IN RE: CONSERVATORSHIP OF GOLDIE CHILDS
Attorneys: Sheryl D. Guinn, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Hazel Childs, Oreva Childs.
Jeanan Mills Stuart, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Two of the daughters of an eighty-two year old woman filed a petition to be named as their mother’s Conservator. The trial court found that the mother did indeed need a Conservator, but because of family disagreements it appointed a third party to perform that role. Seven months later, the same daughters filed a petition to remove the incumbent Conservator and to be named as Co-Conservators to replace her. The mother died after proceedings on the second petition began, but before the trial court could rule on its merits. The Conservator subsequently moved the court for payment of her fees. The court found that some of those fees were incurred as a direct result of the uncooperative acts of the two daughters. Since the decedent’s estate was indigent, the court entered two money judgments for costs against the daughters. We reverse the judgment that was assessed against one of the daughters for failing to return her mother to the nursing home in a timely way, because although her actions led to additional costs, no legal basis for the judgment appears in the record. We vacate the judgment based on the unsuccessful petition to remove the conservator and we remand the case for further proceedings, because although Tenn. Code Ann. section 34-1-114 does allow an assessment of costs against such petitioners, it is unclear how much of the court’s judgment falls within the parameters of that statute.
Read the January 5, 2011 Decision