Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Guardianship of Gafford

Court of Appeals of Texas, First District

May 16, 2019

IN THE GUARDIANSHIP OF BOBBY CHARLES GAFFORD, ANINCAPACITED PERSON

          On Appeal from the Harris County Probate Court No. 4 Harris County, Texas, Trial Court Case No. 446312

          Panel consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Goodman and Countiss.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Julie Countiss Justice.

         Appellant, Analee Garduno Gafford ("Analee"), challenges (1) the order in which the trial court ruled that she lacked standing either to contest the application of Emily Crumby ("Emily") to appoint a permanent guardian of the person of Bobby Charles Gafford ("Bobby") or to apply in her own right for the appointment of a guardian for Bobby and (2) the order that appointed appellee, Debbie Crumby ("Debbie"), as permanent guardian of Bobby's person.

         In seven issues, Analee contends that this Court has jurisdiction to review the trial court's orders; the trial court lacked jurisdiction to appoint Debbie as permanent guardian of Bobby's person; and the trial court erred in granting relief in excess of the pleadings, finding that Analee intended to divorce Bobby, finding that Analee transferred Bobby's car to herself without authority, finding that Analee had interests adverse to Bobby's because she allegedly owed him a debt, and finding that Analee brought her own application for a guardianship and her contest to Emily's application in bad faith.

         We vacate in part, dismiss in part, and remand.

         Background

         Bobby lost the ability to fully care for himself and his home in his advanced age. In early 2016, the trial court received information that led it to appoint an investigator to determine whether it was necessary to appoint a guardian for Bobby. Emily, Bobby's granddaughter, filed an application for the appointment of a temporary guardian of Bobby's person and his estate. The trial court appointed Emily as Bobby's temporary guardian and appointed an attorney ad litem for him. Emily then filed an application to be appointed as permanent guardian of Bobby's person and, in compliance with the Texas Estates Code, named Analee in her application because Analee purports to be Bobby's wife.

         Subsequently, Analee appeared in the proceedings below, after the trial court, at Emily's request, temporarily restrained Analee from accessing any of Bobby's financial accounts or his car, entering his home, or contacting him. Analee moved to set aside the trial court's appointment of Emily as Bobby's temporary guardian; initiated a contest to Emily's application for permanent guardianship; applied to be appointed as Bobby's permanent guardian; and sought the restoration of her ability to see Bobby, including at his home. Analee, Emily, and the attorney ad litem then agreed that Marcia Pevey would serve as temporary guardian of Bobby's person and his estate pending the outcomes of the trial court's proceedings.

         After further investigation into Bobby's condition, Emily moved for an order in limine ruling that Analee had no standing to contest Emily's permanent guardianship application.[1] Also, Rebecca Coulson, a person unrelated to Bobby, filed an application seeking Pevey's appointment as permanent guardian of Bobby's person and estate.

         Analee specially excepted to Emily's motion in limine, but the trial court denied her special exceptions. After an evidentiary hearing, the court entered an order granting the motion in limine, striking Analee's pleadings "for lack of standing due to adverse interests," and allowing Emily to "proceed on her application for the appointment of" a permanent guardian for Bobby (the "Limine Order"). The court later entered findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of the Limine Order.

         On May 19, 2017, Emily set her application for appointment as Bobby's permanent guardian for hearing on June 2, 2017. But, on May 24, 2017, Emily filed another application for the appointment of a permanent guardian of Bobby's person, which, for the first time, asked that Debbie, who is both Emily's mother and Bobby's former daughter-in-law, be appointed permanent guardian of Bobby's person. Emily attached to this application an affidavit in which her attorney testified that a "Waiver of Service is attached" in which Debbie waived service of citation of the application. No such waiver, however, appears in the record, and there is no indication of service of citation upon Bobby.

         Two hours and forty minutes after Emily filed this application, the trial court, on May 24, 2017, entered an order appointing Debbie as permanent guardian of Bobby's person (the "Personal Guardianship Order"). Analee appealed the Personal Guardianship Order and any "other orders which merged into" it, including the Limine Order.

         On September 20, 2017, the trial court entered an order appointing Pevey as permanent guardian of Bobby's estate ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.