TN Governor, Bill Haslam Approves New Conservatorship Law

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed into law a measure making the first major revisions in more than a decade to the state law governing the process of placing state residents under the control of a court-appointed conservator.

The new statute, which will take effect July 1, was the product of a series of hearings held across the state by the Tennessee Bar Association. It sets out for the first time uniform procedures for placing a person in a conservatorship on an emergency basis.

“The intent of this law is to clarify the process, to make sure people aren’t being taken advantage of,” said Rep. Andrew Farmer, the House sponsor of the measure.

Under the new law, a person being placed in a conservatorship in an emergency situation must be informed of the proceedings within 48 hours and a hearing must be held within five days.

The judge also will be required to certify that absent the conservatorship, the person would be likely to suffer substantial harm.

Testimony at the bar association hearings last year, including a session in Nashville, showed the emergency process varied from courtroom to courtroom across the state. Several witnesses, including Jewell Tinnon of Nashville, said their rights and possessions had been taken away without notice or justification and they questioned the need for emergency action.

Tinnon’s story was told in a special report by the Tennessean last year. Her house, car, and all of her personal possessions were stripped away while she was in a conservatorship initiated by two relatives who she said she hadn’t seen in years. Tinnon now lives in public housing.

Under the new law, a judge will be required to specify exactly what rights are being taken away and what rights the ward will retain. The law mandates that the restrictions be as limited as possible.

Under a last-minute amendment, specific provisions were added to clarify the procedure for a health care provider to follow in placing a patient in a conservatorship on a temporary basis. The change was sought by hospitals.

Full Article and Source:
Haslam Approves New Conservatorhsip Law

3 Responses to “TN Governor, Bill Haslam Approves New Conservatorship Law”

  1. Jolene Says:

    I wonder how much the hospital lobby contributed to Governor Haslam's campaign????

  2. Anonymous Says:

    How much was contribted by organizations, which attempt to STOP elder abuse?

  3. StandUp Says:

    I agree, Jolene, hospitals have no place in conservatorship. So, how did they get their agenda in this bill?

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