MENTAL HEALTH (JERSEY) LAW, 1969
Appointment of Curator
Before the proposed Curator attends the Royal Court to be sworn in as a Curator, he/she must attend at the office of the Judicial Greffier (Probate Section) to be interviewed by the Officer responsible for monitoring curatorships, to discuss the requirements of the Law. A report of the meeting is then sent to Her Majesty’s Solicitor General, who will decide, on the basis of all the facts, whether the proposed Curator’s name should be presented to the Court for consideration.
The next stage will be for the proposed Curator to be summoned to attend Court together with any other person required to give evidence (although it is now usual for a member of the medical profession to provide their evidence by way of Affidavit). Either you will be contacted by telephone or a summons will be served on you by an officer of the Viscount’s Department indicating the date and time of the hearing.
In certain circumstances, normally depending on medical advice, the proposed Interdict may also be served notice of the hearing and may attend in person.
All hearings are conducted in Chambers, not in open Court.
If the Court is satisfied for the need to appoint a Curator the person nominated would normally be sworn in at this time.
The Judicial Greffe (Probate Section) will then prepare an Act of the Royal Court recording the appointment which can be collected by the Curator from the Judicial Greffe reception a few days after their appointment.
It is not mandatory for a notice be placed in the JEP indicating the appointment - the Curator will have to assess whether or not this is necessary.
Inventory: It is the duty of a Curator to deliver to the Judicial Greffier within ninety days of the date of appointment an Inventory of all the property, both immovable and movable, of the interdict (Article 43 (20) (a)(i) of the Law). The Inventory must reflect the value of assets as at the date the Curator was appointed and the content must be verified by an affidavit sworn by the Curator before a Notary Public, Jurat, Advocate or Solicitor of the Royal Court.
Accounts: It is the duty of a Curator to deliver to the Judicial Greffier, within thirty days following the expiration of the period of twelve months from the date of appointment and upon each successive period of twelve months thereafter, a copy of the accounts in connection with the management and administration of the interdict’s affairs during that period of twelve months (Article 43 (20)(a)(ii) of the Law). The accounts must be verified by an affidavit sworn by the Curator before a Notary Public, Jurat, Advocate or Solicitor of the Royal Court.
Death of the Interdict: A Curator ceases to hold office on the death of the Interdict and the management and administration of the property and affairs of the interdict thereupon devolve on the legal personal representative of the interdict (Article 43 (8)).
The Curator should notify a member of the Probate Section immediately.
According to the Law it is also the duty of the Curator, within thirty days of the death of the interdict, to deliver a copy of the final accounts for the period beginning with the day on which he/she took the oath of office to the day the interdict died. In practice the final accounts run from the date of the last full set of annual accounts to either the date of death of the Interdict, the resignation of the Curator or the reinstatement of the Interdict.
The accounts must be verified by an affidavit sworn by the Curator before a Notary Public, Jurat, Advocate or Solicitor of the Royal Court (Article 43 (20)(b)).
After delivery of the final accounts the Curator must deliver up all books, papers and other documents and pay all moneys held in this connection, together with a copy of the accounts, to the legal personal representative of the interdict (Article 43 (21)).
Designation of accounts etc.: From the day of the appointment of a Curator an interdict is no longer permitted to retain bank accounts, share certificates, etc., in his/her sole name. All fund holders must be notified and a working bank account set up in the name of the Curator, i.e., John Smith, Curator of René Smith - the Curator holds everything in trust.
The interdict is no longer permitted to sign cheques etc.
Article 43 (17) Applications (for the appointment of Jurats): This paragraph requires a Curator to apply for the consent of the Court before dealing with an interdict’s assets in any way, and must be adhered to strictly
Hearings take place at 09.30am on Friday mornings in the Robing Room of the Royal Court.
Please ensure that 4 copies of the Representation and 4 copies of the Consent form are lodged at the Judicial Greffe by 12noon on the Thursday preceding the proposed application. It is important to support the Representation with relevant documentation such as quotes for repairs, property valuations (either for sale or rental), travel costs etc. This will provide the Jurats with a clearer insight into the application and the grounds on which it is founded. Failure to supply all relevant information may result in consent being withheld.
Stamp fees are as follows:-
Representation - £ 200.00 Court stamps
Jurats consent - £ 40.00 Jurats (Juré) stamps
and must be produced prior to the hearing.
Court stamps are obtainable from the Treasury Cashiers, Treasury Department, Cyril Le Marquand House, PO Box 353, The Parade, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 8UL.
Resignation of a Curator: Article 43 (11) makes provision for the resignation of a Curator - the procedure can be explained by your lawyer.
Reinstatement of an Interdict: In the event of the interdict subsequently becoming able to manage and administer his/her own affairs, Article 43 (9) & (10) makes provision for the interdict to apply to the Court to be reinstated.
The foregoing is just a brief outline of the Curator’s duties; it is incumbent upon a Curator to understand fully the requirements of the relevant paragraphs of Article 43 of the Law.
If you are in any doubt, concerning your duties under the Law, you should consult your legal adviser.