Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adolf Hitler Taken From Parents

According to New Jersey police, the state's Division of Youth and Family Services took Adolf Hitler and his two sisters, one-year-old Joyce Lynn Aryan Nation Campbell and 8-month-old Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, from their parents' home.

Little Hilter and his parents got their first fifteen minutes of fame after a New Jersey supermarket refused to put his name on a birthday cake.

The reason why authorities took the children is unclear.

Full Article and Source:
Adolf Hitler Campbell Taken From Parents By Police

More information:
Protecting Adolf Hitler Campbell

Adolf Hitler, Sisters Taken from Parents' Home

Cops Take Away 3-Year-Old Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler Campbell custody hearing postponed

Little 'Adolf Hitler' Denied Birthday Cake at New Jersey Grocery Store

Judges Will Take Pay Cuts

More than 60 percent of Connecticut’s 117 probate court judges would take pay cuts totaling $2.1 million across four years under a plan offered by judges to stabilize probate finances.

Probate Court Administrator Paul J. Knierim outlined a four-point plan that also would encourage voluntary consolidation of probate districts, centralize oversight of individual court budgets, and establish a probate appellate system to hear appeals.

The plan, endorsed by more than 80 percent of the Probate Court Assembly, also seeks a $5 million bailout from the state’s General Fund to stabilize a statewide probate system deficit.

Knierim: “The judges took a hard look at the system."

Shelton Probate Judge Fred J. Anthony, president-judge of the assembly: “The probate judges understand the depth and complexity of this crisis and have proposed a realistic, cost-effective way to resolve it.”

Probate judges are elected to four-year terms by voters in the towns they serve. Besides helping families settle estates, probate courts make decisions about guardianships for the mentally ill or mentally retarded, whether to commit such patients, and about termination of parental rights.

Full Article and Source:
Probate judges say they’ll take a pay cut to try to stabilize system

More information:
Probate reform must be on agenda

Probate court reform plan released

Probate judges seek $5 million from state

Judges' Plan A New Bid To Preserve Bloated Probate System

See also:

Closed / Sealed Records

NASGA Poll Results

Man Missing - Blood Found

Wichita Police Department detectives were notified by Harvey County Sheriff's Office deputies that they had located the vehicle belonging to Mr. Marcus Booker. Mr. Booker, who had been missing since Saturday, January 17th, was deceased inside his vehicle on a county road north and west of Hesston. WPD homicide detectives who traveled to the scene say foul play is not suspected. Both Wichita Police detectives and deputies from the Harvey County Sheriff's Office continue their investigation into his death.
Missing Man Found Deceased in Car

KS - Police are asking for the public's help in finding a 30-year-old man who hasn't been seen since January 17th.

Police say Marcus Booker last contacted his family in the afternoon on the 17th when he sent a text message to them indicating that he might harm himself.

A man fitting his description was seen that same day at the Kechi Township Cemetery in the 6500 block of N. Hillside. Kechi police officers found blood at the grave of Booker's grandmother.

A Harvey County Sheriff's Deputy was dispatched to a field north of Newton where someone found a cell phone which belongs to Booker.

Anyone with information on Booker's location is asked to call the Wichita Police Department at 316-268-4181, or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111 or 800-222-TIPS.

Tips can also be sent via cell phone text message by texting the word TIP217 followed by the tip to the number 274637 (CRIMES), or by submitting a tip online at the Crime Stoppers website,

Wichita Police Seek Missing Man

Friday, January 23, 2009

Magellan Won't Pay

One and a half years before Robert Hawkins' mass murder and suicide at Von Maur, a counselor recommended sending the troubled teen to a locked psychiatric treatment center.

But the state's Medicaid administrator refused to authorize the treatment.

Hawkins never went.

That denial shows how hard it can be to get children mental health treatment through the state's Medicaid managed-care program, created to contain taxpayer costs.

Some troubled children worsen as they wait for treatment or get less intensive, less expensive treatment than recommended by mental health professionals who evaluate them.

The public would be alarmed if children with physical ailments were treated this way, said Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Vernon Daniels.

