From NASGA – National Assn to Stop Guardianship abuse

National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse


 

National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse


Fighting Back Against Isolation: Travis Campbell and Catherine Falk Join Forces

Posted: 07 Feb 2016 11:00 PM PST

When a loved one is in the hospital, you naturally want to be at the bedside. But what if the staff won’t allow it? What happens when a loved one is wrongly isolated from family and friends?

Glen Campbell’s Son Travis Campbell and The Daughter of the Late Peter Falk, known as “Columbo” are speaking out about the importance of adult visitation legislation [the Campbell~Falk Bill] which coincides with the push of the Peter Falk Bill.

After Catherine Falk was a victim herself in the attempts to see her ailing father, Catherine’s former probate attorney drafted the Peter Falk Bill in 2011 and the first draft was handed to Assemblyman Gatto. After many amended drafts and hard work by her former lawyer, Catherine took one of the amended drafts to other states. California passed the visitation bill in 2015.

Catherine has since broadened her scope beyond just an adult child seeking visitation with an ailing parent but for all wards in isolation within Conservatorships/Guardianships exposed to abusive guardians who isolate our loved ones. Now Travis Campbell is in the same predicament. He too is in a fight for his right to see his ailing father Glen.

How can we put an end to this isolation that continues to impact society as a whole? The mission is to go to every state in this country to pass a very important Bill/Law protecting the rights of families, specifically when a family member is being isolated from his/her loved ones or there is elder abuse involved. Let’s all join together to make this bill a reality!

Source:
Fighting Back Against Isolation

See Also:
Catherine Falk Organization

NASGA:  Legislative Action

Joe Roubicek: The Criminal “Civil Matter”

Posted: 07 Feb 2016 10:30 PM PST

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Mark Twain

January 1991 – The house was perfect for this sting operation, unoccupied and up for sale by an owner kind enough to lend it out for a couple of days. The most important feature about this house was its plumbing, which happened to be in excellent condition. It had to be for the whole case could … Well, go down the toilet.

A 75-year-old woman, an actress provided by chief LaGraves of the prosecutor’s office, was wearing a hidden microphone, sat patiently on a couch in the living room waiting for the doorbell to ring. Soon she would be presenting herself as a poor, frail and confused old lady, just ready for the taking.

Our technical unit had set up a video camera that spied on the exterior east wall of the house from inside a neighbor’s home. A detective was parked a half block up the road, waiting to give the signal when the suspect arrived, and three more detectives sent by the camera and the neighbor’s house. Two patrolmen cruised a couple blocks away, ready if called upon, and a special prosecutor, Mark Springer, stood by his desk for progress reports. The bait was set, everyone just waiting for the suspect to arrive.

He was considered a figurehead in a tunneling fraud operation that had burned victims for tens of thousands of dollars each. His real tools weren’t a shovel or backhoe – they were deception and extortion. Michael Angove, or “Mike The Plumber,” was known to dig a mountain of dirt for a mountain of cash that he demanded from elderly homeowners, using their limited mobility and dependency on others against them.

Dorothy Darling, an 80-year-old disabled woman, was one of those victims. She called for a plumber because her toilet made a constant leaking noise. She didn’t know that the plumbing was actually in good condition. A “leaking flapper,” the small rubber piece that keeps the water in the tank, could have been easily fixed with a $10 repair kit.

After Angove of A Aachen Plumbing in Fort Lauderdale checked it out though,he left Dorothy’s bathroom and went to his truck to begin a very different type of repair. He grabbed a shovel and dug a one-foot-deep hole by the side of the woman’s house, filling the hole with water from the garden hose.

Full Article and Source:
Joe’s Cases: The Criminal “Civil Matter”

Health worker charged with stealing from elderly person she cared for

Posted: 07 Feb 2016 10:00 PM PST

Mia Vela

A home health care worker is charged with stealing from an elderly person she was hired to care for, according to a news release from the Bartlett police.

Mia Vela, 40, of the 15000 block of Turlington Avenue in Harvey, was arrested Wednesday and charged with a class 2 felony count of financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability, police said.

According to police, Vela was hired in July 2014 as a home health care worker to care for a 61-year-old Bartlett resident. Police said Vela stole approximately $10,000 from the victim’s bank account and made approximately $5,000 worth of unauthorized purchases with the victim’s credit card.

