Florida Court Maintains Jurisdiction when Ward is Moved to Another State

Weissenbom v. Graham (Graham 1), 963 So. 2d 275 (Fla. 4th DCA August 1, 2007)

During the course of a Florida Guardianship Dispute between the wards two sons, one of the sons moved the ward from Florida to a “secret location” in another state.

That son then arranged for an attorney to appear on behalf of the ward. Although the attorney never was authorized to represent the ward, he argued the guardianship must be terminated because the emergency temporary guardian was unaware of the location of the ward. The attorney also argued that the Florida court no longer had jurisdiction over the ward and that, therefore, the guardianship must be dismissed.

The appellate court, in reviewing an appeal from the trial court’s refusal to allow the attorney to represent the ward, rejected all of the arguments and found that, notwithstanding the unauthorized relocation of the ward to another state, the Florida court still had jurisdiction over the ward and any interested persons involved in the guardianship.

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