Daniels: "Look at this as a cancer that is growing, and you're not administering treatment that could slow the growth or stop the growth. That's what's happening here."

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services pays a for-profit company, Magellan Behavioral Health, to authorize mental health services for more than 25,000 state wards, low-income or disabled children. Some middle-class children become wards to get services their insurance won't cover.

Magellan spokeswoman Tami Schmidt: "Our role is to help people to get access to services, despite that people think in some cases we're a barrier."

Magellan serves as an HMO, deciding which medical services to give patients.

The reason?
Magellan denied 14 percent of requests for all long-term residential programs in 2007, or 199 months of treatment.

It saved more than $1 million.

A guardian who has dealt with Magellan summarized the balance the company tries to strike: "They are hired to police our tax money, so they're penny pinchers. At the same time, the children who fall through the cracks are not receiving adequate care because Magellan won't pay for it."

Full Article and Source:
Nebraska system leaves many frustrated in search for mental health treatment

Theft by Swindle

Courtney Fultz's grandmother had already given Fultz her house in West St. Paul free and clear, according to court documents. Then the 33-year-old woman allegedly tried to get her grandmother's condo put in her name and took more than $77,000 from her grandmother's certificate of deposit.

Fultz is being prosecuted by the Ramsey County attorney's office's new elder abuse unit. She was charged Tuesday with felony theft by swindle. She is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 19.

Full Article and Source:
Woman charged with swindling West St. Paul grandmother

More information:
St. Paul Woman Charged After Allegedly Stealing from Ill Grandmother

West St. Paul woman charged with swindling her grandma out of nearly $80,000

Trust Fund for Tortured Teen

A Sacramento judge gave a nonprofit law firm the go-ahead to start a trust fund for a teenager who in December escaped from a central Tracy home where he said he had been held prisoner for more than a year.

Donors from around the world have helped raise $34,000 for the boy identified in court records as Kyle R., who made headlines when he appeared bloodied, emaciated and shackled at In-Shape Health Club begging for help.

Sacramento County took protective custody of the 16-year-old boy, who has been a ward of the state since his mother died several years ago. His former legal guardian is one of his four alleged captors, who police say drugged him, beat him and chained him to a fireplace for as many as 18 months.

The teen is now one of 5,000 children in the care of Child Protective Services in Sacramento County.

Full Article and Source:
Fund OK'd for tortured teen

See also:
2008 Top Stories

Vulnerable Adults Justice Project

Dozens of groups representing elderly Minnesotans are pushing for more awareness and tougher laws for elder abuse.

The Vulnerable Adults Justice Project lobbies for tougher laws for people who prey on elderly people. They hope to introduce new legislation by mid-February.

Leaders said the new legislation would be a comprehensive overview to the Vulnerable Adults Act which was first passed in 1980, and ask that the term "functional adult" be redefined.

People working on the legislation said they would also like to change the way endangered adults are looked for when they go missing. They would also like to see a uniform system for reporting crimes against elderly people.

The legislation being proposed would not require any additional state funding, as Minnesota is fighting a budget deficit. The public awareness campaign is being funded privately.

Full Article and Source:
Groups Fight For More Awareness Of Elder Abuse

Largest Qui Tam Settlement in U.S. History

Eli Lilly and Company announced it has agreed to plead guilty to criminal conduct and to pay more than 1.4 billion in criminal and civil fines, penalties and damages arising from allegations made in multiple whistleblower lawsuits that the pharmaceutical giant defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other government-funded health care programs in connection with its market practices for its blockbuster atypical antipsychotic, Zyprexa. The settlement is the largest qui tam settlement in U.S. history.

Lilly engaged in a nationwide campaign to market Zyprexa off-label for untested and unapproved uses and, as part of that campaign, Lilly minimized and misrepresented the dangers of Zyprexa, placing company profits above the public safety according to two qui tam Complaints filed by whistleblower attorneys Brian Kenney and Tavy Deming.

