American needs a infusion of Honesty and Honor! The Elder Cleansing miscreants have declared war on the elderly and the disabled – and our society remains silent. Some of our political elite have declared war on the First Amendment and seek to intimidate lawyers in particular and the citizens in general from speaking out freely. Here in Illinois we had an attorney who lost his license to practice law for pointing out a conflict of interest. A Judge refused to recuse herself even though she was on the Board of Directors of the defendant and her brother was an attorney in the law firm representing the defendant. A respected business newspaper (Crains Chicago Business Daily) reported the same conflict of interest. In Kangaroo proceedings the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, without benefit of proof, claimed that it was unethical to report the judge’s indiscretion and the reporting lawyer was suspended from practice. The judge was given a pass!
The very same disciplinary commission barred from a public hearing one person – Diane Nash – one of the Icons of the Civil Rights movement. I and others attended the hearing without problem. There was an empty seat next to me. Jim Crow is still alive and well in Illinois!
Andy Ostrowski has demonstrated his devotion to the Bill of Rights, and we have been lead to believe that his belief in the Sanctity of the First Amendment is a deterrent to his law license being reinstated. I, as a citizen of the United States of America cannot sit quietly and allow such an outrage to occur and not raise my voice. What a terrible example I would set for my children and grandchildren if I was fiddled while Pennsylvania burned! How can any of us sit quietly as our beloved republic is being pillaged by public officials who do not honor America’s core values?
I wrote the following letter, in support of Andy – Please stand up and be counted. America needs a victory! Citizens rising up and supporting those among us who are leading the fight against Elder Cleansing, Judicial Corruption, Public Corruption and the cancers that target our Democracy must be supported. Andy is a respected leader in our defense of liberty he deserves our support!
6150 Forest Glen
Chicago, Illinois 60646
812 914 1945
The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Judicial Center
601 Commonwealth Ave., Suite 5600
P.O. Box 62625
Harrisburg, PA 17106-2625
Re: Reinstatement of Mr. Andrew Ostrowski to Practice Law
Honorable Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,
On November 28, 1961 I was admitted to the Illinois Bar, and for the next 53 years I practiced law in the Courts of Illinois. My practice led me to the Courts of last resort in Illinois even to the Supreme Court of the United States where I presented the case of Terrazas vs. Vance. This letter is to convey to you my total support of the readmission of Andrew Ostrowski to practice law in the Courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania (and the Several States) need advocates to fight for Constitutional and Civil Rights like Mr. Ostrowski. Pennsylvania needs courageous attorneys such as like Andy Ostrowski to represent citizens injured in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Today the legal profession is under siege and needs to redeem itself from the quagmire of corruption that it has been accused of participating. Pennsylvania itself has been touched by the scandal of its Attorney General being convicted of a crime and being disbarred. Even the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has not escaped bad press.
That said, there are in this State many whose Rights have been abridged in recent years who will have a competent, moral, and compassionate Advocate in Mr. Ostrowski, upon his reinstatement. Andrew Ostrowski stands ready, willing and able to be a lawyer that Pennsylvania can be proud of. Indeed, Attorney Ostrowski has acquired a reputation both in his home State and Nationally of being a vigorous defender of America’s core values and the Rule of Law. There is no just reason why Mr. Ostrowski should not be reinstated to the practice of law. Mr. Ostrowski should be reinstated to practice law in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on this important matter, your truly,
Kenneth K. Ditkowsky/
When will this every end?
Of course it is. These people have no choice, they are stripped of all their rights and miscreant attorneys from the bar associations and disciplinary boards cover it all up–hence Jerome Larkin, Head Administrator of the ARDC has covered up a dozen cases in Illionis of murder, neglect, torture and death and put many, many seniors and disableds at risk together with James Grogin, lead counsel of the Illinois ARDC, and Melissa Smart and Sharon Opryszek and Steven Split (who is supposed to be an “ethics professor” imagine that) and Leah Guiterrez Black. All of these attorneys think that taking massive amounts of attorneys fees from estates, the life, limb and property of seniors and disableds is “okay.” Ken Ditkowsky, Lanre Amu, Candice Schwager and other attorneys find this type of “guardianship” in the nation’s probate courts to be immoral, unethical and repugnant directly to the Core Values of the democratic and open USA. Join us and follow this blog. Note that Huffington Post–a major online news provider is joining the cause to stamp out for profit guardianship. If the courts want guardianship, the guardians must be free or low cost. And seniors and the disableds must NOT lose all their rights. Stop this nonsense now. It’s archaic and even deadly.
