Appointment of guardian and conservator is reversed for insufficient findings of fact.

In re the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Reinhold Struhs, A18-0452. Filed December 3, 2018, (Minn. App. 2018). In a rare case, the court of appeals reversed the appointment of a guardian and conservator because the findings were insufficient to support the appointment. The petitioner was a long-time friend of the respondent. The respondent was seen in town with urinary stains on his pants and seemed confused. He was dribbling all over his clothes. His driver’s license was taken in 2017. His living conditions were dilapidated and unlivable. It was claimed his furnace needed work. It was claimed that he ate mainly bread and sweets but he changed that after being confronted about his diet and he bought better foods. He was renting his farm at below market rents. No medical records were introduced. The problem is that evidence was not introduced to show that the respondent was acting with diminished capacity. For example, they alleged the respondent was confused about trips he had taken but did not offer proof showing the actual days of the trips. They did not introduce evidence that the furnace actually needed repair. They did not produce evidence that finances were in fact being wasted. There was no testimony regarding alternatives. It seems the testimony was thought to be self-evident without additional facts or evidence. The court of appeals found that the evidence did not meet the statutory burden.

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