National Center for State Courts: As considerable national attention continues to be focused on the neglect and exploitation of incapacitated people — many of them seniors — by court-appointed guardians, the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County is more effective in protecting and preventing the mistreatment of protected individuals and their property than most other probate courts in the country, according to a report by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The report was released this month following a yearlong assessment of the court's Probate and Mental Health Department.

“After conducting an in-depth study of the adult guardianship and conservatorship cases handled by the Probate and Mental Health Department and consulting with a number of other national experts, the NCSC team concluded that the manner in which caseflow management techniques, case monitoring, and court support staff are used in Maricopa County is more sophisticated and effective than most other probate courts in the nation,” said David C. Steelman, principal court management consultant with the National Center.