As the 71st session of the General Assembly of the United Nations begins this week to discuss international issues that affect the lives of millions throughout the world, the United States needs to step up its commitment to safeguard human rights and promote the rule of law in its own backyard — specifically, escalating abuse in the U.S. Elder Guardianship system.
It’s legal, but is it right?
Imagine you’ve worked hard all of your life and suddenly you are deemed incapacitated and are stripped of your dignity and basic individual rights. You have been abducted from your home, isolated from your family, and “placed” somewhere to be medicated while your assets are being pillaged. The authorities that should be protecting you are the ones committing these heinous acts. It sounds like Nazi Germany, but this is happening in the United States today.
The victims are seniors. The partners in crime are financial predators and agents of the Elder Guardianship system — attorneys, professional guardians, medical experts, and others who are paid out of the senior’s assets. There are some good judges but many are overworked and some are actively aiding the exploitation. Anyone can file to deem you incapacitated. The entire process from filing an incapacity petition to plenary guardianship where all rights are removed can happen within days. Yet, once you’re caught in the web, it’s almost impossible to break free… AND you are forced to pay your abusers in the process.
A 2013 AARP report gave a “best guess” estimate of the number of adults under guardianship nationally at 1.5 million. Idaho and Minnesota are the only states that track the amount of money being controlled by guardians or conservators; the combined total for just two states is over $1 billion. Guardianship is supposed to protect older citizens. However, what happens when the system is broken? A 2010 federal study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified hundreds of allegations of physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by guardians in 45 states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2010. In 20 cases, the GAO found that guardians stole or improperly obtained $5.4 million in assets from 158 incapacitated victims.
The Abduction of Lillie
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 was Lillie’s 88th birthday and her family didn’t know where she was. A week earlier, on August 30, the court-appointed Emergency Temporary Guardian abducted her from a doctor’s office while her niece was in the other room filling out papers. Although Lillie was happy and safe in her Palm Coast home of twenty years, the guardian “placed” her into assisted living and refused to tell her family the location. Lillie was not in danger and there was no emergency situation or other credible justification of such extreme and deceptive action. Video of Lillie from July 30, 2016 — just a month before — shows a vibrant African-American woman enjoying her home and family, and vocal about her financial affairs and this case. In fact, she does not seem incapacitated at all.
Since the case started in 2012, three good doctor’s reports that could have given Lillie her rights back went stale through a legal shell game of loopholes, frivolous objections and unethical behavior. Now, while she is sequestered and possibly sedated, they are pushing hard for plenary guardianship, which would take away her last two remaining rights: the right to vote (she is a registered Democrat excited about voting for Hillary Clinton) and the right to choose with whom she socializes. Over a dozen attorneys and others have been invoicing against Lillie’s assets, while the temporary guardian has not paid Lillie’s basic bills or given her a penny of herown money for food or personal living expenses. The temporary guardian has been neglecting her fiduciary responsibilities and violating standards of practice, but Lillie’s sister and over 50 nieces and nephews are the ones being shut out.
The sudden manner by which Lillie was involuntarily placed in an anonymous location and isolated from her family and support system was likely traumatizing to her particularly given her past victimization. The initial evaluation for incapacity happened in 2012 when she was held captive for eight months at the home of a family friend. She eventually called 911 and escaped. Now, after five years of systemic abuse, Lillie is being violated again — this time by the temporary guardian who is supposed to be her advocate. Getting old is not a crime, yet Lillie is being treated like a criminal. Tonight, she is somewhere alone in assisted living probably wondering why her family has abandoned her.
