(a) Any matter designated as “approved” on the list described in Rule 4.13 may be heard without an appearance by the parties and/or their counsel. In order to be approved, the following shall be strictly observed:
(1) All petitions must be verified.
(2) The petitions filed must be without objection.
(3) Death certificates, where applicable, must be attached to the initial petition as an exhibit.
(4) Where a bond is required, the petition must set forth with particularity the personal property of the estate together with the estimated amount of annual income from all sources.
(b) The original proposed order, together with any copies to be conformed, shall be delivered to the probate commissioner not later than 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday of the week the matter is to be heard. For failure to comply with this rule, the probate commissioner may, in the probate commissioner’s discretion, continue the hearing for 1 week from the noticed hearing date or vacate the hearing to enable compliance with this rule.
(c) Proof of service through an affidavit of mailing or certificate of mailing must be filed contemporaneously or immediately after the actual mailing has taken place. All proof of service and proof of publication must be filed no later than 12:00 p.m. on the Thursday of the week the matter is to be heard.
(d) At the time of the hearing, the probate commissioner shall read the docket of all cases and matters scheduled for hearing that have been designated as “approved” and inquire as to whether there are any persons present wishing to object to such approved matters. If no objections are so made, the probate commissioner will recommend approval to the probate judge without further hearing on such matters. If, however, any person appears and indicates a desire to contest or object to the relief requested, the probate commissioner may take the following actions:
(1) If the petitioning party and such party’s counsel are not present, the probate commissioner will ordinarily continue the matter to the next appropriate probate calendar date, if necessary, to allow all interested parties to be noticed of the objection. The probate commissioner may also direct the objecting or contesting party to file a written objection to the petition prior to the continued hearing date and may thereupon grant or otherwise act upon the petition if such written objection is not so timely filed.
(2) If the petitioning party or his or her counsel is present, the probate commissioner may elect to hear the matter at such time to determine whether the matter is the proper subject of objection, whether the matter may in fact be ruled on at such time, or whether a continuance of the matter is appropriate. Subject to the provisions of Rule 4.08, the probate commissioner may, as appropriate, thereupon hear the matter, continue the matter, impose a briefing schedule, set a discovery schedule as set forth under Rule 4.17, direct the parties to a settlement conference as set forth under Rule 4.19, and/or otherwise process the matter.
[Amended; effective September 2, 2014.]