The petitioner in an ETG or emergency temporary guardianship can be anybody over 18 years of age who’s not a convicted felon who has direct personal knowledge of the other person’s alleged incapacity. In other words, they know the reasons why the person is incapable of making rational decision for themselves and they can articulate that to the court and articulate why they should be given the authority to make those decisions.
The respondent is going to be the person who’s on the other end of the petition. We call that a ward or the AIP, the alleged incapacitated person. That’s the person over whom somebody else is trying to get control over. The petitioner, the person who’s going to the court is going to ask a judge to give them the ability to make financial and medical decisions over somebody else who’s the respondent in that case.
In an ETG appointment, or Emergency Temporary Guardianship appointment, it’s going to be somebody over the age of 18 years of age, who’s not a convicted felon. Typically, when we’re dealing with a young adult who has an addiction issue and/or mental illness issue, it’s going to be one of the parents, the person who has direct personal knowledge, who knows that person well, and is most capable of making rational decisions that are in their child’s best interest.
Pretty much anybody could be a permanent guardian. They have to be over 18 years of age. They can’t be a convicted felon. They have to take the eight-hour guardianship course which they can take online. They may be a professional. They may be a nonprofessional, meaning somebody that’s the court has determined to be a guardian or somebody that has requested to be a guardian and has been approved by the court.
Anybody over the age of 18 years of age can seek a permanent guardianship. Typically, when you’re dealing with a young adult who has the disease of addiction or mental illness, it’s going to be the mother or the father, but it could be anybody, as long as they’re not a convicted felon and they’re over 18 years of age.
A permanent guardianship can be sought in two instances. It might follow the granting of an emergency temporary guardianship when the reason for the initial petition is ongoing. In other words, it’s lasting past the 90 days, or it’s lasting past the 180 days that was initially granted for the emergency temporary guardianship. And obviously if we’re going for emergency temporary guardianship it’s because there’s an emergency, and we need to get in quick, and we need to get control of the situation. A permanent guardianship might be granted where there’s not such an emergency situation, but the person’s inability to make rational decisions for themselves is ongoing. For instance, somebody who suffers from mental illness, and has done for many years, that person in all likelihood isn’t going to be able to make rational decisions in a very short period of time, in other words during the period of the ETC, the emergency temporary guardianship. And therefore we’re going to ask a court to give us long term control over that person’s finances, long term control over that person’s medical decisions. And so that might be the second reason for asking for a permanent guardianship.
An emergency temporary guardianship is going to be granted after a petition has been filed and the court has conducted a hearing to determine if the allegations in the petition are true and if in fact, made a finding that the respondent, the person on the other end of the petition, is not capable of making decisions that are in their best interest. In other words, that they are basically a threat to themselves and they can’t made medical decisions and they can’t make financial decisions that are in their own best interest, that are not rational for somebody of that age and capacity.
The respondent has the right to contest the allegations that are made in the petition because the petitioner is seeking to take away certain rights of the respondent, like the right to make medical decisions or the right to control their finances. They have right to a hearing, which means there’s going to be a judge who’s going to determine if the allegations are true. They get a right to confront the witnesses that are making the allegations against them. They have a right to a lawyer, somebody to represent them, basically to give them due process of law because now somebody’s asking to take control of their life. So they have a right to respond and to challenge that and to contest it.
The kind of lawyer that can help a mom or dad who has a child who has addiction or mental illness is a lawyer that specializes in helping families that are in emotional crisis because of addiction or mental illness. At Drug and Alcohol Attorneys , we only do one thing: We help families that are in emotional crisis because of addiction and mental illness, so we use the Marchman Act, we use the Guardianship Statute, and we help moms and dads who come to us, really, as a last resort, and we help them get control of an out-of-control situation. We help them to put a game plan together; we help them to get their kids into treatment; and we help them to get control of finances, medical decisions, and access to medical records. You need a lawyer who understands the Marchman Act and the Guardianship Statute to help you put a plan together.