Helen Scott, the niece of Archibald Jerdon, asked the court to investigate whether a curator bonis or factor loco tutoris (i.e., a legal guardian) should be appointed for Jerdon. As a matter of law, Jerdon opposed Scott’s request, but Scott alleged that the opposition had really been coordinated by a man seeking to take advantage of Jerdon in his old age. After Scott’s petition was granted, Jerdon sought further review, arguing that a man could not be divested of his affairs without a more rigorous proceeding commenced by a “brief of idiotry.”

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