8920. The probate referee, when designated by the court, shall be
among the persons appointed by the Controller to act as a probate
referee for the county. If there is no person available who is able
to act or if, pursuant to authority of Section 8922 or otherwise, the
court does not designate a person appointed for the county, the
court may designate a probate referee from another county.
8921. The court may designate a person requested by the personal
representative as probate referee, on a showing by the personal
representative of good cause for the designation. The following
circumstances are included within the meaning of good cause, as used
in this section:
(a) The probate referee has recently appraised the same property
that will be appraised in the administration proceeding.
(b) The probate referee will be making related appraisals in
(c) The probate referee has recently appraised similar property in
8922. The court has authority and discretion not to designate a
particular person as probate referee even though appointed by the
Controller to act as a probate referee for the county.
8923. The court may not designate as probate referee any of the
(a) The court clerk.
(b) A partner or employee of the judge or commissioner who orders
(c) The spouse of the judge or commissioner who orders the
(d) A person, or the spouse of a person, who is related within the
third degree either (1) to the judge or commissioner who orders the
designation or (2) to the spouse of the judge or commissioner who
orders the designation.
8924. (a) The court shall remove the designated probate referee in
any of the following circumstances:
(1) The personal representative shows cause, including
incompetence or undue delay in making the appraisal, that in the
opinion of the court warrants removal of the probate referee. The
showing shall be made at a hearing on petition of the personal
representative. The personal representative shall mail notice of the
hearing on the petition to the probate referee at least 15 days
before the date set for the hearing.
(2) The personal representative has the right to remove the first
probate referee who is designated by the court. No cause need be
shown for removal under this paragraph. The personal representative
may exercise the right at any time before the personal representative
delivers the inventory to the probate referee. The personal
representative shall exercise the right by filing an affidavit or
declaration under penalty of perjury with the court and mailing a
copy to the probate referee. Thereupon, the court shall remove the
probate referee without any further act or proof.
(3) Any other cause provided by statute.
(b) Upon removal of the probate referee, the court shall designate
another probate referee in the manner prescribed in Section 8920.