(a) Whenever a county director of social services shall determine that a recipient of assistance is unwilling or unable to manage such assistance to the extent that deprivation or hazard to himself or others results, the director shall file a petition before a district court or the clerk of superior court in the county alleging such facts and requesting the appointment of a personal representative to be responsible for receiving such assistance and to use it for the benefit of the recipient.
(b) Upon receipt of such petition, the court shall promptly hold a hearing, provided the recipient shall receive five days' notice in writing of the time and place of such hearing. If the court, sitting without a jury, shall find at the hearing that the facts alleged in the petition are true, it may appoint some responsible person as personal representative. The personal representative shall serve without compensation and be responsible to the court for the faithful performance of his duties. He shall serve until the director of social services or the recipient shows to the court that the personal representative is no longer required or is unsuitable. All costs of court relating to proceedings under this section shall be waived.
(c) Any recipient for whom a personal representative is appointed may appeal such appointment to superior court for a hearing de novo without a jury.
(d) All findings of fact made under the proceedings authorized by this section shall not be competent as evidence in any case or proceeding which concerns any subject matter other than that of appointing a personal representative. (1959, c. 1239, ss. 1, 3; 1961, c. 186; 1969, c. 546, s. 1; 1981, c. 275, s. 1.)