Hynes v. Jones

*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** CAROLYNE Y. HYNES v. SHARON M. JONES (SC 20009) Robinson, C. J., and Palmer, McDonald, D’Auria, Mullins, Kahn and Ecker, Js. Syllabus The plaintiff, who had received an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund following the death of her husband during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, appealed to the trial court from the Probate Court’s denial of her motion to dismiss guardianship pro- ceedings relating to their minor child. The letter from the compensation fund’s special master authorizing that award indicated that the plaintiff had elected to receive certain money on behalf of the minor child as a representative payee. The letter further elaborated that, in that capacity, the plaintiff had an obligation to use the money in the minor child’s best interest, to invest it prudently, and to distribute it to the minor child once she reached the age of majority. Following receipt of the award, the Probate Court directed the plaintiff to place the money into a guardianship account. The plaintiff complied and subsequently filed an application to be appointed guardian of the minor child’s estate. The Probate Court granted that application but, thereafter, declined to allow the plaintiff to use the funds in the account to pay for certain of the minor child’s expenses, concluding that that the plaintiff had a common- law duty to use her own resources for the minor child’s support. The plaintiff then filed a motion to dismiss the guardianship proceedings, claiming a lack of jurisdiction, which the Probate Court denied. The plaintiff appealed from that decision to the trial court, which concluded that the Probate Court had jurisdiction to appoint a guardian because the plaintiff’s election to receive compensation fund money directly as a representative payee did not exempt that money from the statutory protections afforded to the property of minors. The trial court rendered judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s probate appeal, from ...

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