Pro Bono Guardian Monitors Breakfast with President Judge
Tuesday October 30 , 2012
- By: President Judge Todd Hoover, Dauphin County Court, Dauphin County Bar Association
- Time: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
- Time Zone: Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Courthouse Lawyers LoungeFront & Market StreetsHarrisburg, PAMap: maps.google.com
Sandy BallardDauphin County Bar Associationsandy@dcba-pa.org717-232-7536
- Source: Pennsylvania
Reception to thank current Pro Bono Guardianship Monitors and recruit more. These Monitors serve as Orphans Court's "eyes and ears" to assure that incapacitated persons with a court-appointed guardian are not physically or financially mistreated. After participating in a free CLE (or viewing the DVD) to learn about guardianship law and interacting with incapacitated people and/or the elderly, each Monitor is assigned two cases.
The Court provides Monitors with interview checklists, step-by-step instructions and a secure web site with more resources. Each year, the assigned Monitor visits the guardian and ward, reviews financial records, and reports back to the Court. The Judge follows up on any irregularities or concerns.
The Orphans' Court Judge has the ever-challenging duty of safeguarding the well-being of adjudicated incapacitated persons. He has judicial oversight of the 202 active guardianship cases in Dauphin County. Title 20 Pa. C.S.A. §§ 5142 and 5521(c) requires an inventory and an annual report from those individuals appointed as guardians of incapacitated persons. To aid in its oversight, Judge Todd Hoover has enlisted attorneys to act as the eyes and ears of the court under the umbrella of the Dauphin County Pro-Bono Guardianship Monitoring Program.
The wards and guardians are visited annually by the pro-bono monitors. The monitors report back to the court on forms provided and all are reviewed for any issues that need to be addressed. The court's direct intervention occurred in six cases when the monitors themselves recommended court action. When the monitor reports indicated a need that did not require court action, court administration provided aid to approximately twenty-five guardians by sending letters with information about various agencies assistance, and with information addressing the guardian's proper responsibilities and duties.
The program is into its third year and 55 attorneys are currently serving with two cases each. All indicators point to the continued success of the program and its ability to strengthen the Judge's oversight and ability to ensure that these adjudicated individuals are not neglected and not victims of elder abuse, both personal and financial. In addition, Judge Hoover again commends all of those attorneys who serve in this capacity and thanks them for their dedication and commitment in making the program so successful.