Standing and Sufficiency of a Petition for Guardianship: What Test applies in California?

     In 2009, The California Appellate District Court applied the current California test for standing and sufficiency for a petition for guardianship. This Case involved Petitioner Paul Petersen, the CEO of a non-profit group who was seeking a Guardianship of the Estate for eight minor children so that their mother Nadya Suleman a.k.a the "Octo-mom" was no longer responsible for their financial decisions.  

     The Court considered the following 2 issues in Petersen's petition for guardianship: (1) whether Petersen is an "other person on behalf of minors" and (2) whether Petersen's amended petition pleaded sufficient ultimate facts regarding financial misconduct by Suleman or other information warranting court intervention in the Suleman family's finances. The Appellate Court responded in the negative to both questions and held that Petersen did not meet the test for standing and sufficiency underCalifornia Probate code section 1510(a).

     The Appellate Court made an initial determination that the test for standing and sufficiency of a Petition for Guardianship is: whether the petition states ultimate facts showing financial mismanagement or other allegations warranting court intervention in the family's finances. The court reviewed Petersen's petition for guardianship and found that all of the information presented in his petition were based on media coverage and lacked accounts of first-hand knowledge. In his petition, Peterson merely made inferences that Suleman received money based on her television and internet appearances with the octoplets. However, Peterson did not provide any evidence of financial mismanagement. The appellate court held that Peterson did not meet the test for standing and sufficiency of a petition under California Probate code section 1510(a).

For more information about petitioning for Guardianship in California contact an experienced Los Angeles Probate Attorney.

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