Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.
Let me me doublecheck and get back to you on this. I know in bankruptcy proceedings, the Attorney-in-fact can indeed represent the principal...
By my literal reading of the New York General Obligations Laws Article 5 Title 15 Section 5-1502H indicates that the POA can indeed act on behalf of the Principal in all Court proceedings. The POA is the pro se litigant in that instance. If the POA is prevented to step in the shoes of the Principat that would mean that a now mentally incapacitated person who gave POA to another person cannot have his day in Court without an Attorney. That would constitute actionable discrimination by the Court since there is no requirement that an individual be represented by an Attorney in order to prosecute or defend his case. Nonetheless if you find the appeal case that states otherwise, kindly forward it to me for review.
Also, see New York Judiciary Law Article 15 Section 478.
Additional information: I found something that indicates that a POA who is not an Attorney cannot appear on behalf of the Principal. This is not a New York State Court source. This is a federal Court's source:
"The right to appear pro se in a civil case in federal court is contained in a statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1654. Thus, anyone can appear pro se, and anyone who appears before the Court without an attorney is considered pro se. There are, however, certain limitations to self-representation, such as:
New York Court's definition of pro se: pro se: a party who does not retain a lawyer and appears for him/herself in court.
This goes back to my discrimination argument that if POA is not allowed to act on behalf of the Principal without hiring an Attorney, then the disabled person has been discriminated against since if he were not disabled he would not have been required to hire an Attorney to represent himself.
At this time I would err on the side of caution. If you filing a Small Claim, have your mum sign the papers. If possible, your mum should be present in Court and you can just assist in speaking to the Judge. That would technically not be the same as legal representation--almost acting as the interpreter.
You may want to apply for Guardianship now on her behalf. Courts view guardianship more favorable than a POA.
Thank you for the additional information.
At this time, I will opt out to give another Attorney the opportunity to comment on your case.