14-5316. Maintaining ward's relationships; contact orders; definitions

A. A guardian shall encourage and allow contact between the ward and other persons who have a significant relationship with the ward.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, a guardian may limit, restrict or prohibit contact between the ward and any person if the guardian reasonably believes that the contact will be detrimental to the ward's health, safety or welfare.

C. In exercising the guardian's powers pursuant to subsections A and B of this section, the guardian shall consider the wishes of the ward, if the ward has sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent choice.

D. A person who has a significant relationship to the ward may petition the court for an order compelling the guardian to allow the person to have contact with the ward.  The petition shall describe the nature of the relationship between the person and the ward and the type and frequency of contact being requested. The person has the burden of proving that the person has a significant relationship with the ward and that the requested contact is in the ward's best interest.

E. A ward may petition the court for an order compelling the guardian to allow the ward to have contact with a person who has a significant relationship to the ward.  The petition shall describe the nature of the relationship between the person and the ward and the type and frequency of contact being requested.  The ward has the burden of proving that the person has a significant relationship with the ward and that the requested contact is in the ward's best interest.

F. In determining what, if any, contact between the person and the ward is in the ward's best interest, the court shall consider all factors that are relevant to the ward's physical and emotional well-being, including the following:

1. The past and present relationship between the ward and the person with whom the contact is requested.

2. The wishes of the ward if the ward has sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent choice.

3. The mental and physical health of the ward and the person with whom the contact is requested.

4. Whether the person with whom the contact is requested has committed any act involving domestic violence as defined in section 13-3601, child abuse or abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

5. Whether the person with whom the contact is requested has abused drugs or alcohol or has been convicted of any drug offense listed in title 13, chapter 34 or a violation of title 28, chapter 4, article 3.

6. Whether the person with whom the contact is requested is listed in the elder abuse central registry pursuant to section 46-457 or is required to register pursuant to section 13-3821.

7. Whether the person with whom the contact is requested has been convicted of a violation of section 13-2907.02 or 13-2907.04.

G. If the petition for contact is filed pursuant to section 14-5301.03 or within two years after the ward's eighteenth birthday, any contact with the ward authorized in the most recent parenting time or visitation order shall be presumed to be in the ward's best interests, but the presumption may be rebutted by evidence showing that the contact authorized in the most recent parenting time or visitation order is no longer in the ward's best interests.

H. A court-appointed fiduciary for the ward or a person who has a significant relationship to the ward may petition the court to modify a contact order, if a material change in circumstances affecting the ward's health, safety or welfare has occurred since the last contact order was made. The petition shall be supported by an affidavit alleging the change of circumstances that has occurred since the entry of the last contact order.  The court shall deny the petition unless the court finds that the petition establishes good cause for hearing, in which case the court shall set a hearing on the petition.  The petition and notice of the hearing on the petition shall be served on all persons to whom notice is required pursuant to section 14-5309 and on any court-appointed fiduciary for the ward.

I. A court-appointed fiduciary for the ward or a person who has a significant relationship to the ward may file a motion asking the court to temporarily modify or suspend a contact order, if a material change in circumstances affecting the ward's health, safety or welfare has occurred since the last contact order was made. The motion shall be supported by an affidavit alleging the change of circumstances that has occurred since the entry of the last contact order. The motion shall be filed contemporaneously with or after the filing of a petition to modify the prior contact order.  The motion shall state whether the petitioner requests that the prior contact order be modified or suspended with or without notice to affected persons.

J. The court may temporarily modify or suspend a contact order without notice only if both of the following conditions are met:

1. It clearly appears from specific facts shown in the motion or affidavit that immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage likely will result if the order is not issued before the affected persons can be heard in opposition.

2. The moving party or the party's attorney certifies to the court in writing the efforts, if any, that the moving party or the party's attorney has made to give the notice or the reasons supporting the claim that notice should not be required.

K. If the court grants a motion to temporarily modify or suspend a contact order without notice, the court shall set a hearing on the motion.

L. An order temporarily modifying or suspending a contact order that is granted without notice shall state the injury, loss or damage that would have been likely to occur if the order were not issued before giving the affected persons the opportunity to be heard in opposition.  The temporary order shall expire at the date and time set for the hearing on the motion unless the temporary order is extended by the court for good cause.

M. The moving party shall personally serve the person whose contact with the ward has been modified or suspended with a copy of the order and notice of the hearing. The moving party shall have served a copy of the order on any court-appointed fiduciary for the ward and all persons affected by the order as soon as practicable after issuance of the order in the manner prescribed in section 14-5309 or as otherwise ordered by the court.

N. For the purposes of this section:

1. "Abuse" in relation to a vulnerable adult has the same meaning prescribed in section 46-451.

2. "Child abuse" means abuse as defined in section 8-201 of an individual who is under eighteen years of age.

3. "Exploitation" has the same meaning prescribed in section 46-451.

4. "Neglect" has the same meaning prescribed in section 46-451.

5. "Vulnerable adult" has the same meaning prescribed in section 46-451.