Saturday, May 31, 2008

No Right to Counsel

Britney Spears is not yet fit to participate in court proceedings in her conservatorship case, her [court-appointed] lawyer told a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner.

Ingham told the court that Spears' medical condition is "fluid" because her treatment is changing.

Samuel Ingham, Spears' [court-appointed] attorney, is also the attorney for the pop stars father and conservator, James Spears.
Source: Lawyer: Spears 'not yet fit' to take part in case

Spears' attorney Jon Eardley filed a batch of documents related to his appeal of the legality of Britney's conservatorship, including a declaration from a UCLA law professor that supports his theory that the 26-year-old pop star never received proper notice—as mandated by state law—that her father was seeking control of her estate.
Source: Expert Agrees Britney Case Not Quite Kosher

A California appeals court dismissed Eardleys' challenge to the order granting Spears’ father, James Spears, control over most of his daughter’s affairs.

Jon Eardley asked U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez to remove the conservatorship case from state to federal court. Gutierrez denied the request, saying Eardley is not really Spears’ attorney and lacks standing as a party.

“While he claims to be Ms. Spears’ attorney, the probate court … found that she was incapable of retaining her own counsel,” Gutierrez wrote.

"Spears’ court-appointed conservators, James Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet, are the only people allowed to hire her lawyers."
Source: Ruling – Appeals Court Nixes Challenge to Britney’s Conservatorship

See also:
Bad News for Britney

Less Rights than a Criminal

Friday, May 30, 2008

Push The Walker

With support from advocates across the country, a Colorado couple pushed a walker from Morris, Ill., to Bloomington in protest of how Paul LaBounty thinks his parents were pushed around in their last days as wards of the state.

An only child, LaBounty said he was not allowed to make final health decisions for his parents. His father had scripted a variety of wills, one of which named his cousin as a guardian. That will happened to be on hand at the time of his father's death. And, despite being his mother's health care surrogate, LaBounty was denied any decision making for her. Decisions were made instead by a state-appointed guardian, the cousin, who LaBounty said didn't attend either funeral, and a trust company, which he alleges mishandled funds.

There is money involved - an amount LaBounty can't pinpoint for certain but significant enough to pay attorneys fees racking up since his parents' deaths in 2003. The LaBountys badgering also led to the discovery of a previously missing trust agreement for between $160,000-$200,000.

Money is the root of this, the LaBountys say.

Anna LaBounty died in December 2003, six months after her husband, Darrell, suffered a heart attack. She had early dementia and her health deteriorated after admission to long-term care. She went from regular breakfast club meetings to losing 20 pounds in five weeks and being administered a psychotropic drug.
Greeley pair embark on elder abuse protest

See also:
Predatory Trust

*photos are not to be used or copied without written permission from the owner or NASGA.

People somehow believe that "proper planning" will alleviate the problem. Those of us who have suffered through an ordeal of probate court know better. What the court does in the guise of "advocacy and protection" is little more than imprisonment, murder and plunder.
The exposure you give to this horrible violation of human rights makes you a great advocate.

Paul La Bounty

Many rights are violated by starvation, drugging, restraints, deprivation, imprisonment, plundering of funds, failure to recognize prior wishes, etc., etc. etc. Illinois passed a law that allows the state to appoint a guardian to those over sixty found in a condition of self-neglect. I no longer live in that state but I am sure other states have similar legislation on the books" It is profitable!
Document, Educate and Act! The vulnerable disabled deserve better.

Helen La Bounty

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Baby Boomers

We are facing a growing epidemic of unlawful and abusive guardianships. If we don't stop the predatory practice, then the same fate awaits each and every one of us.

Guardians and their attorneys are getting rich off the backs of the vulnerable and helpless -- and they're doing it "legally."

Wards are forced into nursing homes against their will --- property sold, personal possessions sold or destroyed, investments seized and all rights stripped from them, including the all important right to complain about being exploited by their court-appointed "protectors."

Families are threatened with bankruptcy from the constant litigation efforts to free their loved one, sadly in vain.

The guardians and attorneys just get richer by giving their Wards the shaft.

