43 CFR § 30.120 - What authority does the judge have in probate cases?

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§ 30.120 What authority does the judge have in probate cases?

A judge who is assigned a probate case under this part has the authority to:

(a) Determine the manner, location, and time of any hearing conducted under this part, and otherwise to administer the cases;

(b) Determine whether an individual is deemed deceased by reason of extended unexplained absence or other pertinent circumstances;

(c) Determine the heirs of any Indian or eligible heir who dies intestate possessed of trust or restricted property;

(d) Approve or disapprove a will disposing of trust or restricted property;

(e) Accept or reject any full or partial renunciation of interest in either a testate or intestate proceeding;

(f) Approve or disapprove any consolidation agreement;

(g) Conduct sales at probate and provide for the distribution of interests in the probate decision and order;

(h) Allow or disallow claims by creditors;

(i) Order the distribution of trust property to heirs and devisees and determine and reserve the share to which any potential heir or devisee who is missing but not found to be deceased is entitled;

(j) Determine whether a tribe has jurisdiction over the trust or restricted property and, if so, the right of the tribe to receive a decedent's trust or restricted property under 25 U.S.C. 2206(a)(2)(B)(v), 2206(a)(2)(D)(iii)(IV), or other applicable law;

(k) Issue subpoenas for the appearance of persons, the testimony of witnesses, and the production of documents at hearings or depositions under 25 U.S.C. 374, on the judge's initiative or, within the judge's discretion, on the request of an interested party;

(l) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(m) Order the taking of depositions and determine the scope and use of deposition testimony;

(n) Order the production of documents and determine the scope and use of the documents;

(o) Rule on matters involving interrogatories and any other requests for discovery, including requests for admissions;

(p) Grant or deny stays, waivers, and extensions;

(q) Rule on motions, requests, and objections;

(r) Rule on the admissibility of evidence;

(s) Permit the cross-examination of witnesses;

(t) Appoint a guardian ad litem for any interested party who is a minor or found by the judge not to be competent to represent his or her own interests;

(u) Regulate the course of any hearing and the conduct of witnesses, interested parties, attorneys, and attendees at a hearing;

(v) Determine and impose sanctions and penalties allowed by law; and

(w) Take any action necessary to preserve the trust assets of an estate.