Guardianship Study Commission Message #18

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

We at WillPowerNM have received a copy of Adult Guardianship Study Commission Vicechair Patricia Galindo’s response to questions submitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts by Lorraine Mendiola. Ms Galindo’s response is mostly deficient, in some part is fabrication, and in many respects lies made by omission. Ms Galindo’s response is also her acknowledgment that she has failed the taxpayers and residents of New Mexico by failing to do her constitutionally-required fiduciary job of accurately and correctly requesting, receiving and managing the state’s judicial budget for guardian and conservatorships.

In short, Ms Galindo’s response to the public’s questions about guardianship and the secretive court process is a perfect microcosm of why the public has lost faith in the courts, their judges, and the numerous state agencies and law enforcers who are supposed to monitor guardian and conservatorship cases: The so-called ‘responsible parties’ who make a living off the misery of guardianship cannot be trusted to tell the truth, or to correctly execute their fiduciary duties.

1. Ms Galindo misstates date of Ms Mendiola’s original correspondence.

Ms Galindo misstates the date of Ms Mendiola’s letter by one month, incorrectly noting that Ms Mendiola’s letter was sent Aug 14th, which makes it appear as if Ms Galindo’s response, dated Aug 15th, was rapidly supplied, when, in fact, it was late by one entire month. It is this type of error that guardianship papers filed by court-appointees are littered with: errors made by guardians and their attorneys that make either the Ward or their family members appear to be ‘demanding’ or unreasonable, when the Ward and their families are the exact opposite.

Whether this mistakenly-noted date was done on purpose or by accident is irrelevant – the effect is the same: shame, blame, or denigrate the person who dares to question the Court about their actions and begin a steady drumbeat of obfuscations that a judge – who we all know are overworked and never have enough money – the judges are constantly complaining they need more money to oversee their guardianship cases – can point to and make all the problems out to the be Ward or their families’ fault.

We point out that all the money in the world will not help a lazy judge (or any lackadaisical agency or law enforcement tasked with oversight) become productive. Either you are productive and honest, or you are not. Money will not solve the problem of mistakes routinely made in court-filed paperwork – paperwork which is all sequestered so the judges and their appointees never have to answer for their mistakes.

We assert that this is why ALL paperwork filed with the court is sequestered: to protect the judges and their appointed attorneys and professionals from having to answer for their mistake-riddled court filings that a simple examination would prove to be full of misstatements.

Research conducted by Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship indicates that if the judges ever took the time to read the petitions that land the victims into guardianship, 60%+ or more cases would be dismissed, because the petitions when read are so obviously flimsy and do not hold up under any scrutiny. But when announced with rhetorical flourish in a courtroom by frequent flyer attorneys, to judges that appear to never receive an unnecessary guardianship petition, the guardianship is instantly approved, and the attorneys and their “professional” clients they represent (guardians, nursing home owners, etc) land a windfall from which to maintain themselves for years to come with lucrative, unmonitored self-payments potentially amounting to $10,000+ — each month.

With sequestration, the guardianship juggernaut can continue apace, because let us utilize common sense: if judges truly wanted to limit the number of guardianships created, then judges would simply stop approving the approximately 98% of petitions for guardians and conservatorships brought to them by frequent flyer attorneys. Judges would also have the human decency to speak directly to and ask the parties involved – the Ward, the Ward’s loved ones, and other non-professional, family members that actually have to live with the consequences of the judge’s actions – what do they want?

But this never happens, because the judges don’t want to hear what the parties have to say. The judges are exclusively and only interested in what the attorneys before them have to say on behalf of the parties – and that can be exploited and manipulated to suit the judges, the courts, and the attorneys – who will have to appear for potentially years to come in front of the same judges and courts. The attorneys dare not tell the judges anything the judges do not want to hear, and evidently the judges only are interested in creating more & more guardian and conservatorships, not fewer. Why? What’s in it for the judges?

2. Ms Galindo fails to answer Ms Mendiola’s question.

Ms Galindo paraphrases Ms Mendiola’s first request as, “Why is there no statement in the WINGS Grant Proposal regarding the need to protect the elderly and mentally ill individuals from abusive Corporate Guardians, Petitioning Attorneys, GALS, and Judges?”

