Court Examiner


The Role of the Court Examiner

Pursuant to Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law (MHL), when the court appoints a guardian for an incapacitated person, it must also appoint a court examiner who is responsible for examining the reports that the guardian is statutorily required to file with the court.  The role of the court examiner is essential to ensure the proper care and legal oversight over the person and/or property of the incapacitated person.  Court examiners are given statutory authority to examine the guardian and other witnesses under oath and to reduce their testimony to writing.  The court examiner may bring a proceeding to compel the guardian to perform his or her duties and may seek a guardian’s removal if necessary.


Appointment as a court examiner is governed by Part 36 of the Rules of the Chief Judge (see 22 NYCRR Part 36).  Application forms and instructions may be found at  Applicants for appointment as court examiner must be approved by the Appellate Division. 
Applicants for court examiner must complete the educational requirements set forth in MHL § 81.41. The educational requirement may be fulfilled by completing a certified program, “A continuing Legal Education Program for Court Examiners,” a series of seminars providing an overview of all aspects of the court examiner’s role under article MHL Article 81 which was jointly offered by the Appellate Divisions, First and Second Departments in May 2012.  Applicants may request access to "A Continuing Legal Education Program for Court Examiners" .

Appointments are made by the Presiding Justice and are subject to yearly evaluation by guardianship judges and re-designation by the Presiding Justice.