Definition - What does Incompetence mean?
Incompetence, incompetency or incompetent can refer to:
- The lack of qualification or inability to perform a task (at work, for example)
- The inability to bear witness at a trial or participate in one’s own defense
- A mental or physical condition or incapacity that prevents a person from managing or carrying out their own financial and/or personal affairs
- A condition that renders a person is incapable of entering into a contract
Incompetence can be the result of a mental disorder like psychosis, a low or deteriorating IQ, or even a physical illness or disability.
Justipedia explains Incompetence
The process that declares someone incompetent usually involves a motion for a competency hearing, a psychiatric evaluation and a competency hearing.
Different states have different laws when it comes to declaring the incompetence of a person. In some states, it is easy to file a petition to declare another person incompetent. In other states, the laws covering incompetence have a higher standard to meet.
The hearing for incompetence isn’t a typical plaintiff-against-defendant style. It follows a model where it is assumed that everybody wants the best for alleged incompetent person.
Before a person is declared incompetent by the court, it is necessary for that person or their attorney to be present.
A person who is incompetent may require a conservator or guardian to look after their affairs. This is usually arranged by the court.