The grievance process in New Mexico allows any person, including the person under guardianship or conservatorship, to file a grievance with the court.

A grievance informs the court that the guardian or conservator, or the representative payee who is also a guardian or conservator, is not following the judge’s orders or is otherwise not acting in the best interests of the protected person. You do not need an attorney to file a grievance.

Some reasons for filing a grievance against a guardian include, but are not limited to:

  • the residence is unsafe
  • the protected person is not getting adequate and appropriate food, proper healthcare or medications
  • the guardian is physically, mentally or sexually abusing the protected person, or failing to prevent abuse by another person
  • family or friends are not permitted to visit or communicate with the protected person

A protected person may be harmed by a conservator and/or representative payee who:

  • fails to safeguard the protected person’s property or financial assets
  • doesn’t keep the protected person’s money in a separate account
  • uses the protected person’s money or property for the conservator’s own benefit
  • sells or otherwise gets rid of property belonging to the protected person without good reason
  • fails to provide an adequate accounting of the protected person’s assets, or fails to pay the protected person’s bills

You may file a grievance either by using Form 4-999.1, which can be found at the bottom of this web page, or by writing a letter to the court. In either case, you must include your name and contact information and a detailed account of what you believe is occurring. It’s important to be clear about key details of the situation, and include as much information as possible about the activity you’re reporting, including:

  • what did the guardian or conservator do?
  • how did you find out?
  • have you discussed this grievance with the protected person, or the person you’re filing the grievance against?
  • by raising this grievance, are you concerned for your safety, or for the safety of the protected person?
  • is there any paperwork that supports what you’ve stated?
  • have you already notified any other authorities about this behavior? if so, which authorities?

After reviewing the grievance, the judge may hold a hearing to discuss the reasons why you think the guardian, conservator or representative payee (who is also a guardian or conservator) is not doing a good job in their role of taking care of the protected person. The judge can decide not to set a hearing if a similar grievance was filed within 6 months of the current grievance and the judge already took action.