Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
8/22/2019

Article 2. Jurisdiction.

§ 64.2-2105. Definitions; significant connection factors.

A. In this article:

"Emergency" means a circumstance that likely will result in substantial harm to a respondent's health, safety, or welfare, and for which the appointment of a guardian is necessary because no other person has authority and is willing to act on the respondent's behalf.

"Home state" means the state in which the respondent was physically present, including any period of temporary absence, for at least six consecutive months immediately before the filing of a petition for a conservatorship order or the appointment of a guardian, or if none, the state in which the respondent was physically present, including any period of temporary absence, for at least six consecutive months ending within the six months prior to the filing of the petition.

"Significant-connection state" means a state, other than the home state, with which a respondent has a significant connection other than mere physical presence and in which substantial evidence concerning the respondent is available.

B. In determining under § 64.2-2107 and subsection E of § 64.2-2114 whether a respondent has a significant connection with a particular state, the court shall consider:

1. The location of the respondent's family and other persons required to be notified of the guardianship or protective proceeding;

2. The length of time the respondent at any time was physically present in the state and the duration of any absence;

3. The location of the respondent's property; and

4. 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, social relationship, and receipt of services.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1037; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2106. Exclusive basis.

This article provides the exclusive jurisdictional basis for a court of the Commonwealth to appoint a guardian or issue a conservatorship order for an adult.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1038; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2107. Jurisdiction.

A court of the Commonwealth has jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or issue a conservatorship order for a respondent if:

1. The Commonwealth is the respondent's home state;

2. On the date the petition is filed, the Commonwealth is a significant-connection state and:

a. The respondent does not have a home state or a court of the respondent's home state has declined to exercise jurisdiction because the Commonwealth is a more appropriate forum; or

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:

(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; and

(3) The court in the Commonwealth concludes that it is an appropriate forum under the factors set forth in § 64.2-2110;

3. The Commonwealth does not have jurisdiction under either subdivision 1 or 2, the respondent's home state and all significant-connection states have declined to exercise jurisdiction because the Commonwealth is the more appropriate forum, and jurisdiction in the Commonwealth is consistent with the Constitutions of Virginia and the United States; or

4. The requirements for special jurisdiction under § 64.2-2108 are met.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1039; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2108. Special jurisdiction.

A. A court of the Commonwealth lacking jurisdiction under the provisions of § 64.2-2107 has special jurisdiction to do any of the following:

1. Appoint a guardian in an emergency for a term not exceeding 90 days for a respondent who is physically present in the Commonwealth;

2. Issue a conservatorship order with respect to real or tangible personal property located in the Commonwealth; or

3. Appoint a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated or protected person for whom a provisional order to transfer the proceeding from another state has been issued under procedures similar to § 64.2-2114.

B. If a petition for the appointment of a guardian in an emergency is brought in the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth was not the respondent's home state on the date the petition was filed, the court shall dismiss the proceeding at the request of the court of the home state, if any, whether dismissal is requested before or after the emergency appointment.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1040; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2109. Exclusive and continuing jurisdiction.

Except as otherwise provided in § 64.2-2108, a court that has appointed a guardian or issued a conservatorship order consistent with this chapter has exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over the proceeding until it is terminated by the court or the appointment or order expires by its own terms.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1041; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2110. Appropriate forum.

A. A court of the Commonwealth having jurisdiction under § 64.2-2107 to appoint a guardian or issue a conservatorship order may decline to exercise its jurisdiction if it determines at any time that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum.

B. If a court of the Commonwealth declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection A, it shall either dismiss or stay the proceeding. The court may impose any condition the court considers just and proper, including the condition that a petition for the appointment of a guardian or issuance of a conservatorship order be filed promptly in another state.

C. In determining whether it is an appropriate forum, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

1. Any expressed preference of the respondent;

2. Whether abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the respondent has occurred or is likely to occur and which state could best protect the respondent from the abuse, neglect, or exploitation;

3. The length of time the respondent was physically present in or was a legal resident of the Commonwealth or another state;

4. The distance of the respondent from the court in each state;

5. The financial circumstances of the respondent's estate;

6. The nature and location of the evidence;

7. The ability of the court in each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present evidence;

8. The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the proceeding; and

9. If an appointment were made, the court's ability to monitor the conduct of the guardian or conservator.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1042; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2111. Jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct.

A. If at any time a court of the Commonwealth determines that it acquired jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or issue a conservatorship order because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court may:

1. Decline to exercise jurisdiction;

2. Exercise jurisdiction for the limited purpose of fashioning an appropriate remedy to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the respondent or the protection of the respondent's property or to prevent a repetition of the unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a petition for the appointment of a guardian or issuance of a conservatorship order is filed in a court of another state having jurisdiction; or

3. Continue to exercise jurisdiction after considering:

a. The extent to which the respondent and all persons required to be notified of the proceedings have acquiesced in the exercise of the court's jurisdiction;

b. Whether it is a more appropriate forum than the court of any other state under the factors set forth in subsection C of § 64.2-2110; and

c. Whether the court of any other state would have jurisdiction under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of § 64.2-2107.

B. If a court of the Commonwealth determines that it acquired jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or issue a conservatorship order because a party seeking to invoke its jurisdiction engaged in unjustifiable conduct, it may assess against that party necessary and reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, investigative fees, court costs, communication expenses, witness fees and expenses, and travel expenses. The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses of any kind against the Commonwealth or a governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Commonwealth unless authorized by law other than this chapter.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1043; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2112. Notice of proceeding.

If a petition for the appointment of a guardian or issuance of a conservatorship order is brought in the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth was not the respondent's home state on the date the petition was filed, in addition to complying with the notice requirements of the Commonwealth, notice of the petition shall be given to those persons who would be entitled to notice of the petition if a proceeding were brought in the respondent's home state. The notice shall be given in the same manner as notice is required to be given in the Commonwealth.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1044; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-2113. Proceedings in more than one state.

Except for a petition for the appointment of a guardian in an emergency or issuance of a conservatorship order limited to property located in the Commonwealth under subdivision A 1 or A 2 of § 64.2-2108, if a petition for the appointment of a guardian or issuance of a conservatorship order is filed in the Commonwealth and in another state and neither petition has been dismissed or withdrawn, the following rules apply:

1. If the court in the Commonwealth has jurisdiction under § 64.2-2107, it may proceed with the case unless a court in another state acquires jurisdiction under provisions similar to § 64.2-2107 before the appointment or issuance of the order.

2. If the court in the Commonwealth does not have jurisdiction under § 64.2-2107, whether at the time the petition is filed or at any time before the appointment or issuance of the order, the court shall stay the proceeding and communicate with the court in the other state. If the court in the other state has jurisdiction, the court in the Commonwealth shall dismiss the petition unless the court in the other state determines that the court in the Commonwealth is a more appropriate forum.

2011, c. 518, § 37.2-1045; 2012, c. 614.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We are unable to assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.

The Code of Virginia online database excludes material copyrighted by the publisher, Michie, a division of Matthew Bender. Copyrighted material includes annotations and revisors' notes, which may be found in the print version of the Code of Virginia. Annotated print copies of the Code of Virginia are available in most Virginia public library systems, from LexisNexis (1-800-446-3410), and from West, a Thomson-Reuters business (1-800-344-5008).