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In re Guardianship of Marviline Luneau

Supreme Court of Maine

August 11, 2016

GUARDIANSHIP OF MARVILINE LUNEAU

          Submitted On Briefs: July 20, 2016

         Reporter of Decisions

         York County Probate Court docket number 2015-0601

         On the briefs:

          Gregory O. McCullough, Esq., Sanford Law Offices, Sanford, for appellant Mark Langlais.

          Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Daniel J. Eccher, Asst. Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee Department of Health and Human Services.

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         [¶1] Mark Langlais appeals from two judgments of the York County Probate Court [Nadeau, J.) adjudicating Marviline Luneau incapacitated and appointing the Department of Health and Human Services her temporary public guardian pursuant to 18-A M.R.S. §§ 5-310-A, 5-601 [2015] and her permanent public guardian pursuant to 18-A M.R.S. §§ 5-304, 5-601 [2015]. The court made detailed findings, which we assume are supported by the record because Langlais did not provide a transcript on appeal. See Greaton v. Greaton, 2012 ME 17, ¶ 2, 36 A.3d 913. The case history, stated below, is based on those findings and documents in the record, particularly a visitor's report.

         I. CASE HISTORY

         [¶2] Luneau is ninety-one years old. Langlais is twenty-nine years younger than Luneau, and he is the older brother of Luneau's daughter's husband. Langlais had known Luneau since his childhood, and shortly after they were reintroduced in 2006, Langlais sold his home and began living with Luneau. They lived together until Luneau's hospitalization and subsequent transfer to a nursing home in 2015.

         [¶3] Luneau has a ten-year history of serious medical issues that need not be recounted here.

         [¶4] Langlais suffers from PTSD, related anxiety, and chronic insomnia. He is prescribed medications for these conditions but refuses to take them. When Luneau was living with Langlais, she "spent most of her days and nights lying in a recliner chair" and "was substantially immobile and was normally clad in a night gown." Langlais "kept all windows closed and blocked from outside light and observation" and "admonished [Luneau] from responding to knocks on the door when he was away." Langlais's "apparent alcoholism" and his "complex PTSD and chronic insomnia . . . render him materially unavailable, if not also inappropriate, to be deemed suitable to serve as [Luneau]'s guardian."

         [¶5] Luneau was hospitalized twice in 2015. During the second hospitalization, her doctor "noted a 'failure-to-thrive' and 'inappropriate conditions of her home, which sometimes included neglect and possible abuse from the part of her significant other.'" Luneau's doctor opined that she was unable to care for herself and that Langlais was ill suited to care for her.

         [¶6] As of the date of the judgment, Luneau resided at Berwick Estates in South Berwick. There, Luneau was "well cared for, neatly dressed, well fed and hydrated, timely and regularly medicated, and happy." Luneau was "also visited regularly by [her daughter] and occasionally by other family members including her ...


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