Full Article and Source:
Eli Lilly Pays a Record $1.4 Billion to Settle Federal and State Fraud Investigations into Illegal Zyprexa Off-Label Marketing Practices

Video Source:
Eli Lilly's $1.4 Billion Crime

More information:
Eli Lilly Owes $1.4B Over "Off Label" Use

Eli Lilly in $1.4B Zyprexa settlement

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Suspending Funds Owed

Reporting from Sacramento -- The state will suspend tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants and other payments owed to Californians starting Feb. 1, Controller John Chiang announced Friday.

Chiang said he had no choice but to stop making some $3.7 billion in payments in the absence of action by the governor and lawmakers to close the state's nearly $42-billion budget deficit. More than half of those payments are tax refunds.

The payments to be frozen include nearly $2 billion in tax refunds; $300 million in cash grants for needy families and the elderly, blind and disabled; and $13 million in grants for college students.

Full Article and Source:
California controller to suspend tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants

Support Group Formed

Families connected to alleged abuse at Good Sam Society find each other

The 15 families of the alleged abuse victims at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea could never have imagined that their paths would cross at the center of a nationally known case alleging abuse at a nursing home.

But then in December, prosecutors filed charges against two alleged teenage perpetrators for multiple charges related to abuse. The charges alleged verbal, sexual and physical abuse of several residents.

The families met for their first time in an official support group setting.

The group, which they are calling Families Against Nursing Home Abuse, is giving them a chance to talk of their experiences and to gain solace in the fact that there are others who could have potentially gone through the same experiences.

Their long-term goal is to work to prevent abuse of vulnerable adults.

Full Article and Source:
Elder abuse support group forms

See also:

Sentenced for Elder Abuse

Corey Gonzales has been sentenced to three years and eight months in a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility for abusing an elder while serving as a caregiver.

Petaluma police officers arrested Gonzales on Oct. 11 after receiving a report that an elder living in an apartment complex for seniors was calling for help. An officer found a 67-year-old woman sitting on her couch, in need of immediate medical attention.

She previously had suffered a stroke, and is paralyzed on the left side of her body. She reported that Gonzales, her caregiver, had left her without access to a motorized wheelchair, and she therefore was unable to move from the couch. Due to this neglect, she sustained extremely inflamed, open sores throughout her body.

Full Article and Source:
Man sentenced for elder abuse

More information:

Home-Health-Care Law Struck Down

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a state law regarding home health care discriminates against some people with mental disabilities by denying them coverage.

The decision invalidates a 2005 change in state law that prohibited participation in a personal care program by people who have a legal limit on their ability to make decisions, such as through the appointment of a guardian.

In a unanimous decision written by Judge Richard Teitelman, the Supreme Court said the 2005 personal attendant law discriminates against people with disabilities by providing help to people with physical limitations but excluding those who have guardians because of mental limitations.

The court cited the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits public entities from denying benefits or program participation to people because of their disabilities.

Full Article and Source:
Missouri Supreme Court strikes down home health-care law

ASA Honors Elder Abuse Series

The American Society on Aging has honored the Wisconsin State Journal's series, "Elder Abuse: A Silent Shame" with its award for significantly increasing awareness of aging issues in local or regional media in the United States.

The seven-part series, written by Dean Mosiman and published in November 2007, explored gaps in the public safety net that is supposed to protect seniors from abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

ASA, the largest organization of multidisciplinary professionals in the field of aging, will present the award in March at its 2009 Aging in America Conference in Las Vegas.

State Journal series on the elderly wins award

War Over Falk

Peter Falk's wife and daughter now have squared off over who should be taking care of Columbo.

Falk's adopted daughter, Catherine Falk, filed legal papers last month claiming Falk has dementia and Alzheimer's and can't care for himself. She wants a court to appoint her conservator.

Now, in legal papers filed yesterday in L.A. County Superior Court, Falk's wife, Shera, expressed shock at Catherine's audacity. She claims Catherine has had a bad relationship with Peter and even sued him in 1992. She says Peter has never even met Catherine's children nor did he attend her wedding.

Shera, who's been married to Peter for 31 years, claims she provides constant care for Peter and that he's "happy and healthy under the current conditions at home..." Shera does not want a conservatorship because she claims it creates a "stigma".

