The Blind Side’s Michael Oher and the Complex World of Conservatorships: A Look at Alabama’s Process

The 2009 film “The Blind Side” portrayed the remarkable true story of Michael Oher, a young man from a challenging background who found support and love in the Tuohy family. Part of this story involved the legal process of establishing a conservatorship over Oher, who was a minor at the time. Now, more than a decade later, the recent article from the Associated Press highlights the complexities of conservatorships and guardianships in the state of Alabama. 

The Tennessee court has now removed the football player from under conservatorship, but the Touhy’s must still give an account of their use of the monies. 

[Judge] Gomes said she was disturbed that such an agreement was ever reached. She said she had never seen in her 43-year career a conservatorship agreement reached with someone who was not disabled.

Let’s discuss the article’s content and delve into the procedures for removing a conservatorship or guardianship in Alabama.

The Michael Oher Case and Its Impact:

The story of Michael Oher’s journey from a troubled youth to a successful NFL career is undoubtedly inspiring. However, the conservatorship established by the Tuohy family was a crucial part of his transformation. In the state of Alabama, as in many other places, conservatorships and guardianships are established to protect the rights and well-being of individuals who are deemed unable to make decisions for themselves, often due to age or incapacity.

The Associated Press article sheds light on the Tuohy family’s continued involvement in Oher’s life through a conservatorship, even though he is now an adult. It brings up questions about the process of removing a conservatorship or guardianship and the factors that might influence such decisions.

Procedures to Remove a Conservatorship in Alabama:

The state of Alabama, like many others, has established legal procedures to allow for the removal of conservatorships or guardianships when the need for such protective measures no longer exists. Here are some of the steps involved:

  1. Petition for Removal: The first step in removing a conservatorship or guardianship is to file a petition with the probate court. The petitioner, who could be the individual under conservatorship, a family member, or another interested party, must clearly state the reasons for seeking the removal.

  2. Notice and Hearing: Once the petition is filed, the court will set a date for a hearing. Notice of the hearing must be provided to all interested parties, including the conservator, the ward (the individual under conservatorship), and any other individuals who may have a stake in the matter.

  3. Evidence and Evaluation: At the hearing, evidence will be presented to demonstrate that the conservatorship is no longer necessary. This evidence may include medical reports, testimony from experts, and statements from the ward or their attorney.

  4. Best Interests of the Ward: The court’s primary concern is the best interests of the ward. If it is shown that the ward is now capable of managing their affairs independently and that the conservatorship is no longer needed, the court may order the removal of the conservator.

  5. Appointment of a New Conservator: In cases where the court determines that a conservator is still necessary, it may consider appointing a different individual or entity as the new conservator if the current one is found unsuitable.


The Associated Press article on Michael Oher’s conservatorship in Alabama raises important questions about the continuation of such arrangements into adulthood. While conservatorships and guardianships are established to protect individuals’ interests, it is crucial that they evolve to reflect changing circumstances and the best interests of those involved.

Alabama, like other states, provides a legal framework for the removal of conservatorships or guardianships when they are no longer necessary. The process involves a petition, a hearing, and a careful evaluation of the ward’s current situation. It is essential to ensure that the rights and autonomy of the individuals involved are respected and upheld.

In revisiting the Michael Oher case, we are reminded of the importance of continuously assessing and adapting legal arrangements to meet the evolving needs and capabilities of those under conservatorships, ultimately aiming to provide the best possible support for their well-being and independence.