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Relating to guardianships, alternatives to guardianship, and supports and services for incapacitated persons.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 1783, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($80,000) through the biennium ending August 31, 2021.
The Office of Court Administration is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the Office of Court Administration may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of
funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
SB 1783 would require a court, on hearing an application or motion for transfer of guardianship to another county, if it appears that transfer of the guardianship is in the best interests of the ward, and either the ward has resided in the county to which the guardianship is to be transferred for at least six months or good cause is not otherwise shown to deny the transfer, to enter an order to transfer. In making the determination that the transfer is in the best interests of the ward, the court may consider the interests of justice, the convenience of the parties, and the preference of the ward (if the ward is 12 years of age or older). The receiving county would be required to accept the transfer of the guardianship.
This bill would also authorize the court, on the written agreement of the parties or on the court's own motion, to refer a contested guardianship proceeding to mediation. All parties to the proceeding would be required to evaluate during mediation alternatives to guardianship and supports and services available to the proposed ward. The court would be able to decline to enter judgment on a mediated settlement agreement if the court finds that the agreement is not in the ward's or proposed ward's best interests.
Finally, this bill would allow a court to terminate the guardianship of a person on finding that the ward's incapacity needs can be managed without the guardianship.
Texas Action supports SB 1783 because it promotes individual liberty. This bill would help protect and secure a ward's liberty by providing a statutory pathway for termination of a guardianship based on a finding that a less restrictive, alternative service will meet the person's needs without continued court involvement.