How Does Someone Terminate Legal Guardianship?

Full Question:

My husband and I have been legal guardians to two of our grandchildren for the past five years. One of the children has aggressively threatened my husband and myself with a knife and verbally stating that he will kill us. He was placed in juvenile detention and later a mental facility. Upon his release he went to live with a great aunt and uncle who recently had him removed from their home because they couldn't trust him. His probation officer put him back here stating that as legal guardians we have no choice but to let him live here. We can not do this any more, we can not live in constant fear anymore. What do we need to do to have legal guardianship terminated? (We live in Kansas)
02/25/2009   |   Category: Guardianship   |   State: Kansas   |   #15353

Answer:

In Kansas, in order to resign as a guardian, a verfied petition for resignation needs to be made to the court that appointed the guardian, and a hearing will be held. If the court finds by the greater weight of the evidence that the resignation should be allowed, the court may terminate the guardianship. It will be a matter of subjective determination for the court, based on all the facts and circumstances involved.

The following is a Kansas statute:

59-3088. Resignation or removal of guardian or conservator; petition;
contents; notice; hearing; procedure; appointment of successor; forfeiture
of conservator's bond.

(a) A verified petition may be filed requesting the court to accept the
resignation of the guardian or the conservator, or both, to remove the
guardian or conservator, or both, or to appoint a successor guardian or
conservator, or both, and shall include:

(1) The petitioner's name and address, and if the petitioner is the
ward's or conservatee's court appointed guardian or conservator, that fact;

(2) the ward's or conservatee's name, age, date of birth, address of
permanent residence, and present address or whereabouts, if different from
the ward's or conservatee's permanent residence;

(3) the name and address of the court appointed guardian or conservator,
or both, if different from the petitioner;

(4) the factual basis upon which the petitioner alleges the need for
the removal of the guardian or conservator, or both, or the appointment
of a successor guardian or conservator, or both. If the current guardian
or conservator is requesting the court to accept the guardian's or
conservator's resignation, the petition shall include a statement to that
effect and state the reasons why the guardian or conservator, or both,
desires to resign;

(5) the names and addresses of witnesses by whom the truth of this
petition may be proved;

(6) the name, address, and relationship to the ward or conservatee, if
any, of the individual or corporation whom the petitioner suggests that the
court appoint as the successor guardian or conservator, and if the
suggested successor guardian or conservator is under contract with the
Kansas guardianship program, that fact; and

(7) a request that the court make a determination that the guardian or
conservator should be allowed to resign or should be removed, or that a
successor guardian or conservator, or both, should be appointed.

(b) Upon the filing of such a petition, the court shall issue an order
fixing the date, time and place of a hearing on the petition, which hearing
may be held forthwith and without further notice if, in the opinion of the
court, all persons necessary to the matter have entered their appearances,
waived notice, and agreed to the court's entering the order requested.
Otherwise, the court shall require the petitioner to give notice of this
hearing to such persons and in such manner as the court may direct,
including therewith a copy of the petition. This notice shall advise such
persons that if they have any objections to the petition that they must
file their written objections with the court prior to the scheduled hearing
or that they must appear at the hearing to present those objections. If the
petitioner is not the guardian or conservator, the court shall require the
petitioner to give this notice to the guardian or conservator, or both. The
court may appoint an attorney to represent the ward or conservatee in this
matter, similarly as provided for in subsection (a)(3) of K.S.A. 59-3063,
and amendments thereto, and in such event, the court shall require the
petitioner also to give this notice to that attorney.

(c) In the absence of a petition having been filed, but at any time
when the court has reason to believe that removal of the guardian or
conservator, or both, may be necessary, the court may set a hearing
thereon, and may require the guardian, conservator or some other person
to give notice thereof as provided for herein. Nothing herein shall be
construed such that the court does not have the authority to suspend
immediately the powers and authorities of a guardian or conservator, or
both, whenever the court determines that it is in the best interests of
the ward or conservatee to do so.

(d) The hearing shall be conducted in as informal a manner as may be
consistent with orderly procedure. The court shall have the authority to
receive all relevant and material evidence which may be offered,
including the testimony or written report, findings or recommendations of
any professional or other person who has familiarity with the ward or
conservatee or the conservatee's estate. The court may review the courts
prior orders, any guardianship plan or conservatorship plan filed pursuant
to K.S.A. 59-3076 or 59-3079, and amendments thereto, which is in
effect, and any reports or accountings which have been filed by the
guardian or conservator, or both, even if previously approved or
allowed. The court shall give to the guardian or conservator, or both, to
the ward or conservatee, and to other interested persons, the opportunity
to present evidence to the court concerning the actions of the guardian
or conservator, or both, and of the recommendations of such persons.

(e) At the conclusion of the hearing, if the court finds, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that the guardian or conservator, or both,
should be permitted to resign, or should be removed for failure to
fulfill the duties or responsibilities of being a guardian or
conservator, or for the manner in which the guardian or conservator has
exercised the powers or authorities granted to the guardian or
conservator, the court may so order and in such case shall revoke the
letters of guardianship or conservatorship, or both, previously issued
pursuant to K.S.A. 59-3069, and amendments thereto. The court may appoint
a successor guardian or conservator, or both. In making any such
appointments, the court shall act in accordance with K.S.A. 59-3068 and
59-3069, and amendments thereto.

(f) If the court finds that the conservator has innocently misused any
funds or assets of the conservatee's estate, the court shall order the
conservator to repay such funds or return such assets to the conservatee's
estate. If the court finds that the conservator has embezzled or converted
for the conservator's personal use any funds or assets of the conservatee's
estate, the court shall find the conservator liable for double the value of
those funds or assets, as provided for in K.S.A. 59-1704, and amendments
thereto. In either case, the court may order the forfeiture of the
conservator's bond, or such portion thereof as equals the value of such
funds or assets, including any lost earnings and the costs of recovering
those funds or assets, including reasonable attorney fees, as the court may
allow, and may require of the surety satisfaction thereof. Neither the
conservator, nor the conservator's estate or surety, shall be finally
released from such bond until the satisfaction thereof.