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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  29 Years Experience in Family Law
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I was a party to a legal Guardianship matter where the Judge

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I was a party to a legal Guardianship matter where the Judge terminated my Guardianship without the parties filing an appeal in the lower court. The Judge signed an order without notifying that she signed an order for the mother of my granddaughter to withdraw funds held in Bank of America titled in my name for my Granddaughter. The Bank allowed the Mother to withdrawn 20k out of the account and the other Guardian withdrew 20k out of the other bank account. What can I do since the case was never Appealed from the Orphans court?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Maryland
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes. I filed a fraud Claim and the bank told me since they had an order from the Court they were allowed to withdraw the funds. The Guardianship Estate I had said withdrawals only upon order of the Orphans Court.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I appealed the termination of my Guardianship because the Judge had no authority to terminate my guardianship without the parties filing an appeal.

Welcome to JA and thank you for your question. I will be the Attorney that will be assisting you.

A guardianship can be severed by the court.

Are you telling me that you did not receive notice?

Were the funds removed before or after you filed an appeal?

The bank has no choice other than to follow a court order. The issue in this situation is if the court followed the proper procedures. Can you provide a little more information?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
ok
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
no

I am happy to continue working with you in this format at no additional charge.

It appears that a petition was filed to terminate your guardianship. Can you explain the situation a little more?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
that's ok just text me.

It appears that a petition was filed to terminate your guardianship. Can you explain the situation a little more?

It also appears that the court granted the petition.

Is this question related to guardianship of a minor? Are you online with me?

A guardianship can be severed by the court.

Are you telling me that you did not receive notice?

Were the funds removed before or after you filed an appeal?

The bank has no choice other than to follow a court order. The issue in this situation is if the court followed the proper procedures. Can you provide a little more information?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
On February 21, 21013 my son was killed in a terrible auto accident with a 18 wheeler tractor trailer that resulted in his death. His life insurance policy did not have a designated beneficiary on it. The default clause of the policy states when no beneficiary is designated it automatically goes to the next of kin whom the insure decided was his two minor children by two different mothers. To claim the money for the children the insurer instructed me to apply for guardianship of the two minors. The Estate told me to open up a guardianship Estate for the children in which I did. The parents never showed up for the hearing and I was awarded guardianship. I was also instructed by the Orphans Court to open a Restricted Bank account in a insured bank for each minor child. Each child received 20k deposited into their accounts that listed me as the Guardian restricting withdrawals to Orphan Court only withdrawals. On October 15, 2015 the wrongful death action settled and a global settlement was awarded for me and the two minor children. On January 18, 2016 a mediation hearing was conducted to establish the distribution of the global settlement funds. The distribution agreement stated that each beneficiary shall get a third. It also contain a condition precedence clause that the funeral expenses shall be deducted by the personal representative out of the Life Insurance proceeds distributed to the minor children. When I objected the mothers threaten to void the distribution agreement If I did not turn over the guardianships to them. A hearing was held in Orphans Court on the Guardianship on February 16, 2016 and the judge ruled the guardianships shall remain as is and the Mothers and their attorneys had 30 days to appeal. No appeal filed and 60 days later a new action for guardianship was filed by the Mothers in Circuit Court. The Circuit Court ruled that the mothers did not get actual or constructive service and that I did not have priority over the mothers and gave one Guardianship over her child and the other child was appointed a special needs guardian. The Judge also gave them an order after the case closed to withdraw funds from the restricted Orphans Court Bank Account Established for the Children in my name. Both account was closed out by the Mothers and the 20k was withdrawn from the bank in November of 2016.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Are you still there?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The Court issued the Order after I filed an appeal.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The funds was removed after I filed an appeal.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I did not receive notice that the funds were going to be removed. The other side attorney said I was not required to be served.

Thank you for your patience. I just received notice that you replied. My apologies.

Thank you for the clarification. I am very sorry for the loss of your son. You did everything correctly.

There is a set of circumstances where a guardianship can be terminated without notice to you.

“RULE 10-209. TERMINATION OF A GUARDIANSHIP OF THE PERSON

West's Annotated Code of Maryland

Maryland Rules

MD Rules, Rule 10-209

RULE 10-209. TERMINATION OF A GUARDIANSHIP OF THE PERSON

(a) Applicability. When a guardian of the person has exercised no control over any property of the person or if the guardian of the person is a public guardian, the termination of the guardianship shall be according to this Rule.

Committee note: If a guardian of the person, other than a public guardian, has exercised control over any property of the minor or disabled person, termination of the guardianship shall be in accordance with Rule 10-710.

(b) Termination Not Requiring Prior Notice.

(1) Petition; Grounds. Upon a petition filed in conformity with this section, the court shall terminate a guardianship of the person without prior notice upon a finding that either (A) a minor not otherwise disabled has attained the age of majority or (B) the minor or disabled person has died, and that (C) the guardian has exercised no control over any property of the disabled person. The petition may be filed by a minor not otherwise disabled or by the guardian of a minor or disabled person. It shall contain or be accompanied by the guardian's verified statement that the guardian has exercised no control over any property of the minor or disabled person, and shall also be accompanied by either a copy of the minor person's birth certificate or other satisfactory proof of age or a certified copy of the minor or disabled person's death certificate.