Vela was given a $75,000 bond Thursday at the Cook County court facility in Rolling Meadows.

Full Article & Source:
Health worker charged with stealing from elderly person she cared for

Guardianship bill gets unanimous support

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:03 PM PST

The Florida Senate on Wednesday unanimously backed the expansion of the state’s regulation of guardians who care for frail elders, including allowing the state Department of Elderly Affairs to discipline private guardians who violate care standards.

At the same time, a similar measure cleared its final House committee, meaning the bill is now ready for a floor vote in the House.

“We all recognize there is a problem,” said Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, who has called the bill (SB 232) her top priority for her final regular session in the Legislature.

The measure follows up on a law that Detert helped pass last year to curb abuses in the adult guardianship system, including regulations on public guardians, who are appointed to care for incapacitated seniors who are poor.

The new bills extend a series of regulations and state oversight to private guardians, who now must have a background screening and meet certain training requirements. It would include a system for investigating complaints and disciplining private guardians.

“It left a whole segment of the elderly open for abuse and they have been targeted, especially wealthy older women,” Detert said, adding it is a problem not only in Florida but across the nation.

She said Florida would have “the strongest laws” in the country if the bill becomes law as anticipated. “I know you will agree that protecting the elderly is one of our top priorities,” Detert said.

In a tribute to Detert, the 39 other senators agreed to become co-sponsors of the legislation as it heads to the House.

Earlier in the day, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously backed a bill (HB 403), sponsored by Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, that would expand the Department of Elderly Affairs (DOEA) power to monitor and regulate public guardians to include private guardians.

All the guardians would be required to register and would be regulated by the DOEA’s renamed Office of Public and Professional Guardians.

“Under this bill the office can investigate allegations of abuse and fraud and take disciplinary action when warranted,” Ahern said.

Ahern cited the press reports of abuses of elderly Floridians as one of the motivations for the legislation. The Herald-Tribune’s December 2014 series, “The Kindness of Strangers,” highlighted cases of frail seniors who had been taken advantage of by unregulated private guardians.

“We don’t want to read another story about someone who has been appointed by the courts and given complete autonomy over a person’s life and estate and uses that position to take advantage of the person they were entrusted to protect,” Ahern said.

The House committee also heard from Doug Franks, who has fought to remove his mother from a private guardianship in Pensacola.

“This bill is going to put some oversight on this where before we had no oversight on professional guardians,” Franks said, adding he wanted to eventually see stronger laws, including criminal penalties for guardians who abuse their trust.

Under the current law, Franks said it is difficult for family members to “get their parents back because once they’re in guardianship, professional guardianship, they can’t get out.”

“It’s not like foster care where you get a chance to get your children out. When they’re in guardianship, forget it,” Franks said.

The legislation has the support of the AARP and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. Detert said the legislation also has the backing of Gov. Rick Scott and DOEA Secretary Samuel Verghese.

The bill provides $822,000 in funding for the DOEA’s expanded guardian office, which will include six full-time employees.

Full Article & Source:
Guardianship bill gets unanimous support

Appeals board reverses another VA executive’s punishment

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 10:30 PM PST

WASHINGTON – An appeals board has handed the Department of Veterans Affairs a third straight reversal in a high-profile executive malfeasance case, this time voiding the dismissal of the embattled director of the Albany-Stratton VA Medical Center in New York.

But VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson is vowing not to reinstate the director, saying the Veterans Choice Act that Congress passed in 2014 gives him the authority to discipline staff, intensifying a growing battle between VA and the Merit Systems Protection Board, which hears appeals from federal employees about punishments.

“I am disappointed that the MSPB judge in this case did not afford my judgment the deference the Choice Act envisioned, but I will nevertheless continue to hold VA senior executives to the highest standards of conduct regardless of the risk of having my decisions overturned,” Gibson said in a released statement after the decision to reverse the dismissal of Albany-Stratton Director Linda Weiss. “Because of this high standard, I do not intend to return this individual to any position, in Albany or elsewhere, where she would be responsible for patient care or safety.”

Veterans Affairs officials have withstood criticism from lawmakers, who have harangued them routinely for not punishing executives accused of wrongdoing. Now department leadership faces a new challenge: an appeals board that is routinely voiding disciplinary actions, contending the VA is going too far in their punishments of executives.

In announcing the decision of Judge Arthur S. Joseph to overturn Weiss’s dismissal, the Merit Systems Protection Board did not give reasons for the decision, saying it will be released by Feb. 16.

