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.