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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Guardianship Reporting and Monitoring Program (GRAMP) and Court Visitor Volunteers

The Guardianship Reporting and Monitoring Program (GRAMP)

The Guardianship Reporting and Monitoring Program, or GRAMP, is a program that assigns volunteers, called "court visitors" to investigate guardianship and conservatorship cases. Due to the nature of guardianship and conservatorship cases, volunteer visitors regularly interact with Utah's vulnerable elderly, minors, and persons with disabilities subject to guardianship.

In an adult guardianship case, the judge must decide whether the adult is legally incapacitated and whether to appoint a guardian for them. In a conservatorship case, the judge must make similar decisions regarding the person's estate, or money and assets. And in a minor guardianship case, the judge must decide whether to appoint a person other than the child's parent to make decisions concerning the child's life.

The court visitor's role is to provide critical information to the court so that our judges may make informed decisions about the vulnerable people before them.

The following link provides a 3-minute overview of the program: Interview of the WINGS and Court Visitor Program Coordinator, Karolina Abuzyarova aired on KUED, a PBS member television station located in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 3rd, 2015

Program Goals

The Guardianship Reporting and Monitoring Program's goals are as follows:

  • Preserve dignity and respect for persons subject to guardianship by making their voice heard in guardianship proceeding;
  • Educate Court-appointed guardians on reporting requirements to the Court;
  • Inform judges' decisions by investigating and gathering facts about person's life.

What is a Guardian?

A guardian is a person who, by court appointment, has the authority to make decisions on behalf of a protected person. A protected person is someone who lacks capacity to make or communicate decisions, who needs protection, and for whom there is no less restrictive alternative than a guardianship. A guardian is a position of high trust, with responsibilities for the protected person and duties to the court.

If the protected person needs help in some but not all areas of decision making, the court may order a limited guardianship. The court may grant a full guardianship only if no alternative exists. For more information, see our page on Guardianships.

Why are Guardianships Created?

An individual may become incapacitated due to disease, injury, or developmental disability. This incapacity could be the result of a range of diseases and conditions, including but not limited to the following: Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia, intellectual disabilities, autism, head injuries, and injuries related to strokes. Minor children sometimes need guardians appointed as well. Persons under a full guardianship are unable to care for themselves or make decisions regarding financial matters.

What is the Role of the Visitor?

The role of a court visitor is to be a neutral party who gathers facts and information from an array of individuals and institutions and provides this essential information to the judge. The court visitor will determine if the vulnerable individual is receiving appropriate support and care, ensure the guardian is following court orders, and ensure the incapacitated individual's preferences and wishes are being considered when making life altering decisions.

How is a Court Visitor Appointed?

The judge may appoint, or a member of the public may request to appoint, a court visitor to determine if a respondent should be excused from the hearing or gather evidence to help the judge make the decision about the request for guardianship or conservatorship.

The visitor also has a role after the appointment of a guardian or conservator:

  • Ensuring that the court's orders are being followed and that the person under guardianship or conservatorship is protected;
  • Locating guardians and conservators with whom the court has lost contact;
  • Educating guardians and conservators on their responsibilities and reporting requirements to the court; and
  • Auditing guardians' and conservators' annual reports to determine if possible problems exist that require further judicial review.

To request the assignment of a court visitor in a guardianship or conservatorship case, please visit our Volunteer Court Visitor Resources page. Or to volunteer, please visit our Volunteering for the Guardianship Reporting and Monitoring Program page.

More information on guardianship may be found on our Guardianship page; information on conservatorships may be found on our Conservator page. More information about Court-community committee addressing guardianship policy, Utah Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders, maybe be found on the Courts webpage: www.utcourts.gov/utc/wings/.

Contact Us

Guardianship Reporting and Monitoring Program
(Court Visitor Volunteer Program)

Administrative Office of the Courts
450 South State Street
P.O. Box 140241
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Fax: 801-578-3843

Shonna Thomas
GRAMP Program Coordinator
Email: shonnat@utcourts.gov
Phone: 801-578-3925

Michelle Wilkes
Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: 801-238-7030

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last Modified: 12/2/2019
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