Transcript from a conservatee and court appointed counsel:
[patient]: [they told me that]I should have a conservatorship
And I um should take medications....
I’ve been alpine for a few weeks. I have moved up a level.
I did an assessment. [and I’e been to ] five groups a day. Also I eat all my meals.
[patient’s counsel]: What do u want to do?
[patient]: Contest the conservatorship. I don’t want to be any more.
[patient’s counsel]: What will you do?
[patient]: I will have [a rep] payee. I will go to school. I will get out of alpine. I will finish a program.
[patient’s counsel]: Will will you go?
[patient]: I will get a room for rent. It is an apartment. It is available now.
[patient’s counsel]: How will you get there?
[patient]: I have two choices. I will put it on hold for a few days.
[patient’s counsel]: If you go now-
[patient]: I will first go back to Alpine-
[patient’s counsel]: I don’t think that is an option. Alpine will only take people under conservatorship.
[patient]: Oh really? That’s a problem. Then I guess I will go to Susan’s.
[patient’s counsel]: And then will you go? What is Susan’s
[patient]: It is a board and care.
[patient’s counsel]: Is [it] willing to help you out?
[patient]: No [unintelligible speaking] I think it is an independent living. I have a-
[patient’s counsel]: What will u do after you have a room?
[patient]: If I went today then I will-
[patient’s counsel]: Why don’t u get back to your old place?
[patient]: We’re going to sell house. I couldn’t go back there. I’d rather be in room for rent. There’s nothing wrong with it. I was the property manager for 7 years. I rented to several people. And [I was] very successful. Didn’t give me a lease. Second of all she has independent living facility. But she locked the kitchen. Called me obese. What kind of info do you want to know?
[patient’s counsel]: For a few days [I want to know] you have a safe place for a few days.
[patient]: I agree with you. I want go back to college [because I] had to drop semester. I will start next semester in January. I want to focus on other things. What I want is to live is a place, to sleep, to shower, and a place to keep my clothes.
This is a partial transcript of conference with counsel. The patient addressed several issues such as housing, treatment, and clothing. However, the problem is that the conservatee did not specify where she was going to go, for how long, how she was going to pay, whether it was confirmed by counsel and PC as a valid residence, and her plans for followup with treatment. She seemed confused by the questions and mentioned the poor history with the landlords. Any good attorney could have used her statements about the poor relationship and locking the kitchen as evidence of psychotic thoughts. Also she failed to mention a solid relapse prevention plan in which she would be meeting with a psychiatrist for the long term, where she would be taking her medications, and any other mental health services she may engage in to prevent relapse. The best defense would have been for her to have her friends testify through writing or in person at court about supporting her recovery, showing records and relapse prevention plan [psychiatrist name and contact, pharmacy for medication, outpatient clinics, and emergency contact numbers], and show financial records and planning for securing a place to live. She should have had one or two places with signed leases and deposits submitted into discovery. All together these documents and statements would have won her her case since she demonstrated reasonable clarity regarding her own plan and state of mind. The conservatee is not at fault due to her lack of information presented by her counsel. Even though the conservatorship court is deemed a court of equity, more often than not the court is bears similar resemblance to criminal court.
Juvenile Dependency and
Juvenile Dependency Court
2851 Meadow Lark Drive Dpt 10
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 634-1600
San Diego Central Courthouse
1100 Union St
San Diego, California 92101
Phone: (619) 844-2700
Office of the Public Conservator
5560 Overland Ave Ste 130
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 694-3500 ext 2