In re J.A.L.Annotate this Case
Husband and Wife were married and had been together for more than fifty years. Wife suffered from multiple sclerosis and cognitive impairments. After Wife’s son and daughter sought and obtained appointments as Wife’s co-guardians/conservators, Husband filed two petitions to either be appointed as guardian/conservator for Wife or to terminate the guardianship. The district court appointed Wife’s brother and sister-in-law as Wife’s guardians and conservators, authorized them to restrict Husband’s access to Wife, and awarded them reasonable attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion in finding that Wife’s brother and sister-in-law were best qualified to serve as permanent co-guardians/conservators and in permitting them to restrict contract between Husband and Wife, as the limited contact was necessary for Wife to receive care from the assisted living facility where she had been thriving before Husband’s interference; and (2) did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney fees to the co-guardians/conservators incurred in the defense of Husband’s frivolous action.