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Trusts and Estates

Conservatorship of the Person of M.B.

Cite as A152586
Filed August 20, 2018; Modified and Certified for Partial Publication on September 12, 2018
California Court of Appeal, First District

By Golnaz Yazdchi
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
https://www.sheppardmullin.com

M.B., a minor, appealed an order appointing the Public Guardian as the conservator of her person pursuant to the Lanterman-Petris-Short (“LPS”) Act. Minor contended that the court should have applied the definition in Welfare Institutions Code section 5585.25, which defines “grave disability” of a minor as “a minor who, as a result of a mental disorder, is unable to use the elements of life that are essential to health, safety, and development, including food, clothing, and shelter, even though provided to the minor by others,” instead of the definition contained in section 5008, subdivision (h)(1)(A).

The Court of Appeal affirmed. It held that when evaluating a request to establish an LPS conservatorship for a minor, the court should apply the definition of “grave disability” found in Welfare and Institutions Code section 5008, subdivision (h)(1)(A), which defines “grave disability” as “[a] condition in which a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is unable to provide for his or her basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter.” That definition is in the LPS Act, whereas the definition proposed by Minor is in a different statutory scheme. Furthermore, the fact that a minor may not be legally responsible to provide for his or her basic personal needs, or may be unable to do so, does not require the application of a different standard. Here there was sufficient evidence that the Minor was gravely disabled pursuant to the correct definition.

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A152586.PDF

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