Code of the District of Columbia

§ 21–2045.01. Mandatory court review of guardianships.

(a)(1) Within the 3-year period after the appointment of a guardian and within every 3- year period thereafter in which a guardian remains appointed, the court shall appoint a case reviewer, who shall be a social worker licensed in the District of Columbia, to investigate the continued need for the guardian.

(2) Within 6 months after the case reviewer’s appointment, the case reviewer shall submit to the court a report containing the results of the case reviewer’s investigation.

(b) The case reviewer may be assisted in his or her investigation by a team of students enrolled in a master of social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, but the case reviewer must supervise the students and submit the final report to the court.

(c) The case reviewer’s report submitted pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section shall include:

(1) An updated medical or psychological report or statement by a licensed professional that addresses the current capacity of the ward;

(2) A statement setting forth the ward’s expressed preferences regarding the continued scope and duration of ward’s guardianship, including his or her preference with respect to whether a replacement guardian should be appointed. If the ward is unable or unwilling to express his or her preferences, the case reviewer shall note that the ward is unable or unwilling to do so;

(3) Any statements made by a ward or any other interested party requesting continuation, modification, or termination of the ward’s guardianship; and

(4) The case reviewer’s opinion as to whether the operative guardianship order is the least restrictive guardianship order that is appropriate for the ward and the bases for that opinion.

(d) No more than 10 days after the case reviewer’s submission of the report to the court pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section, and at least 30 days before any court hearing ordered pursuant to subsection (e)(2) of this section, a copy of the report shall be:

(1) Served personally on the ward; and

(2) Delivered to the guardian; and

(3) Delivered to all interested parties and persons who have filed a request for notice under § 21-2034; and

(4) Accompanied by a written statement that advises the recipient that he or she may submit written objections to the report and its recommendations, and may petition the court at any time to modify or terminate the guardianship.

(e) No more than 90 days after submission of the case reviewer’s report to the court pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section, the court shall:

(1) Review the case reviewer’s report and any objection filed;

(2) Hold a hearing if the ward requests a hearing, the case reviewer recommends modification or termination of the guardianship or removal of the guardian, or the court determines that a hearing is otherwise appropriate; and

(3) Based upon the record, determine whether the guardianship continues to be the least restrictive to the ward in duration and scope, taking into account factors including the ward’s current mental and adaptive limitations, the ward’s ability to improve his or her condition, or any other consideration relevant to the appointment of a guardian under § 21-2044(a), and determine whether the guardianship should be continued in its present form, be modified, or be terminated.

(f) Nothing in this section shall limit the power of the court to terminate a guardianship pursuant to § 21-2049.

(g) Nothing in this section shall prevent the ward or other interested parties from requesting a hearing at any time or appealing court orders as otherwise permitted by law.

(h) This section shall apply to all guardianships in which a guardian is appointed on or after January 1, 2015.