After you file the paperwork, the next step is the court hearing.
Here's what you can do:
The Court assigns you a hearing date.
They'll mail it to you. Put that date in your calendar, and tell them if you have a conflict. The Court may let you pick the date if it works with the judge's schedule.
Check that all of your paperwork is ready.
If you needed to file a medical certificate, make sure the latest copy is dated within 30 days of the hearing date. If you didn't file the bond form yet, make sure you do!
If you can, have your family member attend the hearing.
Sometimes, there is a good medical or other reason why they shouldn't attend. If so, talk with their doctor and have them write this on the Clinical Team Report or Medical Certificate.
Attend the hearing.
Get there early!
Each civil district court and each judge may have a different way of doing things. If you have any questions, you can always ask the court staff or the judge's clerk.
To learn more about what happens during the hearing, click on "What Happens at an Interdiction Hearing" below:
A guardianship hearing is a formal process that takes place at the courthouse.
(This also applies to a conservatorship hearing.)
It will start out with witnesses being sworn in. The hearing will be tape recorded.
You or your lawyer may explain why you are requesting guardianship for your family member. You will need to present the medical evidence that supports why they need a guardian. In addition to your lawyer, your family member may have their own lawyer too. This lawyer could be appointed by the Court. Your family member's lawyer will explain why there is a need for guardianship and how they have come to that decision. They will accept or oppose your proposed guardianship.
The judge may ask questions to both sides.
Then, the judge will make a decision. They will either:
Accept your request for guardianship,
Deny your request, or
Authorize guardianship, but with changes to your proposal. The changes are usually to give your family member more decision-making power in certain areas.
Source: Jackins (2010)
Sources: Federation for Children with Special Needs, Jackins (2010), Misilo (2014)