War Over Peter Falk

More information:
Peter Falk's wife opposes conservatorship

Peter Falk's Wife Files Legal Papers Concerning Actor's Conservatorship

Family of 'Columbo' star battling for control of affairs

Peter Falk's wife, adopted daughter head for conservatorship showdown

See also:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hearing Canceled

A Dallas hearing involving a motion to withdraw life support from a brain-damaged baby whose parents have been arrested on abuse charges did not happen as scheduled.

The baby’s court-appointed guardian, who filed the motion last week, told a juvenile court judge that doctors at Children’s Medical Center have determined there has been a change in the condition of 6-month-old David Coronado Jr.

It was unclear if the baby’s condition took a turn for the better or worse.

The parents, David Cesar Coronado Sr. and Ruthy Marie Chabolla are accused of abusing the infant so cruelly that he has been in intensive care since last month. They were arrested Dec. 23 and are being held in the Dallas County Jail on charges of injury to a child.

Full Article and Source:
Hearing to end life support for abused baby is canceled

See also:

Investment Scams

State officials recently warned elderly residents about so-called financial planning seminars or estate preservation workshops that use a "free lunch" to lure seniors to attend.

Attorney General Bill McCollum and Department of Elder Affairs Secretary E. Douglas Beach have received complaints from seniors enticed to attend a free meal that actually turned out to be a high-pressure sales pitch for dubious investments.

McCollum: "The last thing our seniors need during this economic climate when their retirement savings may be dwindling is an investment scam that further depletes that nest egg. Too many of our seniors are finding that these free meals can cost them dearly."

AARP and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recommend that seniors do not purchase anything or open an account of any kind at a free-meal seminar.

AARP provides an online checklist of question to ask at such seminars. The checklist can be downloaded at AARP Checklist(pdf)

Full Article and Source:
State officials warn seniors about financial seminars

Judge Offers Workshop

A workshop for guardians or conservators is being offered Jan. 31 in the St. Clair County Administrative Building auditorium, 200 Grand River Ave., Port Huron.

The guardian session begins at 10 a.m., and the conservator session begins at 11 a.m.

The workshop is presented by Hon. John D. Tomlinson, Probate Judge and St. Clair County Probate Court staff. Registration is requested.

For reservation and details, call (810) 985-2065.

Judge to offer workshop

Court Needs Volunteers

Maricopa County Superior Court needs volunteers to be court visitors or observers in its Guardianship Review Program.

Volunteers spend about an hour a week at various sites to review court files of vulnerable adults. Volunteers must pass a background check and are issued a court identification badge. Mileage reimbursement is available.

For an application or more information, contact Diane Rudnick of Probate Court Investigations at 602-372-9429.

County program seeks helpers

Charged with Bilking Seniors

A former caregiver for Alzheimer's disease patients has been charged with bilking some of them.

Assistant Attorney General Earl Fechter says 23-year-old Heather M. Whitehouse stole jewelry and several credit cards from vulnerable seniors living at The Arbors, a residential care facility in Shelburne.

She's charged with fraudulent use of a credit card, financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, identity theft, larceny, selling stolen property and unlawful taking of property.

Whitehouse pleaded not guilty in an arraignment in Vermont District Court.

If convicted, she could get 59 years in prison.

Ex-caregiver charged with cheating seniors

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Accusation of Impropriety

A lawyer for an embattled judge has criticized an ethics complaint against his client.

Lawyer George Hairston: " there was not one iota of evidence that Circuit Judge L.T. Simes (SIMZ) broke state ethics rules in a long-running estate case."

Simes faces an accusation of impropriety over continuing to serve as an administrator in an estate that began in 1976. A complaint before the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission claimed that Simes, as an estate administrator, received yearly $1,440 rent payments from a farmer using the land.

The complaint says Simes cannot account for five years of rent payments, nor did he remove himself from the case after assuming the bench in 1997.

Lawyers for the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission argued that Simes knowingly continued to involve himself in the case while on the bench. They said Simes filed a request to be paid lawyer fees for his involvement in the estate case.

Full Article and Source:
East Arkansas Judge Appears Before Discipline Panel

Court-Appointed Guardian Removed

Howard S. Rosenthal's stint as the property manager of BayWalk lasted slightly more than 73 hours.

