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  Date of enactment: April 3, 2018
2017 Assembly Bill 629   Date of publication*: April 4, 2018
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes: Effective date of acts. “Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication."
2017 WISCONSIN ACT 187
An Act to repeal 54.34 (3) (a) to (j) and 54.38 (1m); to renumber and amend 54.34 (3) (intro.); to amend 54.30 (1), 54.34 (1) (intro.) and 54.44 (1) (c) 1.; and to create chapter 53 and 54.30 (4) of the statutes; relating to: uniform adult guardianship jurisdiction.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
187,1 Section 1. Chapter 53 of the statutes is created to read:
Chapter 53
uniform adult guardianship
jurisdiction
Subchapter I
General Provisions
53.01 Purpose; construction. This chapter applies to the process of determining jurisdiction over the person for the purpose of a guardianship proceeding or matter. The chapter is intended to supplement but not replace the procedure for petitioning for a guardianship under ch. 54 and for protective placement or services under ch. 55. The purpose of this chapter is to resolve potential conflicts regarding jurisdiction between states and to make uniform the laws with respect to this chapter among those states. To the extent there is a conflict in procedure between this chapter and the provisions of ch. 54 or 55, the procedures in ch. 54 or 55 supersede the conflicting provision of this chapter.
53.02 Definitions. In this chapter:
(1) “Abuse” has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (a).
(2) “Financial exploitation” has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (ed).
(3) “Guardian of the estate” means a person appointed by the court of any state to administer the property of an adult on the basis of a finding of incapacity or incompetence or on the basis of being found to be a spendthrift, including a person appointed guardian of the estate under s. 54.10 (2) or (3) and including a conservator appointed in another state where that term is used for a role similar to that of a guardian of the estate under s. 54.10 (2) or (3). “Guardian of the estate” does not include a person appointed voluntary conservator under s. 54.76 (2).
(4) “Guardian of the person" means a person appointed by the court to make decisions regarding the person of an adult, including a guardian of the person appointed under s. 54.10 (3).
(5) “Guardianship of the person order" means an order appointing a guardian of the person.
(6) “Guardianship of the person proceeding" means a judicial proceeding in which an order for the appointment of a guardian of the person is sought or has been issued.
(7) “Home state" means the state in which the respondent was physically present, including any period of temporary absence, for at least 6 consecutive months immediately before the filing of a petition for an order appointing a guardian of the estate or the appointment of a guardian of the person; or if none, the state in which the respondent was physically present, including any period of temporary absence, for at least 6 consecutive months ending within the 6 months prior to the filing of the petition.
(8) “Incapacity” has the meaning given in s. 54.01 (15).
(9) “Neglect” has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (f).
(10) “Party" means the respondent, petitioner, guardian of the person, guardian of the estate, interested person, as defined in s. 54.01 (17), or any other person allowed by the court to participate in a guardianship of the person proceeding or proceeding for the appointment of a guardian of the estate.
(11) “Person" has the meaning given in s. 990.01 (26).
(12) “Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
(13) “Residence” has the meaning given in s. 55.01 (6t).
(14) “Respondent" means an adult for whom an order appointing a guardian of the estate or the appointment of a guardian of the person is sought.
(15) “Self-neglect” has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (g).
(16) “Significant-connection state" means a state, other than the home state, with which a respondent has a significant connection other than mere physical presence considering the factors in s. 53.21.
(17) “State," notwithstanding s. 990.01 (40), means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, a federally recognized Indian tribe, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
53.03 International application. A court of this state may treat a foreign country as if it were a state for the purpose of applying this subchapter and subchs. II, III, and V.
53.04 Communication between courts. (1) A court of this state may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under this chapter. The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. Except as otherwise provided in sub. (2), the court shall make a record of the communication. The record may be limited to the fact that the communication occurred.
(2) Courts may communicate concerning schedules, calendars, court records, and other administrative matters without making a record.
