Brandon, 92, under guardianship, will settle in France


A 92-year-old woman who fought her emergency guardianship earlier this year will move to France after a final hearing into her case on Tuesday.

Brandon resident Christine Lagisquet was placed under emergency temporary guardianship in July. The legal arrangement, known as plenary guardianship, stripped her of almost all of her civil rights, including her ability to vote, manage her finances or determine her housing.

“She is free,” said Dominique Lucbernet, a longtime friend of Lagisquet who lives in Paris. “I’m very happy. You have no idea.”

Related: A 92-year-old Brandon woman fought her conservatorship. Things quickly escalated.

On Tuesday, the judge handling her case determined that Lagisquet needs limited guardianship – meaning she will regain her right to vote and determine her social environment, but will need a guardian to make decisions in her name regarding property, health, residency and legal proceedings.

But he granted his request to be allowed to return to his hometown of Bordeaux, France, according to Gerald Hemness, lawyer for his current court-appointed guardian, Susan Whitney. She will be assigned a new guardian according to French law upon her arrival.

“Personal neighborhood preferences are paramount in guardianships,” Hemness said. “There are just times when what a neighborhood wants intersects with what is safe. The judge ruled; she expressed her preference — she would like to live in France,” he added. “So that’s what we’re going to work on.”

Friends and neighbors say Lagisquet’s experience demonstrates how harsh a guardianship measure can be for the person in it.

Related: Caretaker of Brandon woman under guardianship loses job

Hemness, as her guardian’s attorney, in turn said the outside interference had proven costly for Lagisquet. Guardians and their attorneys bill the estate of the person under guardianship for their work, including actions taken in response to people trying to get involved in the case.

About $60,000 was charged to Lagisquet’s estate, according to Hemness.

The judge’s prior orders regarding interactions with other people remain in place as long as Lagisquet is still in the United States.

“The only reason she’s been under such intense scrutiny is, quite frankly, because of how everyone tried to approach the situation,” Hemness said. “His son Pierre has really bad press. But he is anything but indifferent. He was completely cooperative yesterday.

Lagisquet will likely move to France permanently in two to three months, Hemness said.

There, according to Lucbernet, she will live with a cousin.


Comments are closed.