Mental Health · Private Conservatorship

When contacting the Court regarding your case, always have the case number and conservatee’s name available. This will make all your contacts easier and more efficient.

THE CONSERVATORSHIP IS ESTABLISHED FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR. BY LAW IT WILL TERMINATE IF YOU DO NOT FILE FOR REAPPOINTMENT. If the conservatorship is terminated, it cannot be reinstated. To re-establish a terminated conservatorship, you will need to start over from the beginning.

Private Conservatorship


Reappointment
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You must file for re-appointment before the termination date. The Court will send a notice of termination to the conservator, conservatee, conservatee’s placement and conservatee’s attorney. It is extremely important that you keep the Court informed of any address changes for you or the conservatee. Failure to receive notice from the Court does not stop the conservatorship from terminating and is not a reason for the Court to overrule the termination. You should file for re-appointment 30 days prior to the termination date of the conservatorship (see Reappointment Packet). You must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for any documents which you need returned to you.


Conservatee's Attorney
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Every conservatee is represented by an attorney. In most cases the conservatee is represented by the Public Defender’s Office. You can reach the Public Defender’s Office by telephone at (323) 226-2932 or (323) 226-2955. The office is located on the 2nd Floor of the Mental Health Courthouse. Note: at the time you were appointed you were given a “Conservator’s Information Sheet” with the name of the Deputy Public Defender representing the conservatee checked.


Conservator's Attorney
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In most cases the conservator is not represented by an attorney and this is referred to as being “In Pro Per.” During the conservatorship, circumstances may arise in which you may need an attorney’s assistance. If you can not afford to hire an attorney, contact the Court for assistance.


Change of Address
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You must inform the Court within 10 days of any change in address of the conservator or conservatee. You should also notify the conservatee’s attorney of any change of addresses.


During the Conservatorship, Contact the Court for Assistance if:
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  • The conservatee needs invasive medical treatment.

  • The conservatee needs dental treatment

  • The conservatee needs electro convulsive shock treatment (ECT)

  • The conservatee wishes to participate in an experimental treatment

Contact the judicial assistant in the Department where the conservatorship was established - Dept 95A, (323) 226 2929 or Dept 95B, (323) 226 2924.


Conservatee Leaving a Facility Without Approval
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Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5358.5:
When any conservatee placed into a facility pursuant to this chapter leaves the facility without the approval of the conservator or the person in charge of the facility, or when the conservator appointed pursuant to this chapter deems it necessary to remove his conservatee to the county designated treatment facility, the conservator may take the conservatee into custody and return him to the facility or remove him to the county designated treatment facility. A conservator, at his discretion, may request a peace officer to detain the conservatee and return such person to the facility in which he was placed or to transfer such person to the county designated treatment facility, pursuant to Section 7325 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Such request (see Conservator Requesting Peace Officer Assistance) shall be in writing and accompanied by a certified copy of the letters of conservatorship showing the person requesting detention and transfer to be the conservator appointed pursuant to this chapter as conservator of the person sought to be detained. Either the conservator or his assistant or deputy may request detention under this section. Whenever possible, persons charged with apprehension of persons pursuant to this section shall dress in plain clothes and shall travel in unmarked vehicles.

Welfare and Institutions Code Section 7325:
(a) When any patient committed by a court to a state hospital or other institution on or before June 30, 1969, or when any patient who is judicially committed on or after July 1, 1969, or when any patient who is involuntarily detained pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5 escapes from any state hospital, any hospital or facility operated by or under the Veterans' Administration of the United States government, or any facility designated by a county pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5, or any facility into which the patient has been placed by his or her conservator appointed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5350) of Part 1 of Division 5, or when a judicially committed patient's return from leave of absence has been authorized or ordered by the State Department of Mental Health, or the State Department of Developmental Services, or the facility of the Veterans' Administration, any peace officer, upon written request of the state hospital, veterans' facility, or the facility designated by a county, or the patient's conservator appointed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5350) of Part 1 of Division 5, shall, without the necessity of a warrant or court order, or any officer or employee of the State Department of Mental Health, or of the State Department of Developmental Services, designated to perform these duties may, apprehend, take into custody, and deliver the patient to the state hospital or to a facility of the Veterans' Administration, or the facility designated by a county, or to any person or place authorized by the State Department of Mental Health, the State Department of Developmental Services, the Veterans' Administration, the local director of the county mental health program of the county in which is located the facility designated by the county, or the patient's conservator appointed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5350) of Part 1 of Division 5, as the case may be, to receive him or her. Every officer or employee of the State Department of Mental Health, or of the State Department of Developmental Services, designated to apprehend or return those patients has the powers and privileges of peace officers so far as necessary to enforce this section.
(b) As used in this section, "peace officer" means a person asspecified in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code.
(c) Any officer or employee of a state hospital, hospital or facility operated by or under the Veterans' Administration, or any facility designated by a county pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5 shall provide any peace officer with any information concerning any patient who escapes from the hospital or facility that is necessary to assist in the apprehension and return of the patient. The written notification of the escape required by this section shall include the name and physical description of the patient, his or her home address, the degree of dangerousness of the patient, including specific information about the patient if he or she is deemed likely to cause harm to himself or herself or to others, and any additional information that is necessary to apprehend and return the patient. If the escapee has been charged with any crime involving physical harm to children, the notice shall be provided by the law enforcement agency to school districts in the vicinity of the hospital or other facility in which the escapee was being held, in the area the escapee is known or is likely to frequent, and in the area where the escapee resided immediately prior to confinement.
(d) The person in charge of the hospital or facility, or his or her designee, may provide telephonic notification of the escape to the law enforcement agency of the county or city in which the hospital or facility is located. If that notification is given, the time and date of notification, the person notified, and the person making the notification shall be noted in the written notification required by this section.
(e) Photocopying is not required in order to satisfy the requirements of this section.
(f) No public or private entity or public or private employee shall be liable for damages caused, or alleged to be caused, by the release of information or the failure to release information pursuant to this section.


Court Imposed Driving Disability
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The Court may impose a disability on the conservatee to operate a motor vehicle (Check your “Power/Disability Sheet”). The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is notified of this disability by the Public Guardian once the Court has imposed this disability. It is your responsibility as conservator to notify DMV if:

    1. You do not renew the conservatorship
    2. You proceed to have the Court terminate the conservatorship prior to the termination date
    3. You request the Court and the Court grants the conservatee’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle while still on conservatorship

If the conservatee and you wish to have their ability to operate a motor vehicle while still on conservatorship, you as the conservator must cause the following to happen:
    1. Contact the conservatee’s treating psychiatrist and ask that they write a letter addressed to the Court stating that the conservatee’s mental condition and medications do not prohibit the conservatee from operating a motor vehicle.
    2. You as the conservator address a letter to the Court that you are in agreement with the psychiatrist and you wish the conservatee’s privilege of being able to operate a motor vehicle while still on conservatorship be granted by the Court.

The letters must include the conservatee’s name and the case number. Mail both letters to:

    Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County
    Mental Health
    1150 N. San Fernando Road, Suite 101
    Los Angeles, CA. 90065

Remember to include a legal-size self-addressed, stamped envelope so we can send you a minute order restoring the privilege. Please make a copy of the minute order for your records. Write a letter to DMV stating that you are the conservator and that the conservatee’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been restored by the Court, see attached minute order. Send your letter with attached minute order to:

    California State Department of Motor Vehicles
    Driver Safety Review Unit
    P.O. Box 942890
    Sacramento, CA. 94290-0001

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