Public Guardian/Public Conservator/Public Administrator

Who We are

The Public Conservator is a county official established pursuant to state law. The Public Conservator in Merced County oversees the investigation and administration of conservatorships established for individuals who suffer from a mental disorder and will not accept mental health treatment on a voluntary basis. In addition the Public Conservator conducts investigations and may petition the court for authority to act as the conservator over an individual who is physically unable to care for themselves and manage their own finances.

During the course of the investigation, the assigned Deputy Public Conservator will determine if an individual’s condition or behavior meets the legal criteria for a conservatorship. If so, relatives are interviewed to determine willingness and ability to act as the court-appointed conservator. If there is no one able or willing to take on fiduciary responsibilities the investigating Deputy Public Conservator will recommend the appointment of the Public Conservator.

 The Public Conservator is a fiduciary with duties and responsibilities for any individual placed under his/her care. A personal conservator is responsible for ensuring the physical needs for food, clothing and shelter are provided in the least restrictive setting. The person placed under a conservatorship retains the ability to consent for medical decisions, unless the court determines the individual lacks capacity to make informed medical decisions. An estate conservator is responsible for managing all aspects of an individual’s real and personal property.


Public Conservator

The Public Conservator serves the community by providing investigative and fiduciary services to adults who are unable to provide their own basic personal needs due to a severe mental disorder or disabling physical condition. Public Conservator Deputies and staff are committed to ensure that individualized personal treatment, supervision and financial oversight is provided so that the conservatee can achieve their highest level of self-determination, autonomy and independence

Public Administrator

The Office of the Public Conservator is dedicated to the physical and financial safety of persons unable to do so on their own that are conserved when there are no viable alternatives to a public conservatorship. The Superior Court determines whether a conservatorship should be established, involving a court process that includes petitioning the court and notifying the proposed conservatee and his or her family of the proceedings. A conservatorship is only established as a last resort through a formal hearing. The Court can appoint the Public Conservator as a conservator of the person only, estate only (for probate) or both person and estate.

Office of the Public Conservator

Serving: Merced County Residents

Facility: County Operated

Region: Countywide

Address: 301 East 13th Street, Merced, CA 95341

Phone: (209) 381-6840     Fax: (209) 724-4027

Email Address: Behavioral Health Public Administrator

Eligibility: Conservatorship referral criteria-LPS-Grave disability due to a mental disorder and unable to provide for their food, clothing, or shelter. Probate-Unable to provide for their food, clothing or shelter due to a disabling medical condition

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.