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Petitions for Guardianship and Protective Placement


Petitions for Guardianship and Protective Placement


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WI Court of Appeals – District I

Case Name: My Choice Wisconsin v. S. L. H.-K.

Case No.: 2022AP001461

Officials: White, C.J., Donald, P.J., and Geenen, J.

Focus: Petitions for Guardianship and Protective Placement

Sarah appeals circuit court orders granting My Choice Wisconsin’s petitions for guardianship and protective placement. On appeal, Sarah contends that her power of attorney for healthcare (“HPOA”) rendered a guardianship unnecessary, and thus, the petitions for guardianship and protective placement should be dismissed.

Sarah had designated her grandmother and mother as her primary and alternate health care agents respectively through the HPOA. Despite this, My Choice Wisconsin filed for guardianship, arguing that the HPOA agents were not sufficiently available to meet Sarah’s needs, especially when she eloped from her group home. The lower court had agreed, noting the health care agents’ lack of availability and the proactive approach of a corporate guardian potentially provided by Easter Seals could significantly benefit Sarah.

However, the appeals court disagreed with the necessity of overriding the HPOA, noting that the guardianship and protective placement seemed unnecessary given Sarah’s satisfactory condition in her current placement, where she was thriving and receiving necessary support. The court emphasized that the services Sarah was receiving would continue irrespective of the guardianship status and that there was no evidence suggesting that the HPOA agents failed to fulfill their health-related duties. The court also highlighted that no evidence was provided to suggest how a corporate guardian could prevent future elopements or that Sarah was opposed to her current living situation.

Consequently, the appeals court directed the lower court to dismiss the orders for guardianship and protective placement, reinforcing the sufficiency of the HPOA in providing for Sarah’s needs and honoring her existing support system.

Reversed and remanded.

Decided 04/09/24

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