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  1. #1
    sweetpea826 Guest

    Exclamation want guardianship for child of mentally ill mother

    What is the name of your state? Southern California

    I want to seek legal guardianship of my sister, because my mother is believed to show behavior of an mental illness. My sister is only 2 years old, and she is under my mothers care. To help you all undertsand my situation better, here is my story. Sorry sort of long!

    Mental illness is known to be in my family, my grandmother had it so bad that she was often hospitalized without her consent. Well, for years my mother has always seemed off, As a child we lived in and out of shelters, she was never able to hold a job(she always quit), a household or other responsibilities. Im 22 years old now, married with a 1 year old.

    This is my problem, because of unwillingness, my mother was living in a apartment without electricity, and refregeration, she refused to ask for help, or let anyone know her situation. I called family to asist me with getting some help for her, and most of all helping my innocent sister. I wanted to call CPS or atleast care for her until my mother got some medication to help her get on her feet. My aunt refused to let me call professional authoritys, so she offered for my mother and lil sis to stay with her. It has been six months since then, and almost every other week my aunt is calling me about my mothers behavior. she states that my mother keeps herself and the baby isolating in a room all day, she does not take care of her and the babys personal hygiene, the baby is 2 pounds under weight do to malnutrition, and that my mother has extreme mood swings. She complains that everyone in the home is afraid of my mothers wild moods and that she seems to have manic depression.

    Again i told my aunt that I could help by calling authurity's or CPS, they will bring someone to evaluate my mother and I would be able to care for my sister while help is being providede for my mother. My aunt won't let me call professional authoritys because she is trying to get foster children, and she doe snot want all that drama on her case. She has stated that my mother has to move out by oct. My mother is in no position to care for a child, she does not even have income or housing, and she is totaly not willing to take care of bussiness for these things. I was wondering if it would be best for me to go and file for legal guardianship of my sister? I do not have my aunts adress and we are not on speaking terms due to all of this. Can I file for guardianship without having their adress? I have a phone# and city name. Please someone give me advice before its too late. Also My aunt told me that she suspected sexual abuse, but not sure. I don't understand why she lets this go on in her home, or why she won't call for help knowing that my mother is ill, and possibly getting worser.
  2. #2
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Call CPS you don't need your aunt's permission, give them all the information and history. If the only reason she won't let you call is that she is applying for foster care, she doesn't need to be a foster parent, also let CPS know you are willing to be your sister's guardian. You will have to call in the morning because they are closed now, please keep us updated and good luck.
  3. #3
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    You're 22 years old. Why are you letting your aunt tell you what to do?
  4. #4
    sweetpea826 Guest

    Exclamation I know its best for my sister

    Southern California

    Yes, the best thing is to call CPS, I did and they told me that I needed an adress. My aunt does not speak to me now, and nobody knows the adress of their new home. I have been trying to locate a adress to the phone # that I was given. CPS even did a short research to see if they had any kind of information to help.

    I know that I am grown and should not care about what my aunt says. It was just difficult to stand up to someone who seemed to care for you and someone who you had respect for, especially since I was the only child for almost 19 years. It took alot of courage for me to tell her how wrong she was, and I know that If I had not made a stand, I'd be just as wrong as her.
    She does not deserve to have foster children, she won't even protect her own niece who lives under her roof. I am trying to locate an address for CPS and Im doing other research about this situation. If I went to court to file for Guardianship, would I have to have an adress, or can I do it with just reporting my mother and sisters names and city? My mother is currently on welfare with my sister, can I try and contact her welfare worker, and let her know the situation? I figure that they would probuly know how to locate my mother since she gets a monthly allowance from them. They should atleast have some source in reaching her.

    I would also like to thankyou all for the advice and support, I will continue to update on my situation. Thanks
  5. #5
    sweetpea826 Guest

    Arrow Guardianship Advice needed! PLEASE!!

    I have completed all the paper work that I need to turn in for this guardianship case, I will be going on monday to file them.

    I have recently read that you have to notify extended family such as aunts, uncles and grandparents when proceeding this kind of case. I was wondering what chances do other family members have, of fighting me for guardianship. My sister currently stays in my aunts home, under my mothers care. I do not want my aunt seeking custody/guardianship, because she is failing to care for my sister now. She is totally aware of my mothers neglect, yet she is not willing to step up and see that my sister gets proper care. Im also afraid that she will fight for custody so that my sister stays living with her....secretly under my mothers neglective care.

