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CONTACT 13: New Nevada guardianship laws promise accountability and protection

Posted: 6:00 PM, Apr 25, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-26 02:31:30Z

A Contact 13 investigation has led to long-overdue changes in state law. Abuse and exploitation have run rampant in our adult guardianship system, but protection and oversight are on the way.

It's deadline day in the Nevada Senate and two bills both passed to safeguard older and vulnerable citizens from those who would exploit them.

Court-appointed guardians are supposed to protect those who can't care for themselves. 

But, as a recent spate of indictments shows, the so-called protectors often take advantage of vulnerable people for their own personal gain.

Senate Bill 360 increases both civil and criminal accountability in guardianship cases and provides for more prison time for convicted abusers. 

It also establishes a bill of rights for people under guardianship. 

Senate Bill 433 ensures those protected persons can't be isolated and compels the court to hear cases in short order.

It also makes sure protected persons will have legal representation and authorizes a court to impose fines and order restitution in cases where guardians are guilty of impropriety.

This legislative action comes as the result of a two-year Contact 13 investigation.

After we exposed systemic corruption in the guardianship system and lack of oversight in Clark County Family Court, the Nevada Supreme Court formed a guardianship oversight commission to fix flaws and change laws.