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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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General Assembly passes Kennedy, Lombardi bill that secures rights for adults under a guardianship
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) and Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) that would secure the rights of adults who are under a limited guardianship.
The bill (
) would provide persons under limited guardianship, guardianship and conservatorship with necessary rights designed to protect them from mental, physical and financial abuse by their guardians and conservators.
“Adults who are the wards of limited guardians sometimes have no recourse when they become the victims of abuse, whether that abuse be physical, emotional or financial,” said Representative Kennedy. “This legislation spells out the rights of those wards and prohibits guardians from treading on those rights.”
Catherine Falk, the daughter of the late Peter Falk, best known for portraying Lieutenant Columbo on television, is a national activist for guardianship reform and elder abuse awareness. She appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on behalf of legislation.
“It has become a common problem,” said Senator Lombardi. “Some adult guardians will isolate those they’re supposed to protect in order to retaliate against families who complain. This legislation would protect adults who may be unable to express their preferences due to physical or mental condition. In that case, consent would be presumed based upon the protected person’s proven relationship history with the person seeking visitation.”
The second part of the legislation stipulates that an emergency hearing should be conducted if the protected person’s health is in significant decline or death may be imminent. In these circumstances, supervised visitation would be put in place until the hearing and subsequent court ruling is complete.”
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
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