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  • PART II REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
  • TITLE II DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION, WILLS, ESTATES OF DECEASED PERSONS AND ABSENTEES, GUARDIANSHIP, CONSERVATORSHIP AND TRUSTS
  • CHAPTER 190B MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE
  • ARTICLE V PROTECTION OF PERSONS UNDER DISABILITY
    AND THEIR PROPERTY
  • Section 5-308 Emergency orders; temporary guardians

Section 5-308. [Emergency Orders; Temporary Guardians.]

(a) While a petition for appointment of a guardian is pending, if an incapacitated person has no guardian, and the court finds that following the procedures of this article will likely result in immediate and substantial harm to the health, safety or welfare of the person alleged to be incapacitated occurring prior to the return date, and no other person appears to have authority to act in the circumstances, on appropriate motion the court may appoint a temporary guardian who may exercise only those powers granted in the order. A motion for appointment of a temporary guardian shall state the nature of the circumstances requiring appointment, the particular harm sought to be avoided, the actions which will be necessary by the temporary guardian to avoid the occurrence of the harm and the name and address of any agent designated under a health care proxy or durable power of attorney of which the person alleged to be incapacitated is the principal, and the petitioner shall attach a copy of any such health care proxy or durable power of attorney, if available. Such motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit containing facts supporting the statements and requests in the motion. The appointment may be for a period of up to 90 days except that upon a finding of extraordinary circumstances set forth in its order, the court may order an appointment for a longer period to a date certain. The court may for good cause shown extend the appointment for additional 90 day periods.

(b) If an appointed guardian is not effectively performing duties and the court further finds that the welfare of the incapacitated person requires immediate action, it may appoint, with or without notice, a special guardian for the incapacitated person having the powers of a general guardian, except as limited in the letters of appointment. The authority of any guardian previously appointed by the court is suspended as long as a special guardian has authority. The appointment may be for a period of up to 90 days except that upon a finding of extraordinary circumstances set forth in its order the court may order an appointment for a longer period to a date certain. The court may for good cause shown extend the appointment for additional 90 day periods.

(c) The petitioner shall give written notice 7 days prior to any hearing for the appointment of a temporary guardian in hand to the person alleged to be incapacitated and by delivery or by mail to all persons named in the petition for appointment of guardian. A certificate that such notice has been given, setting forth the names and addresses of those to whom notice has been given, shall be prima facie evidence thereof.

(d) If the court determines that an immediate emergency situation exists which requires the immediate appointment of a temporary guardian, it may shorten or waive the notice requirements in whole or in part and grant the motion, provided, however, that prior notice shall be given to the person alleged to be incapacitated as the court may order and post appointment notice of any appointment is given to the person alleged to be incapacitated and those named in the petition for appointment of guardian stating further that any such person may move to vacate the order of the court or request that the court take any other appropriate action on the matter, and on said motion to vacate. The court shall hear said motion as a de novo matter, as expeditiously as possible. A certificate stating that such notice has been given shall be filed with the court within 7 days following the appointment. Upon failure to file such certificate the court may on its own motion vacate said order.

(e) In the event that any person to whom notice is required is of parts unknown, such notice shall be delivered or mailed to that person’s last known address, and the fact of such delivery or mailing shall be recited in the certificate of notice.

(f) Appointment of a temporary guardian, with or without notice, is not a final determination of a person’s incapacity.

(g) The court may remove a temporary guardian at any time. A temporary guardian shall make any report the court requires. In other respects the provisions of parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this article concerning guardians apply to temporary guardians.