(2) Time for Filing. A minor who is not disabled may file a petition at any time after attaining the age of majority. A guardian shall file a petition within 45 days after discovery that grounds for termination exist.

(3) Venue. The petition shall be filed in the court that appointed the guardian or that has assumed jurisdiction over the fiduciary estate.

(4) Copy of Order. The court shall send a copy of the order terminating the guardianship to the guardian, the person whose minority has ended, and any other person whom the court designates.

(c) Termination Requiring Notice.

(1) Cause for Termination. A guardianship of the person may be terminated upon the filing of a petition in accordance with this section if the court, after notice and hearing, finds that any of the following grounds exist:

(A) the cessation of the disability;

(B) the emancipation of a minor who has not attained the age of majority; or

(C) any other good cause for termination.

(2) Time for Filing--Who May File. Within 45 days after the guardian discovers that grounds for termination may exist, the guardian shall file a petition requesting the court to terminate the guardianship. At any time after discovery of the grounds for termination the minor or disabled person or any other interested person may file a petition requesting the court to terminate the guardianship.

(3) Venue. The petition shall be filed in the court that appointed the guardian or that has assumed jurisdiction over the fiduciary estate.

(4) Contents. The petition shall be signed and verified by the petitioner and shall contain the following information:

(A) the petitioner's relationship to the minor or disabled person;

(B) the name and address of each interested person;

(C) a statement of facts establishing the grounds for termination; and

(D) a statement that the guardian has exercised no control over any property of the minor or disabled person.

(5) Documentation.

(A) Medical Certificate. If the cause for the termination of the guardianship is the cessation of the disability, the petitioner shall file with the petition a certificate, signed by a physician who has examined the person within 21 days of the filing of the petition, attesting to the cessation of the disability.

(B) Marriage Certificate. If the cause for the termination of the guardianship is emancipation because of the marriage of the minor person, the petitioner shall file with the petition a copy of the marriage certificate.

(6) Notice. The petitioner shall give notice by mailing by ordinary mail to those persons designated by the court a copy of the petition and the show cause order issued pursuant to Rule 10-104.

(7) Proceedings and Order. After the time for filing a response has expired, the court may, and upon request shall, hold a hearing and shall issue an order granting or denying the termination of the guardianship and the release of the guardian.”

https://govt.westlaw.com/mdc/Document/NA7AB4A709CEB11DB9BCF9DAC28345A2A?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)

Can you tell me if 10-209 (b) applies to your situation? If not this was improper. If notice was required you would have needed to file a motion to terminate the courts order and appeal the decision.

Which county are you located in so I can provide a link for local Attorneys that provide FREE consultations that can assist you?

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate it.

The site does not credit the Attorneys unless the customer rates our service positively. Thank you for your consideration. Please me know if you were unhappy with my service and I will opt out for another Attorney to assist you.

Thank you for using JA! We appreciate your business.

I wanted to check in with you to make sure that I answered all of your concerns. Please let me know.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I was not the guardian of the person. Iwas appointed guardian of the property in Orphans Court. The Order was issued after I filed the appeal.

That makes a difference. My apologies let me provide that information.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The parents objected two years later. The Orphans Court ruled the guardianship shall remain as is and the parents had 30 days to appeal and never filed an appeal. 2 months later they filed an an action in circuit court without appealing the Orphans Court decision for a determination of guardian and appointment of a successor guardian.

Thank you for the clarification I will go through all of the law that pertain to guardianship of the property of a minor to see if the court removed you improperly.

1. How old is the child?

2. Was there a duration with regard to you guardianship of the property?

“Guardianship of the property is different, that individual has the fiduciary obligation to manage assets on behalf of the ward, who is the minor child. Guardianship of the property requires the individual to file an inventory of all the assets that belong to the ward after appointment and then continue to provide the court with accountings.

The court accountings can be very complex and they usually require the attachment of bank statements, receipts; basically an accounting of every dollar that is spent on behalf of the minor child.

Typically, for the guardian of a minor, guardianship is ended when the child turns eighteen. Terminating the guardianship requires filing a final report and a final accounting, if an individual is serving as guardian of the person and of the property. Once the child turns eighteen, then he or she, with the court’s approval, will no longer be required to be under the guardianship of another adult.

DURATION OF GUARDIANSHIP

Once a guardianship of a minor is established, the guardianship remains in place until a child reaches the age of majority or eighteen. At that time, the guardian can petition to the court to terminate the guardianship, because the minor child will be an adult capable of making his or her own healthcare, education and financial decision. There is not really a possibility to extend or shorten the duration of someone’s guardianship of a minor

Guardianship may be temporary if the guardianship was started as a result of a parent’s incapacity. In the event that a parent regains capacity, it is possible that a formal guardianship may be terminated, so that the natural parent or the adopted parent can continue to raise the child.