Captors use social isolation to torture prisoners of war. Social isolation of otherwise healthy, well-functioning individuals eventually results in psychological and physical disintegration, and even death. Nevertheless, the Emergency Motions filed in court to get Lillie returned to her home and family have been ignored.
Florida’s “Liquidate, Isolate, Medicate”
In Florida, there are 5 million people age 60 and older and that demographic is expected to account for most of the state’s population growth in the next 15 years. Yet, seniors who have come to this retirement haven are actively being deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law. The guardianship system oversteps constitutional rights and goes against the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment that forbids states from discriminating invidiously against some of their citizens.
Professional guardianship is considered a “growth business,” with the number increasing from 12 registered professional guardians in 2003 to 456 in 2015, according to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. The abuse is so rampant that the process itself has been called “Liquidate, Isolate, Medicate.” With 40 hours of training and a modest background check, a professional guardian can start earning $85 an hour and have control over a ward’s property, finances, medical decisions, housing and social relationships. In other words, the guardian has the ability to:liquidate your assets by selling your home, car, etc.; isolate you from your family as guardian of “your person;” and put you in a nursing home to medicate you until you die. All of this is supposed to be in your “best interest.” An ABC13 Investigates report dubbed it “The Grey Prison.”
For example, 89-year-old Marie, featured in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune‘s Elder guardianship: A well-oiled machine, had her rights removed at the request of her stepson-in law. The court ordered a trust company to pay out some $635,000 to attorneys, guardians and other involved in her case. She survived wartime Poland and said even Hitler’s Germany failed to prepare her for this travesty. Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives Larry Ahern said, “In extreme cases, the wards are sometimes prevented from regaining their competency and remain, in effect, prisoners of guardians.” How many seniors, like Lillie and Marie, are being exploited in this cruel and systemic manner?
Due to a string of horror stories and rising complaints, on March 10, 2016 Governor Rick Scott signed into law Senate Bill 232 creating the Office of Public & Professional Guardians to replace the Statewide Public Guardianship Office within the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. In April, they initiated rule making procedures to address the regulation of professional guardians, including standards of practice and disciplinary guidelines. These are expected to be in place October 2016. While these necessary changes are underway, what happens to seniors, like Lillie and Marie, who are being victimized this moment in Florida? Will they get a pardon and be set free?
A New Form of Human Trafficking?
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
Trafficking involves psychological coercion to render someone a slave. To do this, perpetrators employ “tactics that can lead to the psychological consequence oflearned helplessness for the victims, where they sense that they no longer have any autonomy or control over their lives. Traffickers may hold their victims captive, expose them to large amounts of alcohol or use drugs, keep them in isolation, or withhold food or sleep. During this time the victim often begins to feel the onset of depression, guilt and self-blame, anger and rage, and sleep disturbances, PTSD, numbing, and extreme stress. Under these pressures, the victim can fall into the hopeless mental state of learned helplessness.”
An argument can be made that the “Liquidate, Isolate, Medicate” Elder Guardianship process in Florida at its worse is a form of human trafficking. On the basis of the definition, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements: a) The Act (What is done) — In this case, the transfer and harbouring of a person, b) The Means (How it is done) — Abduction, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, and c) The Purpose (Why it is done) – In the case of guardianships, the purpose is financial exploitation — a form of servitude. Seniors are sedated in locked assisted living facilities while their assets are spent down.
The Right to be Protected & Respected
Probably the most famous case of financial elder abuse is that of one-time New York socialite Brooke Astor when she was more than 100 years old. Her grandson Philip C. Marshall testified against his father and helped put him in jail. In his 2015 testimony to the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, Mr. Marshall said, “To be complacent about elder justice is to be complicit in elder abuse.”
