Are Adult Guardianship Hearings Public?

Guardianship proceedings often deal with very personal issues – sensitive medical topics; ┬ábehaviors by an elderly or disabled loved one that are often-times out of norm and somewhat embarrassing; sensitive financial information; and family in-fighting. ┬áNonetheless, guardianship hearings in Minnesota are public proceedings, which means that members of the public can sit in on the court proceedings and read the court filings. So is there anything that can be done to preserve the privacy of the individuals involved in these sensitive hearings? Yes. If documents/court filings contain sensitive medical (or other) information, they can be filed as “confidential” through the e-filing system, which will make that particular document not accessible by the public. The hearing itself may only be closed in very limited circumstances and at the request of the attorney for the Respondent (the person over whom you are trying to seek guardianship). ┬áMinn. Stat. 524.5-408 addresses this issue. It states, in pertinent part, ” . . . the hearing may be closed upon the request of the respondent and a showing of good cause.”

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