Posts tagged "L.B."

L.B., et al. v. Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Department, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-060-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11892   L.B. & another[1]  vs.  CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT DEPARTMENT & others.[2] Suffolk.     October 5, 2015. – May 4, 2016.   Present:  Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Probate Court, Guardian.  Due Process of Law, Assistance of counsel.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Practice, Civil, Assistance of counsel.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on May 6, 2015.   The case was reported by Botsford, J.     Laura Williams Gal (Christina L. Paradiso with her) for L.B. & another. Norah E. Kane for the minor children of L.B. Jo Ann Shotwell Kaplan, Assistant Attorney General, for Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Department. Deborah W. Kirchwey for the minor child of C.L. Jamie Ann Sabino, Susan R. Elsen, Mary K. Ryan, & Melanie V. Woodward, for Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Inc., & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief. Andrew L. Cohen, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for Committee for Public Counsel Services, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Susan M. Finnegan, Sandra J. Badin, & Geoffrey A. Friedman, for S.D., amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Richard M. Page, Jr., for Boston Bar Association, amicus curiae, joined in a brief.     SPINA, J.  In Guardianship of V.V., 470 Mass. 590 (2015), we held that a parent whose minor child is the subject of a guardianship petition pursuant to G. L. c. 190B, § 5-206, and who cannot afford counsel has a right to have counsel appointed and to be so informed.  The issue in this case is whether a parent also has a right to counsel if and when the parent petitions to have the guardian removed or to have the terms of the guardianship modified.  We conclude that a parent does have a right to counsel for certain of those types of petitions.  We also offer some guidance to the Probate and Family Court, where these private guardianships occur, for the development of rules and policies to implement this right to counsel. Procedural history.  The plaintiffs, L.B. and C.L., are the mothers of minor children for whom guardians were appointed, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, pursuant to G. L. c. 190B, § 5-206.  They commenced this action in the county court in 2015, challenging a written policy of the Chief Justice of the Probate and […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 4, 2016 at 2:44 pm

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