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In re Guardianship of A.R.R.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

July 30, 2019

In the Matter of: The Guardianship of [A.R.R.], S.N.N., Appellant.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Probate Division (Prob. No. 591277)

         On brief:

          S.N.N., pro se.

         Argued:

          S.N.N.

          DECISION

          SADLER, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, S.N.N., appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, removing her as guardian of her adult son, A.R.R., and appointing the Franklin County Guardianship Services Board ("FCGSB") as AR.R.'s guardian. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On May 4, 2018, appellant filed an application for appointment as guardian of her adult son, A.R.R., whom she alleged to be incompetent due to mental illness. On May 18, 2018, FCGSB filed a competing application to be appointed guardian of AR.R.'s person. The application alleges A.R.R. "has profound impairment due to untreated symptoms of schizophrenia for a prolonged period" of time, and that "his symptoms have been worsening." (Application at 4.)

         {¶ 3} On June 25, 2018, a magistrate of the probate court held an evidentiary hearing on the competing applications. Patrick Fahey, M.D., conducted an expert evaluation of A.R.R. and submitted a report. The probate court summarized Dr. Fahey's findings as follows:

18.Dr. Fahey stated that [A.R.R.] is mentally impaired due to the mental illness, catatonic schizophrenia, which he noted to be severe.
19. Dr. Fahey explained that [A.R.R.] was unable to care for himself or perform daily activities, and would not talk.
20. Dr. Fahey stated that [A.R.R.'s] condition was not stabilized and was unsure if the condition was reversible, but as of the date of his evaluation, his condition was chronic.
21. Dr. Fahey recommended that a guardianship be established.

(Dec. 21, 2018 Decision at 5.)

         {¶ 4} On May 18, 2018, FCGSB filed a statement of expert evaluation from Hossam Guirgis, a psychiatry physician at Harding Hospital ("OSU Harding"). The probate court summarized the April 26, 2018 statement of expert evaluation as follows:

25. Dr. Guirgis's statement of expert evaluation stated that [A.R.R.] is mentally impaired due to mental illness caused by catatonic schizophrenia.
26. Dr. Guirgis further stated that [A.R.R.] has profound impairments due to untreated symptoms of schizophrenia for a prolonged period.
27.At the time Dr. Guirgis completed his statement, [A.R.R.] was not eating or drinking and was refusing medications.
28. Dr. Guirgis recommended that a guardianship be established, and that [A.R.R.'s] condition was not stabilized and is not reversible.

(Dec. 21, 2018 Decision at 6-7.)

         {¶ 5} On June 27, 2018, the magistrate issued a decision recommending the probate court find A.R.R., then 24 years old, to be an incompetent person, as defined in R.C. 2111.01(D), because he is so impaired as a result of a mental disability he is incapable of taking proper care of himself. The magistrate further recommended the probate court, pursuant to R.C. 2111.02(C), appoint A.R.R.'s biological mother, appellant, as guardian of A.R.R.'s person.

         {¶ 6} The magistrate scheduled a compliance/removal hearing to be held on November 5, 2018 for the purpose of reviewing "[t]he ward's progress and medication compliance." (June 27, 2018 Mag. Decision at 11.) The probate court adopted the magistrate's decision as its own on June 27, 2018, and no objection was filed. A.R.R. was discharged from OSU Harding into appellant's care on July 9, 2018.

         {¶ 7} On August 21, 2018, Kevin Nathaniel Johns, M.D., A.R.R.'s treating psychiatrist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center ("the hospital"), filed a complaint in the probate court seeking removal of appellant as guardian due to her alleged failure to comply with Dr. Johns' recommendation that A.R.R. resume taking the prescribed medication clozapine, resulting in a re-admittance to the hospital with symptoms of catatonia, psychosis, and malnutrition. Dr. Johns also alleged appellant refused consent for recommended electroconvulsive treatments ("ECT").

         {¶ 8} The August 21, 2018 guardianship complaint contains the ...


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