Conservatorship of B.C.Annotate this Case
In 2012, B.C., age 30, suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage from the use of methamphetamine and alcohol. She initially lived with and was cared for by her mother. When her mother died, B.C. inherited $450,000. She also received disability payments. Although she had limited cognitive function, she subsequently married Jesse, with whom she had been “partying” at the time of her cardiac arrest. In 2014, B.C.’s aunt, C.S., sought appointment as probate conservator. Through counsel, B.C. opposed the petition. Jesse participated in hiring and advising the attorney. The court appointed the Ventura County Public Defender to represent B.C. An appointed conservator for B.C.’s estate sought reimbursement of $30,000, for disability benefits that Jesse had diverted to himself. Jesse has no assets and is responsible for five children. After a bench trial, the court appointed C.S., Prob. Code 1800. The court of appeal affirmed. Probate conservatorships do not require a personal waiver of the right to a jury trial because the proceedings pose no threat of confinement and are conducted according to the law relating to civil actions, including trial by jury if demanded by the proposed conservatee. B.C.’s attorney had authority to waive a jury trial on her behalf, even if the court failed to recite that B.C. had a right to a jury. The record supports the finding that B.C. cannot take care of her own needs, nor can her husband be trusted to do so.