Legal Question in Elder Law in Florida

Can I be held in contempt of court if I can not bring my husband to the hearing for my guardianship of him, due to his condition? It is humanly impossible for me to do so at the time the hearing is set for and the Judge will not change the time.

Asked on 2/21/11, 6:36 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Kyla Kelim Aging in Alabama

In guardianship proceedings, a guardian ad litem is appointed for the proposed ward - in this case your husband. In cases where having the ward present in court causes undue hardship and does not add anything to the case, then often the guardian ad litem will waive the presence of the ward. You need to contact the guardian ad litem and discuss this matter with him or her.

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Answered on 2/21/11, 7:13 am

Sanford M. Martin Sanford M. Martin, P.A.

No, you will not be held in contempt for not having your husband in court for the guardianship hearing. Contempt of court is a deliberate, intentional failure to comply with a court order. You may use the statement or appearance of a physician or medical care person who is familiar with the situation, a guardian ad litem (if appointed), or other witness to explain to the judge the reason for his non-appearance. In Florida such cases are administered by probate court to determine the legal capacity of the individual, so such situations as your case is not unusual. You can inform the court before the hearing of the situation.

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Answered on 2/21/11, 7:36 am
Lucreita Becude Lucreita D. Becude, P.A.

You may have jumped the gun so to speak. You need to apply for temporary guardianship and have the committee from the mental health dept of the court go out and determine if he really is incapacitated. At that time an attorney will be appointment to represent your husband's interest. If it is determined that he is incapacitated then a guardianship hearing will be held. I hope you have an attorney to handle this for you, if not, please contact my office if you are in my area for representation.

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Answered on 2/21/11, 8:04 am

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