1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


Audrey D faced eviction from her apartment for nonpayment of rent and was apparently unable to find alternate housing due to health and financial challenges.

During a hearing to determine whether she needed a guardian, Audrey D requested that her father be appointed, but he acknowledged that he didn't know how to find adequate housing for his daughter given her limited resources. A representative of the Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. (SCSI) , on the other hand, contended that it could assist Audrey D.

After it was determined that Audrey D was an incapacitated person, the Kings County Supreme Court appointed SCSI to oversee her personal needs and property management.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, explained that when selecting a guardian for an incapacitated person, the primary concern is what is in the incapacitated person's best interests.

When an incapacitated person nominates a guardian, the court will usually defer to the incapacitated person's request unless there is a clear showing that such an appointment would be inappropriate.

While a family member's appointment is preferable, it is within the court's discretion to select an outsider if the family member is unsuitable. Given a guardianship's unique responsibilities, the AD2 concluded that appointment of Audrey D's father would not have been appropriate or in her best interests.

So you see, father doesn't always know best .

To download a copy of the Appellate Division's decision, please click on the following link: Matter of Audrey D.