Setting aside whether or not this is an accurate paraphrase of Ms Mendiola’s question, Ms Galindo does not answer her own question. Instead Ms Galindo simply asserts – with no evidence presented – “The guardianship process is based upon the principle of protecting individuals found to be incapacitated.”

We agree with Ms Galindo: the guardianship process is supposed to be based upon the principle of protecting individuals found to be incapacitated, but that doesn’t answer the question: WHY is there no statement in the WINGS Grant Proposal – written by Ms Galindo – about the need to protect the elderly and mentally ill individuals from abusive Corporate Guardians, Petitioning Attorneys, GALS, and Judges?

If this is the type of brief typically written by Ms Galindo when she was in law school, or worse, as an attorney practicing in the area of guardian and conservatorship, this is completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, this type of facile ignorance of the question asked, and lack of response is the norm – and routine – in 99% of all guardian and conservatorship court filings that we have been able to examine, outside of sequestration.

Again, we assert sequestration of all paperwork does little to protect the Ward, while sequestration serves a valuable and lucrative part of the process of conscripting Wards into fraudulent guardian and conservatorships.

3. Ms Galindo’s responses demonstrate that the AOC knew there was a lack of technology funds dedicated to monitoring guardian and conservatorship cases, but did not bother to request funding from the legislature during budgetary cycles.

Ms. Mendiola notes in her July 14th letter to Ms Galindo, citing the ABA WINGS grant proposal, submitted by Ms Galindo: “The AOC has been unable to fund any new positions or technology improvements to increase monitoring of guardianship cases due to a lack of funding.”

Ms Mendiola then asks:

  • “What actions has the AOC taken to obtain monies to fund technology improvements to increase monitoring of guardianship cases?”

To which Ms Galindo responds:

  • “A request for funding of technology to improve automated electronic monitoring of guardianship cases has not been included in recent budget requests.”

For Ms Galindo to admit in a grant proposal that there is a lack of funding for monitoring guardian and conservatorship cases, then admit in a letter to the public that the AOC has not bothered to ask for funding when it is aware there is a problem is either shocking incompetency or duplicitous collusion to maintain a lack of monitoring to the advantage of the larcenous “professional” guardians, conservators, and attorneys who will keep stealing from their wards.

4. Ms Galindo asserts lies as truth.

Most damaging to Ms Galindo’s ability to responsibly and properly answer Ms Mendiola’s questions, blatantly demonstrating Ms Galindo’s lack of credibility as an honest judicial manager, is when Ms Galindo outright lies in her response.

In her July 14th letter, Ms Mendiola asked:

  • The [ABA’s WINGS grant proposal, submitted by Patricia Galindo] also states that the APP [Adult Protective Proceedings] Task Force will build upon the statewide priorities already identified by the Task force by defining 2 or 3 priority areas to be addressed during the grant period.  What are the statewide priorities already identified by the [Adult Protective Proceedings] Task Force?

To which question Ms Galindo responds:

  • The APP Task Force was not convened or staffed by anyone working for the courts or AOC, and the AOC does not maintain any documents responsive to your request.

Given that the question asked by Ms Mendiola referenced the ‘report’ or ABA WING’s grant proposal submitted by Patricia Galindo on behalf of the AOC and the New Mexico State Supreme Court, people unused to dealing with attorneys and the courts in guardianship cases might find it ‘unusual’ that Ms Galindo could possibly ‘misstate’ the truth – but it happens all the time with judges and attorneys in guardian and conservatorship cases.

Ms Galindo is clearly shown to be a liar by documents previously authored by the Adult Guardianship Study Commission, of which Ms Galindo is Vice Chair (see top paragraph, page 10 of the AGSC’s June 2nd Meeting Materials), the AOC that employs Ms Galindo in a ½ time position covering guardianships (see page 1 of ABA WINGS grant application listing Ms Galindo the submitting party as “Senior Attorney” at an AOC email address), and the State Supreme Court (see Pages 2-3 of ABA WINGS grant proposal, submitted by Ms Galindo.)

NOTE: Ms Galindo’s proposal was awarded $20,000 from the American Bar Association to conduct much the same work as the public Adult Guardianship Study Commission, of which Ms Galindo is Vice Chair. The ABA/WINGS website announces Patricia Galindo will lead yet a second group “building on an existing Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force”:

  • New Mexico
  • Building on an existing Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force, the New Mexico Supreme Court will convene and coordinate stakeholders to consider priorities such as issues facing rural courts, standardizing court processes and less restrictive options. Contact Patricia Galindo.