Pinellas-Pasco Court Judge J. Thomas McGrady removed Rosenthal as the complex's court-appointed guardian on Friday, a day after his arrest on charges that he embezzled nearly $171,000 from his former employer.

According to Pinellas sheriff's detectives, Rosenthal double-billed Clearwater real estate company Colliers Arnold for more than $140,000 in advertising costs before resigning in August 2008.

He also used company money to pay off country club dues, travel expenses for himself and his wife and nearly $700 in hotel movie charges, detectives said.

Rosenthal will be required to document any money he spent or received during his short stint as property manager as part of the court order. It's unclear, however, if any money changed hands.

His attorney, J. Robert McCormack of Tampa, said the charges are unfounded.

Full Article and Source:
BayWalk's indicted property manager is replaced

In Memoriam - Aida Mae Rodriguez

Part One:
Dark turns of tragedy - Girl’s role in brutal 2006 murder remains uncertain

Veronica clutched the infant tighter to her chest each time the girl in the next room screamed.

The 13-year-old had watched as her guardian - Samuel Villarreal - abducted his girlfriend from a Weslaco McDonald's.

She sat helplessly as he attacked 16-year-old Aida Mae Rodriguez - first with a Taser, and then a metal pipe.

And moments earlier, she had silently opened her arms as the girl she once counted among her closest friends handed over her 7-month-old daughter.

"Do what you want to me, just please don't hurt my baby," Veronica would later recall the young mother saying.

Authorities have since described this harrowing scene as just one of many in Veronica's tragic life.

The victim of years of sexual and mental abuse, the girl bore witness to one of Hidalgo County's most bizarre murder cases in years. It's a tale of incest, jealousy, rape and dark family secrets, but one in which Veronica's role remains uncertain.

Since the conviction of Aida Mae's killer last year, new evidence has surfaced that suggests Veronica may have been more than just a passive witness.

A key participant in the crime now accuses her of orchestrating the attack on her friend, lying to the men in her life to gain their help and even pulling the trigger herself.

But investigators still maintain anything she might have done, she did in fear of her life.

The Monitor began a two-part series re-examining Aida Mae's 2006 slaying through case files, trial testimony and interviews with several witnesses. And, two years later, Veronica remains just as much a mystery.

Part Two:
Why was Aida Mae killed? - Did Villarreal kill lover to protect his ward or his secret?

Veronica shuffled toward the witness stand, never once making eye contact with the man she had accused of murder.

Two years after the slaying of teen mother Aida Mae Rodriguez, Hidalgo County prosecutors had brought the 15-year-old to testify against Juan Tello Hinojosa, a 38-year-old family friend charged in large part because of Veronica's earlier statements.

But it was not a story Veronica wanted to retell.

She first told sheriff's investigators in December 2006 that Hinojosa, another man and her guardian — Samuel Villarreal — had kidnapped, tortured and fatally shot 16-year-old Aida Mae to avenge a plot they believed she organized to have Veronica gang raped.

Villarreal had been so incensed by Veronica's sexual assault, he told nearly everyone of his plans to kill his then girlfriend.

But in the intervening months, Veronica's story had changed significantly.

She had twice tried to dodge a subpoena requiring her presence in court.

Now that she was here, her dead-eyed expression never wavered as she described the last moments of the girl she once counted among her closest friends.

By the end of the day, she would be called a liar and a murderer.

See also:
Slain mom's short life was marked by troubles

UPDATED: Two grim finds: Baby along road and mom's body

Man on trial for allegedly aiding in murder

Man admits to killing teen girlfriend

Valley man found not guilty for 2006 murder case

Probate System Going Bankrupt

Top officials in the state's near-bankrupt Probate Court system will offer the first step toward major reforms that would eventually close down the state's small, under-performing courts.

A draft plan would make it less lucrative for judges in smaller towns to run for the elective office, thus defusing the political minefield that has challenged Probate Court reforms in recent years.

Probate Court Administrator Paul Knierim, who is also the Simsbury probate judge, said the plan that will be presented to lawmakers this week would drastically change the way judges are paid.