“This is yet another MSPB ruling that defies common sense,” said Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. “It will likely force VA to create a do-nothing job for an employee it has no confidence in.”

At times, judges have struggled with Veterans Choice Act rules that force them to adjudicate VA appeals within 21 days. In one recent ruling, a judge who reversed VA’s proposed demotion of St. Paul (Minnesota) VA Regional Director Kimberly Graves noted she and the lawyers involved had just 2 ½ weeks to pore over 3,800 pages of documents.

William Spencer, spokesman for the Merit Systems Protection Board, would not comment Monday on the Weiss ruling or the board’s disagreement with VA over the department’s authority to discipline executives.

A VA spokeswoman said Monday that Weiss received information in March 2015 showing a certain nursing assistant “should not be involved in direct patient care” but did not remove the assistant from patient care until July. The spokeswoman did not offer more specifics.

More so, Weiss retired in January after finding out she would be removed and it is unclear what the judge’s ruling means as far as the department’s obligations, the VA spokeswoman said. Two staff members were caught stealing drugs at the Albany-Stratton medical center during Weiss’ tenure as director. One staffer was found in the hospital incoherent with a used syringe nearby, according to the Albany Times-Union.
Weiss could not be reached for comment Monday.

The week before the Weiss decision, two other VA executives had high-profile disciplinary positions overturned. Diana Rubens and Graves, the directors of the Philadelphia and St. Paul VA regional offices respectively, were found to be involved in a scheme to move themselves to new positions with lesser responsibilities at their higher salaries while also receiving about $400,000 in relocation compensation.

VA had recommended Rubens and Graves be demoted and separate judges found both were guilty of wrongdoing. Yet, the MSPB overturned their punishments, finding the VA was inconsistent in its punishments.

The MSPB’s decisions also appear to be emboldening Miller to expand the scope of his criticism beyond VA, calling for reform of the entire federal employee disciplinary system.

“The MSPB coddles and protects misbehaving employees rather than facilitating fair and efficient discipline,” he said. “And as long as we have a system in place that requires a similar standard to discipline federal workers as it does to send criminals to prison, accountability problems at VA and across the government will only continue.”

Full Article & Source:
Appeals board reverses another VA executive’s punishment

State to hold training sessions on investment fraud

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:11 PM PST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A series of training programs to teach certified public accountants about investment fraud and financial exploitation will kick off this month in Las Cruces.

The state Securities Division is holding the programs so CPAs will be better able to “recognize signs of vulnerability to financial exploitation and make appropriate referrals for (those) deemed vulnerable or for those who’ve already been defrauded,” according to a news release.

The first session will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 22 at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. Other sessions will be held on March 14 in Roswell, May 24 in Santa Fe and June 7 in Albuquerque.

Full Article & Source:
State to hold training sessions on investment fraud

From Ken Ditkowsky

To: “ABAJournal.com” <webmaster@abajournal.com>
Cc: Tim NASGA <timlahrman@aol.com>, Probate Sharks <verenusl@gmail.com>,
Subject: Integrity
Date: Feb 11, 2016 5:20 PM
A large plurality of the American public has indicated great doubts about the integrity of the members of the legal profession.  Hardly a day goes by without a substantial number of the public disparaging the 2nd oldest profession.   The problem that the profession enjoys is the fact that so many of the most outrageous of the remarks have an element of truth to them and all we, the American public, has to do is open a newspaper and it is rare that something negative concerning the profession does not jump out at you.
The ‘coverup’ of elder cleansing has my focus as it has affected me personally and when I called on Illinois Judicial officials to do an investigation of several cases that came to my attention (none of which I was of record in) Attempts were made to intimidate me.  The First attempt was about as blatant as could be – the three miscreant attorneys involved in the Mary Sykes case 09 P 4585 threatened me to stop my investigation.   When I did not, they went to court and sought sanctions against me.   The presiding judge who admitted on page 90 and following of her evidence deposition that she was wired  (i.e. had her mind made up to rule adversely prior to hearing a word of evidence) actually directed that sanctions were to imposed upon me.   The fact that she lacked jurisdiction over me did not deter her.  Finally, after I wrote to the Attorney General of the United States the attorney disciplinary commission came after me and in an attempt to shut me up I got a four year suspension of my law license.  (This did not shut me up, as after more than 1/2 century before the bar I am not intimidated by criminals or cover-ups).
All that said, we know that the ABA knows about the JoAnne Denison case and the soviet style censorship that the miscreant criminals engaged in the elder cleansing operation in Illinois sought to impose.   The Article read:
LEGAL ETHICS

