PA 10-34—sHB 5406

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE COURTS OF PROBATE

SUMMARY: This act:

1. allows the probate court administrator to make, and requires him to enforce, regulations governing record maintenance and eliminates the requirement that he follow Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA) rules in regulating some other areas, and

2. allows towns assigned to the same probate district to agree on how to share costs associated with court operations.

It also allows probate judges to conduct business in any location in Connecticut to facilitate a party's attendance. Prior law limited their jurisdiction to towns in their districts.

The act also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010, except conforming provisions concerning insurance and definitions are effective January 5, 2011.

PROBATE COURT REGULATIONS

The act allows the probate court administrator to adopt regulations governing records retention. He must regularly review the procedures. The act follows existing law regarding submission of proposed regulations to the executive committee of the Probate Court Assembly and the Judiciary Committee for approval.

The act eliminates the requirement that the probate court administrator's proposed regulations concerning the availability of judges, court facilities, personnel, records, and telephone services be adopted in conformity with the UAPA. Among other things, this change permits probate regulations to be enacted without public hearings or approval by the legislature's Regulations Review Committee.

MULTI-TOWN DISTRICT COST-SHARING

The act allows towns in the same probate district to agree on how they will pay the district's expenses, including costs associated with providing suitable court facilities, records, and supplies. If they cannot agree, financial responsibilities will be allocated in proportion to their most recent grand lists. Prior law did not permit cost sharing agreements.

If a town fails to contribute, existing law requires the probate court administrator to submit a report to the Judiciary Committee; previously the report could include a recommendation that the non-contributing probate district be merged with a neighboring district. The act eliminates this authority. By law, the administrator can file a Superior Court action to enforce the requirements for provision of suitable court facilities.

BACKGROUND

Related Acts

PA 10-41 makes a number of changes in probate court operations.

PA 10-121 adds Union to the probate district containing Enfield, Somers and Strafford.

PA 10-184 changes the formula for calculating fees.

OLR Tracking: SP: SC: PF: ts