Minnesota Guardianships: The Role of a Court Visitor

When a petition for guardianship and/or conservatorship is filed in Minnesota, the usually appoints a Court Visitor. The Court Visitor is an agent of the Court, whose purpose is to serve the petition on the respondent (the person over whom guardianship or conservatorship is sought) and to meet with respondent to explain the petition and find out the respondent’s thoughts on whether a guardian or conservator is needed. The Court Visitor then issues a report, which is filed with the Court and provided to the petitioner’s attorney, which summarizes the meeting with the respondent.

Typically the Court Visitor wants to meet with the respondent alone. However, the petitioner or someone else may be present if the respondent agrees its ok and if they don’t interfere with the Court Visitor’s work. The Visitor will usually note their appearance in the report.

If the respondent wants the petition read to him/her, the Visitor will do so. Otherwise the Visitor will summarize the petition for the respondent.

The Court Visitor will usually describe the condition of the home where the meeting took place, as well as describe the general demeanor and appearance of the respondent. The Court Visitor will usually make note of any concerns or questions that the respondent raises about the guardianship proceedings during their visit.

The authority for the Court Visitor is provided in Minnesota Statute 524.5-304.