Co-sponsored by KANW, the Albuquerque Journal and City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs on New Mexico’s Guardianship System, “Who Guards the Guardians? A Town Hall Forum” is an Albuquerque Journal series by reporter Diane Dimond which triggered an exceptional response from the community. The Journal series was the stimulus for the cosponsored a town hall forum discussing issues regarding the state’s court-monitored guardianship program for senior citizens.
The town hall forum was held in the Journal auditorium from 7pm to 9 pm March 22 and broadcasted live on KANW, 89.1-FM, with an encore broadcast on KANW-89.1 on April 12, 2017, 6pm to 8pm.
Issues discussed at the forum included the portrayal of for-profit guardians as “bad people”; lack of transparency in the legal system related to guardianship issues; unwarranted deference to the lawyer who files the petition seeking to place an allegedly incapacitated person under a guardianship or conservatorship; insufficient process of managing the costs of court-appointed advisors who handle finances; state law mandates guardianship cases be “sequestered”; cover up of misconduct by the parties; incapacitated people under guardianships deserve privacy; district court in Albuquerque mistakenly withholding docket information sheet information; proper screening of guardians; need for system to train, certify and oversee guardians; how toxic family member be to their parents; growing aging population; New Mexico lags behind other states to reform the guardianship system, 6000 active guardianship or conservatorship cases in Bernalillo County alone; more funding for the court system; case overload for judges; complaints to judges are futile.