Lawyer’s blog posts about ‘sleazy world of probate’ bring ethics complaint

POSTED FEB 04, 2013 01:20 PM CST

Share3
Corrected: A patent and trademark lawyer who blogged about alleged corruption in Chicago’s “sleazy world of probate” is facing an ethics complaint that accuses her of undermining the administration of justice.
Chicago lawyer Joanne Denison is accused of knowing that her statements were false or made in reckless disregard of the truth, the National Law Journal reports. The Legal Profession Blog links to the complaint.
Denison began blogging after a judge refused her application to represent a client who was seeking appointment as guardian for her mother. The client’s sister was later appointed guardian.
The court had disqualified Denison because she had notarized signatures for the client and the client’s mother on a document giving the client her mother’s interest in a lawsuit. The court had found that the mother may have been suffering from dementia at the time, the ethics complaint said.
According to the complaint, Denison’s blog posts had claimed impropriety and financial exploitation in the case. Among other things, her blog claimed “garden variety theft, embezzlement, malpractice and malfeasance by attorneys and the court.”
Denison had published a disclaimer. “Sorry, but portions of this blog have to be entertaining so we can get the word out,” she wrote. “There is most certainly a great deal of (stinging) truth in it.”
Denison told the NLJ she has no plans to take down her blog. “Why would I shut up when there’s corruption going on in the courts?” she said.
Corrected on Feb. 5 to say Denison has no plans to take down her blog.  
 
As everyone who has examined the Cook County probate file 09 P 4585 has learned, the allegations made by the Attorney Disciplinary Commission were patently false and the administrator of the IARDC and several attorneys employed by the IARDC are actively in violation of Rule 8.3 and 18 USCA 371 and 18 USCA 242 engaged in a ‘cover up’ and effort to protect the criminal activities disclosed in the Court file.
 
[NB.  the criminal activities were: 1) seizing Mary Sykes and removing her from the County of Cook to isolate her from family and HELP, 2) committing fraud as to service of process – i.e. providing the Sheriff with an address to serve Mary where each of the miscreants and the presiding judge knew she did not reside, 3) failing to serve a summons on Mary as required by 755 ILCs 5/11a – 10, 4) failing to serve prior notice of any hearing as to Mary’s competence of close (near) family members such as her two sisters and younger daughter, 5) failing to hold a hearing as required by statute and in particular failing to require petition to prove Mary’s incompetency by clear and convincing evidence. 6) failing to inventory some 3 million dollars in assets including gold coins valued at a million dollars (see Gloria Sykes affidavit)]
 
Literally thousands of similar cases exist and many innocent victims and family members have been subjected to unspeakable crimes by corrupt jurists, lawyers, judicial officials and Mr. Larkin and his gang of 18 USCA 371 co-conspirators.    No prosecution – that we know of – has commenced and the miscreants appear to be free to continue to prey on the elderly and the disabled.    (In another venue – it appears that the USA is prosecuting lawyer Seth Gillman for his miscreant conduct as a banker and in the hospice activity – goggle suggests that next Friday is the trial date)
 
As a lawyer who paid dues to the American Bar Association for many years I am personally disappointed that the legal profession is AFRAID to comply with the oath that every lawyer takes upon admission to the Bar.    The legal profession when hearing of the JoAnne Denison matter is it had any INTEGRITY should have as a single entity got out the tar and feathers and amass knocked down the doors of the Supreme Court of Illinois and the Illinois attorney registration and disciplinary commission.     Lawyer who are intimidated and afraid to stand up for the RULE OF LAW and the Constitution of the United STates amongst the most despicable creatures on earth.    
 
The American Bar Association in standing silent while Attorney Denison is openly and notoriously denied her First and Fifth Amendment Rights is reprehensible and devoid of any claim of integrity.    The SCOTUS has made in very clear in the Alvarez case that even socially unacceptable speech is protected by the First Amendment.   Disclosure of corrupt jurists, criminal conduct by lawyers and others is not only protected by required.   The ABA rule 8.3 requires such disclosure!    However, if a lawyer does disclose criminal conduct by certain clouted political or judicial miscreants the lawyer can expect to lose his/her law license.
 
