Volunteer Advocates for Independence of Adult with Disability
In late 2021, CVLS was appointed as Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for Ms. P., an adult with schizoaffective and bipolar disorders. Her mother had petitioned for guardianship, alleging that that Ms. P. was living in a shelter and could not make sound personal or financial decisions. It was up to the GAL to make a recommendation as to what was in Ms. P.’s best interests.
CVLS placed the case with volunteer attorney, Mark Singler. When Mark first met Ms. P., she objected to having a guardian appointed for her and the matter was set for trial. During the case, Ms. P. was hospitalized several times at mental health facilities, causing Mark to advocate for a temporary guardian to be appointed.
However, after he reviewed the history of hospitalizations as well as Ms. P.’s involvement in Mental Health Court, Mark presented a motion to dismiss the guardianship case. He argued that guardianship would not provide any additional benefit to Ms. P. and would instead unnecessarily obstruct her independence. As GAL, Mark looked out for Ms. P.’s best interests, honored her agency, and sought the least restrictive option.