Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Homelessness, the Law, and Fla Guardianship

Julie Ferguson, #SaveMarise

... Julie London Ferguson vs Lutheran Family Services

One if the second most important cases in our county is this one.  Fighting for the right to be the guardian for her mother, Marise London, Ms. Ferguson is in a holding pattern.  For two years, she has tried to be recognized by the court as her mother caretaker.  She does this by all indications at the will of her mother.  No longer able to care for herself and unable to make decisions due to dementia, Marise signed a power of attorney prior to her current situation to her daughter, Julie.  Her son was named second in case Julie was not available.  But due to a criminal complaint against Marise’s other daughter, the courts questioned Marise’s ability to be cognizant.  They brought in Lutheran Family Services to be the guardian instead.  And like a steel leg trap, the judicial system and our state’s guardianship program became a hard to navigate maze for a daughter to maintain the rights granted to her by her mother.

This past week, Judge Williams, appointed a monitor to evaluate everyone involved in this case, including Lutheran Family Services.  Sitting in the courtroom was Republican Party Chair and State House Candidate, Joe Gruters, Herald Tribune Reporter, Barbara Peters Smith, Attorney Jan Schneider, Artist Jack Dowd, and myself.  Other noteworthy mention is Senator Nancy Detert who is following this case closely and well.  For it was this case that has inspired her legislation on Guardianship not only this past session, but also the upcoming one.

Sending Ms. Ferguson a message on Facebook, she writes:

“Way to go Julie! It’s been a long, stressful time for you and your mom. Monday I am refilling our bill so we can bring some oversight, regulation and clarity to these cases. Good for Judge Williams for digging deeper to help the elderly.” – Senator Nancy Detert

As much as the attorneys for Lutheran Family Services were wondering in court the other day, repeating over and over in their testimony, “Why doesn’t Ms. Ferguson just file an appeal?”  The members of the audience are hoping that when the court appointed monitor interviews them, they will make it obvious for the judge to make that happen.

Full Article & Source:
Homelessness, the Law, and Fla Guardianship

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