Danny Tate's conservatorship/guardianship initially gained attention in part due to his status as a respected singer/songwriter. Upon a closer look, however, the circumstances of his plight raise interesting questions regarding the legal industry (courts and lawyers) and its potential to use probate venues as a vehicle for hijacking the liberty and property of American citizens. For that reason, a Tennessee probate court will once again come under scrutiny at an Aug. 20 hearing with all eyes focused on those most involved with the musician's 32-month "temporary" conservatorship: Danny Tate's former conservator (and brother) David Tate, attorney Paul T. Housch and Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Kennedy.
Danny Tate's Motion for Relief from Judgment, the motion to be heard at the upcoming hearing, describes David Tate's methodical use of a POA to overtake his brother's financial assets. Per the motion, David Tate acknowledged in deposition testimony Danny's protest and disapproval of his actions. Nonetheless, his efforts continued and even expanded as Danny Tate accessed cash by liquidating securities from a Vanguard investment account as the company declined recognizing the POA being used by David Tate. In his deposition testimony, David Tate said: "Had they been restricted (the investment accounts), I would never have filed for conservatorship."
The motion notes that all David's actions were allegedly based upon Danny Tate's rampant drug use though "David never called the paramedics, and never attempted to take Danny to the hospital or to an emergency room." It further states "David felt he was at liberty to confiscate, transfer and spend Danny's money as he saw fit, over Danny's objections, because, in his words, Danny was a 'pathetic crack addict.' Even though, during his deposition, David admitted that Danny was 'coherent' in June 2007." Despite Danny Tate renouncing the POA and asking his brother to find someone else to fill the role, David Tate continued to "exert control and dominion over his assets in spite of Danny's disapproval."
Three months passed during which the motion claims that David Tate wrote checks "to himself, his wife and his company, Signet, In., using Danny's funds." During this time, through deposition testimony, David Tate indicates he decided to file for conservatorship over Danny yet did not visit his brother in Nashville nor make any attempts to have him evaluated.
A conservatorship is no small matter. It can strip a person of their individual liberty and their property rights.
In the petition, David Tate represented that "for the past six months [Danny] has increased his crack cocaine and alcohol substance abuse, with usage of at least one-half ounce of crack cocaine per day and more on some days, at an average of $500 to $800 per day." In the motion to soon be heard, Danny Tate responds with documentation of how these allegations, for instance in April 2007 would mean he spent $15,000 - $24,000 that month on drugs when a bank statement for that month shows he only withdrew $5,500 from his account in a comparable timeframe. Similar analysis follows for the subsequent five months. By David Tate's numbers, Danny Tate was purported to have spent somewhere between $90,000 and $150,000 on drugs yet the documentation provided shows withdrawals of "less than half of the 'low-end' dollar figure alleged in the sworn Petition." And incidentally, David Tate had access to the bank records used for the analysis upon filing his petition.
Indeed, the more one looks at this case, the more questionable it becomes. But the story's far from over. Next up, the ex parte hearing in which the Judge Randy Kennedy's Nashville court sanctioned what appears to be an unsubstantiated litany of charges that were used to hijack an American citizen's personal liberty and property rights.
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Musician Danny Tate's Conservatorship: A Case of Caring or Corruption?(part two)