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Detecting Exploitation by Conservators: Court Monitoring
Brenda K. Uekert; Kathryn Holt; Kathryn Genthon; Kathryn Genthon; Dari Pogach; Pamela Teaster; Karen Roberto; Erica Wood; Lori Stiegel; Cate Boyko; Stepheni Hubert; Chris Grogg
This third in a series of eight Background Briefs on conservator exploitation is funded by the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and produced by the National Center for State Courts. It examines judicial monitoring practices that would enable judges and court staff to detect financial exploitation by conservators, which is often unchecked by courts.
Several key monitoring steps provide courts with information that would reveal conservator exploitation. This Background Brief recommends six steps that courts can adopt to ensure the detection of exploitation by conservators. One step is to require timely and accurate conservator filing of accountings and related documents. A second step is to conduct an examination and audit of those documents. A third step is to develop procedures that will flag especially high risk cases. A fourth step is to develop methods for identifying fee abuse. A fifth step is to have conservator background checks. A sixth step is to develop appropriate complaint procedures. Underlying each of these steps is the need for effective court data systems, which is the focus of the Data Quality Brief in this series. The first five of the recommended steps are each discussed in the current Brief. The sixth step is the focus of the Supporting Victims Brief in this series. The discussion of each of the five steps addresses supportive laws and guidelines related to the step and a general assessment of the current status of their implementation in U.S. courts.