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Resource ID: #25787
Subject: Law
Source: Tennessean (Nashville, Tenn.)
Date: April 15, 19, 24; May 18; July 20; Aug. 10, 11; Sept. 14, 21



Our story of a woman who lost everything in a conservatorship only to be later found mentally capable of living on her own touched a nerve in our community. Investigative reporter Walter F. Roche Jr. documented her case and others who were placed against their will under the control of the court and its court appointees only to find their estates whittled down before they could successfully prove their own capacity for living independently. After The Tennessean's examination of the lack of safeguards in the state's conservatorship laws, a new law passed unanimously in the House and Senate to require those petitioning for a conservatorship to disclose their relationship with the proposed ward and whether they had a criminal record. And just a few days before the package was to publish in April, the Davidson County judge at the center of abuses in our story announced changes that would hold lawyers representing those in conservatorships more accountable, particularly when a person's condition changed or they wanted to contest the conservatorship. Later in the year, the Tennessee Bar Association held hearings across the state to compile recommendations for the Legislature, which will be presented in January, and could lead to more law changes.

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