Probate Rule 21


See the note for information re: effective date



Summary: These rule amendments are a result of HB 2308, which the legislature passed in 2013.  The rule previously required a criminal background check for a person not related to a minor who sought appointment as the minor’s guardian.  These amendments permit the court to exercise discretion in requiring a background check for other individuals seeking appointment as a guardian or conservator pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 14-5304 and -5401.  This requirement does not apply to a licensed fiduciary, who undergoes a background check during the licensing process, or to an employee of a financial institution.  The amendments also provide a general process for the submission of the fingerprints and establish who bears the cost of the criminal background check.

Note:  This rule became effective on September 13, 2013, on an expedited basis, with a comment period to October 25, 2013.  The Court received no comments, and on November 14, 2013, the Court permanently adopted the amendments.

Impact: In most counties, the clerk's office is responsible for distribution of the fingerprint cards and instructions for fingerprinting to individuals who apply for appointment as a guardian or conservator.  In Maricopa County, the Probate Court Administrator's Office handles the fingerprinting process.

In most circumstances, the court will not make the appointment until the background check is completed.  In emergency circumstances, the court may make a temporary appointment pending receipt of the background check results.