1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Holland
House Bill 700
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 93-13-251, 93-13-253 AND 93-13-255, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT CHANCERY AND COUNTY COURTS SHALL HAVE CONCURRENT JURISDICTION IN CONSERVATOR APPOINTMENTS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A TEMPORARY CONSERVATOR WITHIN 72 HOURS OF FILING A PETITION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 93-13-251, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-13-251. If a person by reason of advanced age, physical incapacity or mental weakness is incapable of managing his own estate, the chancery court or the county court of the county wherein such person resides may, upon the petition of such person or of one or more of his friends or relatives, appoint a conservator to have charge and management of the property of such person, and if the court deems it advisable, also to have charge and custody of the person subject to the direction of the appointing court.
SECTION 2. Section 93-13-253, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-13-253. Upon the filing of such petition, the clerk of the court shall set a time within seventy-two (72) hours of filing the petition and set a place for a temporary hearing and shall cause immediate notice thereof to be given to the person for whom a temporary conservator is to be appointed until a hearing may be held on the merits of the case. When a hearing is held on the merits a permanent conservator shall be appointed. Such notice shall also be given to the husband or the wife, or a descendant or an ascendant, or next of kin of the person for whom the conservator is to be appointed, provided the person to whom notice is given is a resident of Mississippi, except where such person is himself the petitioner, it being the intention of the legislature to require personal service on the person for whom the conservator is to be appointed and one (1) relative. If said person is entitled to any benefit, estate or income paid or payable by or through the Veterans' Administration of the United States Government, such administration shall also be given such notice.
Notice may be by personal service by the sheriff as in service of other process but nothing herein shall be construed to prevent competent persons from accepting notice in person from the clerk or his deputy.
SECTION 3. Section 93-13-255, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-13-255. The chancery or county court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether a conservator is needed for the person or the estate of the person. Before such hearing, the court may, in its discretion, appoint, within seventy-two (72) hours of filing a petition, a guardian ad litem to look after the interest of the person in question, which guardian ad litem shall be present at the hearing and present the interests of the persons for whose property or person a conservator is to be appointed.
The chancery or county judge shall be the judge of the number and character of the witnesses and proof to be presented, except that there shall be included therein at least two (2) physicians who are duly authorized to practice medicine in this state, or another state or one (1) such physician and a psychologist, licensed in this state or another state, each of whom shall be required to make a personal examination of the subject party, and each of whom shall make in writing a certificate of the result of such examination, which certificate shall be filed with the clerk of the court and become a part of the record of the case. They may also be called to testify at the hearing.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.