When there's no money left, the guardians move on to their next victim, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer with the Medicaid tab. No one's keeping track of how much each state loses in needless Medicaid dollars spent because of the intentional pauperizing of the Wards in this "legalized" lawyer welfare program.

Their biggest windfall is yet to come: the Baby Boomers.
Unless, we stop them.

Wriiten by a NASGA member.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Undrafted Medical Certificate

The medical certificate used to get Emma France declared incapacitated and disabled was not filled out by the doctor who signed it.

France was made a ward of Rita Hunter, Jasper County public administrator, after a trial held May 16, 2007, in Jasper County Probate Court.

France was taken to the office of Dr. Stephen Bazzano in Galena, Kan., the day before the court hearing. Though he signed the medical certificate, he did not fill out the form saying that France needed a county guardian.

The medical certificate is a probate court form submitted to the court on behalf of the public administrator’s office and used by the court to determine if a resident is disabled and incapacitated. It is used to answer questions on the resident’s diagnosis and prognosis, mental limitations and limitations in daily living, whether the patient needs nursing or other assistance, or help in managing their finances.

Judge David Mouton would not answer questions about the medical certificate.
Rita Hunter said that Bazzano, as a physician, “handles about 75 percent of my clients.”

The certificate said France suffered from dementia, depression and anxiety that was progressive and permanent, that she needed a guardian, and would eventually, need to be placed in a nursing home.

France was hospitalized twice — both times against her will. She spent two days at Freeman Serenity in Joplin in December 2006, four months before she was made a ward of the county. A report by Dr. Jagdish Ragade there found France to be “depressed, but not suffering from dementia.”

The probate court set aside orders that made France a ward of the county. The federal court dismissed the suit filed by France and remanded the one filed by Forste back to Jasper County Circuit Court.

Doctor signed, but didn't draft, form urging county guardianship

Federal lawsuit dismissed; attorneys at odds on effect

See also:
France is Released

Mother and Daughter File Suit

An Alleged Kidnapping

Rita Hunter is a registered with National Guardianship Association

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bogus Conservatorship

After a lifetime of saving for their old age and making all the needed financial arrangements for themselves, my parents "called in" my 30-year-old promise to care for them in their own home the final years of their lives. I became their sole care provider in June 1998.

A month after dad’s death in May, 1999, we received an urgent phone call informing us we were "required to appear in probate court" within 32 hours, no reason given.

On arriving, we learned that a fabricated claim had been lodged against me alleging that I "may" be misappropriating my mother’s financial assets. Even though I turned over copies of all financial records – mother’s, mine, those of my business – no evidence in support of such a claim was found. None existed. Yet the probate judge seized control then and there of all mother’s assets, denied her access to funds for an attorney, paid out $5,200 of her money to a psychologist to write a "mental evaluation" of mother, though he never met her! Two of mother’s primary care physicians and an M.D.-Ph.D. exert on dementia, to whom I took mother for evaluation, all read and refuted the court’s "evaluation", but their statements were refused admission by the court.

In October, 1999, there was a five-hour "hearing" which mother was not allowed to attend in violation of state law. Two attorneys and three estranged cousins testified against me with identical charges using the same words and phrases – proof of a pre-planned conspiracy. On November 1, 1999, an attorney – James M. Tingle, who hired the attorney who brought the court action against us -- was appointed "conservator" over mother’s estate. In the first six months he embezzled over $93,000 from mother’s trust fund, plus other assets.

Five attempts were made to take mother from my care. When I blocked the first one, my $1.7 million small business was seized and shut down, my assets seized and my livelihood destroyed. We were also locked out of our own home for the next 27 months with only the clothes on our backs. Over the next five years we were subjected to over 65 legal actions. To this day we’ve never been granted a due process hearing. The legal actions against us ended only when I filed suit in Federal District Court against the probate court, judges, attorneys, conservator and relatives.

See my suit at:

In eight years mother has been granted access to a total of one-half of one percent of her money, being denied funds for food, healthcare and other essentials. Two-thirds of her assets have vanished without a trace. Forty-plus requests under Alabama law for an accounting of the assets under "conservatorship" have been denied. This bogus conservatorship has been a "black box" operation from the start and violates state and federal fraud, conspiracy and criminal racketeering laws.

-- Finley Eversole, Ph.D.