Given demographic trends, elder financial abuse is expected to grow dramatically unless we do something. The baby boom generation is reaching retirement age at a rate of 10,000 people per day. Those 65+ will make up 20% of the population by 2050. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging has made “elder justice” one of its four tracks. There is now a federal home for Adult Protective Services and a newElder Justice website called a “one-stop shopping site for victims, families, prosecutors, researchers and practitioners.” President Barack Obama declared June 15, 2016 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Awareness is good, but immediate action is needed. If states are not doing their jobs, the federal government needs to step in. It’s time to reform the Elder Guardianship system in the U.S., prosecute predators and hold legal agents — judges, attorneys, evaluators, professional guardians, etc. — to a higher standard. As Vice President Hubert Humphrey said, “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life — the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
Just as we continue to make strides with human rights issues around the world, we need to shine a brighter light on elder abuse on our soil — particularly this type of vicious and systemic financial exploitation. To be an elder is a privilege, not a condition causing you to be tossed aside and abused. Our elders need to be protected and respected. If we’re lucky, we will all get old. Let’s create a society where we can age with grace and dignity.
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy is a Harvard Business School-trained strategist and President of Power Living Enterprises, Inc. Her mission is to raise the consciousness of the planet and create a more sustainable world by releasing the potential in individuals. A seasoned life coach/speaker and founder of the first yoga studio in Harlem, she has been featured on the cover of Yoga Journal, in Oprah’s book, Live Your Best Life!, and was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. An early Internet pioneer and TV executive, she has advised billion-dollar companies on their multi-platform engagement strategies. Her latest award-winning book — co-authored with her mother Columbia University-trained journalist Janie Sykes-Kennedy — is Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master on her teacher/mentor 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch.
On June 20, 2016, Kennedy moderated a conversation with Tao Porchon-Lynch at the United Nations for International Day of Yoga on “Yoga for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.” On October 3, 2016, for International Day of Non-Violence, she will facilitate a conversation with Ms. Porchon-Lynch on Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hosted by the Indian Consulate in New York. On November 19, 2016, she will moderate another discussion with Ms. Porchon-Lynch at the United Nations for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
Note: Kennedy is the niece of Lillie featured in this article. As of September 13, 2016, Lillie’s family still does not know where she is and the temporary guardian refuses to tell them. For more, go to www.elderdignity.org. Watch the video and let us know what you think. For specific questions or suggestions, email email@example.com.
For more by Dr. Terri Kennedy, click here.
Everywhere you turn, there is a war on the elderly and the disabled, and corrupt judges aided by organizations charged with disciplining lawyers (such as in Illinois the Attorney Registration of Disciplinary Commission, in Florida the Florida Bar ***).
The law is very clear — the Court appointed guardians are fiduciaries and thus owe the highest standard of conduct to the ‘wards.’ The highest standard of conduct does not include such activities as isolating the ward, stealing from the ward, incarceration of the ward in nursing home facilities or other facilities wherein the ward is systematically dehumanized so as to efficiency strip the estate of the ward of assets etc. Law enforcement has a duty to protect the elderly. ADA gives the Justice Department Jurisdiction as certainly the criminal conspiracy violates the Americans With Disabilities Act, as well as State law. Interstate Commerce is affected as the Omnicare fraud ($150 million plus in fines), Philip Esformes (1 billion dollars stolen from Medicare), Seth Gilman (several hundred million in fake Hospice claims), Reinstein ****** all demonstrate that this is a National problem.
I am 99.7% certain that these frauds are not reported as Income and thus Tax Fraud (State and Federal) is part and parcel of the criminal activity. This provides jurisdiction to the Department of Treasury. The use of the mails is essential for the Attorney Disciplinary Commission to operate its cover=up and in particular public officials with a criminal bent and a disrespect for the Bill of Rights give jurisdictional to the Postal Inspectors. In some situations Banks are heavily involved in the fraud transactions and the under the table compensation to public officials is not reported *******.
The miscreants have violated a cornucopia of Law and so far are escaping punishment because so many of the Political Elite and the JUdicial Elite are involved in the criminal enterprises and conspiracies. This must end now! America is in crisis and in such States as Illinois, Florida, Arizona, California ***** it is not safe to grow old.
