Guardianship LiabilityA Tract Book EssayByAnthony J. Fejfar, B.A., J.D., Esq., Coif © Copyright 2007 by Anthony J. Fejfar Although it is rare for an adult, mentally ill person to have a guardian, the topicdeserves jurisprudential analysis. Until proven otherwise, I argue that an adult mentallyill person with a guardian should be treated the same as a 20 year old minor. In other words, unless proven differently, with a due process proceeding involving a personexamination of the ward, a mentally ill adult should be treated in roughly the same wayas a junior in college.Many mentally ill persons can understand a simple contract, balance a check book, understand what means to own property, and own property. Virtually all mentallyill persons value their own freedom of expression and freedom of religion. I argue that amentally ill person has all the same constitutional and legal rights as a “normal” person,with additional rights in equity.It follows, therefore, that if a guardian attempts to force an adult ward to adopt particular religious beliefs or practices, that this is an infringement upon theconstitutional rights of the ward. Similarly, if a guardian attempts to stop a ward fromwriting or saying nondefamatory speech, that this is also an infringement upon theconstitutional rights of the ward. This is particularly true of political speech.Obviously, a guardian cannot tell a ward how to vote, and cannot vote in place of theward.