October 28, 2020 Guardianship

Right to Counsel in Restoration of Rights Cases

By John Pollack and Megan Rusciano

I. Background: Guardianship and the Right to Counsel

A. The Implications of the Restrictive Nature of Guardianship

Even where the imposition of a guardianship is a genuinely benevolent action to protect a person’s life and livelihood, it nonetheless results in a profound restriction of fundamental rights. It removes a person’s ability to be the author of their own life and make the decisions that compose who they are by placing those decisions in the hands of another. It can impact whether a person marries and forms a family; whether they vote; where they live; what education, job, or training opportunities they may have; and what services they receive.

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