The Role of the Court Visitor in Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings in Minnesota

What is a Court Visitor? A Court Visitor is an individual appointed by the Court to serve notice upon the Respondent and make a report to the Court about the Respondent’s condition and the appropriateness of the relief requested in the Petition.

What is the statutory authority for a Court Visitor?  Minn. Stat. 524.5-304 (guardianships) and Minn. Stat. 524.5-406 (conservatorships) governs the role and authority of the Court Visitor. 

What does a Court Visitor do?  The Court Visitor, once appointed by the Court, contacts the Respondent and schedules a time to meet with the Respondent.  When the Court Visitor meets with the Respondent, he or she personally serves the Respondent with a copy of the Notice of Hearing and Rights and the Petition.  The Court Visitor will ask the Respondent whether he/she would like the Notice and Petition read out loud. If requested, the Court Visitor will then read the entire Notice/Petition to the Respondent.

What is contained in the Court Visitor’s report?  The Court Visitor completes a report that is then filed with the Court (and provided to Petitioner’s attorney), providing the Court with information about: the Respondent’s appearance, the Respondent’s ability to answer basic questions, the Respondent’s position on the petition, whether the Respondent wants an attorney appointed, and whether and to what extent the Court Visitor believes a guardianship or conservatorship is appropriate.

Who are the Court Visitors?  Each county is different.  However, in general the Court Visitor is an individual from the county human services.

What role does the Court Visitor’s Report have in the proceedings?  It is considered by the Court in determining the appropriateness of the guardianship or conservatorship. 

If you have questions about guardianships or conservatorships, please contact Cindi Matt at Matt Legal Services.

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