Free INSTRUCTIONS - Colorado


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INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPOINTMENT OF A GUARDIAN - MINOR
These standard instructions are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice about your case. If you choose to represent yourself, you are bound by the same rules and procedures as you would be if you were an attorney.

GENERAL INFORMATION
The minor child must be a resident or be present at the time of the commencement of the proceeding in the county in which you are filing the petition pursuant to 15-14-108, C.R.S. The minor or a person interested in the welfare of the minor may file the case. A name-based criminal history record check from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a current credit report of the proposed guardian must be filed with the Court. If the minor has income such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or a significant income or assets you may have to file for conservatorship in order to manage their money. The Court may appoint a Guardian for a minor, if the Court finds the appointment to be in the best interest of the minor and one of the four statements below applies. 1. The parents consent. 2. The parents' parental rights have been terminated. 3. The parents are unwilling or unable to exercise their parental rights, 15-14-204(1) & (2), C.R.S. 4. Guardianship of a child has previously been granted to a third party and the third party has subsequently died or become incapacitated and the guardian has not made an appointment of a guardian either by will or written instrument. For additional information, please review 15-14-201, et.seq, C.R.S. If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to access the courts, please contact your local ADA Coordinator. Contact information can be obtained from the following website: http://www.courts.state.co.us/chs/court/ada/coordinators.htm

COMMON TERMS
Petitioner: Guardian: Interested Person: Letters: Minor: Guardian Nominee: Ward: Order: A person who files a Petition for the Appointment of a Guardian. A person at least 21 years of age, resident or non-resident, who has qualified as a guardian of a minor based on an appointment by the Court. Persons identified by Colorado Law who must be given notice of a court proceeding. See Step 3 for a complete list. Formal notice identifying the authority of the Guardian. An unemancipated person who is under the age of 18. A person named in the petition to serve as the Guardian. A minor for whom a Guardian has been appointed. Official document identifying the authority of the Guardian and his/her responsibilities during the Guardianship.

If you do not understand this information, please contact an attorney.

FEES
The filing fee is $164.00. If you have a family situation that requires you to file a guardianship for more than one child, only one filing fee is required, if the Petitions are filed on the same day. If you are unable to pay, you must complete the Motion to File without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit (JDF 205) and submit it to the Court. Once you submit the completed JDF 205 form and a blank Order (JDF 206), the Court will decide whether you need to pay the filing fee.

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Other fees that a party to the case may encounter are as follows: Certification of Orders and Letters $20.00 Service Fees Varies Copy of Documents .75 per page The Court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to investigate and report back to the Court, for the purpose of determining if the Guardianship is in the best interest of the minor. If the Court appoints a GAL, the Petitioner or the minor may be required to pay the hourly fee of the GAL.

FORMS
To access a form online go to www.courts.state.co.us and click on the "Self-Help Center". The packet/forms are available in PDF or WORD by selecting Probate (Guardianship Minor). You may complete a form online or you may print it and type or print legibly in black ink. Read these instructions carefully to determine what forms you may need, as you may need all or some of the listed forms. Check with the Court where you plan to file your case to determine if they have any special requirements. JDF 714 JDF 716 JDF 719 JDF 721 JDF 805 JDF 806 JDF 807 JDF 824 JDF 825 JDF 826 JDF 830 JDF 834 Affidavit Regarding Due Diligence and Proof of Publication Notice of Hearing by Publication Waiver of Notice Irrevocable Power of Attorney Acceptance of Office Notice of Hearing to Interested Persons Notice of Hearing to Respondent/Minor Petition for Appointment of Guardian for Minor Verified Consent of Parent Verified Consent or Nomination of Minor Letters of Guardianship - Minor Guardian's Report - Minor

