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Name: Conservatorship of K.Y. (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 985
Case #: A166825
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/20/2024
Summary

When requesting an extension of time in an appeal from an order establishing an Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) conservatorship, counsel should be mindful of the expiration date of the order and should inform the court of that date so that good cause may be evaluated properly. K.Y. appealed from an order granting the petition of the Public Guardian of Contra Costa County to establish a conservatorship for a one-year period under the LPS Act (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5000 et seq.). Held: Appeal dismissed as moot. An LPS conservatorship appointment or reappointment order lasts for one year only. Dismissal of appeals for mootness is not uncommon in LPS conservatorship cases, as in other cases that involve challenges to one-year civil commitment orders. While some delay is unavoidable, there are cases where mootness can be avoided by taking advantage of procedures available for expedition. Here, between the parties there were six extensions of time and briefing was not completed until a month after the order under review expired, at which point the appeal became moot. Without the additional time for briefing, the appeal could have been decided before the expiration of the commitment order, even without a motion for calendar preference. When requesting an extension, counsel should be mindful of the expiration date of the conservatorship order and should inform the court of that date so that good cause may be evaluated properly. Counsel (whether for the appellant or the respondent) may wish to address whether the extension would significantly affect the court’s ability to adjudicate the appeal before the expiration of the civil commitment order if no exception to mootness applies, or whether the appellant contends that the appeal is one that warrants the court’s discretionary review if it is likely to be moot before a decision can be rendered. [Editor’s Note: In a footnote, the court observed that the EOT form used in this case (CR-126, which is for criminal cases), does not ask about calendar preference/priority, nor the expiration date of the conservatorship or civil commitment order. The current version of the civil extension request form (APP-006) does ask about calendar preference/priority, but does not expressly address conservatorships or civil commitment orders. The court noted that the “Judicial Council may wish to clarify which form should be used for conservatorship and other civil commitment cases, and prompt parties to indicate the date on which the challenged order expires.”]