5, “I served with the Notice of Hearing – Guardianship or Conservatorship a copy of the petition or other document referred to in the notice.” Make a copy of the unsigned Proof of Service by Mail on page 2 of the Notice of Hearing before proceeding.

The server then mails a copy of the Notice of Hearing to each person listed.

The server then signs the Proof of Service by Mail form on page 2 of the Notice of Hearing and gives you the signed copy.

For more information on service by mail, see our guide on Service by Mail.

7

File Original Proofs of Service and Lodge Proposed Order and Letters

Make two copies of each:

  • Citation for Conservatorship (GC-320) (with original signature on proof of service)
  • Notice of Hearing – Guardianship or Conservatorship (GC-020), with original signature on proof of service (GC-020(P))
  • Doctors’ declarations supporting the Petitioner
  • Doctor’s declaration on capacity to consent to medical treatment
  • Letters of Conservatorship (GC-350)
  • (Proposed) Order Granting Petition to Reappoint LPS Conservator

Leave the original set unstapled. Staple and two-hole punch the other copies for insertion into a folder.

File and lodge the original and one copy of:

  • Citation for Conservatorship (GC-320) (with original signature on proof of service)
  • Notice of Hearing – Guardianship or Conservatorship (GC-020) (with original signature on proof of service, GC-020(P))
  • Doctors’ declarations supporting the Petitioner
  • Doctor’s declaration on capacity to consent to medical treatment
  • Letters of Conservatorship (GC-350)
  • (Proposed) Order Granting Petition to Reappoint LPS Conservator

File and lodge these documents in the Probate Department at the Family Relations Courthouse, 3341 Power Inn Road, Sacramento CA, 95826.

Get the clerk to endorse (file-stamp) the second copy of the documents and keep that set in your own file.

8

Contact Public Defender to Confirm Conservatee Has Been Interviewed

Check with the Public Defender to make sure they have interviewed their client, the conservatee.

9

Probate Notes (also called Calendar Notes)

About ten to twelve calendar days prior to the hearing, “Probate Notes” are issued by the court. Since these are confidential, you must visit the courthouse to check them.

Probate Notes list any deficiencies that should be filled in or fixed prior to the hearing. For instance, if notice was mistakenly given by mail when it needed to be personally served, the Probate Notes will alert you so that you can re-serve in time. You must respond and clear Probate Notes in advance of the hearing. You should check back every couple of days to see if additional Probate Notes have been added.

For more information on responding to Probate Notes, see our guide on Clearing Probate Calendar Notes for Guardianship or Conservatorship.

10

Attend Hearing and Pick Up Endorsed Copy of Order

On the hearing date, attend the hearing. It is recommended to bring file-stamped copies of all paperwork to the hearing. If all goes well, the court will issue the Order Granting Petition to Reappoint LPS Conservator. Obtain an endorsed copy of this Order from the clerk or bailiff before you leave the courtroom.

11

Have Clerk Issue Letters

Once you have the endorsed copy of the court order, go over to the probate court clerks’ counter and have them issue the Letters of Conservatorship.

12

Have Order and Letters Served

Have the Order and Letters of Conservatorship served by mail on the same list of people as served in Step 6, plus the conservatee, using the same process as in Step 6.

For Help

Public Administrator/Guardian/Conservator
Telephone: (916) 875-4467

For More Information

On the Web:

Santa Clara Superior Court: Self-Help – LPS (Mental Health) Conservatorship. The Santa Clara court’s website has useful information about LPS conservatorships.

At the Law Library:

California Conservatorship Practice KFC 112 .C34 Chap. 23
This practice guide, aimed at attorneys, contains detailed information about LPS conservatorships and about factors which determine whether a proposed conservatee is “gravely disabled” under the LPS Act.
Electronic Access: On the Law Library’s computers, using OnLaw.

Samples

Citation for Conservatorship (GC-320)



Petition to Renew Conservatorship





Proposed Order Granting Petition



Letters of Conservatorship


Notice of Hearing – Conservatorship



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