STEPS TO FILING YOUR CASE
Step 1: Complete Forms.
Selecting these instructions indicates that you are planning on filing for a Guardianship for a Minor. If you have a family situation that requires you to file a guardianship for more than one child you will be required to prepare the appropriate forms for each child. Each child will have his or her own case for confidentiality purposes. The $149.00 filing fee is per Petitioner(s) seeking the guardianship(s) and not per case. The Petitions must be filed on the same day. The caption below needs to be completed on all forms filed. Make sure that you make a copy for your own records of all of the forms you file with the Court.
District Court Denver Probate Court __________________________________ County, Colorado Court Address: In the Interests of: Minor Attorney or Party Without Attorney (Name and Address): Phone Number: FAX Number: Email: Atty. Reg. #: NAME OF FORM



COURT USE ONLY



Case Number: Division: Courtroom:

Petition for Appointment of Guardian for Minor (JDF 824). The Petitioner must complete all applicable sections on the form.

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If the child's father is not known (no name appears on the birth certificate), then a copy of the birth certificate of the child should be attached to the Petition. If the parental rights have been terminated or the parents are deceased, copies of the termination papers or the death certificates should be attached to the Petition. This form must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public. Acceptance of Office (JDF 805). Complete all applicable sections on the form and attach the name-based criminal history check and current credit report for the proposed guardian. Attach a legible copy of the proposed guardian's driver's license, passport or other government-issued identification. Obtain and attach a name-based criminal history record check for the proposed guardian from Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). To obtain a name-based criminal history check, contact CBI at 690 Kipling Street Denver, CO 80215, (303) 239-4300, or at www.cbi.state.co.us and click on CBI Records Check. Obtain a current credit report of the nominee. Below are a few credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Inc., P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374, 1-800-685-1111, or at www.equifax.com Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, 1-888-397-3742, or at www.experian.com TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022, 1-800-916-8800, or at www.transunion.com Redact "strike-out" all social security numbers identified on the credit report. If account numbers are identified, only reflect the last 4 numbers of bank, credit card accounts, etc. 15-14-110, C.R.S., requires that the costs for all criminal history checks and credit reports be paid by the proposed guardian. This Acceptance of Office must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public. Waiver of Notice (JDF 719). This form can be completed by any interested person if they wish to waive notice of any hearings or matters before the Court. This form cannot be completed by the Minor. See Notice requirements in Step 4. This form must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public. Irrevocable Power of Attorney (JDF 721). This form must be completed only if the proposed guardian lives out of state. The nominated guardian must complete this form and have it signed before a Notary Public. Verified Consent or Nomination of Minor (JDF 826) The minor who is the subject of the appointment and is 12 years of age or older has the right to consent or refuse to consent to an appointment of a guardian. JDF 826 can be completed by the minor to identify his/her consent or refusal to the appointment. This form must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public. Verified Consent of Parent (JDF 825). A parent who is an interested person can consent to the appointment by completing JDF 825. This form must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public. Letters of Guardianship - Minor (JDF 830). Only complete the caption on the form. The Court will complete the remainder of the form and sign it following the appointment of the Guardian.

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Step 2:

You are Ready to File your Papers with the Court.

Provide the Court with the documents completed as described in Step 1 above and pay the filing fee of $164.00. You may receive a hearing date from the clerk at the time of filing. The date and time of this hearing is important, as you will need to complete the Notice of Hearing or publication forms described in Step 3 and Step 4.

Step 3:

Notice to Parents and Other Interested Persons, if any. (By Mail or Publication) You may need several copies of documents filed with the Court, depending on the number of interested persons you plan to notify of the proposed guardianship. Check the list below to determine the "interested persons" including but not limited to the following that are applicable to your circumstances.
1. Any person alleged to have had the primary care and custody of the minor 60 days before the filing of the Petition, 2. Each living parent of the minor or, if there is none, the adult nearest in kinship that can be found, 3. Any person nominated as Guardian by the minor if the minor has attained 12 years of age, 4. Any appointee of a parent whose appointment has not been prevented or terminated, 15-14-203, C.R.S. 5. Any Guardian or Conservator currently acting for the minor in this state or elsewhere.

