Sometimes there are people who need the help of others; people whose lives, for whatever reason, get turned upside down by mental illness, age, health issues, or even life altering situations. For these people, those who are left without family, friends, or anyone willing to care for them responsibly, the state should get involved. Or, at least, that's how it should work according to our current system.
Oftentimes these days the state involves itself much earlier under the auspices of caring for people, even those who still have a responsible support network.
Oregon is not untouched by this rampant pilfering of incapacitated peoples' assets.
A case that has the potential of becoming such a story is that of Carolyn Rousseau, from Grants Pass, Oregon. Rousseau was deemed mentally ill by Jackson County, Oregon, Circuit Judge Daniel Harris on November 5, 2008. According to court documents, Harris placed her on a 180-day commitment hold, and Ms. Rousseau effectively became a ward of the state. Soon thereafter the court appointed Nancy Doty, a professional guardian with a reported case-load of over 100 clients, as Carolyn's guardian and conservator. Not only could Doty make decisions on Carolyn's well being, but she could make financial decisions regarding Carolyn's personal property. Doty was given complete control and the 180-day hold has turned into 731 days as of this writing and most of this time has been spent away from the city that Carolyn calls home. Her friends, who believe Carolyn to be much improved, while still needing some sort of care, have been denied access to her. The foster home in Portland, Oregon, where Carolyn now resides won't even allow Carolyn to receive phone calls from most of them, reportedly on the orders of Nancy Doty.
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Guardians Gone Wild? State Sanctioned Thievery at its Sickest