Guardianship, curatorship, safeguarding justice: what is the procedure?

Verified 20 July 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

In order to decide whether an adult person should benefit from a guardianship or curatorship measure, the judge must hear the person concerned and the person who made the application. The hearing is not open to the public (in camera), and takes place, in principle, in the court of the domicile of the protected adult or to be protected. Once the hearings are completed, the judge must process the application within 12 months of receiving it.

The opening of a measure of protection of justice, guardianship or curatorship may be requested from the protection litigation judge by the following persons:

  • Person to protect himself
  • Person with whom the middle finger lives as a couple (i.e. spouse, cohabiting partner, partner)
  • Parent or allied
  • A person with the middle finger who has close and stable ties (e.g. a friend)
  • Person who (already) exercises a legal protection measure (guardian or trustee)
  • Public Prosecutor on its own (without prior solicitation) or at the request of a third party (e.g. doctor, director of a health institution, social worker, etc.)

The request in order to open a safeguard of justice, a guardianship or guardianship concerning an adult must include, on pain of being refused (inadmissibility), the following elements

  • Detailed medical certificate describing the impairment of the person to be protected and the foreseeable course
  • Copy (double-sided) of the identity document of the protected person
  • Description of the facts indicating the need to implement the protection measure

The following information shall also be provided in the application:

  • Persons belonging to the entourage of the middle finger to be protected (for example, her/his spouse, her/his Civil partnership partner, etc.)
  • Name of the treating physician of the person to be protected (if known)
  • Full copy of birth certificate of the person to be protected, less than 3 months
  • Copy (double-sided) of the identity document of the person making the request

The person making the application must, as far as possible, specify the details of the adult's family, financial and property situation.


depending on the judicial protection chosen (guardianship, curatorship ...), the judge may request other documents (family record, marriage contract or convention of Civil partnerships, ...).

The request (request) is made using the following form:

Application for legal protection of an adult (family entitlement or judicial protection)

Once completed, the form and all documents must be sent to the protection litigation judge of the court on which the place of residence of the adult to be protected.

Who shall I contact

The person to be protected shall have the right to be assisted by lawyer.

If she does not know of one, the major can ask the court for the president of the Bar Association to appoint one of his own motion. Such designation shall take place within 8 days of the demand.

Hearing of the protected or protected person

The hearing of the person to be protected or protected may take place in the following places:

  • Seat of the court on which his place of residence depends
  • Place where he usually resides. For example, in the treatment or accommodation facility of the protected or protected person
  • In any other appropriate place

The protected person may be assisted by a lawyer or accompanied, subject to the agreement of the judge, by any person of his choice.

At the request of any interested party or on his own initiative, the protection litigation judge may order that the examination of the application (application) give rise to a adversarial debate.

The judge may decide, after consulting the doctor who established the medical certificate, not to hear the person if he cannot express his will or if the hearing may be harmful to his health.

The judge must explain his decision, which is addressed to the applicant and to the lawyer of the middle-aged. Pending the judgment, the judge may temporarily place the middle finger under safeguard of justice.

Hearing of other persons

If the judge considers it appropriate, the judge may hear the following persons:

  • Spouse, partner or cohabiting partner of the adult
  • Parent or allied of the middle finger
  • Person with the middle finger who has close and stable ties
  • Person exercising (already) the legal protection measure (guardian or trustee)
  • Public Prosecutor.

The hearing may also take place in the presence of the doctor treating the protected person.

Please note

the person making the application for protection is automatically interviewed.

The judge may order any measure of inquiry (investigations):

  • either on its own initiative,
  • at the request of the parties or of the public prosecutor's office.

In particular, he may have a social inquiry or findings made by any person of his choice.

Once the investigation of the case has been completed, the judge shall forward it to the public prosecutor, at least 1 month before the date fixed for the hearing.

The measure shall be proportionate and individualized according to the degree of loss of the personal faculties of the person concerned (physical and psychological).

If the application is not admissible, it must be dealt with by the judge within 12 months of being seized.

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