Jurisdiction in Minnesota Guardianship Proceedings

In order for the Court to have jurisdiction over an individual for guardianship proceedings, the individual must be served with a copy of the Petition for Guardianship.  See Minn. Stat. 524.5-308. This is typically served on the individual by the Court Visitor, who meets with the individual and reads (or summarizes) the petition to him/her and then reports back to the court on the status of the individual and whether he or she appears to be in need of a guardian.  There are instances where a Court Visitor does not or cannot meet with the individual prior to the guardianship hearing (for a variety of reasons, including: oversight by the Court in failing to appoint a visitor, the individual refusing to meet with the visitor, the individual being out of town or it being unsafe for the visitor to meet the person, to name just a few).  If the Court Visitor is unable to meet with the individual and personally serve him/her with a copy of the petition, then it’s up to the petitioner to make sure that the respondent is personally served with a copy of the petition (and that an affidavit of service is then filed with the court).

Annual Reporting in Minnesota Guardianship

A guardian has a duty and responsibility to report to the Court annually (on the anniversary of the guardianship – which coincides with the issue date of the Letters of Guardianship) on the condition and well being of the person under guardianship.  Minn. Stat. 524.5-316 addresses the contents of the annual personal well being report.  It is a pretty basic report, meant to summarize for the Court both the current condition of the person under guardianship, as well as what has transpired with that person over the last year.  The guardian discloses the condition of the ward (mentally, physically and socially), the living situation, whether any restrictions have been placed on the person’s right to communicate/visit with people of his/her choosing, an opinion on the adequacy of care the person has received, whether continued guardianship is necessary and whether the guardian has been reimbursed for any services to the ward (that were not reimbursed by county contract).  The guardian needs to take the completion of this report seriously and get it filed with the Court and served on the person under guardianship and interested persons, within 60 days of the anniversary date.  If it isn’t filed on time, the Court will call the guardian back in to court to explain why it hasn’t been filed.