This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






In Re:  Guardianship of
Karen E. Bruhn, Ward.



Filed February 6, 2001

Reversed and remanded
Peterson, Judge


Stearns County District Court

File No. P500360


Michael G. Blee, Blee Law Office, Ltd., P.O. Box 801, St. Cloud, MN  56302 (for appellant)


Thomas A. Janson, Schmitt & Janson Law Office, 124 East St. Germain Street, P.O. Box 1752, St. Cloud, MN  56302 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


Appellant seeks review of a probate court order appointing a guardian of her person and estate, contending that the evidence was insufficient to prove that she is incapacitated and in need of a guardian.  Because the findings lack the specificity required by statute, we reverse and remand.


            After her father, with whom she had lived for the past 25 years, was hospitalized, appellant Karen E. Bruhn, a 50-year-old woman with chronic schizophrenia, was placed in the Willmar Regional Treatment Center on December 28, 1999.  Her father died on February 12, 2000.

            Diane Willis, appellant’s sister, filed a petition requesting that she and Jane Brown, a neighbor and family friend, and Dr. Alan Espelien, a physician and friend of appellant’s father, be named guardians of both appellant’s person and estate.  Following a hearing in probate court on April 19 and May 23, 2000, the court granted the petition.


            The probate court has broad statutory authority in appointing a guardian and a reviewing court will affirm the probate court’s decision absent an abuse of discretion.  In re Conservatorship of Foster, 547 N.W.2d 81, 84 (Minn. 1996); In re Guardianship of Kowalski, 478 N.W.2d 790, 792 (Minn. App. 1991), review denied (Minn. Feb. 10, 1992).  The reviewing court is limited to determining whether the probate court’s findings are clearly erroneous, giving due regard to the probate court’s determinations regarding witness credibility.  Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01; In re Conservatorship of Lundgaard, 453 N.W.2d 58, 60-61 (Minn. App. 1990).  The burden to show that a guardian is necessary rests with the petitioner and requires clear and convincing evidence.  Minn. Stat. § 525.551, subd. 3 (1998).

            Appointment of a guardian for a person or estate requires specific, written findings of fact.  Minn. Stat. § 525.551, subd. 5 (1998).  This court has previously warned that “‘general,’ conclusory findings” are insufficient to meet the legislative mandate.  In re Lundgaard, 453 N.W.2d at 63.

            In its order, the probate court found that “[t]he allegations of the Petition are true and correct, having been proved by clear and convincing evidence.”  The court provided no specific findings that explain how the evidence supports the court’s legal conclusions.  The petition, which the court adopted for its findings, merely states in conclusory language that appellant meets the statutory requirements for appointment of a guardian.  The probate court’s failure to provide the required specific findings requires a remand.  Id.

            We do not reach the issue of whether the evidence was sufficient to support a determination of incapacity.

            Reversed and remanded.