Icon to open the menu
Accessibility Tools Accessibility Tools
Get Help


This is our general fund which helps to support our mission and expand critical programs, as we advocate for the rights of New Jerseyans with disabilities.
Dedicate this Donation

Honoree Details

Notification Details

Select Payment Method
Personal Info


Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $25


Important Updates to Guardianship Background Checks

New Jersey Rule Amendment Requires Background Checks for Certain Guardians

By Elena Zoniadis, Managing Attorney, Disability Rights NJ

On March 17, 2021, Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D., Acting Administrative Director of the Courts, issued a
Notice to the Bar regarding Amendments to New Jersey Rule 4:86.  The amendments were ordered by
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on March 15, 2021 and incorporate background screening policies for certain
proposed guardians.  On April 29, 2021, the Honorable Judge Grant issued Directive #11-21, which
includes revised court forms that comply with the requirements of the amended Rule. The Rule
amendments and related court forms became effective on May 15, 2021.

Pursuant to the revised R. 4:86-2(b)(3), an affidavit or certification must accompany a Guardianship
Complaint, and it must set forth the criminal and civil judgment history of each proposed guardian.  The
court will consider the relevant history provided in the affidavit or certification, as well as review any
background screening established by the Administrative Director of the Courts. R. 4:86-2(b)(3), 4:68-

There are presumptive exceptions to the automatic requirements where the proposed guardian:  (A) is in a
“parent and child relationship” (see N.J.S.A. 9:17-39); (B) is either married to the person lacking
capacity, in a civil union with that person, or in a domestic partnership with that person (see N.J.S.A.
37:1-29, N.J.S.A. 37:1-29, N.J.S.A. 26:8A-3); (C) is appointed pendente lite (see N.J.S.A. 3B:12-24.1(c));
(D) is an agency authorized to act pursuant to P.L. 1985, c. 298, P.L. 1965, c. 59, and P.L. 1970, c. 289;
(E) is a public official appointed as a limited guardian for medical purposes for individuals in psychiatric
facilities as listed in R.S. 30:1-7; (F) is a financial institution duly licensed or authorized to conduct
business; and (G) is an attorney admitted to practice law and in good standing in the State or New Jersey.
R. 4:86-2(b)(3)(A)-(H).

Notwithstanding the presumptive exceptions to the rule, in all cases the court may require the proposed
guardian undergo a background screening as a prerequisite to appointment. R. 4:86-2(b).  Amendments to
the Rule do not yet enumerate what criteria a court should employ in determining whether results of a
background check should preclude an individual from serving as a guardian.

Private Equity Owned NJ Residential Facilities Receive Congressional Scrutiny
Psychiatric Advance Directives: Empowering Self-Determination in Mental Health Care Decision-Making