53.05 Cooperation between courts. (1) In a guardianship of the person proceeding or proceeding for appointment of a guardian of the estate in this state, a court of this state may request the appropriate court of another state to do any of the following:
(a) Hold an evidentiary hearing.
(b) Order a person in that state to produce evidence or give testimony under procedures of that state.
(c) Order that an evaluation or assessment be made of the respondent.
(d) Order any appropriate investigation of a person involved in a proceeding.
(e) Forward to the court of this state a certified copy of the transcript or other record of a hearing under par. (a) or any other proceeding, any evidence otherwise produced under par. (b), and any evaluation or assessment prepared in compliance with an order under par. (c) or (d).
(f) Issue any order necessary to assure the appearance in the proceeding of a person whose presence is necessary for the court to make a determination, including the respondent or the individual subject to a guardianship of the person or of the estate.
(g) Issue an order authorizing the release of medical, financial, criminal, or other relevant information in that state, including protected health information as defined in 45 CFR 160.103.
(2) If a court of another state in which a guardianship of the person proceeding or proceeding to appoint a guardianship of the estate is pending requests assistance of the kind provided in sub. (1), a court of this state has jurisdiction for the limited purpose of granting the request or making reasonable efforts to comply with the request.
53.06 Taking testimony in another state. (1) In a guardianship of the person proceeding or proceeding for the appointment of a guardian of the estate, in addition to other procedures that may be available, testimony of a witness who is located in another state may be offered by deposition or other means allowable in this state for testimony taken in another state. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a witness be taken in another state and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is to be taken.
(2) In a guardianship of the person proceeding or proceeding for the appointment of a guardian of the estate, a court in this state may permit a witness located in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone or audiovisual or other electronic means. A court of this state shall cooperate with the court of the other state in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.
(3) Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court of this state by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the best evidence rule.
subchapter ii
jurisdiction
53.21 Significant-connection factors. In determining under ss. 53.23 and 53.31 whether a respondent has a significant connection with a particular state, the court shall consider all of the following:
(1) The location of and strength of connection to the respondent's family, other significant social connections, and service providers.
(2) The location of other persons required to be notified of the guardianship of the person proceeding or proceeding to appoint a guardian of the estate and the location of substantial evidence relating to the respondent.
(3) The length of time the respondent at any time was physically present in the state, past or current status as a resident, and the duration of any absence.
(4) The location of the resident's property.
(5) The extent to which the respondent has ties to the state, such as voting registration, state or local tax return filing, vehicle registration, driver's license, work, social relationship, and receipt of services.
53.22 Exclusive basis. This subchapter provides the exclusive basis for personal jurisdiction for a court of this state to appoint a guardian of the person or issue an order appointing a guardian of the estate for an adult.
53.23 Jurisdiction. A court of this state has personal jurisdiction to appoint a guardian of the person or issue an order appointing a guardian of the estate for a respondent if any of the following is satisfied:
(1) This state is the respondent's home state.
(2) On the date the petition is filed, this state is a significant-connection state and any of the following is satisfied:
(a) The respondent does not have a home state or a court of the respondent's home state has declined to exercise jurisdiction because this state is a more appropriate forum.
(b) The respondent has a home state, a petition for an appointment or order is not pending in a court of that state or another significant-connection state, and before the court makes the appointment or issues the order all of the following are satisfied:
1. A petition for an appointment or order is not filed in the respondent's home state.
2. An objection to the court's jurisdiction is not filed by a person required to be notified of the proceeding, or, if an objection has been made, the objector has not established that exercise of jurisdiction by the court would be contrary to the interests of the respondent.
3. The court in this state concludes that it is an appropriate forum under the factors set forth in s. 53.26.
(3) This state does not have jurisdiction under either sub. (1) or (2), the respondent's home state and all significant-connection states have declined to exercise jurisdiction because this state is the more appropriate forum, and jurisdiction in this state is consistent with the constitutions of this state and the United States.
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