The shame that the ABA has cast on the legal profession by its benign neglect of its 8.3 obligation is shameful and casts ill repute not only on the ABA but on every lawyer in America.    If lawyers do not stand up for the Constitution and the Rule of Law – there is no rule of law!   
 
One more point!    Every preteen  in Illinois prior to being promoted and allowed to enter High School has to take a Constitution test and demonstrate knowledge of America’s core principles.    The article quoted supra concerning Attorney Denison demonstrates that lawyers employed as jurists, as part of disciplinary process, ***** apparently are ignorant of the very information that pre-teens must demonstrate knowledge of to be allowed to enter high school.     How can these lawyers in good faith charge clients fees for services?      These individuals by claiming to be lawyers are engaged in a serious deceptive practice and should return to consumers – and the public – the pecuniary remuneration that they received while lacking the condition precedent for honestly taking the oath as an attorney and the knowledge that is required to enter secondary school.
 
Shame!
Ken Ditkowsky

America’s Shame: Trafficking Our Elderly

Just another article on the seniors for cash scandal in the US

SENIOR LIVING WATCH

For most people, the term human trafficking conjures up images of ethnic young people controlled by sleazy handlers who buy and sell them for sex or labor.  We might hear about human trafficking ring leaders that have been arrested and sentenced to long prison terms for their heinous acts.

There’s another practice of human trafficking that goes largely ignored even though it happens daily, sometimes right under our noses.  The traffickers don’t hide from the law because the law is either on their side, as in the case of guardianship and conservatorship abuse, or because, even when these offenders are caught, the human trafficking component is ignored by authorities.  I’m talking about the use and abuse of our elderly who are sought out for their Medicare/Medicaid dollars.  Their predators are doctors, nursing home corporations, hospitals, and long-term care pharmacies.

The schemes are all fairly similar.  You need an unscrupulous doctor…

View original post 780 more words

Judy Ditkowsky points out web cams in nursing homes

http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/7/71/1217182/senior-cams-hit-illinois-nursing-homes

From an article in the Suntimes, it is noted that nursing homes have to provide web cams to concerned family members. Good idea.

Editorial: What to know about ‘senior cams’ in nursing homes

WRITTEN BY SUN-TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD POSTED: 01/03/2016, 12:34PM
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Follow @csteditorials

A “senior” version of “nanny cams” is about to hit Illinois nursing homes.

As of Jan. 1, a new state law, the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act allows video or audio recording devices to be placed in Illinois nursing home rooms to monitor treatment.

“Senior cams” could range from a simple battery-operated camera that records action on a memory card to a more sophisticated Internet-connected device that allows live-streaming. Residents, or their relatives, must pick up the tab.

It’s a new option worth spotlighting and, under the law, all nursing home residents and their guardians must be informed about it within 48 hours of admission to an Illinois nursing home or skilled care rehab facility.

The move seems prudent given that Illinois racked up an average score of F in the 2014 Nursing Home Report Card handed out by Families for Better Care, a nursing home watchdog group. Illinois is expected to draw another F in the next report card, due out soon, watchdog officials say.

The law makes Illinois only the fourth state in the nation to require nursing homes to allow monitoring devices in patient rooms, according to a spokesperson for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a key figure in the bill’s passage.

Its Illinois Senate sponsor, Terry Link (D-Waukegan), says he wished he had such an option when his mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, was placed in a Zion nursing home about eight years ago. His mom passed away in 2000.

“This is a huge step forward,’’ said Link, whose House sponsor on the bill was Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago).

Link said his mother received fine care, but even so, today he wouldn’t hesitate to place a camera in her room. That’s especially true because, with Alzheimer’s, she could not articulate if she was having a problem.

“If I knew she’d be safe 24/7 and I’d be comfortable and she’d be comfortable, I’d do it in a heartbeat,’’ Link said.

Madigan marshaled a roundtable of stakeholders to address nursing home concerns that stymied somewhat similar Link legislation in 2007.

This time around, residents or their relatives who want such devices must foot the bill for “senior cam” installation and maintenance — not nursing homes.
To address privacy concerns, residents can request that the devices be turned off at certain times — such as during bathing or changing. Roommates must sign off on cameras, although facilities must try to find other accommodations for those with a balky roommate. And, facilities cannot retaliate against those who use such devices.

