Guardianship Study Commission Message #11

Cartoon above: “Remember: ‘accounting’ and ‘accountability’: nothing in common.” Courtesy of The New Yorker Magazine, artist Leo Cullum, and Sue Smoot’s The New Yorker magazine subscription that court-appointed attorney Darryl Millet renewed 5 months after Sue’s death and paid for with Sue’s American Express credit card (renewed 2 months after Sue’s death) which Darryl Millet allowed to be used for up to 11 months after Sue’s death. Darryl Millet was appointed successor Trustee by 2nd Judicial District Judge Denise Barela-Shepard and was absolved of any wrong-doing in using a dead person’s credit card by both the NM State Supreme Court’s Chief Disciplinary Counsel William Slease and 2nd Judicial District Judge Valerie Huling.

Subject: Guardianship Study Commission Message #11 (7/6/17)

Dear Guardianship Study Commission Members, News Media Professionals, and others:

Thank you for posting the location and agenda for the July 14, 2017 Adult Guardianship Study Commission meeting, 10 days before the next meeting.

Through such small steps the Commission moves closer to compliance with New Mexico’s Open Meetings Act, which require all meetings to have an agenda that is posted at least 72 hours before the meeting (NMSA 10-15-1(F).)

Still yet to be complied with is Paragraph G of the Open Meetings Act (Chapter 10, Article 15):

  • “G. The board, commission or other policymaking body shall keep written minutes of all its meetings. The minutes shall include at a minimum the date, time and place of the meeting, the names of members in attendance and those absent, the substance of the proposals considered and a record of any decisions and votes taken that show how each member voted. All minutes are open to public inspection. Draft minutes shall be prepared within ten working days after the meeting and shall be approved, amended or disapproved at the next meeting where a quorum is present. Minutes shall not become official until approved by the policymaking body.”

Since none of the Commission’s previous three meetings have ever had written minutes, while previous meetings’ agendas have not been made available the requisite 72 hours prior to the meeting, as well as previous meetings holding discussions on topics that were not mentioned in the agenda, the recommendations coming out of the Commission will never be valid, legal recommendations that can legally be enacted by the Supreme Court or the Legislature, since the laws to adopt new policy around any issue, as codified in the Open Meetings Act, have not been followed.

Not only has the Commission itself – comprised primarily of attorneys appointed by the state’s Supreme Court Justices – willfully and negligently refused to follow New Mexico’s Open Meetings Act, but the Commission’s two predecessor groups from whom the Commission has received 100% of its recommendations (see pages 10-11 of link) have not even attempted to be public groups, and therefore made no attempts whatsoever to conform to the Open Meetings Act:

  1. The Nov 21, 2013 “Panel” addressing “Critical Issues in Adult Protective Proceedings: A Forum to Explore Emergent Issues and Recommend Solutions” was never open to the public – only its members (and the public has never been notified as to who the 93 panel participants were), and
  2. The Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force, which failed completely to include any members of the public or family members of guardianship victims among their stakeholders, and by the Commission’s own writing, “participants from the [Nov 21, 2013] forum formed an unofficial interdisciplinary committee, not unlike the Commission, to further refine the recommendations and pursue their implementation.” So the Commission admits it’s an “unofficial… committee” to “refine the recommendations and pursue their implementation” which they legally cannot do, since the Commission and its predecessors fail to conform to law and therefore are acting unlawfully.

The Supreme Court is in the position of having established a Commission to advise it that has violated New Mexico’s laws. All of this law-breaking has occurred in the Justices’ attempt to reform Guardianship system as it currently is practiced by District Court judges and their appointed lawyers.

All of which demonstrates the Number 1 Complaint of the numerous victims of non-family, 3rd party, “professional”, corporate guardianship, which we print in Bold, large font so that the Commissioners cannot miss this point, nor can the Commissioners continue to fail to address the Number 1 Complaint about corporate, 3rd party, non-family guardianship and trust abuses:

  • The laws, statutes and Supreme Court Rules designed to protect vulnerable New Mexicans are routinely disregarded and violated by District Court Judges and the lawyers who practice in their courtrooms.
  • The protection of the incapacitated individual’s health, safety, physical and financial welfare should be this Commission’s top priority, above all others!
This institutionalized pattern of disregard for the law,  contempt for citizens, abandonment of Justice and the fiduciary duties of the Judiciary – by Judges and their appointees – makes New Mexico a dangerous place in which to live.

We are saddened, but not surprised, to see that the agenda for the next meeting of the Commission (July 14, 2017) includes 13 unnumbered, bulleted points for future discussion, but not a single one points to the glaring problem that plagues these non-family, 3rd party, “professional” corporate guardianships: When you’ve been robbed of all civil, constitutional, and human rights by a Judge and their appointees, you have no recourse, and there is no justice. At the rate the Commission is going and the manner in which the Supreme Court Justices are comporting themselves, there will never be any justice for anyone conscripted into corporate, non-family guardianship in New Mexico.


The continuing pattern & practice of Judicial and Legal malfeasance, misconduct, and illegality can be seen in the latest article from the Albuquerque Journal covering the Paul Donisthorpe/Desert Trust rip-off of over 70 court-captive “clients” who were primarily ordered by District Court Judges to deposit their money into Desert Trust’s account for their “safe keeping.” Attorney General Balderas continues to be absent, failing to do his job, launch investigations into Paul Donisthorpe; Donisthorpe’s wife, criminal attorney Liane Kerr; business partner Darrell Pitchford, and “defacto” CEO and also Coralles Mayor Scott Kominiak, and indict and prosecute them, as investigations warrant.

We feel the comparison to Pennsylvania’s “Cash for Kids” scandal is as close as it gets to New Mexico’s burgeoning “Judges and Lawyers Lawlessness” for this reason: IF Attorney General Hector Balderas did his job (for which he is paid $95,000/year), brought investigations against court-appointed lawyers and the judges that allowed them to rip-off millions from innocents, AND those investigations resulted in SUCCESSFUL criminal prosecution, then all of the cases those judges had previously adjudicated would be called into question – just like in Pennsylvania.

The upshot of this would be that the Civil Division District Courts of New Mexico would cease to have any credibility, and the State of New Mexico would be held responsible for Millions, if not Billions of dollars of damage the District Court Judges created, fostered, and allowed to occur.

Ultimately, the state’s Supreme Court would be held accountable for the actions of their lower court judges. Perhaps this is why former Chief Justice Daniels announced his early retirement from being Chief Justice in January 2017 – one month after Diane Dimond’s devastating 6-part series “Who’s Guarding the Guardians?


WillPowerNM has been formed to support and inform each Member of the Commission in their work over the coming weeks and months by preparing and releasing regular email information in a format similar to this weekly message and by establishing and maintaining a publicly accessible and widely promoted web site on the Commission’s important study effort.