The Coalition to Assist Limited Capacity New Yorkers will host its second webinar event in a four part series on Thursday June 10, 2021 at 5:00pm EST

The webinar event, entitled Article 81 Guardianships in New York: A Statewide Perspective, will explorethe common issues faced by practitioners across New York State” and “the unique local conditions faced within individual jurisdictions,” according to the Coalition,  a joint project of Project Guardianship and NYLAG’s LegalHealth Program.

Project Guardianship will also be hosting a Virtual 5K Run, Walk, or Bike Challenge beginning in June 2021.

When commencing an adult guardianship proceeding in New York pursuant to Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law (“MHL”), the key document to be filed with the court is the petition. This document is essentially a detailed, formal, written request to have a guardian appointed. 

In this blog post, I discuss drafting the petition in an MHL Article 81 guardianship proceeding, legal requirements, and best practices. 

Continue Reading Drafting Article 81 Petitions: The Checklist Approach

The New York County Clerk’s Office is now, for the most part, closed on Wednesdays. But not necessarily for guardianship attorneys.  I recently attempted  (successfully) to have my court runner file an interim motion in an Article 81 proceeding in New York County on a Wednesday. It can be done!

Per the New York County Clerk’s website:  “All NYCC in-person transactions are postponed on Wednesdays until further notice except in the case of an emergency which is defined herein as: Guardianship and Mental Hygiene emergency applications.  . . .” This means you can file your application for an appointment of a guardian on a Wednesday. But leave your dog bite pleadings at home.

Moreover, I learned that the New York County Clerk at 60 Centre Street is open on Wednesdays to accept Orders to Show Cause in existing guardianship matters in Room 160 (Chief Cashier) next to Room 158 (Guardianship & Fiduciary Support Office), but not Room 141B (the Cashier which issues index numbers).

Continue Reading New York County Clerk Now Closed on Wednesdays With Exceptions for Guardianship Cases

Bringing suit against a person for whom a guardian has been appointed isn’t for the faint of heart. 

A person seeking to litigate against a guardian in its representative capacity, or a judicially declared incapacitated person (“IP”), cannot proceed without permission from the court which appointed the guardian.  Continue Reading How Easy Is It to Sue an Incapacitated Person?

I recently filed an Order to Show Cause in Kings County (Brooklyn) with a Petition commencing a guardianship proceeding pursuant to Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law.

I used the same form and format as I have in the past, which had never been rejected (until now).

On this particular occasion, the Clerk asked me to refile the Order to Show Cause with the service of process language matching the Sample Form provided by the court.

Comment (page entered on) 2 - ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE ( PROPOSED ) The service requirements for the parties entitled to service should conform to the sample OSC which can be found at under the Guardianship department tab. There should also be service written in for the proposed temporary guardian. (ReturnRemoveDocument (AddComment)

The language in the Sample Form reads:

Continue Reading Kings County Requires the Order to Show Cause Service Provisions Match the Sample Form

Not just anyone (or anything) can serve as a guardian for an adult in New York. Mental Hygiene Law Article 81, one of New York’s adult guardianship statutes, has specific eligibility requirements

There are four categories of persons (and entities) that are eligible to serve as an article 81 guardian in New York – lay guardians, independent guardians, corporate guardians (both not-for-profit and for-profit), and public agency guardians.

Continue Reading Who (and What) Can Serve as an Article 81 Guardian?

The Coalition to Assist Limited Capacity New Yorkers will sponsor a four part webinar series beginning with a panel of article 81 guardianship judges in New York City  who will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on their courts.

“The judges will share their knowledge on how their parts and the practice within the courts have been impacted by the pandemic, best practices that have emerged in light of our new socially-distanced reality, and their hopes and recommendations for the future,” according to the Coalition,  a joint project of Project Guardianship and NYLAG’s LegalHealth Program.

The panel of judges include Justice Lisa Sokoloff from New York County, Justice Ta-Tanisha James from the Integrated Guardianship/Housing Part in New York County, Justice Lisa Ottley from Kings County, Justice Charles Troia from Richmond County, and Justice Wyatt Gibbons from Queens County.

Continue Reading Panel of NYC Judges to Discuss Impact of COVID-19 on Guardianship Parts

The Queens County Guardianship Office does not receive an alert when practitioners file papers via NYSCEF in Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 cases. Documents uploaded to NYSCEF in Article 81 matters should also be emailed to the Queens County Guardianship Office so that they receive the papers. Please email me at for the correct email address for the Queens County Guardianship Office.

The New York County Clerk’s office now requires that all Stipulations and Consents to E-Filing in Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 guardianship cases must be So Ordered before being filed with the Clerk.

Many practitioners, including myself, are electing to convert their Article 81 paper cases to  NYSCEF. In New York County, before filing a Stipulation and Consent to E-Filing, it would be prudent to contact the New York County Guardianship and Fiduciary Support Office to confirm the proper procedure.

The Court Evaluator is not only a critical player in an article 81 guardianship proceeding, its role is unique to all other court proceedings.

The Court Evaluator is frequently described as the “eyes and ears of the court”. Their job, in essence, is that of an investigator, tasked with gathering detailed information about the case to assist the Court in reaching its decision as to whether a guardian should be appointed. 

The Court Evaluator is not a party to a Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) article 81 adult guardianship proceeding, and is impartial in its outcome, except to the extent that the Court Evaluator asserts its own independent position. Instead, “a court evaluator is a neutral appointee entrusted with duties and responsibilities as set forth by statute, to assist the court in determining whether a guardian should be appointed, or whether there are less restrictive measures that can be employed to protect the subject of the proceeding.” 

Continue Reading Role of the Court Evaluator