Notify the adult with disability, their relatives, and others

After you file your Petition, you have to notify the adult with a developmental disability, their relatives, and others about the case and court date. To let them know, you must have an adult, not you, deliver a copy of the court papers to them (called serving court papers).

Who to notify, when, and how

Who to notify

You must notify the

  • Adult with disability
  • Adult's relatives, including their spouse or registered domestic partner, parents, children, and grandchildren everyone you listed on Page 7 of the Petition (form GC-310))
  • Regional Center where the adult with the disability receives services

You do this by having an adult, not you, deliver a copy of the Petition and information about the court date to them. The person who delivers the papers is called a server. Your server must deliver the papers by a deadline.

If you have a good reason not to serve the relative, you can ask the judge excuse notice.

  • File a Request to Dispense with Notice that explains your reason for not serving. It is not an existing court form, so ask your court's Self-Help Center if they can help you with a sample.
  • File your Request to Dispense with Notice with an Order Dispensing Notice (form GC-021) for the judge.

If the judge approves your request, they will sign the Order Dispensing Notice and you will be able to move ahead with your case without giving notice to the missing relatives.

When and how to notify

When and how your server must deliver the copies depends and which papers to deliver depends on who they're delivering the papers to. Sometimes, the server must deliver the copes in person (personally serve). Other times, the server can mail them (serve by mail).

Adult with disability

  • Notified at least 15 days before the court date
  • Served in person (handed a copy)
  • Handed a copy of the Petition and Citation


  • Notified at least 15 days before the court date
  • Served by mail 
  • Mailed a copy of the Petition and Notice of Hearing

Regional Center

  • Notified at least 30 days before the court date
  • Served by mail
  • Mailed a copy of the Petition and Notice of Hearing

Get step-by-step instructions

How to serve in person


How to serve by mail 


File proof you notified

After the server delivers the copies, they must fill out and sign a form (a Proof of Service) that says who, how, and when they served the copies. The Proof of Service must get filed with the court at least 5 days before the hearing. 


What happens when they get notified

The notice lets all the people and the Regional Center know about the court date and that you've asked to start a conservatorship.

  • The adult with the disability then knows to come to the court date so they can let the judge know their thoughts about the conservatorship
  • If any of the relatives object or want to come, they can come to the court date and ask to speak at the hearing
  • Usually, a Regional Center caseworker will submit a report to the court with an assessment and recommendations

Limited conservatorship

What's next?

Before the court date, someone appointed by the court (an investigator) will contact you. The Regional Center caseworker will write a report.

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