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H.B. 355 Enrolled





Chief Sponsor: Stephen E. Sandstrom

Senate Sponsor: John L. Valentine

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends the Utah Uniform Probate Code as it relates to guardianship of
             10      minors.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    requires attorney fees to be paid in certain circumstances; and
             14          .    makes technical changes.
             15      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             16          None
             17      Other Special Clauses:
             18          None
             19      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             20      AMENDS:
             21          75-5-206, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1995, Chapter 156
             23      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             24          Section 1. Section 75-5-206 is amended to read:
             25           75-5-206. Court appointment of guardian of minor -- Qualifications -- Priority
             26      of minor's nominee.
             27          (1) (a) The court may appoint as guardian any person whose appointment would be in
             28      the best interests of the minor.
             29          (b) In determining the minor's best interests, the court may consider the minor's

             30      physical, mental, moral, and emotional health needs.
             31          (2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), the court shall appoint a person nominated
             32      by the minor, if the minor is 14 years of age or older, unless the court finds the appointment
             33      contrary to the best interests of the minor.
             34          (3) The court may deny the appointment of a guardian for a minor of school age if it
             35      finds that:
             36          (a) if the minor is older than 11 years of age:
             37          (i) the minor has not secured a certificate from the local police authority in the
             38      jurisdiction where the minor has lived during the past two years stating that there have been no
             39      criminal charges filed against the minor and the minor is not the subject of a criminal
             40      investigation in that jurisdiction and given a copy of the certificate to the superintendent of the
             41      school district in which the minor would attend school in Utah; or
             42          (ii) a release has not been given by or on behalf of the minor to the superintendent of
             43      the school district in which the minor would attend school in Utah within a reasonable time
             44      prior to the guardianship hearing, allowing the superintendent full access to all criminal
             45      records of the minor in those jurisdictions outside the state where the minor has resided during
             46      the previous two years, which release remains part of the minor's school records together with
             47      verification of residence for the previous two years, except that information disclosed in the
             48      criminal records may not be made a part of the minor's school record;
             49          (b) the school district has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the primary
             50      purpose for the guardianship is to avoid the payment of tuition, which a school district may
             51      assess against a nonresident for attendance at a Utah public school; or
             52          (c) after consideration of relevant evidence, including any presented by the school
             53      district in which the petitioner resides, the minor's behavior indicates an ongoing
             54      unwillingness to abide by applicable law or school rules.
             55          (4) If a school district files an objection for reasons described in Subsection (3)(b), and
             56      the court does not find in favor of the school district, the court may award the petitioner
             57      attorney fees and costs if the court finds that the school district's arguments lack a reasonable

             58      basis in law or fact.

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