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Ryan Bill to Update Orphans’ Court Procedures Passes House
HARRISBURG – The House last night voted to approve legislation authored by Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) that would increase protections available to some of our most vulnerable citizens – orphaned children – by ensuring that their guardians comply with current law.

Under current law, guardians of incapacitated persons are required to file annual reports on the finances and the well-being of the wards for which they are responsible. And, under current law, the courts are tasked with the enforcement and monitoring of the guardians filing these reports.

“Unfortunately, current law does not provide a mechanism for this enforcement,” Ryan said. “While annual reports are filed with the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, the court is often not aware of guardians who are delinquent in their filings. Also, many counties do not have an established procedure for reviewing the annual reports.”

The measure passed today, House Bill 1886, would require Clerks of the Orphans’ Court to transmit to the Court of Common Pleas (at least once per quarter) a list of guardians who are delinquent in filing required annual reports. The legislation also places the burden on developing a process to review the filed reports on to the courts.

“The courts will still have flexibility to determine how such procedures are followed, allowing counties of different sizes, with different caseloads and resources to determine the best manner to review the reports,” Ryan said.

The bill also allows the court to retain its flexibility in determining the severity of the sanction it imposes based on its finding in the case.

The legislation is supported by the Registers of Wills and Clerks of the Orphans’ Court Association.

Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Charles Lardner
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