Tenant Wins Termination of Guardianship Despite Concerns Over Eviction Proceeding
LVT Number: #31685
An Article 81 guardian was appointed to address tenant's personal needs and property management. Tenant later sued the Dept. of Social Services (DSS) seeking termination of the guardianship by Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. The court ruled against tenant, who appealed and won. Selfhelp argued that the tenant remained incapacitated and required guardianship over his personal needs and property management. Selfhelp argued that it didn't believe that tenant could or would successfully defend himself in a pending eviction proceeding. But the appeals court found that Selfhelp failed to prove that the tenant remained incapacitated. A "precarious" housing situation, without more, didn't constitute proof of incapacity warranting appointment of a guardian. And proof of mental illness alone didn't establish incapacity. Selfhelp offered insufficient, uncorroborated testimony as to tenant's mental health and failed to establish that its guardianship over tenant remained warranted.
Matter of Banks: App No. 14298, 2021 NY Slip Op 05284 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 10/5/21; Webber, JP, Singh, Scarpulla, Mendez, Rodriguez, JJ)