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03/19/87 In Re Estate of Simpson Driskell

March 19, 1987

IN RE ESTATE OF SIMPSON DRISKELL, JR. (WILMA SIMPSON


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

Driskell, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant, v.

First National Bank of Springfield, Guardian of the Estate,

et al., Respondent-Appellees)

506 N.E.2d 319, 153 Ill. App. 3d 739, 106 Ill. Dec. 612 1987.IL.340

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. Richard E. Mann, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

Justice Knecht delivered the opinion of the court. Green and Lund, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE KNECHT

Petitioner, Wilma Simpson Driskell, Jr., wife of Simpson Driskell, Jr., appeals the order of the circuit court of Sangamon County denying her motion to expunge all previous orders appointing guardians of the estate and the person as well as the order finding Simpson Driskell, Jr. (Driskell), to be under a legal disability due to mental illness. We affirm.

A brief explanation of Driskell's current legal status is necessary to understand petitioner's arguments. Driskell was found in 1930 by order of the county court of Sangamon County to be a feebleminded person and sent to live at the Lincoln State School and Colony as a private patient. On December 1, 1939, in the probate court of Sangamon County, Driskell was found to be incompetent and a conservator was appointed both for his person and his estate. Successor conservators, later renamed guardians, have served from 1939 to the present. The current guardian of the estate is the First National Bank of Springfield and the guardian of the person is John Ray, a distant cousin of Driskell.

For a time in the early 1970s Driskell was a patient of the Illinois Department of Mental Health at the McFarland Zone Center but received an absolute discharge from the department on June 10, 1974. He presently resides at Haven Convalescent Center in Springfield as a private patient, having been placed there several years ago by his guardian.

The petitioner contends Driskell must be released from guardianship both of his estate and his person due to the operation of section 3-907 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 91 1/2, par. 3-907). This section provides:

"Any person who is under legal disability solely by reason of a court order adjudicating him mentally ill entered prior to January 1, 1964, shall be deemed to be a person under no legal disability 180 days from the effective date of this Act unless, prior to that date, a hearing is held pursuant to the provisions of the Probate Act of 1975, approved August 7, 1975, as now or hereafter amended, and a guardian is appointed."

Petitioner claims the 1930 adjudication of Driskell as feebleminded was an adjudication of mental illness requiring a review of his legal competency within 180 days of the effective date of the code, which was ...


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