A key to distinguishing Guerrero from Benvenuto involves understanding that a conservator may only introduce evidence regarding the conservatee's present insight into their mental health and the need to take medication in the future. Introduction of evidence regarding the conservatee=s continued use of medication in the 24 future outside the narrow scope of Guerrero is most likely still inadmissible under Benvenuto.
This poses as in interesting issue as often during the hearings, the doctors and the investigators will cite in their report that the conservatee may stop taking their medication should their conservatorship be terminated. The case law surrounding LPS law can be very confusing with different cases conflicting with each other.
The law finds that projecting into the future is prejudicial to a conservatee's case and may jeopardize their case. Since the burden of proof for LPS conservatorship cases is at the same tier of criminal cases, the kind evidence that may be introduced into a LPS case must be carefully reviewed during discovery. Testimony that suggests that without a conservator's oversight a conservatee will become noncompliant is generally inadmissible. However, there is case law out there that suggests with combined with other factors such as history of noncompliance, current noncompliance, failure to care for ADLs and housing, and severity of mental disorder may be included in finding the conservatee gravely disabled. The problem with all of this conflicting case law leads to attorneys and judges making inconsistent rulings when conservatees argue the conservatorship based on this basis. There have been times where judges have to refer to the codes to ensure that their findings do follow the law.
I hope they address this issue at the next conference...
Juvenile Dependency and