Wisconsin Lawyer: Supreme court adopts new standards for interstate guardianships:

State Bar of Wisconsin

Sign In

Top Link Bar

News & Pubs Search

Advanced
  • Wisconsin Lawyer
    March
    31
    2008

    Supreme court adopts new standards for interstate guardianships

    Lisa Roys

    Share This:
    In an opinion issued on July 7, Grant County Department of Social Services v. Unified Board, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted a series of standards for Wisconsin courts to follow when considering transfer of interstate guardianships to avoid conflicting with current state residency laws.

    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 78, No. 8, August 2005

    Legal news & trendsLegal News & Trends

    Supreme court adopts new standards for interstate guardianships

    In an opinion issued on July 7, Grant County Department of Social Services v. Unified Board, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted a series of standards for Wisconsin courts to follow when considering transfer of interstate guardianships to avoid conflicting with current state residency laws.

    In the conclusion to her majority opinion, Justice Bradley said that a county seeking to receive a guardianship should petition the foreign court for transfer of the guardianship. The county would then petition the local county court for receipt and acceptance of the guardianship. During the process, the county should provide all parties with proper notice of the intended transfer and of their rights. Bradley said if there are no objections and the out-of-state court approves, the local county should allow the guardianship to be "imported."

    Bradley said if the steps are followed, in the instant case the Grant County circuit court would be able to place the woman in a facility in Grant County "without hearing a new petition for protective placement." Further, she said, "This will avoid the residency requirement of Wis. Stat. s. 55.06(3)(c)."

    In a partial dissent, Justice Roggensack expressed concern over the majority's move. "While the majority makes a valiant effort at trying to solve what can become problematic when a ward lives in one state and the guardian wishes to transfer the ward to Wisconsin, it does so without the benefit of legislative input or even the benefit of the court's own rulemaking," Roggensack said, adding that such decisions by the court exceed the judiciary's constitutional powers. She described the majority opinion as creating "what amounts to a statute for the interstate transfer of guardianships and protective placements," which she said should be left to the legislature.

    Contributing writer Lisa Roys, State Bar of Wisconsin, government relations coordinator. To contact Roys, email org lroys wisbar wisbar lroys org.