INFORMATION REGARDING THE UNIFORM GUARDIANSHIP ACT (UGA) FOR ODYSSEY AND SCOMIS USERS
The Uniform Guardianship Act (UGA) pertaining to minor custody is effective January 1, 2021 and impacts the Superior Courts. All new minor custody case filings previously entered as case type 3 Custody (CUS) shall be filed under the minor guardianship provisions of the UGA in Probate/ Guardianship (case type 4). Title 26.10 RCW (nonparental actions for child custody) has been repealed. See Chapter 11.130 RCW for more information.
There are two main tracks in Minor Guardianship: A Minor Guardianship Custody case or an Emergency Minor Guardianship case. Many people may need to file both to obtain the relief they need. When this happens, both case types should be linked or related.
1. CASE TYPES AND EVENTS:
- MGC Minor Guardianship Custody: Full and limited guardianship actions when no parent is willing and able to perform their parenting functions.
- PTAPMG Petition to Appointment a Minor Guardian
- ORAPMG Order Appointing Minor Guardianship
- ORAPLGM Order Appointing Minor Guardian Limited
- EMG Emergency Minor Guardianship: Action is brought when no person is willing or has authority to act on behalf of the minor in an emergent situation and may be brought to place the children with a guardian while the Minor Guardianship Custody case moves forward. An emergency guardianship will serve the purpose of temporary orders and are not to exceed 60 days, but can be extended.
- PTAPEMG Petition Appointing Emergency Minor Guardian
- ORAPEMG Order Appointing Emergency Minor Guardian
- SMG Standby Minor Guardianship: Unique case within the Minor Guardianship process where no parent is willing or able to perform their parenting functions within the next two years. These case types will need to be tracked separately from Minor Guardianship.
- PTAPSMG Petition to Appoint a Standby Minor Guardian
- ORAPSMG Order Appointing Standby Minor Guardian
- ORAPSLG Order Appointing Standby Minor Guardian Limited
NOTE: The existing Title 11 Minor Guardianship (MGD) cause code is a separate and distinct cause of action that will still be needed in 2021 to process what will become Minor Conservatorship in 2022 and should not be used for these minor custody causes of action.
2. CASE INITIATION:
Filing Fees. Prepayment of a filing fee shall not be required if the potential guardian is a relative. If no person is identified to be appointed guardian at the time of filing, then Petitioner has 14 days from filing the petition to provide a proposed individual to act as guardian. RCW 11.130.170
Parties. Parties and participants shall be non-well-identified (Non-WIP/Non-IN. Multiple minors can be on the same case provided they have the same mother and father. A separate action should be filed for any minor/sibling with a different mother or father.
Record checks. A background consult in JIS/JABS is required; however, no Confidential Information Form (CIF) is required. Department of Children and Youth Services (DCYS) are required to release information per 13.50.10 and the Petitioner is required to provide criminal background checks per 43.43 RCW. RCW 11.130.210
Court Visitor (CTV). This is a new type of court investigator to investigate the issues raised by a complaint or to take any emergency action the court deems necessary to protect the minor until a hearing can be held. An event code is available for this connection code: ORAPCV Order Approving Court Visitor RCW 11.130.195
Protection Orders. Request for protection order shall be filed as a separate civil protection action under 26.50 RCW and that case shall be linked to the Minor Guardianship Custody case. Anti-Harassment shall be filed under 10.14.RCW. Weapons surrender may also apply under 9.41.800 RCW. RCW 11.130.257(3)
Active Orders (26.10 RCW). Active orders under 26.10 RCW entered prior to 1/1/21 shall remain in effect and do not need to be reissued in a new order. Any request for modification of CUS orders after 1/1/21 shall require filing of a new Minor Guardianship Custody cause of action. 26.10 RCW is repealed with the exception of 16.10.115 RCW regarding temporary orders of support, restraining orders, domestic violence orders or anti-harassment orders, including preservation of any support debt. RCW 11.130.245
Out of State Custody (OSC). These actions will continue to be filed as case type 3. Chapter 26.27 RCW, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act still applies.
3. FORMS AND REPORTS:
Washington State Pattern forms for Minor Guardianship Custody are available at: Minor Guardianship Forms
Updated case cover sheet forms are available at Court Forms: Court Cover Sheet
Updates to the Superior Court Statistical Reporting Manual are pending.
RN id: 2544