Guardianship and Substituted Decisionmaking

The DRC works to end the overuse/abuse of substituted decision-making, including guardianship and the state's practices related to the use of conditional discharge.

 

DRC video on guardianship, with guests Judge David King, Administrative Judge for the New Hampshire Probate Courts, and Linda Mallon, Executive Director, Office of Public Guardian.

Guardianship: Your Legal Rights PDF Version

RAP Sheet: Whose Life is it Anyway? PDF Version

Individual Advocacy - Protection from Unnecessary Guardianship
2011: “Rose” didn’t believe it when her area agency filed a guardianship petition against her. “I thought they were kidding around at first,” she said.  Rose had been living independently for 20 years. A strong self advocate, she contacted the DRC for help. The DRC attorney represented Rose and showed that there were less restrictive alternatives available, that with supportive services from the area agency, Rose could continue to maintain her independence. The judge agreed, and did not appoint a guardian over Rose. “Self determination is such an important civil right,” said Rose’s attorney. “It can’t be taken lightly. Petitioners need to realize it’s a last resort.”

Monitoring
2011: DRC continued to monitor and review agencies serving as representative payees for individuals who were also employed by the agency, to protect those individuals from exploitation. Through DRC’s monitoring activities, DRC learned that a man was being illegally paid below minimum wage. With DRC intervention, his employer started paying him minimum wage and compensated him for back wages.

Advocacy - NH Supreme Court
2003: NH Supreme Court decision, IN RE Guardianship of Jason Henderson. (word doc) In this case, the Supreme Court reversed the Probate Court order appointing a guardian because the court appointed attorney acted like a GAL rather than as an attorney representing the legal interests of the client.

Call Disability Rights Center - NH at 1-800-834-1721 if you have questions or concerns about a guardian, or apply for an intake appointment online. Note: Disability Rights Center - NH does not assist in obtaining a guardian over an individual.