Not only is Ms Galindo lying to Ms Mendiola, Ms Galindo is lying to the public, implicating both the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) as well as the State Supreme Court, specifically (former) Chief Justice Charles Daniels, as collaborators with Ms Galindo in her lies and misstatements.

Again, it would be shocking to us if we, as victims of rampant lies and misstatements routinely made by judges and attorneys in guardian and conservatorship cases, had not become so inured to the judicial system’s audacious and pernicious, mendacious written and spoken arguments.

We again ask: What’s in it for the judges that they go out of their way to make sure there continues a lack of monitoring of “professional” guardians, conservators, attorneys, court visitors, guardian ad litems, nursing homes, and other ancillary so-called professionals? Why don’t judges submit to financial auditing, to ensure they are not benefiting from their wards’ misfortune?

____

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.

9 comments for “Guardianship Study Commission Message #18

  1. Stacey Dempsey
    August 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    The personal attacks presented here totally discredit the author. Nobody is denying that NM has problems with guardianship, but one single individual writing a letter that specifically admits some of those problems, such as not applying for the additional funds, is NOT THE PROBLEM. This process already victimizes people, you don’t help anyone by creating more victims.

    • Sam
      August 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      “Nobody is denying that NM has problems with guardianship,”!!! Problems like destroying lives, fleecing the most vulnerable in society, stealing freedom, warehousing seniors, over medicating them, exploiting families? Those are not problems–they are crimes. And what has been done about preventing these crimes–nothing! When public servants are emboldened by knowing they have little or no risk–and in NM there has been no oversight or monitoring of guardians at all–they and their buddies are likely to cheat and steal and then lie about it. The problem is systemic when the entire industry from Judges to Lawyers to guardians and everyone else who profits from this tidy game makes money from these crimes.. The trouble is, everybody was denying that NM has troubles with guardianship from the Chief Judge on down. The public deserves and demands better.

  2. Admin
    Admin
    August 24, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Ms Dempsey, We disagree with your assertion that our analysis of Patricia Galindo’s letter, written in response as in Galindo’s multiple roles as:

    1) Vice Chair of the Adult Guardianship Study Commission (AGSC);
    2) Grant applicant, grant receivee of $20,000 and grant manager on behalf of the Supreme Court’s convention of previously-existing Adult Protected Proceedings Task Force (APPTF); and
    3) as Senior Attorney employed by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) on behalf of all guardianships and conservatorships in New Mexico

    Represents any type of “personal attacks’ against Ms Patricia Galindo.

    We have provided a critique of Ms Galindo’s work — work that the taxpayers are paying for – either literally in paying Ms Galindo’s salary at the AOC, or indirectly in suffering the results of Ms Galindo’s negligent and perfidious behavior as a ‘volunteer’ member of the AGSC, or as a participant in the APPTF – for which at a minimum Ms Galindo may receive Continuing Legal Education credits – vital for any attorney to have in order to maintain a law license.

    We, at WillPowerNM, don’t believe a full-time public employee – which Ms Galindo most certainly is at the AOC (while acknowledging only 1/2 of her time is spent on guardianship issues) — should be receiving ‘favors’ or ‘credits’ for her professional work — especially while Ms Galindo has been so untruthful in her responses to Ms Mendiola, when Ms Galindo bothers to actually answer the question asked.

    In what way in our analysis of Ms Galindo’s work on behalf of the AOC, AGSC, and APPTF a ‘personal attack’?

    We find nothing personal about our statements, however much you might think it inappropriate that we dare to criticize Ms Galindo for any aspect of her work — which the New Mexican public, taxpayers, and their relatives all pay dearly for.

    Your statement that, “this process [guardianship] already victimizes people, you don’t help anyone by creating more victims,” acknowledges the harm that guardianships inflict on wards and their families, and then the conclusion is reached that we shouldn’t “create more victims” as if we are trying to turn Ms Galindo into a victiim.

    Let us assure you, Ms Dempsey, that turning Ms Galindo into a ‘victim’ is the furthest thing from our minds.

