from the Boone Superior Court, The Honorable Matthew C.
Kincaid, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 06D01-1109-GU-38
Attorney for Appellant Andrew Ault Indianapolis, Indiana.
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Petitioner, Thomas Meranda (Meranda), appeals the
trial court's Order denying his petition to terminate the
guardianship of Gwendolyn M. Reagan (Reagan).
We reverse and remand.
Meranda presents two issues on appeal, which we consolidate
and restate as: Whether the trial court erred when it
concluded that the issues raised in Meranda's petition
had already been decided and are no longer available for
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Meranda is the spouse of the protected person, Reagan, who
was born on March 26, 1940. They were married on November 25,
2000 and continue to be married to this date. As early as
2004, Reagan began suffering from symptoms which, in 2008,
led to an Alzheimer's diagnosis. On December 13, 2011,
the trial court appointed Leslie Rodeman (Rodeman),
Reagan's brother, as the guardian of her person and
estate. Rodeman filed a guardianship inventory on September
23, 2013. That same day, Rodeman also requested permission to
repair Reagan's property, which was granted by the trial
court. Rodeman resigned as guardian on September 16, 2014, at
which time he also filed an amended inventory and
guardian's current report and accounting. The amended
inventory was not served on any individual, while the
guardian's report was only served on Reagan. The
following day, September 17, 2014, the trial court approved
the report and accounting without a notice or hearing.
On September 17, 2014, Appellee-Respondent, Mary Elizabeth
Spaw (Spaw), Reagan's daughter, was appointed as
successor guardian. On November 25, 2014, Spaw filed her
verified guardian's second current report and accounting,
with certificate of service to Reagan only. After the
appointment of the new guardian, Reagan moved from her home
in Lebanon to Spaw's home in Kendallville where she
resided from November 2014 until March 2015. In March 2015,
Reagan moved in with Meranda in his residence in Lebanon as
he retired from his employment and was able to care for her
on a daily basis. At that time, Reagan's monthly
allowance was increased to allow for eating out and
hairdresser appointments, while Meranda was reimbursed for
medical expenses he paid on behalf of Reagan after providing
the receipts to Spaw. On September 16, 2016, Spaw filed her
verified guardian's second amended inventory, with notice
to Reagan. Three days later, the trial court approved the
filing without a notice or hearing.
On June 8, 2017, Spaw filed a petition for authority to
clean-up and sell Reagan's real estate that had been the
subject of Rodeman's petition to repair. In her petition,
Spaw noted that the property had been empty for years and had
deteriorated as a result. The trial court granted the
petition without notice, hearing, or service of the order.
On June 21, 2018, Meranda filed a pro se
letter with the trial court advising the court that because
Spaw had not been paying Reagan's medical bills, he had
been forced to pay them and was falling in debt. Meranda
requested that Spaw find Reagan another place to live due to
the possibility of Meranda's mortgage being foreclosed. A
month later, on July 18, 2018, Spaw submitted a status report
to the trial court, advising the court "that the medical
bills are being paid by the Guardian herein."
(Appellant's App. Vol. II, p. 82). No copy was served on
Reagan or Meranda. Spaw also filed her third report and
accounting, which was approved by the trial court without
notice or hearing.
On February 11, 2019, Meranda, represented by counsel, filed
an emergency petition for termination of the guardianship and
for succession of guardianship. In his petition, Meranda
asserted that Spaw had mismanaged Reagan's estate and
failed to provide for Reagan's physical and mental needs.
In addition, he claimed to have incurred more than $40, 000
of unreimbursed medical and personal expenses in his care for
Reagan. On February 13, 2019, Spaw filed her response to
Meranda's emergency petition contending that the
accountings "were approved [by the court] and none of