    I have been so worried that I will not be qualified as a guardian, My husband has a good job, and I have just recently took an overnight job...so we have supportive income. But we currently stay in a studio apartment with our one year old daughter. We are moving to a bigger place in Dec, but the case will probuly start this month. Will they accept me until our new relocation in December? Im also afraid that my mother may try and take off or harm the child if notified about the case. Is there anyway they can keep it from her and just investigate the situation. She can get very physical at times, and Im afraid for my own familys protection during and after the hearing. Any advice is helpful Thanks!
  6. #6
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Did you finally locate the address of your aunt?
    The section for guardianship is in Ca. Probate Code section 1510
    They can investigate while the process continues, a studio may be a problem, are you buying a home and moving in december and it won't be ready or is that when your lease is up?
    Last edited by rmet4nzkx; 09-08-2004 at 04:05 PM.
  7. #7
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    Did you finally locate the address of your aunt?
    The section for guardianship is in Ca. Probate Code section 151o
    They can investigate while the process continues, a studio may be a problem, are you buying a home and moving in december and it won't be ready or is that when your lease is up?
    Apartment complexes (if you are in one) are often willing to transfer leases to bigger or smaller units. Check into that.
  8. #8
    sweetpea826 Guest

    Red face trying to make progress

    I have not located the address of my aunt so far. Im hoping that an adress can be located through my mothers social worker. My lease for the apartment will be up in december. My husband and I had originally planned on moving into a 2Br. 2Ba that was a child friendly complex. The community we stay in now, is luxury with not too many family oriented residents. But by all means if we have to ....we would try to see if we could transfer our lease into a bigger unit. Im willing to move, relocate or whatever it takes to protect my sister. I had read somewhere that a kinship guardian does not have to have their home licensed under foster care regulations. Im not really sure on what that means for my situation, but Im hoping they take in consideration that Im planning on moving and If possible, I would see if I can break my lease a little early just for these circumstances. Thankyou all for the advise, and if anyone else has some info that may help.....please feel free to post to me. I will look into the Ca. Probate Code section 151o, and I will continue to update on my progress. Thanx a bunches!!
  9. #9
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Is there any possibility of any of the relatives giving you the phone number or address of your aunt? Also CPS should be able to cross trace her address from her application for foster care and possible that the police department might be able to locte them. Hopefully your mother's social worker will at least give the address to CPS, so when you talk to the social worker, be sure to advise them of the abuse, they are a mandated reporter and will have to advise CPS of your mother's address. Go ahead and file the papers with the last known address and note that they are intentionally hiding the location to avoid CPS and aps because both your mother and sister's rights are being abused, this would be both child and dependent adult abuse. Call APS re your mother.
  10. #10
    sweetpea826 Guest

    Arrow Paper work turned in on monday

    I had called a local foster care agency and children social services, the children social service said that sometimes they are willing to let the child stay in a smaller living unit, depending on the situation. I was also told that as long as the environment was safe, clean and temporary, it shouldn't matter. Monday is the day that I go and file all final information. I was wondering if I would have to have a lawyer, especially since my mother may protest against me. Do I need witnesses to prove her negligent? I did alot of research on her behavior and it seems like she may have manic depression or some kind of Bipolar illness. I want my mother to get the help or medication she needs to get better. I know that there are some people out there who have mental ilnesses, but are totally aware and in controll were they can take care of there kids. Unfortunately my mother refuses to seek help.

    Im really afraid that she may come after me or try to harm the baby, if she finds out that Im seeking guardianship. Im going to ask for a waiver of notice under those circumstances. I will also take the advice from ( rmet4nzkx ) and just use the last known address where they lived. Stating that they intentionally kept the new address from me. I just want this to all happen quickly and smoothly. If anyone knows of any web sites or other information that can be helpful for me during this process, please feel free to post. Thankyou all so much, and I will continue to update.
  11. #11
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Keep us updated.
    Here is a link to all the superior courts in California go to your county and probate court call and make your inquiries most close at 3pm so call soon you can also link to court forms ans print them out.
    [url]http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/trial/courtlist.htm[/url]
    Here is a link to court forms both filable and printable you have to have a very up to date pdf to print the filable forms you can also get them at the courts in case you need others. Call your local legal aid [url]www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi[/url]

    If the mother's mental competency is in question you can request an EC 730 evaluation and ask the county pay for it.
    CALIFORNIA CODES
    EVIDENCE CODE
    SECTION 730-733
    730. When it appears to the court, at any time before or during the
    trial of an action, that expert evidence is or may be required by
    the court or by any party to the action, the court on its own motion
    or on motion of any party may appoint one or more experts to
    investigate, to render a report as may be ordered by the court, and
    to testify as an expert at the trial of the action relative to the
    fact or matter as to which the expert evidence is or may be required.
    The court may fix the compensation for these services, if any,
    rendered by any person appointed under this section, in addition to
    any service as a witness, at the amount as seems reasonable to the
    court.
    Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit a person to
    perform any act for which a license is required unless the person
    holds the appropriate license to lawfully perform that act.



