Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–4802(Perm). Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Alternate standby guardian” means a person with all the rights, responsibilities, and qualifications of a standby guardian who acts as the standby guardian if the current or originally designated standby guardian repudiates the designation, becomes incapacitated, or dies.

(2) “Attending clinician” means a licensed physician or licensed nurse practitioner who:

(A) Has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of a designator;

(B) Shares the responsibility for the treatment and care of a designator, or is acting on behalf of the licensed physician or licensed nurse practitioner who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the designator; or

(C) Is familiar with the designator’s medical condition in cases where no licensed physician or licensed nurse practitioner has the responsibility for the treatment and care of a designator.

(3) “Child” means a person under 18 years of age.

(4) “Consent” means a written authorization signed by the designator.

(5) “Court” means the Domestic Relations Branch of the Family Division [Family Court] of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(6) “Debilitation” means those periods when a person cannot care for that person’s minor child as a result of a chronic condition caused by physical illness, disease, or injury from which, to a reasonable degree of probability, the designator may not recover.

(7) “Designation” means the written naming of a standby guardian by the designator.

(8) “Designator” means a custodial parent, including a person other than a parent who has physical custody of a child and who has been awarded legal custody or guardianship by a court, who has been diagnosed, in writing, by a licensed clinician to suffer from a chronic condition caused by injury, disease, or illness from which, to a reasonable degree of probability, the designator may not recover.

(9) “Determination of incapacity” means a written determination made by the attending clinician that, to a reasonable degree of certainty, a designator is chronically and substantially unable to understand the nature and consequences of decisions concerning the care of a minor child as a result of a mental or organic impairment and is consequently unable to care for the minor child.

(10) “Incapacity” means a chronic and substantial inability, as a result of a mental or organic impairment, to understand the nature and consequences of decisions concerning the care of a minor child, and a consequent inability to care for the minor child.

(11) “Parent” means the biological parent or adoptive mother or father of a child.

(12) “Standby guardian” means a person named by the designator to assume the duties of a legal custodian of a child upon the occurrence of a triggering event.

(13) “Triggering event” means any of the following 3 events:

(A) The designator’s debilitation, with the designator’s written acknowledgement of debilitation and consent to commencement of the standby guardianship;

(B) The designator’s incapacity as determined by an attending clinician; or

(C) The designator’s death.


(June 25, 2002, D.C. Law 14-152, § 2, 49 DCR 4248.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-4806 and § 16-4810.