Ashley never had a chance to be independent. Due to her disabilities, Ashley’s grandmother petitioned for guardianship as soon as she turned 18. She believed that Ashley couldn’t take care of herself.

After her grandmother passed away, Ashley’s aunt took over her guardianship. While under guardianship, Ashley wasn’t allowed to manage her own finances, relationships, or even choose where to live. Her guardians made all the decisions for her. Both her grandmother and her aunt were physically abusive. Luckily, Ashley planned an escape. She left her abusive aunt and moved in with her biological mother. Ashley’s mother gave her freedom. She was allowed to make her own decisions for the first time in her life.

But on paper, Ashley still had a guardian. That’s when she contacted Disability Rights NC. We represented Ashley in her efforts to remove guardianship and give her legal independence. On February 13, 2020, the Assistant Clerk of Gaston County Superior Court agreed that Ashley does not need a guardian and restored her competency. Now, at the age of 32, Ashley is finally free to make her own decisions for her life.