Monday, July 20, 2015

Steve Miller: Synopsis of First Meeting of Nevada State Guardianship Panel

I attended the first meeting of the commission on Monday on behalf of our family and many other victims. Chief Justice James Hardesty presided and all 25 commissioners were present either in person or telephonically. The victims were well represented with 8 families speaking during public comments and both KTNV Channel 13 ABS News and Las Vegas Review Journal present. Below are links to their reports, as well as Steve Miller’s report and pictures from the Review Journal of Judges William Voy, Cynthia Diane Steel, appointed to the commission for Clark (8th District) County and Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice James Hardesty (l to r) and Washoe(2nd District) County Presiding Family Court Judge Frances Doherty and Elko (4th District) County Family Court Judge Nancy Porter.

The next meeting is set for August 17, 2015 from 1:30pm-4:30pm at the Clark County Regional Justice Center. The public is again invited. 

KTNV ABC News-Sparks Fly at First State Guardianship Commission Meeting 7/15/15

LasVegasReviewJournal-Ex Official of Clark County Guardianships says System "isn’t-bad" 7/15/15

State Guardianship Commission Holds First Meeting 7/14/15

AmericanMafia-Inside Vegas - Shafer's Cronies Elyse Tyrell And William Voy on Commission 7/6/15

Chief Justice Hardesty explained his objective with the commission is to rate all aspects of Nevada’s adult guardianship adjudication process versus national best practices and give it a grade and make recommendations on actions that will be taken to improve the system before they disband in December 2015. Does Nevada’s approach not meet, meet, or exceed national best practices for guardianship adjudication? There was discussion and comparison on how the courts manage guardianships across the districts represented. The disparity between Clark County’s approach and the rest of the state was concerning. Most of the members were given assignments to research the many topics discussed to present in the next meeting.

 Topics ranged from:
1)court management,
2)initial petition appointing guardian (PAG) requirements,
3)incognizance confirmation,
4)ward’s representation and protecting the best interests of both their person and estate,
5)criminal enforcement of fraud or wrongdoing by family court officials,
6)managing court notifications, deadlines and follow-up,
7)insuring timely and accurate initial inventories and annual accountings, and others.

Justice Hardesty stimulated a positive discussion on how cavalierly guardianships have been assigned, which fully remove the Wards civil rights and ability to protect their estates, yet the criminal court requires a much higher proof of wrongdoing to indict suspects. Judge Doherty presented a very poignant position that in the 2nd district they work with priority to protect the 1)family, 2)Ward’s property, and 3)the Ward’s rights. As hundreds have experienced in Clark County the last 20 years, family is seldom a priority and even less so when there are $100,000’s at stake.

To highlight that, Jared Shafer, current private professional guardian and former Public Guardian of Clark County, spoke last in the public comments. Judge Steel had been asked to leave the room as most of the public comments related to ongoing litigation in her court. Shafer demanded Judge Steel return to the meeting before he spoke as he claimed he had no cases before her. (Jared Shafer has 75 open cases, 43 of which are being heard by Judge Steel, 32 in probate.) Chief Justice Hardesty honored his request. Shafer immediately went on a tirade about how the press was misrepresenting him, “there’s never been a problem with the system”, and the real issue was with the whiney families as “they’re upset because they didn’t get their loved ones’ money”. Before he finished and exited the room he highlighted his good intentions the past 35 years and pointed out commission members Judge Voy and attorney Elise Tyrell would be happy to defend and speak for him. (Both, Elyse Tyrell currently and Judge Voy prior to becoming a judge, have represented Jared Shafer.) At the end of the meeting each panel member was asked to speak on their observations of the day and specific improvement actions they wanted the commission to take.

 Many great ideas were highlighted but there was an overwhelming observation by many that there are major issues on protecting families, wards rights, and ward’s estates that must be addressed. Judge Voy, Elyse Tyrell, and Julie Arnold public comments were striking as all concurred with Jared Shafer that the Clark County adult guardianship system has worked well. ~Rick Black

1 comment:

StandUp said...

Thank you for the detailed report.