ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A legal services advocacy group has asked a federal court to stop state surrogate judges from appointing guardians for disabled New Yorkers under a 1969 statute, saying it violates their constitutional rights.

Disability Rights New York says the state statute permits terminating all decision-making rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That includes the choices of where to live and work, whether to marry and have children, what medical care to receive and whom to associate with.

The group says guardianships can be imposed for life, without having the individual present at the hearing, without a right to be represented by a lawyer and without any subsequent review whether it's still needed.

Executive Director Tim Clune says it's "an archaic law."


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