Friday, November 3, 2017
How A Roof Inspection Led To An Emergency Guardianship
The Purchase & Sale agreement, which Mancini signed, had been recorded in the Newport City Clerk's office on June 21, six days after it was signed by Sean Napolitano, acting as manager for NicNap Partners LLC. (He is not listed as one of the NicNap partners in the Rhode Island Secretary of State's Corporation Database. Andrew F. Nicoletta, of Middletown, is listed as the contact on the annual report filed Oct. 18. Under the manager's name, the entry is "None." Real estate investments are listed as the purpose of the business.)
On June 22, a day after the Purchase & Sale was recorded, Attorney William Harvey, who had been taking care of Mrs. Mancini's finances, went to court, applied for an emergency guardianship and was appointed her temporary guardian. Harvey told the Probate Court the reason for the emergency guardianship was this: she "was taken from nursing home by 86 year old boyfriend and induced into entering into purchase and sale agreement for less than market value."
The Probate Court ultimately obtained a "mutual release," cancelling out the Purchase and Sale agreement for the 86-year-old Mancini's property.
Napolitano did not respond to e-mail asking for comment. But court records and land evidence records show NicNap had offered Mancini $375,000 total for her two properties: the house at 12 Spring Street and the adjoining lot identified as 0 (zero) Moffitt.
How much below market value was the offer?
On Aug. 25, on or around the day she died, Probate Court Judge Gregory Fater authorized the 'fiduciaries' to sell her property "by private contract for an amount" not less than $563,000. A bond was fixed at $1.2 million. No surety was required. Per Land Evidence records, the two lots are still in her estate. But a zoning certificate was recorded on Oct. 10 from Guy Weston to Attorney Peter Regan, of Sayer Regan & Thayer. (If Regan's name sounds familiar, he is also the Middletown solicitor.)
Weston's certificate states Moffitt Place is a legal non-conforming lot, and it is buildable, meaning new structures could be built there, provided they met zoning criteria.
So, how did NicNap Partners manage to record a Purchase & Sale agreement for Mancini's two lots -- and for a price so far below their $563,000 minimum market value?
According to the guardianship papers, it all started when Mancini's lawyer, William Harvey II, contacted A-1 Roofing and Napolitano to inspect the roof at 12 Spring St.
Harvey also did not respond to the Patch's request for comment. His initial e-mail to Napolitano is not part of the court record, but this exchange followed on April 11 and 12, 2017.
"Sure," Napolitano e-mailed on April 11. "I'll inspect roof for her. What is the address? Is she looking to possibly sell? Just thought I'd ask."
The rest of the e-mail refers to a conversation unrelated to Louise Mancini and apparently about a rental Harvey was trying to arrange with Napolitano. It reads,"Yeah, Sean is a great guy. And Lastly, I'm thinking around July 1st is when that space would be available." It was signed "Sean."
Harvey wrote this message back.
"Sean, it's 12 Spring St. It will be on the market if she will ever kick the bucket. She's 86 and was on hospice. Now she's off and looks like she's ready to drop in on a half pipe."
The rest of his e-mail goes back to a question about the rental.
"What would you be looking for on the rent?"
Although Harvey's message was sent to Napolitano, it did not stay private. Per court records, someone apparently showed it to Mancini. She wrote it down verbatim.
On June 20, she had signed court papers agreeing to Harvey's appointment as her temporary guardian for limited purposes, including her real estate dealings, but seven days later, she sent the judge a handwritten letter.
"Honorable Gregory Fater," she wrote. "I do not want William Harvey as my guardian: I am not crazy at all. And I am able to take care of myself? (sic.) I feed myself and dress myself and I use my walker and my wheelchair to move myself around. I can walk (with) a walker. I do want my personal papers and checkbook returned to me immediately."
She signed the letter with her full name and address. Then she added this explanation.
"Here is what Mr. Harvey wrote about me: 12 Spring St. It will be on the market if she will ever kick the bucket. She's 86. Was on hospice. Now she's off and looks like she's ready to drop in on a half pipe.
"What would you for on the rent?
Plus no sale at all."
The next day she sent Fater a similar letter.
"Honorable Gregory Fater, I do not want William Harvey as my guardian: I am not crazy at all. And I am able to take care of myself? (sic.) I feed myself and dress myself and I use my walker and my wheelchair to move myself around. And I do want my personal papers and checkbook returned to me immediately." She signed the letter Mrs. Louise S. Mancini.
Two days earlier, on June 26, physician Robert O. Cicchelli evaluated her and concluded she had some mild impairment in cognition mostly due to past strokes. She was able to make good decisions about her healthcare and about social relationships but needed a "substitute decision-maker for protection in the matter of her financial decisions." Two of her prescribed drugs, gabapentin and Lorazepam" could tire her out enough to slow down her thinking and impair her business decision-making, he indicated. Otherwise, her mental outlook was good.
"I feel that she has no anxiety or depression," he wrote.
Fater appointed Attorney Craig Sampson, of Nicholson & Sampson as guardian ad litem to evaluate her. He went to visit her and talked with the nursing home staff and her friends. On July 11, Sampson concluded "a guardian is needed with respect to finances, residence and real estate transactions."
Earlier on July 6, he signaled any falling out between Mancini and Harvey had been patched up.
"She indicated that she did not believe she needed a guardian except as it relates to her real property," he wrote. "Louise informed me that she gets a little confused when it comes to her finances and would like Mr. William Harvey to continue to take care of her finances."
To be continued
Full Article & Source:
How A Roof Inspection Led To An Emergency Guardianship