“Senior cams” are no substitute for a kiss on the cheek, a squeeze of the hand and an in-person assessment and conversation that only an on-site visit from a loved one can provide. However, they will afford relatives the ability to check on nursing home residents from a distance, to observe that they are safe, and perhaps to see if they aren’t.

Some folks have been secretly planting such devices in nursing home rooms for years. A camera that looked like an alarm clock captured workers in one Oklahoma City nursing home flinging a 96-year-old dementia resident onto her bed and stuffing a latex glove into her mouth. The case prompted Oklahoma to pass a nursing home camera law in 2013.
Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care, contends any “senior cam” will merely record the “abuse and neglect” that’s been going on in Illinois for years and “beg the question — what’s next?”

The real culprit, Lee says, is the state’s staffing ratio. Illinois’ worst 2014 report card scores came in its “abysmal” number of direct care staffing hours per resident, Lee said.

If Illinois “senior cams” memorialize the need to improve that nursing home staffing ratio – and galvanize even more legislative action to address it — that would be yet another step forward.

Ginny Johnson demands: Call the White House re: abusive guardianships

From Ginny Johnson, herself a probate victim and survivor:

To: undisclosed-recipients@null, null@null
Subject: The White House 202-456-1111
Date: Feb 9, 2016 7:52 PM
Everyone Start Calling – about guardian abuse 
 
 
 
The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 
For those of you unsure of what to ask for, ask for the wish list previously published on this blog, or ask for Tim Lahrman’s mandatory appeal for guardianships
My wish list:
Every guardianship statute should say it is the public policy of the state:
1) to have family members serve as guardians over non family members;
2) that wards should never be moved to institutions against their will;
3) that disabled persons should always be placed in the least restrictive environment;
4) that no disabled person should be restrained with chemical or other restraints and the use of psychtropic drugs is illegal;
5) waiver of any substantive rights (ie, right to an attorney, right to a trial, right to a jury) shall be recorded by a GAL or attorney for the disabled and made available publicly and may be revoked at any time prior to trial;
6) volunteer guardians and attorneys shall be preferred over for profit guardians and attorneys and the state shall institute programs to recruit and train volunteer or low cost GAL’s and attorneys;
7) a volunteer senior assistant program should be developed to help the disabled pay bills, make good decisions and stay safe shall be preferred over a guardianship;
8) all attorneys, judges and managers of the disabled making any placement decisions or spending the ward’s money shall file Ethics Reports with the Office of the Attorney General annually disclosing all sources of income and any campaign donations;
9) enforcing a patient’s bill of rights in all nursing homes in every state and notifying the disabled of same in large, bold print,
10) lists of all attorneys, GAL’s, case managers, social workers shall be made public with the hourly rate and the senior and family members shall be able to rate their services and costs and publish to the public;
11) ban gag orders and isolation orders, unless the person is a known felon or psychopath– if the disabled person wants to see the ward and the ward wants to see the visitor, this should be their right;
12) make all guardianship records publicly available and the transcripts for all hearings and hearings must have a court reporter or audio recording;
13) provide funding for those that need to appeal termination of right, POA, etc. incluign money for transcripts and a public defender;
14) all wards have the right to attend any guardianship proceedings if they desire and any family member may bring them and no one–GAL, court appointed attorney, etc. shall interfere with that right;
15) gaslighting and failing to inform the ward of the status of the court proceeding is prohibited.

From Tim Lahrman–an open letter to Advocates

I wish to thank Tim for writing this wonderful letter regarding the state of guardianship.

I also want many to note that Tim writes as well or better than most lawyers, especially in guardianship.

To:

Catherine Falk, Marcia Southwick, Kerry Kasem

In re: Legislative Proposal

Dear fellow advocates,

With all sincerity I applaud your efforts, bravery and dedication to bringing about change in the practices of adult guardianship and elder care. I know the story of each of you and in spite of what might be our differences in how to go about bringing change, the one thing I believe we all stand in unity on is that this madness we know and have experienced has to stop.

