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Learn about Rogers guardianships

Find out what a Rogers guardianship is, when you can get one, what rights the incapacitated person has, and what a Rogers monitor is.

Table of Contents

What is a Rogers guardianship?

A guardian for an adult is a person appointed by a judge in the Probate and Family Court who is responsible for making decisions for an individual after a judge has decided they aren't competent to make their own informed choices. Some guardians can make decisions about medical treatment for a person with mental illness that is considered “extraordinary.” These are called Rogers guardianships.

At a Rogers guardianship hearing, the person asking for the Rogers guardianship asks the court to approve extraordinary medical treatment for an incapacitated person. This usually refers to treatment with antipsychotic medication, but it may include other intrusive treatments and procedures, like sterilization or electroconvulsive therapy.

If an incapacitated person is prescribed antipsychotic medications, the incapacitated person will need a guardian who has been given Rogers authority by the court.

When can someone be given Rogers authority?

Before the court can give Rogers authority, the court must decide :

  1. That the person is incapacitated and not competent to give informed consent about being treated with antipsychotic medications, and
  2. Whether the person would choose to take antipsychotic medication(s) if they were competent.

This is called a “substituted judgment” standard, where the court tries to decide what the person would choose for themself if they were competent.

The court will consider these factors to decide on a substituted judgment:

  • Preferences the person may have expressed in the past about treatment with antipsychotic medications
  • The person’s religious beliefs
  • The effect of the decision on the person’s family
  • How likely it is that there will be negative side effects
  • Possible outcomes (prognosis) with and without treatment

The court reviews Rogers guardianship cases every year.

Who are the petitioner and respondent?

Petitioner

The person who files a petition in court is called the petitioner. The petitioner may be a:

  • Physician
  • Hospital
  • Facility
  • State agency
  • Friend
  • Neighbor
  • Family member

The petitioner tells the court about the person’s condition and needs.

Respondent

The person the petitioner thinks needs help is called the respondent. In a Rogers guardianship, the respondent is an incapacitated person

The respondent has the right:

  • To have a lawyer. If the respondent can't afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one to represent them. The lawyer will tell the court what the person wants, not necessarily what is in their best interests.
  • To know that a petition for guardianship has been filed, and the date, time, and place of the court hearing
  • To be at the hearing unless there are important reasons that they can’t go
  • To object to having a guardian appointed and to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses
  • To object to the person who will be named guardian or monitor.

What is a Rogers monitor?

When the court gives the guardian Rogers authority, the court also appoints a person called a Rogers monitor to make sure the respondent is being medicated as agreed in the court-approved treatment plan. The Rogers monitor may be the person who was appointed as guardian or someone else.

The Rogers monitor should immediately review the details in the Appointment of Rogers Monitor (CJP 115) form, which describes the monitor’s responsibilities. The Rogers monitor and the guardian will review medical records, meet with staff, and may attend case conferences if the respondent is in a hospital or other facility.

The Rogers monitor must report to the court in writing regularly and file a report before the yearly review. If the monitor doesn’t file the reports, they might be removed from the monitor position.

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