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Name: Conservatorship of M.B.
Case #: A152586
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/12/2018

Trial court correctly applied the definition of “gravely disabled” found in Welfare and Institutions Code section 5008, subdivision (h)(1)(A) in evaluating a request to establish an LPS conservatorship for a minor. The Alameda Public Guardian petitioned the superior court to establish a conservatorship of M.B., a 16-year-old minor. After trial, the court issued an order establishing an LPS conservatorship. The minor appealed. Held: Affirmed. “A conservator of the person . . . may be appointed for a person who is gravely disabled as a result of a mental health disorder.” “Gravely disabled” is a condition in which a person, as the result of a mental disorder, is unable to provide for her basic personal needs for food, clothing, and shelter. The minor argued the trial court should have used the definition of a “gravely disabled” minor in Welfare and Institutions Code section 5585.25, instead of the definition in section 5008. The two definitions are similar, but section 5585.25, requires the minor to be “unable to use the elements of life that are essential to health, safety and development, including food, clothing, and shelter” even though provided by others. Section 5585.25 is not part of the LPS Act and applies only during the initial 72 hours of mental health evaluation and treatment provided to a minor. After that time, the LPS Act applies. Here, the minor suffered from PTSD and a major depressive disorder that was severe and recurrent with psychotic features. She exhibited suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors and had auditory hallucinations. There was sufficient evidence the minor was gravely disabled.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: