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Recent Case Alert Conservatorship of Kevin A.

Filed October 1, 2015, Fifth District

Cite as F070914

Kevin A. appealed from an order granting the petition of the public conservator to reestablish LPS conservatorship for a one-year period, finding him gravely disabled. Although Kevin A. had previously remained in conservatorship for a number of years, a jury in 2013 found him not gravely disabled, terminating the conservatorship. Following a hearing in which Kevin A.’s apparent request to replace his attorney was denied, Kevin A.’s attorney waived a jury trial over Kevin A’s objection.

The court of appeal reversed. A proposed conservatee must waive the right to a jury, and in accepting the attorney’s waiver over Kevin A.’s express objection, the court made no specific finding that Kevin A. lacked capacity to decide for himself whether to proceed before a jury. The case is distinguishable from precedent where counsel’s waiver of a jury was upheld, because the proposed conservatee there, unlike Kevin A., expressed on the record a desire for a court trial.

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