Office of the Public Guardian

Office of the Public Guardian


Phone: 1-671-475-3173
Fax: +1-671- 472-0381
Email: publicguardian@opg.guamcourts.org
Types of Services Offered: Legal Advocacy & Resources
Category: Government Local

Description:

The Office of the Public Guardian was established by Guam law at 7 GCA § 3112, as amended (P.L. 25-103; 26-64 and 26-112) (hereafter, the Public Guardian Act). The legislative intent of the Public Guardian Act is to establish an Office of the Public Guardian within the Supreme Court of Guam for the purpose of furnishing guardianship services to adults at reduced or no cost where appropriate, and to promote the general welfare by permitting individuals who have a guardian appointed to participate as fully as possible in all decisions that affect the individual. In January 2001, Chief Justice Benjamin J.F. Cruz appointed the first Public Guardian for the Territory of Guam, and the Office of the Public Guardian opened on February 19, 2001.

Chief Justice Robert J. Torres has appointed Attorney Marcelene Cruz Santos as the Public Guardian. Attorney Santos is now available to receive referrals concerning persons who may be in need of guardianship services and to fulfill the responsibilities of the office.

Attorney Santos graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree in Law in 1990 from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. She also holds a Master of Arts in Psychology from California State University Northridge, Northridge California and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Cum Laude, from the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles California. She has vast legal experience working in California Schools, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Institute for Multicultural Counseling and Education Services in Los Angeles, California, the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service in Guam, Associate and subsequent Of Counsel to Breon and Shaeffer, PLC in Irvine, California representing California school districts and county offices on matters involving labor, employment and special education, Legal Counsel to the University of Guam and the Board of Regents, and as an Associate with the law firm of Phillips and Bordallo.

Her civic and community experience includes service as a Regional Member on the Los Angeles/Orange County State Superintendent of Education, Advisory Council on Asian/Pacific Islander Affairs, Member of the Asian/Pacific Islander Multi-Cultural Issues Task Force of the Los Angeles National Conference of Christians and Jews, Board Member of the Whitney High School Foundation for Educational Excellence, ABC Unified School District, Board Member on Protection and Advocacy in the Mariana Islands, Territorial Law Library Board Member, Guam Legal Services Corporation Board Member, and as a Director of the National pacific Islander Educators Network.

Her civic and community experience includes service as a Regional Member on the Los Angeles/Orange County State Superintendent of Education, Advisory Council on Asian/Pacific Islander Affairs, Member of the Asian/Pacific Islander Multi-Cultural Issues Task Force of the Los Angeles National Conference of Christians and Jews, Board Member of the Whitney High School Foundation for Educational Excellence, ABC Unified School District, Board Member on Protection and Advocacy in the Mariana Islands, Territorial Law Library Board Member, Guam Legal Services Corporation Board Member, and as a Director of the National pacific Islander Educators Network.

Note: Data for this listing was compiled from online sources by UOG social work students enrolled in SW110 Introduction to Community Services on Guam classes (Sections 1 and 2) in the spring semester of 2017.

Services Offered:

Statutory Duties of the Office of the Public Guardian


The Public Guardian Act states the duties of the Public Guardian:
 

  • The Public Guardian shall serve as guardian, limited guardian, testamentary guardian or temporary guardian of the person or estate of an incompetent adult when so appointed by the Superior Court of Guam for individuals who have no relatives or friends willing and able to act as guardian.

  • The Public Guardian shall assist the Court, as the Court may request or direct, in proceedings for the appointment of a guardian of the person and in supervision of persons, corporations or agencies which have been appointed as guardians of the person 7 GCA § 3112(a)(2). 

  • The Public Guardian shall advise and assist persons, corporations, and agencies which are seeking appointment as a guardian for an incompetent person. 7 GCA § 3112(a)(4).
 
  • The Public Guardian shall provide advice, information and guidance to the persons, corporations or agencies who have been appointed as guardian of the person to assist them in discharge of their duties. 7 GCA § 3112(a)(4).
 
  • The Public Guardian may offer guidance and counsel to those persons who request such assistance or to those on whose behalf it is requested for the purpose of encouraging maximum self-reliance and independence of such persons, and avoid the need for appointment of a guardian. 7 GCA § 3112(a)(5).

  • The Public Guardian shall develop programs of public education on guardianship and alternatives to guardianship and encourage the development of private guardians able and willing to serve as guardian of the person. 7 GCA § 3112(a)(6).


The Office of the Public Guardian has the following responsibilities:

  • First, to serve as guardian of the person or estate of an adult in our community who by reason of age, disease, or disability is unable, unassisted to properly manage and take care of him or herself or his or her property, and for whom no alternate guardian among family and friends can be identified.

  • Second, to assist the Superior Court in proceedings for the appointment of a guardian of an adult, and in supervision of persons who have been appointed guardian of an adult.
 
  • Third, to assist, advise and guide persons who are seeking appointment, or who have been appointed as guardian of an adult person.
 
  • Fourth, to offer guidance and counsel encouraging maximum self-reliance and independence of needful persons to avoid the need for appointment of a guardian, where possible.

  • Fifth, to develop programs of public education on guardianship and alternatives to guardianship, and support and encourage the development of private guardians.

Marcelene Santos

publicguardian@opg.guamcourts.org

Old Court Building, 110 W O'Brien Dr. 96910 , Hagatna, GUAM, GUAM

1-671-475-3173

+1-671- 472-0381

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

08:00 AM

05:00 PM

Old Court Building, 110 W. O'Brien Drive 96910

No

Infants, Children, Teens, Adults, Seniors

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