Friday, May 22, 2015

Removal of Private Guardian Is Latest News in Challenge to Nevada Elder Guardianships

As we described last month, Nevada is one of the states facing serious "elder guardianship" concerns, and specifically concerns about court-appointed, fee-paid private guardians. This week, a Nevada court removed a guardian in one of the cases at issue, calling the problems observed "enormous" and "more than technical." The court commissioner who granted the requested relief continues to be the focus of other inquiries about his supervision of private guardians.  Contact 13 News described matters revealed in its own investigation and presented in court:

Since the fall of 2013, the court has allowed [the guardian] Parks to control every aspect of [an elderly married couple's] lives--where they would live, how their money was spent, what items they could keep--and sometimes, who they could see.

 

"They took my parents," said Julie.  "I didn't know who. I didn't know what."

 

When Contact 13 looked at the guardianship case, we found mistakes, over-charging and double-billing by [guardian] Parks.  Our findings played a key role in Wednesday morning's hearing.

 

"She's costing me $300 an hour to sit here and degrade me and my family," Rudy said. "I will not stand for it and I will not pay for it."

 

Parks' attorney did the talking for her, claiming the process to remove Parks is being rushed, "...based on innuendo, based on hearsay, based on salacious representations made on the media about Ms. Parks," said Aileen Cohen. "This matter is turning into a witch hunt."

 

But Commissioner Jon Norheim was having none of it.  "The idea that she's been compliant? Not even close."

For more about the ongoing inquiry into alleged abuses by private guardians in Nevada, see Couple Liberated from Guardianship System, by Kean Bauman, for Channel 13 News, KTNV, Las Vegas, Nevada. 

UPDATE:  Before the virtual ink had even dried on my posting above about one couple's case, additional word comes that the Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District, Clark County, Nevada has ordered systemic review and immediate changes in the guardianship appointment and oversight authority. For the Court's important May 21, 2015 order, see here. Additional details are available from the Las Vegas Review Journal.  

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/elder_law/2015/05/removal-of-private-guardian-is-latest-news-in-challenge-to-nevada-elder-guardianships.html

Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink

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Comments

Thanks to the Elder Law Prof Blog for following the guardianship abuse story in Nevada. We are making progress exposing the wrongdoing that has been endorsed by Clark County Family Court over the last two decades. Yesterday's order from Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice James Hardesty confirming the objectives, timing, and membership of the Guardianship Reform Commission is testament leadership is committed to making lasting change to support Nevada's vulnerable elderly.

Posted by: Richard Black | Jun 9, 2015 11:07:43 AM

Thank you, Richard, for providing additional information about what is happening in Nevada. Our best wishes for a full and satisfactory resolution of these important issues about guardianships.

Posted by: Katherine Pearson | Jun 9, 2015 1:25:03 PM

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