Post Hearing Procedure for a Full Minor Guardianship
A guardian of a minor has the power and responsibilities of a parent who is not deprived of custody of the parent's minor and unemancipated child. MCL 700.5215. The guardian therefore can make those personal decisions concerning where the minor lives, what activities the minor takes part in and what medical care the minor receives to the same extent as a parent. However, the guardian is not financially responsible for the minor because of the relationship. The guardian is not obligated to support the minor nor is the guardian personally obligated to pay the bills of the minor.
A guardian of a minor is obligated to take reasonable care of the minor's personal effects and must institute protective proceedings to protect such property if necessary. The guardian is authorized to receive money payable for the support of the minor and must expend such money for the current needs of the minor for support, care and education. The guardian is obligated to conserve any money not currently needed by the minor for the minor's future use. If a conservator has been appointed for the minor, these excess funds must be delivered to the conservator at least annually. The guardian may not pay itself compensation out of the ward's funds unless such compensation has been approved by the court or an independent conservator for the minor. The guardian may take action to enforce a support obligation or other obligation to pay sums for the minor's welfare.
The guardian is obligated to facilitate the minor's education and social or other activities. The guardian is also obligated to consent to necessary and proper medical and other professional care for the minor. The guardian may consent to the marriage of the minor. The guardian may consent to the adoption of the minor or release of the minor for adoption if the court which appointed the guardian specifically gives the guardian such authority to consent or release.
For the welfare of the minor ward, the court may at any time order reasonable support and reasonable visitation and contact of the minor by his or her parents. MCL 700.5204(5).
The court may require a guardian to report the condition of the minor ward or the minor ward's estate at any time. The court may also require that the guardian file an Inventory if at the time of appointing the guardian the court determines that there would be sufficient assets under the control of the guardian to require the guardian to file an inventory. MCR 5.409(B)(1). Such an Inventory must be filed within 56 days after the appointment. There is no requirement that the guardian file an Inventory or report on the condition of the minor's estate unless ordered to do so by the court.
The guardian is required to file a written report on the condition of the minor ward annually within 56 days after the anniversary of appointment. The report contains information about the care received by the minor during the period and the reasons for continuation of the guardianship. The report must be substantially in the form approved by the state court administrator. The form which is approved is Annual Report of Guardian on Condition of Minor (PC 654). All information required in PC 654 must be reported.
- The court is required to conduct a review of a guardianship of a minor annually in each case where the minor is under age 6 as of the anniversary of the qualification of the guardian. The review shall be commenced within 63 days after the anniversary date of the qualification of the guardian. The court may at any time conduct a review of a guardianship as it deems necessary. MCR 5.404(D)(1). The court is required by MCL 700.5207 to consider all of the following factors when conducting its review:
- Parent's and guardian's compliance with either of the
- Limited guardianship placement plan, or
- A court structured plan under section under subsection (3)(b)(ii)(B) or section 5209(2)(b)(ii),
- Whether the guardian has adequately provided for the welfare of the ward.
- The necessity of continuing the guardianship.
- The willingness and ability of the guardian to continue to provide for the welfare of the minor.
- The effect upon the welfare of the minor if the guardianship is continued.
- Any other factor that the court considers relevant to the welfare of the minor. The review may be filed using form Report for Court Review of Minor Guardianship (PC 655).
MCR 5.404(D)(3) provides that after an informal review of the report, the court shall enter an order continuing the guardianship or set a date for a hearing to be held within 28 days. If a hearing is set, an attorney may be appointed to represent the minor. After such a hearing the court may do any of the following:
- Continue the guardianship.
- Order the parties to follow a court structured plan designed to resolve the conditions identified at the review hearing.
- Take action described in MCL 700.5209(2).