    731. (a) In all criminal actions and juvenile court proceedings,
    the compensation fixed under Section 730 shall be a charge against
    the county in which such action or proceeding is pending and shall be
    paid out of the treasury of such county on order of the court.
    (b) In any county in which the board of supervisors so provides,
    the compensation fixed under Section 730 for medical experts in civil
    actions in such county shall be a charge against and paid out of the
    treasury of such county on order of the court.
    (c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, in all civil
    actions, the compensation fixed under Section 730 shall, in the first
    instance, be apportioned and charged to the several parties in such
    proportion as the court may determine and may thereafter be taxed and
    allowed in like manner as other costs.
  12. #12
    sweetpea826 Guest

    Smile The big day!

    Big thanks to all who have supported me! Today is the big day and Im so nervous. I will probuly be wrapped up in getting things together and filed correctly so I'll be away for awhile. But as soon as I can, I will update you all on my progress and how things go. Again Thanx a bunchez!!!!!!
  13. #13
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Good luck, keep us posted.
  14. #14
    sweetpea826 Guest

    Angry What Next??

    I had went in to file all the paper work for guardianship last week. There were a few attachments that I had to complete, due to the fact that I was to explain why I felt the mother was unfit and so forth.

    With all the questionairs I had to fillout and stuff, I figured that I may have to get a lawyer. I want to have the correct proof I need, and I want the case to go as smoothly as possibile so the child won't be effected. This morning I decided to call around to family members and ask about my mothers condition or if any one has seen her lately. Several people said that she was doing fine, So I decided to call my Aunts home and talk to her personally. My mother seemed to sound okay, but then again she always slipped in and out of her depression. Im still concerned about the child, and think that my mother should be evaluated.

    The problem is that Im afraid after all the paper work is done....and they are notified, they will all try to fight against me on getting guardianship and help for my mother. They want to pretend as if nothing is wrong, and like they never called me with concerns of my mother. Im starting to wonder if Im really doing the right thing. Im also afraid that my life would be in danger from them if I went on with the proceedings.

    I wish that I could just go to court, file for temporary guardianship without them knowing, order the court to send someone to evaluate my mother or hold her in a hospital while she gets evaluated. Have the baby in my custody until she proves to be okay. Someone told me that if I filed for conservatorship of my mother, I could order someone to get her hospitalized myself, But would that be better than guardianship of the child? I figured my mother would want to get medication/help to get her child back. I don't want my Aunt to get custody of the baby either, because she doesn't even want to help my mother while she lives with her.

    Please help, Im so confused on what to do, should I get a lawyer.....because it seems like Im going to have to go against a big fight. Do I have other options? All these people are saying that my mother is fine, would that hurt me in court?
    Last edited by sweetpea826; 09-21-2004 at 03:54 PM.
  15. #15
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Consult an attorney who specializes in elder, probate or disability law. Call the county office that handles conservatorships they can advise or possibly give referals.

    Now you have a phone number for your aunt, that will help. Contact CPS again now that you have the telephone number, that is anonymous, let them know you have the papers ready to file for guardianship, and your reasons for not wanting your aunt to have guardianship, one reason being that she is preventing relatives from contact with your mother this is a violation of W&I 15656, as a caretaker, possible violation of CPC 368

    You can petition the court for an EC 730 evaluation for your mother, that does not hospitalize her, it is done with a mental health professional on an out patient basis, however it could be done if she were hospitalized.

    It is posible for a person to drift in and out of competency, or may depend on medication or compliance, again things to be assessed.

    Please call CPS in the morning and give them the telephone number they can trace your aunt from there. Good Luck.

    CALIFORNIA CODES
    WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE
    SECTION 15656
    15656. (a) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely
    to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits
    any elder or dependent adult, with knowledge that he or she is an
    elder or a dependent adult, to suffer, or inflicts unjustifiable
    physical pain or mental suffering upon him or her, or having the care
    or custody of any elder or dependent adult, willfully causes or
    permits the person or health of the elder or dependent adult to be
    injured, or willfully causes or permits the elder or dependent adult
    to be placed in a situation such that his or her person or health is
    endangered, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not
    exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, three, or four
    years.
    (b) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than
    those likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes
    or permits any elder or dependent adult, with knowledge that he or
    she is an elder or a dependent adult, to suffer, or inflicts
    unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on him or her, or
    having the care or custody of any elder or dependent adult, willfully
    causes or permits the person or health of the elder or dependent
    adult to be injured or willfully causes or permits the elder or
    dependent adult to be placed in a situation such that his or her
    person or health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
    (c) Any caretaker of an elder or a dependent adult who violates
    any provision of law prescribing theft or embezzlement, with respect
    to the property of that elder or dependent adult, is punishable by
    imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the
    state prison for two, three, or four years when the money, labor, or
    real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding four hundred
    dollars ($400), and by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars
    ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one
    year, or by both that imprisonment and fine, when the money, labor,
    or real or personal property taken is of a value not exceeding four
    hundred dollars ($400).
    (d) As used in this section, "caretaker" means any person who has
    the care, custody, or control of or who stands in a position of trust
    with, an elder or a dependent adult.

    (e) Conduct covered in subdivision (b) of Section 15610.57 shall
    not be subject to this section.

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