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S.T. v. 1515 Broad Street, LLC (081916) (Essex County & Statewide) (A-87-18;

Before depriving S.T. of the right to control the direction of her case and appointing a guardian to make legal decisions on her behalf, the court was required to conduct a hearing to determine whether she lacked "sufficient capacity to govern [herself] and manage [her] affairs" "by reason of mental illness or intellectual disability." See N.J.S.A. 3B:1-2; N.J.S.A. 3B:12-24; R. 4:86-4. At such a hearing, S.T. had the right to independent counsel. See R. 4:86-4(a)(7). In the absence of a guardianship hearing and a judicial finding by clear and convincing evidence that S.T. lacked the requisite mental capacity to decide how to proceed with her lawsuit, the court had no authority to accept a settlement against S.T.’s wishes.