Casey v. CaseyAnnotate this Case
Respondents James Casey, Sr. and his daughter Julie Toner sought a writ of mandamus to direct the circuit court to dismiss Petitioner Jo Ann Casey's (Julie's mother) petition to remove a guardianship and conservatorship proceeding from probate court to the circuit court. In 2008, Jo Ann filed for divorce. In her petition, Jo Ann alleged that James Sr. had committed domestic violence against her. According to James Sr. and Julie, the divorce proceeding was initiated as the result of undue influence exerted on Jo Ann by James Casey Jr. James Sr. moved to dismiss the divorce on the grounds that the then 74-year-old Jo Ann was mentally incompetent. The domestic-relations court held that James Sr.'s motion was moot, but the record never reflected why. Nevertheless, the court set the divorce for trial. James Sr. moved to have Jo Ann undergo an independent medical examination and for the court to appoint her a guardian ad litem. Jo Ann refused the examination, and moved the probate court to remove the guardianship proceeding to the circuit court. James Sr. and Julie argued on appeal that the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to remove the guardianship proceeding when it entered the removal order. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the probate court had not entered an order creating a guardianship or conservatorship for Jo Ann. "Logically, because no guardianship or conservatorship has been created for Jo Ann, there [was] no 'administration or conduct' of such guardianship or conservatorship to be removed from the probate court to the circuit court." Accordingly, the Court dismissed the removal petition and issued the writ.