Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Guardianship Abuse Spreads to Pennsylvania
Taisha Lee said her grandmother’s guardianship case was Kafkaesque, lacked due process, and one she believes was pre-determined.
Lee said trouble for her grandmother, Jannie Myers started, when her grandfather, Isaiah Myers, was near death and both her grandparents moved in with her and her husband in September 2012.
Lee said prior to her grandfather’s death, he changed the will and wrote all his children out, leaving their estate, worth a bit more than $300,000, to Lee and another grandchild.
Her grandparents made Lee their power of attorney at about this time.
Lee’s grandfather died in October 2012. On January 11, 2013, Lee’s aunt, Gloria Myers filed a petition with the Montgomery County Orphan’s Court for her mother to be put into guardianship, alleging she was incapacitated and unable to take care of herself.
A call was left at Bowman’s office but was not returned.
Lee said she knew there would be problems right away when the Judge Stanley Ott refused to allow her grandmother to use her own attorney, instead assigned to her Diane Zabowski.
Lee said in August 2013, her then attorney Saul Langsom emerged from a meeting in the judge’s chambers with Judge Ott, Bowman, and Zabowski, and an area attorney named Erin McDevitt, who’d be named guardian, and informed Lee that a deal had been made to place her grandmother into guardianship.
“I was shocked,” Lee told Rebel Pundit, adding that she expected evidence to be heard before taking away her grandmother’s freedom.
Elaine Renoire, of the National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse (NASGA), said that while such deals are of questionable constitutionality and almost never in the ward’s best interest they are common. In the case of her grandmother, her own lawyer made a deal in a bathroom with the judge to put her grandmother into guardianship.
Lee said the deal only fell apart when her aunt objected to Lee being named guardian of the person, a bureaucratic title which would have allowed Lee to make some decisions though the bulk of the decisions would be left to McDevitt.
Lee said a hearing was finally scheduled on September 17, 2013, but before then Zabowski warned her that if she continued to obstruct the court’s attempts to guardianize her grandmother that Zabowski would attempt to jail her.
“We’ll just say she was always incapacitated,” Lee recalled Zabowski telling her, and suggested she’d get the court to say Lee stole money she spent during the previous year as their power of attorney.
According to the transcripts of the hearing, there were several red flags.....
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Guardianship Abuse Moves to Pennsylvania