In re Guardianship and Conservatorship of Leitner
Nebraska Court of Appeals
2012 Neb. App. LEXIS 29 (2012)
Elmer Leitner (defendant) was 95 years old and lived at home. Elmer’s home was consistently dirty and infested with bugs. Elmer shoved dirty sheets under his bed and slept on a bare mattress instead of cleaning the sheets. Elmer also refused to turn on his house furnace. Instead, to save money, Elmer used a small, inadequate space heater and shivered in his own home. While living in this state, Elmer received a series of phone calls from an individual who identified himself as George Washington. Washington promised that if Elmer sent cash to Washington, Elmer would win large prizes, such as a car or $1 million. In response, Elmer cashed in a $10,000 certificate of deposit and ultimately sent a total of $4,000 to Washington without ever receiving anything in return. Elmer’s son, Roger Leitner (plaintiff), filed a petition with the state court to be appointed as the guardian of Elmer’s estate and his physical person. Elmer objected to the petition. Elmer’s doctor testified that Elmer could make rational decisions, and Elmer testified that he understood that sending money to Washington had been a mistake. The trial court denied the request to appoint a guardian for Elmer’s person. However, the court found that a guardian for Elmer’s financial matters, i.e., a conservator, was appropriate and appointed Roger to the position. Elmer appealed, arguing that the conservatorship was invalid because Roger had not proved that Elmer was incapacitated.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Irwin, J.)
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