Unless requested, guardians are appointed for the duration of the guardianship. It is possible to petition the court and ask for an abbreviated guardian or an abbreviated term as guardian, but that will weigh as well as other facts of the case, as to whether or not the court will appoint the petitioner as the guardian.

The court makes determinations regarding guardianships and the appropriate guardian based on the best interest of the child. Whether or not a guardian can be substituted, and the success of the guardian in that term of that appointment will depend greatly on the facts of each case. The judge’s priority will always be the best interest of the child.

An individual’s obligation or role as guardian may be affected by how well they perform their duties. Although, a guardianship of a minor may last until the minor turns eighteen, a guardian’s term as guardian may be terminated by the court if he or she is not providing or not fulfilling either his or her fiduciary obligations or his or her obligations to care for the child.” http://trustandestateslawyers.com/maryland/guardianship-attorney/minors/basics/

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The duration of the guardianship was 2.5 years. All reports timely filed. The children were age 5 and eight. They are 8 and thirteen now. The thiteen year old is diabled. The parents cla I med they did not live at the address at the time of my guardianship of property with the Orphans Court. The Orphans Court ruled the service was proper you have 30 days to appeal. NO Appeal filed. Based on Notice they filed the same action in circuit court. The Judge improperly terminated my guardianship based on Service.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I live in Rosedale Maryland in Baltimor County East

Thank you for the clarification. The judge's determination can be vacated or appealed. I realize the damage has been done based on the order by the court.

You can file a complaint for judicial misconduct as well as bring an action against the court for damages. Let me provide you with links for assistance in the area.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sorry the guardianship duration for the eight year old is 18 and the diabled child had no duration.

Got it. Do you know or do you suspect that the funds have been spent/depleted?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can I still file to have her Order Vacated. The Cicuit court has not sent the file to the Court of Special Appeals. The Judge sent me an Order to pay for the Transcripts is that proper for her to do. I do not have the money to pay for transcripts.

What was the date the Judge issue the order?

"The Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities ("Commission") is an independent body with the power to investigate complaints against Maryland judges and, when warranted, conduct hearings concerning such complaints and take certain actions or make recommendations for other actions to the Court of Appeals. Through the exercise of its powers, the Commission plays an important role in promoting public confidence in, and preserving, the integrity and independence of the judiciary.

This web site contains the procedures concerning the filing of a complaint, its investigation and resolution, and other information about the Commission." http://mdcourts.gov/cjd/index.html

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I don't know if the funds have been depleyed. They took the money on 11/4 and 11/22. They did an inventory report with the court. The file is being held by the Judge.

What date did the Judge issue the orders? Was the order issued and the money taken on the same dates? "They took the money on 11/4 and 11/22."

You can file a complaint against the Judge at http://mdcourts.gov/cjd/complaint.html

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The Orders were granted the same day they were file on October 18, 2016. The money was taken out on November4 and November 24, 2016. The first Inventory filed on November 21st. The Second one one November 27th

Ugh. I am checking the time to file a motion to vacate. It is usually 30 days but there can be special circumstances. You did file the appeal that is one avenue.

Orphans Court may be able to provide you with a motion to vacate. I do not see the form online. I will find a sample form for you.

http://www.courts.state.md.us/courtsdirectory/index.html

Sample motions to set aside/vacate http://secure.uslegalforms.com/cgi-bin/forms/search.pl?state=MD&field=anywhere&query=motion+to+set+aside+

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate it.

The site does not credit the Attorneys unless the customer rates our service positively. Thank you for your consideration. Please me know if you were unhappy with my service and I will opt out for another Attorney to assist you.

Thank you for using JA! We appreciate your business.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The Orphans Court Judge said the Circuit Court Judge had no Authority to terminate a Guardian under its Jurisdiction without filing a appeal.
I agree. I was merely providing you with an example of these types of motions because there were no forms available online. This may be a form you can obtain from Orphans Court in person. You would have to go back to the Judge that ordered this in Orphan's Court or wait to fight the court decision on appeal.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do you know of a good appeals attorney or an attorney to help me with the guardianship in the Orphans Court.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively I would appreciate it. I will provide links for Attorneys in the area that handle Appeals and provide FREE consultations as well as other resources. Thank you for using JA!

The State Bar Association provides referrals to reputable Attorneys at http://msba.org/public/referral.asp

There are also Pro Bono resources available at http://www.courts.state.md.us/probono/

Baltimore County Bar Association https://www.peoples-law.org/lawyer-referral-service-baltimore-county-bar-association

FREE consultation Attorneys http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/litigation-appeals/rosedale/maryland

Legal available through Orphan's Court http://mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/findinglegalhelp.html

I believe I have answered your questions. The Attorneys on the site work with the customers in good faith as the only way we receive credit for our work is if the customer rates us positively. Thank you for your consideration.

Attorney2 and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you.

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