The political candidates are crossing swords over criminals who sneak into America from Foreign lands, but both are silent when the criminals who wear black robes orchestrate the elder cleansing of Grandma.
Once again – take a look at the Mary Sykes file -09 P 4585 (Illinois) or the Alice Gore file (Illinois). The holocaust that these elderly widows had to deal with should be dealt with in a panel that deals with crimes against humanity! The inhuman action of the court appointed and court approved guardian ad litem in prospecting for and removing the gold from Alice Gore’s mouth is an unspeakable crime. The fact that Jerome Larkin and the Illinois legal community attorn and approve such action by their failure to cry out and demand an HONEST INVESTIGATION just provides the world with a hint as to degree of depravity we are dealing.
(Jerome Larkin, administrator of the IARDC, deserves special condemnation as he is the public official who was appointed by the Supreme Court of Illinois to protect Alice Gore, Mary Sykes, Carolyn Wyman ***** from corrupt lawyers and judges. Larkin is the public official who sought to silence Rule 8.3 calls for an HONEST INVESTIGATION and he is the public official who actually wrote in public documents filed with the Supreme Court of Illinois that the MaryGSykes blog that reported Judicial corruption was akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater.” NB. You cannot make this stuff up! The perfidy has all been documented. The Illinois crimes by the Judiciary are detailed in Probate Sharks blog, MaryGSykes blog, and NASGA.)
Washington State Bar Association, to be abolished over felonious conduct
Late last summer, the Gold Bar Reporter was first to break a story about the Washington State Bar Association’s dropping the word ” association.”
Our source, an insider close to Supreme Court Justice Barbara Madsen stated ” the WSBA is trying to come up with a plan to push liability off on Washington State taxpayers, because it’s clear that the Bar is going to lose Scannell v WSBA et al. and Block v WSBA et al. over felonious racketeering and anti-trust violations. ”
We just learned that Washington State Bar Association has officially voted to drop the word association, in an effort to push liability of 50 Million plus onto Washington State taxpayers, instead of pushing liability to its’ members the above two cases.
In Block’s cases, public records from Snohomish County and the United States Post Office documented that John Pennington ( man who killed 43 people in the Oso mudslides, only suspect in the rape of 5 year old girl from Cowlitz County Washington, and is now working for Pierce College), set up a post office box in Duvall Washington to pass financial bribes to attorney Lin O’Dell and her convicted killer boyfriend Mark Plivilech, while at the same time, John Pennington is the man, according to the lead detective on a Cowlitz County case from 1992, who is responsible for the rape of a 5 year old girl. Instead of suing Block, John Pennington enlisted his friend Linda Eide, Washington State Bar’s lead counsel, and Washington State Bar Board member Geoffrey Gibbs, to go after Block, a journalist who held a WSBA Bar license, for reporting on John Pennington criminal conduct. (from Joanne–does this sound familiar? Going after my blog instead of the probate attorneys in the Mary Sykes case who failed to give a trust accounting to Gloria Sykes for 5 years, ran the case without jurisdiction or service upon Mary for 5 years, lost some $1 million in gold coins and quashed all discovery, then asked the ARDC to investigate my blog? Is this Suppress Blogs for Cash?)
In John Scannell ‘s case, Washington State Bar counsel members Scott Bugsby and Linda Eide tried to gain access into John Scannell’s attorney client files in an effort to go after a Board member’s political foe and Scannell’s client Paul King.
A source said ” The Bar knows that once you two win, you’re coming after them personally to collect damages, starting with members of the WSBA Office of Disciplinary Counsel.”
Washington State Bar’s letter to its members
IMPORTANT – if you want the WSBA to continue as your professional association, you should attend one or more of three upcoming meetings at the Seattle WSBA offices, discussed more completely below:
I attended the WSBA BOG meeting Friday in Walla Walla, having recently realized (through my work on theSections Policy Workgroup) that the BOG is now starting to implement a comprehensive series of sweeping changes to (i) the WSBA Bylaws, (ii) Court Rule 12.1 and to (iii) the Bar Act.