Our parents and disabled loved ones’ deserve better, and with this in mind I wish to propose the following legislative effort I would support. MANDATORY appeal of all guardianship appointments1 — and here is why;

“`From the time a person is adjudged to be distracted and incapable of caring for his property and effects, until, if ever, he is adjudged to be restored, he has no more legal power to act for himself than as if he were dead … ‘” (quoting: Turner, J. concurring – In re Estate of Doyle, 838 N.E.2d 355 (2005), citing, In re Estate of Kutchins, 169 Ill.App.3d 641, 645-46, 120 Ill.Dec. 114, 523 N.E.2d 1025, 1028 (1988), quoting Bradshaw v. Lucas, 214 Ill.App. 218, 223 (1919). (emphasis added)

The appointment of a guardian is a death sentence, and sadly many of us can today bear witness to the fact that our parents and disabled loved ones’ are in fact dying2 — while held in and under the captivity of a guardianship or other form of discriminatory and unlawful restraint. In addition, for many of you the “parent/child” relationship has likewise been executed3 by a pack of indifferent bigots and thugs who care more about the money involved than they do the terror and horror inflicted while you are being forced under threat and retaliation to witness the lynching4 and crucifixionlike5 treatment of our loved ones’.

________________________________________

1. I would go so far as to say that a mandatory appeal should lie “at all significant stages of the proceedings” (citation omitted).

2. “Medical murder” is not a concept foreign to our country and social policies. See Dr. P. Breggin – The Role of Psychiatry in the Holocaust (1993) at p. 3. The Ohio Supreme Court has recognized that court orders terminating the parent/ child relationship are the equivalent of a family court death sentence. See In re Hayes, 79 Ohio St.3d 46; 679 NE 2d 680 (1997).

4. Not unlike the slave of past history, in adult guardianship, the ward is chained to an impediment from which they cannot readily escape and the family is forced to watch as the slave-master whips the slave, and terrorized the family, to comply.

5. A few years back in discussion with Danny Tate – himself a ward/victim of Southern Baptist upbringing – I commented to his lamenting, no disrespect intended – “[N]ow you know what Christ felt like when he was hanging on the cross while others sat nearby casting lots for his goods.” For those of you who are Christian believers’ – see, Luke 11:46 and 11:52.

Page 2

As a “ward” 6 myself – someone on the inside looking out – I can tell you that access to the already existing appeal and review process7 is first and foremost a way of ending this madness. In fact, I will go so far and say that for the ‘ward’ under guardianship access to the courts period is very high on the list of what we lack most8 –

In sum, and for the sake of brevity – a capital murder defendant facing the death penalty has an automatic MANDATORY appeal – a check system built into the process to check the process itself before ever taking a life. In contrast and in the guardianship arena lives are being lost, death sentences are being handed out – often times ex parte9 — and the likelihood of a ‘ward’ ever seeing an appeal and review process is at best next to non-existent.10

In close, legislation to include a MANDATORY appeal in all guardianship cases is legislation I would support and I believe such an effort, once successful, would serve as the first step and front line defense to stopping the madness and suffering we have all been compelled to endure.

Thank you kindly and in advance for your valuable time and attention. If ever you wish to expound upon this discussion point I am always readily available to talk about solutions that fix the problems at their root cause.

Respectfully,

Tim Lahrman

________________________________________

6. For those who may not know – a “ward” is a person for whom a guardian has been appointed.

7.  In Lane v. Brown, 372 U.S. 477 (1963) the Supreme Court held that “where the state’s own processes substantially impair and impede a litigant’s access to an already existing appeal and review process such processes are unconstitutional.” — and I’ll expound upon this reasoning to add – where that states’ own processes, based solely upon an individual’s disability, substantially impair and impede a disabled litigant’s access to an already existing appeal and review process, such processes are without question, because they are already deemed unconstitutional, patently discriminatory in violation of Title II of the Americans’ With Disabilities Act 1990 (as amended).

8. There exists an inherent conflict of interest between the appointed guardian and the ward where the right to appeal is found. See Matter of Aho, 39 NY 2d 241 (NY Ct. App. 1976). [For those who do not know in NY the Court of Appeals is their state’s highest court and their county trial courts are called the Supreme Court]

9. Most guardianships begin with what is termed to be “a pre-hearing deprivation” for the ward, standing in their own right, never has “a post-deprivation remedy”. This is significant in any constitutional discussion of guardianship and due process.

10. For a ward the right to an appeal is merely illusory because the right to appeal as a ward and on behalf of the ward is in the hands of the appointed guardian, and what are the odds that an appointed guardian is ever going to appeal a decision which they themselves made and imposed upon the disabled ward. See Aho, supra.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42 other followers