Berge: Admission of Emergency Room Report Not Prejudicial Error

medical-report-iconThe Minnesota Court of Appeals released an unpublished opinion on February 18, 2014 in the case of In re: Guardianship and Conseservatorship of Wallace Berge, A13-0585.

Berge held that the admission of an emergency room report in a guardianship trial was not prejudicial error, where there was ample other evidence to support the Court’s ultimate conclusion that a limited guardian and conservator was necessary.  Although, as the Court noted, the District Court would not have been able to make Findings of Fact as to Berge’s condition at the hospital emergency room without admitting the emergency room report, the Court went on to note that the emergency room report simply corroborated the other testimony that it had admitted and found credible concerning Berge’s condition that entire night (confirming the observations of an officer and a child of Berge’s).

Also of note is the Court’s analysis of whether less restrictive means were possible, in lieu of a guardianship.  The court relied upon testimony that Berge would likely not accept outside caregiver services because he had in the past refused them and because he was frugal.

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