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Failure to Admit Evaluator’s Report Required Reversal of Conservatorship Order

Ms. Humprey was a hospital patient and the University of Tennessee Medical Center filed a petition for Conservatorship. The petition alleged she was unable to make appropriate decisions regarding her treatment and medical care. Petitioner attached the report of Dr. Taylor Wright in support of its petition.

The Court appointed a guardian ad litem and an attorney ad litem for Ms. Humphrey. Ms. Humphrey objected, arguing she did not need a conservatorship. She objected to the physician’s report as hearsay and it was not admitted during the hearing. However, the trial court did consider the report and apparently relied on it.

On Appeal, the Court reversed the decision below. Attaching a report to a petition does not dispense with the Rules of Evidence and ” does not render it evidence without further action on the part of Petitioner.” The Court remanded the case for the trial court to hold a new hearing on the Petition with instructions that the court is not to consider the Examination Report as evidence unless these documents are properly introduced and admitted by the court into evidence in accordance with the Tennessee Rules of Evidence.


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