Service by Mail.
If you know the addresses of the parents and interested persons, fill out the Notice of Hearing to Interested Persons (JDF 806). If the parents are not the Petitioners, both the biological mother and father of the minor are required to have notice of the upcoming hearing. Further, all interested persons are required to have notice of the upcoming hearing. Mail copies of all documents (including the Petition for Guardianship) filed with the Court and the completed Notice of Hearing to Interested Persons (JDF 806) at least ten business days before the hearing and allow three extra days for mailing. Complete the Certificate of Service portion on the form, listing the names and addresses of all interested persons to whom you sent the notice and the date you sent it and file it with the Court at or before your hearing. If the address of either parent or any interested person is unknown, you must publish the notice of the hearing in the newspaper. See Service by Publication below.

Service by Publication.
If you do not have the correct address for the parents or the identity of any interested person is not known and cannot be ascertained with reasonable due diligence, you may need to use this method of service. Before you serve by publication, you may wish to search on the Internet, contact prior employers, friends, etc. to locate a current address. Notice of Hearing by Publication (JDF 716). Complete this form and have it published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the hearing is to be held. The notice shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks, with the last date of the publication being at least ten days before the date of the hearing. The Petitioner must request an affidavit from the newspaper after publication is completed. This affidavit of publication, prepared by the newspaper, will serve as proof that the Notice of Hearing by Publication (JDF 716) was published. This affidavit must be filed with the Court. Attach to JDF 714. Affidavit Regarding Due Diligence and Proof of Publication (JDF 714). Complete all sections of this form. The purpose of this form is to identify to the Court your efforts to locate the individuals listed in the Notice of Hearing by Publication (JDF 716). This form must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public.

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Step 4:

Notice of Hearing to Minor with Personal Service Affidavit.

This only applies when the minor is 12 or older. You must personally serve the minor at least ten business days prior to the hearing. Helpful Hints to complete personal service: Select the Sheriff's Department, a private process server, or someone you know who is 18 years or older, who is not involved in the case, and who knows the rules of service. Take a copy of the Notice (JDF 807) and copies of all documents filed with the Court and request that the sheriff, private process server, or person serving the documents to personally deliver the documents to the person indicated in the Notice. Request the sheriff, private process server, or person serving the documents to return the completed Personal Service Affidavit to the Petitioner. The Petitioner should then file the original Notice of Hearing to Respondent/Minor with Personal Service Affidavit (JDF 807) together with the Clerk of the Court.

Step 5:

Hearing.

The Petitioner must appear at the hearing and should be prepared to present evidence as to why the Guardianship is in the child's best interests. Be prepared to present evidence to show that the parents are aware of the proceedings and that they consent to the Guardianship. If the Petitioner cannot prove that the parents consent to the Guardianship then he/she must be prepared to present evidence that the parents are either unwilling or unable to take care of the child. If the minor is 12 years of age or older he/she should appear at the hearing to present his/her issues with the appointment of a guardian. If the minor can not attend the hearing for medical or other reasons, the Petitioner must file a Motion to Excuse the minor and attach appropriate documentation to support the motion, such as a physician's letter. If you are appointed, the Court will issue Letters (JDF 830) as a formal notice of the appointment and provide you with a copy of the Order Appointing Guardian. You may need certified copies of Letters and Order that will vary depending on your circumstances. The Court will mail/e-file the Order to the Petitioner(s) and/or Attorneys. Copies of the Order must be provided to all interested persons identified in the Order.

Step 6:

Requirements after the Court Appoints a Guardian.

Refer to the Order Appointing Guardian for a Minor to determine if/when the annual report is due. The purpose of the annual report is to report to the Court and interested persons as to the well being of the minor. The Guardian's Report must be provided to the persons listed in the Order of Appointment. The Minor may not move outside the State of Colorado without an Order from the Court.

The responsibilities of the guardian terminate upon the death, resignation, or removal of the guardian or upon the minor's death, adoption, marriage, or attainment of majority. Resignation of a guardian does not terminate the guardianship until approved by the Court.

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