Guardianship of Neher, In re, 94-01707

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtSCHOONOVER
Citation659 So.2d 1294
Parties20 Fla. L. Weekly D2026 In re the GUARDIANSHIP OF Jennifer Ann NEHER. Sharon Lynn NEHER, Appellant/Cross-Appellee, v. Jennifer Ann NEHER, Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 94-01707,94-01707
Decision Date01 September 1995

Page 1294

659 So.2d 1294
20 Fla. L. Weekly D2026
In re the GUARDIANSHIP OF Jennifer Ann NEHER.
Sharon Lynn NEHER, Appellant/Cross-Appellee,
Jennifer Ann NEHER, Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
No. 94-01707.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Second District.
Sept. 1, 1995.

Richard A. Kupfer of Richard A. Kupfer, P.A., West Palm Beach, and Charles P. Erickson of Paulich, O'Hara & Slack, P.A., Naples, for appellant/cross-appellee.

Page 1295

Cathy S. Reiman and William J. Hazzard of Cummings & Lockwood, Naples, for appellee/cross-appellant.

SCHOONOVER, Acting Chief Judge.

The appellant, Sharon Lynn Neher, challenges several orders entered in a guardianship proceeding involving her daughter, Jennifer Ann Neher. The successor guardian for Jennifer Neher, Margaret Losleen, has filed a cross-appeal contending that the trial court erred when it did not order Sharon Neher to reimburse the guardianship for certain unapproved payments that were made. We find that the trial court erred in finding that Sharon Neher was in indirect criminal contempt of court and by not awarding her any fees for her services as Jennifer Neher's guardian, but affirm the trial court in all other respects.

Jennifer Neher, the natural daughter of Sharon Lynn Neher, and the adopted daughter of Dr. John Neher, was born in 1970 with a birth defect. Shortly thereafter she developed staphylococcal meningitis and encephalitis which was evidently not properly treated. In addition to several conditions which developed in the early weeks of her life, she later contracted osteomyelitis which resulted in her having thirty-nine operations. After Dr. Neher, a medical doctor, reviewed his daughter's medical records, conducted independent research, and consulted with other doctors, a medical malpractice action was filed on Jennifer Neher's behalf. All parties have agreed that without Dr. Neher's expertise and efforts a malpractice action would not have been filed, nor any settlement received. In March of 1989, Jennifer Neher was found to be incompetent and Dr. and Mrs. Neher were appointed co-guardians. In 1991, shortly before the malpractice action was settled for $2.85 million, Dr. Neher resigned as one of Jennifer Neher's guardians.

Jennifer Neher resided with her parents after the malpractice action was settled. However, in January of 1993 she moved out of the family home because the relationship began to deteriorate. During 1993, Jennifer employed an attorney to have her capacity restored or, in the alternative, to have her mother removed as guardian and the parties began to litigate.

Throughout this period, an "Interim Plenary Guardian" was appointed. Although Sharon Neher was not removed as guardian at that time, a restraining order prohibiting her from having any contact with her daughter was entered, and she subsequently agreed to resign as guardian after the court made a decision concerning Jennifer's incompetency.

Shortly before trial, Sharon Neher filed an amended inventory which contained a claim for reimbursement of her expenses, Dr. Neher's expenses incurred on behalf of the ward after the guardianship was created, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and guardian fees for her and Dr. Neher. The other parties sought reimbursement of their attorneys' fees from the guardianship estate.

At trial, Jennifer Neher changed her position concerning the guardianship of her person and property and agreed to the appointment of a guardian of her property and to a limited guardianship in relation to her person. The rest of the issues mentioned above were tried.

At the conclusion of the proceedings, the trial court entered several orders which are pertinent to this appeal. First, the court restored certain rights to Jennifer Neher and...

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2 cases
  • M.P. v. State, 86968
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • October 10, 1996
    ...could not stand "because all of the violations of law arose out of a single episode." A.J.H., 652 So.2d at 1280; accord M.P.C., 659 So.2d at 1294. In A.J.H., the district court cited this Court's decision in State v. Stearns, 645 So.2d 417 (Fla.1994), as prohibiting conviction and sentence ......
  • In re Guardianship of Sapp, No. 2D02-4010
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 2, 2004
    ...for reasonable and necessary services within the scope of his or her duties as guardian. Neher v. Neher (In re Guardianship of Neher), 659 So.2d 1294, 1297 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995); Read, 555 So.2d at 870-71; Osterman v. Copeland (In re Guardianship of Osterman), 515 So.2d 1066, 1067 (Fla. 4th DC......

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