These changes are being implemented incrementally for tactical reasons, but are designed and intended ultimately to:
These changes are part of a longer term and little known Strategic Plan that is the product of these and other key WSBA leaders:
The full scope of the changes and the underlying justifications for them are detailed in:
For your convenience, here’s a link to the Public Materials for the Walla Walla meeting (all 656 pages):
I then identified four of the proposed Bylaw Amendments most concerning to me:
A reporter who was present at the Washington State Bar’s meeting said ” I added that I had read through the Governance Task Force Report twice in recent days and that I wasn’t too enamored with it, and that I had found much of its key analysis conclusionary and unpersuasive.”
He further stated “My comments stirred up quite a few folks, including current and former BOG members, several of whom said essentially that these issues had already been debated and discussed for a long time and that it was time to move forward with all of the recommendations in the Governance Report, including the first group of Bylaw Amendments under consideration. These Governance Report recommendations have strong momentum. One gentleman even said he didn’t necessarily agree with the decisions made but that a lot of time and effort had going into them and it was time to start passing them because folks had done a lot of work and he wanted to see the results. So much for not being pushed into bad decisions by undue focus on sunk costs. ”
Mr. Gipe is currently running for King County Superior Court Position #52 – a position that could be the first step on a path to the Washington State Supreme Court, where he could ultimately exercise the control over the WSBA that he currently seeks to vest in that body. I personally feel it is very important to prevent this and thus to keep Mr. Gipe out of the judiciary. That is why I have gone to great lengths to support his opponent in the race. If you share my concerns…. Proposed Policies Eliminating or Restricting Religious (Cultural) Practices During the morning discussion of the WSBA’s proposed restrictions on religious practices, members of the Indian Law Section EC and many others from varied backgrounds advocated strongly that the Indian Law Section should be allowed to continue whatever religious and cultural practices they thought were appropriate, both for reasons of ensuring those who practice
Washington State Bar Association internal memo
Driver’s license revoked, car taken by guardian to sell.
Please listen to this woman beg and plead for her life. They have a police officer stationed outside a hotel room where she is followed all the time. All her assets have been plundered. She is in grave danger. Please pray for her.
STOP ILLINOIS CORRUPTION
Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.,
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
April 19, 2009
Chief Judge Timothy Evans
Circuit Court of Cook County
50 W. Washington, Rm 2600
Chicago, IL 60602
Dear Judge Evans:
Thank you for your response letter of April 20, 2009. I understand your concerns not to involve yourself in judicial decisions concerning other judges. However, decisions on indigency petitions are not judicial decisions. They are administrative decisions. As chief administrator of the courts you are responsible for the employees under you including the judges, the clerk, and the court reporters. As you have now willfully refused to do your job and actually are condoning many criminal acts committed by judges under you, the Sheriff’s staff, the Court Clerk, and the Court Reporters, I MUST NOW ASK ON BEHALF OF THE CITIZENS OF COOK COUNTY FOR YOUR RESIGNATION. It…
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Finally, the abuse in probate and nursing homes is starting to get nationwide attention from mega media:
When Texas Probate Judge Gladys Burwell ordered Juliette Fairley to pay $20,000 in cash for litigation costs associated with her 85 year old father’s guardianship proceedings, she allegedly violated the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure as well as Fairley’s right to due process under the U.S. Constitution. The daughter of Mr. Fairley, a 22 year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, didn’t have the financial means to pay the dollars that Bexar County Probate Court requested and was subsequently disqualified from being her father’s primary caregiver. “Guardianship is such an enormous business operation,” says Dr. Sam Sugar, a physician and founder of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG), a nationwide advocacy group in Florida. “It’s worth trillions of dollars nationally and is enabled by the judicial system in all 50 states because there is no federal oversight or control.” According to court records, two of Mr. Fairley’s Texas physicians wrote letters that were submitted to the Court, stating that he did not need medical care. Within a month, however, while under his