In Conservatorship of Gregory D., (“Gregory D.”), the Court of Appeal considered whether the mother of a conservatee had standing to appeal an order that, among other things, set a visitation schedule for her son, an adult conservatee. The Court of Appeal determined that the mother did not have standing to appeal, as she had not identified any of her own rights or interests that were injuriously affected by the order.
Gregory D. (“Gregory”) is a developmentally disabled adult in his mid-twenties. Gregory reached the age of 18 in 2005; and, he moved into his own apartment in 2008, with supportive services that enable him to live independently. In 2004, Gregory’s parents, Linda and Joseph, who were divorced, filed competing petitions to be named as Gregory’s limited conservator. In 2005, Linda and Joseph settled the dispute and agreed that Linda would become Gregory’s limited conservator. As limited conservator, Linda was granted various powers, including the ability to fix Gregory’s place of residence, access to Gregory’s confidential records and papers, and the power to enter into contracts on Gregory’s behalf.
A Series of Conservators:
While Linda was serving as limited conservator, further litigation ensued between Joseph and Linda pertaining to Linda’s administration of the conservatorship. Joseph filed a petition to remove Linda as Gregory’s conservator, contending that Linda had improperly relocated Gregory from half-time residence in Joseph’s home and had prohibited contact between Joseph’s family and Gregory. In August 2008, the court appointed a Probate Volunteer Panel attorney, Paul Gaulke (“Gaulke”), as attorney for Gregory.
In July of 2009, after Joseph and Linda entered into another settlement agreement, the court entered an order providing, among other things, that Linda would resign as limited conservator immediately upon the appointment of a successor limited conservator. In September 2009, the court appointed Linda Cotterman (“Cotterman”) as the successor limited conservator for Gregory.