Friday, October 9, 2009

S.C. Supreme Court Orders Creation of Elder Task Force

Staff Report
Published Oct. 9, 2009

The S.C. Supreme Court has issued an order mandating the creation of a task force to study elder issues in the state’s courts.

The task force will examine issues related to elder abuse, adult guardianships and conservatorship. It will then make recommendations to the Supreme Court to aid in its responses.

The task force is charged with the following:

  • Collecting data to aid in determining needs, promoting beneficial outcomes and fostering overall system accountability.
  • Fostering training and education for judges, court personnel, attorneys, court-appointed guardians, guardians ad litem, conservators, mediators, law enforcement and others on matters affecting the elderly, such as dementia, financial exploitation, physical abuse and neglect.
  • Recommending changes in court structure, laws, regulations or rules in order to protect the legal rights of the elderly, promote process fairness and facilitate the economic use of available resources.
  • Reporting the status of its work to the Supreme Court and other interested parties by July 1.

S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal will appoint the task force’s leader. Members will be appointed as follows:

  • Judiciary: One probate court judge, current or retired; one family court judge, current or retired; and the state court administrator.
  • Lawyers: Two practicing lawyers experienced in litigation or transactional issues affecting the elderly, at least one of whom is experienced in working with the indigent elderly.
  • Public officials: Two officials from an agency charged with the protection of the elderly.
  • Geriatric care: One health care professional or master’s level social worker with expertise in geriatric care.
  • Law enforcement: One law enforcement professional with expertise in crimes against the elderly.
  • Consumer: One citizen volunteer.
  • Legislature: One legislator designated by the chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging.
  • Other members: The task force leader may establish interdisciplinary committees to research and gather information, develop or review proposals, monitor implementation of initiatives and otherwise aid in execution of the goals of the task force


Is this political posturing with some window dressing or could this be the start of something more meaningful ? We don't know yet but intend to keep up the pressure until other states take the lead and concrete steps are taken to protect us in our older years, but which in some cases are starting to look more like a Orwellian nightmare.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You may be aware that a previous such task force was instituted in California, under the mandate of Supreme Court Justice Ronald George. It included such luminaries as Judge Welch (See probate murders part two and September 11, 2009 San Bernardino County Sentinel for more on Welch).

You tell me what resulted from this in California. You show me where things got better...
Be wary.