    The fact that you, Ms Dempsey, are not morally outraged that a person who receives their paycheck from the taxpayers and has no trouble blatantly lying in easily-disproved statements – and lies about the lives that wards trapped in unwanted and abusive guardianships have to endure, because….. ?

    Because you don’t want to look at the hard truth about the system Ms Galindo is a part of, and is defending?

    A system that defrauds helpless individuals out of their money, their ability to have a cell phone (or not), who to call whenever they want, without asking permission from a complete stranger who is making a living off your misery?

    The fact that you are not outraged Ms Dempsey is all that is needed to identify you as one of the predators that most likely makes money off the existing guardianship system, and therefore does not want to change the existing system, because it would cost you your livelihood, is a moral tragedy. That you are so bereft of morals, human kindness, and simple decency to consider what everyone else is put through in this inhumane system – describes in a nutshell how deep and potentially unfixable the guardianship crisis is.

    If people are more concerned about continuing the current situation where the responsible people are never held responsible for the consequences of their actions – then the aged, infirm, and incapacitated of New Mexico will continue to be mercilessly fleeced of all their money, their lives, and their freedom – by people just like you Ms Dempsey, who are more concerned about the powerful never being held accountable. Shame on you that you can’t tell the difference, and obfuscate and find fault with us, for pointing out the truth.

  3. Mary Darnell
    August 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

    LIES matter; Civil rights are at stake; with all due respect we are beyond hurt feelings… we are onto accountability and resolution from the professionals in this industry and more importantly from our Court System. The public is demanding it and our vunerable who have been stripped of their civil rights deserve it. The problems are clear, there are a whole lotta professionals lying, cheating and stealing from incapaciated people, end of story! Judges can not count on their court appointed professionals in this industry to be truthful, therefore they are going to have to step up and do their jobs, close the gap and require these so called professionals to follow the LAWS already on the books… Full Accounting of all assets with bills, receipts, bank statements, and taxes. , No Immunity for these professionals who have proven to not be trustworthy, No more sequestration, which primarily provides protection to irresponsible Guardians, Conservators, Attorney’s and Judges who want to hide their sloppy work away from the public’s eyes. The days of Judges being able take court appointed professional at their word have proven to be a flawed and failed practice. Judges now need actual evidence of allagations… before taking any humans Civil Rights away. I am speaking as a victim of this system who feels totally abused by “Professional Guardians, Conservators and the Courts who appointed them” The inappropriate outright lies that have been told about our families afairs is astonishing, and it has robbed me of my time and happiness. Our families lives were turned up side down by a system failed at every turn…”Professionals” did not follow any of my Mothers stated written wishes.. they did not follow her Trusts, her Power of Attornies, her health care directives or her Will… Why? Why would any Judge allow this? Who benefitted? Not sure but I do know these professionals fees run from 90.00 – 500.00 per hour for their services, and I do know that the State of New Mexico is now the proud Owner of my family’s 17 acre, river front treasured and stolen farm. All in the name of “It was for your Mothers best interest or to her benefit” (hogwash)This idea that Judges choose to “Error on the side of caution” often in favor of professionals should be cause for concern to every New Mexican in light of all this past years articles of this flawed system and the lies and theft that have gone on. So unfortunately when Ms. Galindo lies even about the date of her response, guess what it matters… it matters to the families who have been beaten up by courts and had their families lives destroyed, Civil rights violated, loved ones removed from their care by sometimes the smallest lies. So ya, Lies Matter!

  4. Mary Kirk
    August 25, 2017 at 9:17 am

    With all due respect, I think calling someone a liar is pretty personal — hardly the way to build bridges or find common ground. I believe that everyone is trying to get to a good result in this discussion, and I think the tone of this dialog is missing the mark in being constructive. It sounds strident, aggressive, and compromises the validity of your message.

    The personal focus smacks of bullying (posting a photo of a private citizen?!) and embarrasses all of us who care about improving the guardianship system. Please let’s move forward by keeping this conversation constructive!

  5. Admin
    Admin
    August 25, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Mary Kirk – you assert, “everyone is trying to get a good result out of the discussion” and therefore it’s unacceptable to point out that a public official (Patricia Galindo) is lying in her written responses to the public.

    May I suggest your desire to protect Ms Galindo from any criticism – no matter how well-deserved that criticism is — shows how this system will never improve for the very people it is *supposed* to serve: the incapacitated.

