THE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE A TESTIMONIAL HEARING BEFORE THE REMOVAL OF A GUARDIAN FOR AN INCAPACITATED PERSON (FIRST DEPT).
The First Department noted that removal of a guardian does not require a testimonial hearing:
The Mental Hygiene Law does not support appellants’ contention that they were entitled to a testimonial hearing in this case before being removed. Mental Hygiene Law § 81.35 provides that a guardian may be removed when she or he “fails to comply with an order, is guilty of misconduct, or for any other cause which to the court shall appear just” … . A motion on notice, served on the persons specified in Mental Hygiene Law § 81.16 (c), is required but there is no statutory right to a hearing … . This relaxed requirement stands in distinction to Mental Hygiene Law § 81.11 (a), which provides that the petition for the appointment of a guardian for an alleged IP [incapacitated person], whose liberty interests are at stake, “shall be made only after a hearing” … . The reason a guardian has “no due process right to a full hearing,” nor is a “full blown” hearing necessary for their removal, is that a guardian has no “property interest” to protect … . Matter of Edgar V.L., 2023 NY Slip Op 01360, First Dept 3-16-23
Practice Point: Although the Mental Hygiene Law requires a testimonial hearing before the appointment of a guardian for an incapacitated person, no hearing is required for the removal of a guardian.
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