daughter’s care in New York, cardiologist Dr. Nicholas DuBois updated Mr. Fairley’s blood pressure medication from Lisinopril to Losartan to alleviate frequent urination, pulmonologist Dr. Diego Diaz prescribed him Fluticasone for an infection that was causing congestion, Dr. Borcich prescribed the military veteran liquid Carafate to help him eat and Dr. Natasha Nayak ordered eye testing for Mr. Fairley’s glaucoma, according to petitions filed with the Court. “My father has a history of various medical conditions which require regular monitoring and treatment,” Miss Fairley stated in an affidavit dated July 8, 2016 filed with the appellate court. Instead of holding the Texas caregivers accountable for denying the legally blind man medical treatment, Judge Burwell allegedly isolated the father from his advocate daughter by issuing an order that limits face to face visitation to a mere four hours per month and that creates a cost barrier by requiring payment of $50 an hour to visit Mr. Fairley at Trisun Care Center’s Lakeside retirement home property in San Antonio. Trisun Care Center management did not reply to a request for comment. “It’s a profit scam when family members are court ordered to pay to visit with their loved ones,” said Michael Larsen, author of Guardianship: How Judges & Lawyers Steal Your Money (Germain Publishing, February 3, 2016). “This has already been happening in divorce cases where children are ordered to live in foster care or group homes and it’s now happening with the elderly in probate court guardianship cases.” Judge Burwell’s orders are currently under review in Bexar County’s 4th Court of Appeals, according to filings obtained from the Appellate Court website. When asked to comment specifically on the orders, Judge Burwell did not reply but a clerk with the 4th Court of Appeals said that the appellate judges will rule without argument based on briefs submitted October 6, 2016. If the Fairley case renders distant memories of American Slavery, that may be because probate courts were the primary mechanism for dealing with legal issues involved with buying and selling African Americans until they were freed in 1865. “Guardianship is an outdated modality that’s being used to deal with 21st Century problems,” Sugar said. While the appellate court judges review the case, Mr. Fairley remains at the locked Lakeside facility, allegedly without free and unlimited access to his advocate daughter who was banned from talking to him when he was hospitalized earlier this year, according to statements in Miss Fairley’s affidavit filed with the Court. “Many retirement homes across the country don’t want to be bothered with adult children visiting their elderly residents unannounced because these facilities are often understaffed and don’t perform the services they are being paid for,” Larsen said. James Fairley’s guardianship case is among 4,000 to 6,000 others that Bexar County has reportedly juggled, according to media reports. Like Mr. Fairley’s daughter, Veronica Evans petitioned to be her father Adan Dominguez’s guardian at Bexar County Probate Court, reportedly to remove him from the retirement home system in San Antonio, but she failed. “It was clearly shown through photographs that my Dad had lost a lot of weight however the Court refused to consider and admit the evidence,” said Evans who is appealing a Bexar County Judge’s decision that she claims left her and two siblings without an inheritance. “He eventually died of conditions brought on by malnutrition.” Unusual weight loss is a red flag, according to Kerry Peck, attorney with Peck Bloom and author of Alzheimer’s and the Law (ABA Book Publishing, 2013). “Dehydration, a caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors, poor hygiene and unsafe living conditions are others,” Peck said. The Fairleys are not alone. An estimated 1 to 3 million people have been placed under court ordered guardianship or conservator–ship in the United States, according to media reports. Mary Rose says she also was required for three years to pay $50 an hour to visit her mother, Evelyn Nabity, whom, like James Fairley, is a ward of the state in a locked facility in Douglas County, Nebraska. “My mom needs dental work and two hearing aids but there’s no medical professional through the court that can follow up on her needs,” said Rose, an R.N. who works the night shift. “Prisoners have more rights than wards of the state.” In some regions of the country, the phrase “ward of the state” refers to an individual who is incarcerated. “My mother can walk, talk and toilet herself,” Rose said. “Her only crime is aging.” Times are changing, however slowly. At the federal level, a report on guardianship abuse, conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) for the Senate Select Committee on Aging, is expected to be released at the end of October 2016, according to Sugar. “The life of a court appointed guardianship depends on enslaving innocent and vulnerable elderly victims,” said Sugar.