Last week, I decided that I really should find out what’s going on with my relative (who I shall refer to going forward as “Brandon”) since the court ordered an incompetency evaluation last month. Since the public defender hasn’t returned the three messages I left, I knew it was time for me to get an update through other means.
When I called the criminal court system, they immediately transferred me to the probate court (which handles guardianships). I find frequently that if someone doesn’t know whether I have the right to access certain info., they resort to the old “I don’t know anything about guardianship, let me transfer you to probate.”
I also find that people are quick to say “He has to sign a release for you to obtain that information.” I have to take a deep breath, and repeat I have guardianship papers and I would be glad to fax/email them. Sometimes, I have to push further, and call them on their ignorance, e.g. “It sounds like you’re not sure I can have access to xxx even though I have guardianship. Would you like to check with someone and get back to me?”
Fortunately, the probate clerk was nice and suggested I call the counseling department in the jail which was right place to call. Brandon is scheduled to be assessed next week. If deemed incompetent, he will likely be transferred to a state hospital.
- Its Madness: Writing on Guardianship Publicly (guardianandconservator.wordpress.com)