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Several witnesses who said their rights and property were wrongly taken away in court proceedings joined a retired Wilson County judge on Thursday in calling for changes in the way conservatorships are granted and monitored in Tennessee.
Retired General Sessions Judge Haywood Barry told a Tennessee Bar Association panel that more monitoring is needed for those involved in conservatorships.
“You need some sort of training,” he said, referring to lawyers appointed by the courts to act as fact finders in conservatorship cases.
“The law is in pretty good shape. It’s a matter of getting the judges to go along,” Barry said, adding that monitoring needs to be independent. “You need someone from outside the system,” he said, “then I think they’ll pay attention.”
Thursday’s hearing was the first of four to be held across the state by a bar association panel that plans to make recommendations to the General Assembly, which is considering a series of reforms proposed by state Rep. Gary Odom, a Nashville Democrat.
Tennessee law allows a judge to appoint a conservator to have control over another person’s health care or finances when that person is judged to be incapable of making decisions for him- or herself.
Barry’s testimony followed that of several witnesses, including Jewell Tinnon of Nashville and songwriter Danny Tate, who testified that conservatorships had wrongly stripped them of all their possessions. Both were released from conservatorships after they obtained medical exams to prove their mental capacity.Full Article and Source:
Dennis C. Stoffel, 57, and Laura L. Stoffel, 57, both of 3135 Central Ave., are accused of seizing the funds sometime between Oct. 22, 2010, and March 24, 2011, according to records.
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