    Ms Kirk you never refute Ms Galindo’s lies, you just assert we at WillPowerNM shouldn’t be so ‘unproductive’ and non-“bridge building” as to point out in public Ms Galindo cannot be trusted, and has no trouble lying – in writing – in response to requests for information about the 3 positions Ms Galindo holds:

    1. Vice Chair of the Adult Guardianship Study Commission, established by the NM State Supreme Court on April 6, 2017;
    2. Chair and grant manager of $20,000 – applied for on Feb 28, 2017 -received for the Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force (of which Ms Galindo has been a member since approximately Nov 21, 2013) from the ABA on behalf of the State Supreme Court; and
    3. Senior Attorney at the Administrative Office of the Courts on behalf of all NM guardianships (on behalf of the State Supreme Court) – a job Ms Galindo has evidently been employed at by the State Supreme Court since Sept 1, 2013.

    That neither you Ms Kirk, or Ms Dempsey have any concern OTHER than that WillPowerNM and true victims of the NM adult guardianship system as currently run by Ms Galindo and the NM State Supreme Court never point out that Ms Galindo::

    1. Is a repeat liar, in multiple public written and spoken statements;
    2. Has demonstrated a lack of trustworthiness because of her repeated lies; and
    3. Has failed the wards of New Mexico repeatedly by allowing corrupt companies such as Ayudando Guardians and Desert Trust to receive complete 100% control of human beings, as well as documented theft and fraud of Wards’ property by repeat-offender attorneys such as Greg MacKenzie and Darryl Millet to continue throughout the 4 years Ms Galindo has worked at the AOC, then your emphasis is clearly on protecting Ms Galindo and the existing guardianship system — not reforming or changing it in the least.

    But just like Ms Galindo, you have an ‘unusual’ relationship with the truth, and seem unable to correctly identify the problem here, which is NOT Ms Galindo’s lies, but the EFFECT Ms Galindo’s lies have on the INCAPACITATED.

    It needs to be noted that Ms Galindo has ably served the entire Guardianship Industry in her four years of ‘service’ at the above 3 named positions — all held simultaneously.

    That none of these interlocking positions – all held simultaneously by Ms Galindo – who has repeatedly lied to the public about her role in the 3 simultaneously-held positions — bothered either you Ms Kirk, or Ms Dempsey, is deeply troubling to WillPowerNM. Evidently, you care far more about continuing the existing pattern of stripping all incapacitated people of all their rights: human, civil, and constitutional, while allowing predatory corporations and attorneys unfettered access to their wards’ wealth, to spend as they see fit, with no oversight whatsoever, than you do about the wards.

    And that’s the moral tragedy of this entire situation in a nutshell: attorneys, judges, guardians and ‘professionals’ care far more about themselves and their ability to steal money with impunity, than they do about anyone this entire discussion should be about: the Wards.

    Same on you Ms Kirk for not knowing the difference, and for being morally unable to see the wrongs that are daily perpetrated by guardians, attorneys, judges, and other ‘professionals’ — all of which is supported by Ms Galindo lies that spew forth from her in her official positions — all of which are overseen by the State Supreme Court, who appear to be as morally oblivious as you are.

  6. David Heeter
    August 26, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Mary Darnell’s testimony tells the ugly truth about guardianship and the crimes from within our court system. Is justice possible if crimes come from within our courts?

  7. Deb S
    October 25, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Attorneys and judges did not follow any of my fathers stated written wishes. they did not follow his Trusts, his Power of Attorneys, his named guardian and health care directives. they changed the trusts, power of attorneys and health care directives after they declared him as incompetent. Then they stole his possessions and money.

    • Admin
      Admin
      October 25, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      We are sorry to hear of your trouble with New Mexico’s district courts but unfortunately are not surprised. The New Mexico courts have a dismal record of failing to obey the laws & rules that the rest of us are forced to obey.

      We are in communication with other members of your family via email and will be getting back with them in the next 24-48 hours. We wish we had full-time staff to help with all the cases we monitor on a volunteer basis.

      Keep the faith and know that many are watching the courts and their flagrant disregard for the law, due process, and the courts dismal record of failing to honor legitimate trusts, wills, POA and other legal documents that many have paid dearly to have attorneys write for them, in the mistaken belief these documents will keep you safe.

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