Grand Jury Calls for Reforms in Conservatorship Legal Services

The Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury issued a report on December 20, 2022, calling for reforms to the manner in which legal defense services are provided to adults with mental or developmental disabilities in probate conservatorship cases in that county. The report contains 13 recommendations on how the Public Defender’s Office can improve the quality of legal services in the 300 new petitions filed annually and for the 3,000 adults for whom that office is attorney of record in ongoing conservatorships.

To read or download the report, titled “Conservatorships: A Case for Zealous Advocacy,” click here.

The Santa Clara report comes in the wake of an earlier report on the same subject issued by the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury in June 2022.

Both of these grand juries opened their investigations in response to complaints from Spectrum Institute following the release of our report titled “Public Funding of Legal Services in Conservatorship Proceedings.”

To read our complaint to the Santa Clara Civil Grand Jury and its response, click here.

We are impressed with the depth and scope of the grand jury’s study, as well as the appropriateness of the recommendations in its well-written report.