1452. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this division,
there is no right to trial by jury in proceedings under this
1453. A motion for a new trial may be made only in cases in which,
under the provisions of this division, a right to jury trial is
expressly granted, whether or not the case was tried by a jury.
1454. (a) The court shall appoint a court investigator when one is
required for the purposes of a proceeding under this division. The
person appointed as the court investigator shall be an officer or
special appointee of the court with no personal or other beneficial
interest in the proceeding.
(b) The person appointed as the court investigator shall have the
(1) The training or experience, or both, necessary (i) to make the
investigations required under this division, (ii) to communicate
with, assess, and deal with persons who are or may be the subject of
proceedings under this division, and (iii) to perform the other
duties required of a court investigator.
(2) A demonstrated sufficient knowledge of law so as to be able to
inform conservatees and proposed conservatees of the nature and
effect of a conservatorship proceeding and of their rights, to answer
their questions, and to inform conservators concerning their powers
1455. Any petition for instructions or to grant a guardian or a
conservator any power or authority under this division, which may be
filed by a guardian or conservator, may also be filed by a person who
petitions for the appointment of a guardian or conservator.
1456. (a) In addition to any other requirements that are part of
the judicial branch education program, on or before January 1, 2008,
the Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court that shall do all of
(1) Specifies the qualifications of a court-employed staff
attorney, examiner, and investigator, and any attorney appointed
pursuant to Sections 1470 and 1471.
(2) Specifies the number of hours of education in classes related
to conservatorships or guardianships that a judge who is regularly
assigned to hear probate matters shall complete, upon assuming the
probate assignment, and then over a three-year period on an ongoing
(3) Specifies the number of hours of education in classes related
to conservatorships or guardianships that a court-employed staff
attorney, examiner, and investigator, and any attorney appointed
pursuant to Sections 1470 and 1471 shall complete each year.
(4) Specifies the particular subject matter that shall be included
in the education required each year.
(5) Specifies reporting requirements to ensure compliance with
(b) In formulating the rule required by this section, the Judicial
Council shall consult with interested parties, including, but not
limited to, the California Judges Association, the California
Association of Superior Court Investigators, the California Public
Defenders Association, the County Counsels' Association of
California, the State Bar of California, the National Guardianship
Association, the Professional Fiduciary Association of California,
the California Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians
and Public Conservators, a disability rights organization, and the
Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.
1456.2. On or before January 1, 2010, the public conservator shall
comply with the continuing education requirements that are
established by the California State Association of Public
Administrators, Public Guardians, and Public Conservators.
1456.5. Each court shall ensure compliance with the requirements of
filing the inventory and appraisal and the accountings required by
this division. Courts may comply with this section in either of the
(a) By placing on the court's calendar, at the time of the
appointment of the guardian or conservator and at the time of
approval of each accounting, a future hearing date to enable the
court to confirm timely compliance with these requirements.
(b) By establishing and maintaining internal procedures to
generate an order for appearance and consideration of appropriate
sanctions or other actions if the guardian or conservator fails to
comply with the requirements of this section.
1457. In order to assist relatives and friends who may seek
appointment as a nonprofessional conservator or guardian the Judicial
Council shall, on or before January 1, 2008, develop a short
educational program of no more than three hours that is user-friendly
and shall make that program available free of charge to each
proposed conservator and guardian and each court-appointed
conservator and guardian who is not required to be licensed as a
professional conservator or guardian pursuant to Chapter 6
(commencing with Section 6500) of Division 3 of the Business and
Professions Code. The program may be available by video presentation
or Internet access.
1459. (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) There is no resource that is more vital to the continued
existence and integrity of recognized Indian tribes than their
children, and the State of California has an interest in protecting
Indian children who are members of, or are eligible for membership
in, an Indian tribe. The state is committed to protecting the
essential tribal relations and best interest of an Indian child by
promoting practices, in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act
(25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.) and other applicable law, designed to
prevent the child's involuntary out-of-home placement and, whenever
such placement is necessary or ordered, by placing the child,
whenever possible, in a placement that reflects the unique values of
the child's tribal culture and is best able to assist the child in
establishing, developing, and maintaining a political, cultural, and
social relationship with the child's tribe and tribal community.
(2) It is in the interest of an Indian child that the child's
membership in the child's Indian tribe and connection to the tribal
community be encouraged and protected, regardless of whether or not
the child is in the physical custody of an Indian parent or Indian
custodian at the commencement of a child custody proceeding, the
parental rights of the child's parents have been terminated, or where
the child has resided or been domiciled.
(b) In all Indian child custody proceedings, as defined in the
federal Indian Child Welfare Act, the court shall consider all of the
findings contained in subdivision (a), strive to promote the
stability and security of Indian tribes and families, comply with the
federal Indian Child Welfare Act, and seek to protect the best
interest of the child. Whenever an Indian child is removed from a
foster care home or institution, guardianship, or adoptive placement
for the purpose of further foster care, guardianship, or adoptive
placement, placement of the child shall be in accordance with the
Indian Child Welfare Act.
(c) A determination by an Indian tribe that an unmarried person,
who is under the age of 18 years, is either (1) a member of an Indian
tribe or (2) eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and a
biological child of a member of an Indian tribe shall constitute a
significant political affiliation with the tribe and shall require
the application of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act to the
(d) In any case in which this code or other applicable state or
federal law provides a higher standard of protection to the rights of
the parent or Indian custodian of an Indian child, or the Indian
child's tribe, than the rights provided under the Indian Child
Welfare Act, the court shall apply the higher state or federal
(e) Any Indian child, the Indian child's tribe, or the parent or
Indian custodian from whose custody the child has been removed, may
petition the court to invalidate an action in an Indian child custody
proceeding for foster care or guardianship placement or termination
of parental rights if the action violated Sections 1911, 1912, and
1913 of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
1459.5. (a) The Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et
seq.) shall apply to the following guardianship or conservatorship
proceedings under this division when the proposed ward or conservatee
is an Indian child:
(1) In any case in which the petition is a petition for
guardianship of the person and the proposed guardian is not the
natural parent or Indian custodian of the proposed ward, unless the
proposed guardian has been nominated by the natural parents pursuant
to Section 1500 and the parents retain the right to have custody of
the child returned to them upon demand.
(2) To a proceeding to have an Indian child declared free from the
custody and control of one or both parents brought in a guardianship
(3) In any case in which the petition is a petition for
conservatorship of the person of a minor whose marriage has been
dissolved, the proposed conservator is seeking physical custody of
the minor, the proposed conservator is not the natural parent or
Indian custodian of the proposed conservatee and the natural parent
or Indian custodian does not retain the right to have custody of the
child returned to them upon demand.
(b) When the Indian Child Welfare Act applies to a proceeding
under this division, the court shall apply Sections 224.3 to 224.6,
inclusive, and Sections 305.5, 361.31, and 361.7 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code, and the following rules from the California Rules
of Court, as they read on January 1, 2005:
(1) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Rule 1410.
(2) Subdivision (i) of Rule 1412.
(c) In the provisions cited in subdivision (b), references to
social workers, probation officers, county welfare department, or
probation department shall be construed as meaning the party seeking
a foster care placement, guardianship, or adoption.