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Guardianship — Appointment of guardian — Availability of less restrictive form of intervention

On October 1, 2015, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City held a hearing to consider appointing a guardian for Lana Taylor (“Ms. Taylor”). The trial court determined that Ms. Taylor required a guardian for her person and property, but declined to appoint appellant, Joyce Allen, Ms. Taylor’s sister.

Appellant, whose legal rights were impacted by the trial court’s decision, presents four issues for our review which we have slightly reworded as follows: 1. Did the trial court abuse its discretion in appointing a Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Property for Ms. Taylor when, pursuant to Maryland law, a less restrictive form of intervention was available through the valid Power of Attorney that was in effect? 2. Did Ms. Taylor’s court-appointed attorney fail to provide sufficient representation in violation of Ms. Taylor’s due process rights? 3. Did the trial court err in denying the Motion for Postponement filed by Ms. Taylor’s court-appointed attorney, so that appellant could be present for the hearing held on October 1, 2015? 4. Did the trial court abuse its discretion by appointing a Montgomery County representative as guardian of the person, and an unknown attorney as guardian of the property when, pursuant to Maryland law, appellant was ready, able, and willing to serve as guardian of Ms. Taylor’s person and property?

Read the opinion here: