In re Guardianship of V.V.Annotate this Case
In 2012, the probate and family court appointed Mother’s grandmother (“Great-Grandmother”) as the permanent guardian of Mother’s minor child. Mother subsequently filed a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(4), alleging that the judgment was void for lack of due process because she was not appointed by counsel in the guardianship proceeding. The probate and family court denied the motion. While Mother’s appeal from that denial was pending, the court granted Mother’s petition for removal of the guardian and vacated the guardianship. The child was returned to Mother’s custody. The Court dismissed Mother’s appeal as moot but exercised its discretion to address the issue of whether Mother was entitled to counsel. The Court held that a parent whose minor child is the subject of a guardianship proceeding and who cannot afford counsel has a right to have counsel appointed and to be so informed.