"What we're trying to do with judicial compensation is move away from a system in which pay is based on the court's revenue and replace it with a system in which pay is based upon work performed."

The changes to the current 117 courts could be in place in time to discourage candidates from running for judgeships in 2010, especially in money-losing probate courts.

Statewide, 50 courts ran deficits last year.

Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, co-chairman of the legislative Judiciary Committee, which will review the Probate Court administrators' proposals:"If we do nothing, the Probate Court system is bankrupt the following year."

Full Article and Source:
Officials propose Probate Court reforms

More information:
Conn. probate court reform ideas to be presented

Probate Judges Want a Government Bailout

See also:
Probate Losing 20K Daily

Grandparents Support Group

The Lowndes/Brooks County Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group held its first meeting of the year, allowing grandparents to discuss the rigors of raising grandchildren and learn about legal and government aid available to them.

This month’s meeting featured paralegal Dawn Best from Georgia Legal Services’ Valdosta office and Carrie Hickman from the Division of Family and Children Services.

During the meeting, Best expounded on The Kinship Care Project and Senate Bill 88, which creates power of attorney for the care of a grandchild. Best also discussed the differences between legal custody, temporary guardianship and adoption, as well as the process for appealing denial of assistance by DFCS.

Hickman then informed the grandparents of available government assistance, such as Medicaid, food stamps and temporary assistance to needy families (TANF), and eligibility requirements.

The grandparents who attended discussed topics from financial hardship to disciplinary problems with their grandchildren.

Full Article and Source:
Grandparents raising grandchildren

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Study on Foster Care

Despite the prevalence of mental health problems among foster children, little is known about how pre-existing mental health conditions affect their outcomes in foster care.

A new study co-written by Jung Min Park and Joseph P. Ryan, professors in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois, followed 5,978 children in foster care in Illinois for several years to determine whether these children's placement and permanency outcomes were affected by their histories of intensive mental health treatment.

Some results of the study include:

* Five percent (296) of the children had at least one episode of inpatient mental health care prior to being placed in foster care

* When children who receive inpatient psychiatric care enter the child-welfare system, they are more likely to suffer poor outcomes and be left behind in the system

* Children with inpatient psychiatric episodes were at greater risk for frequent placement disruptions and were less likely to reunite with their families of origin or be adopted

During the observation period, about 70 percent of the children in the study achieved permanence by returning to their families or through adoption or guardianship.

Full Article and Source:
Study looks at how pre-existing mental health conditions affect outcomes in foster care

See also:
Placement and Permanency Outcomes for Children in Out-of-Home Care by Prior Inpatient Mental Health Treatment

Guardian Motions to Remove Life Support

A court may decide this coming week whether to end life support for a 6-month-old Dallas baby who has suffered severe brain damage, dozens of bone fractures and numerous scars, allegedly at the hands of his parents.

A court-appointed guardian for the boy has filed a motion in Dallas County juvenile court asking that doctors at Children's Medical Center of Dallas be permitted to remove the boy from life support. The motion says the parents have not consented to withdrawing the support, but it argues that the move is in his best interests.

Child Protective Services report alleged: "Both parents are responsible for long-term, extensive physical abuse to their only infant son."

The parents have denied deliberately causing any of his injuries.

Full Article and Source:
Texas court asked to end abused kid's life support

More information:
Court asked to take abused child off life support

Too Old

A judge in a controversial child custody case in Texas has angrily stepped down after apparently being persuaded that a related judicial conduct investigation required him to do so.

After Juvenile Court Judge John Phillips decided last year that Yolanda and Arnold Del Bosque were too old to raise the young grandchildren they had been caring for since infancy and had the two boys removed to a foster home, the couple—who were 59 and 52, respectively, at the time of the ruling—made an age bias complaint against him. Armed with a letter from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct stating that it is investigating the Del Bosques' complaint, their lawyer, law professor Barbara Stalder of the University of Houston, asked Phillips to recuse himself from the custody case.

According to Stalder, Phillips had no choice but to do so while awaiting an administrative judge's ruling on her recusal motion, "high drama ensued" at a Jan. 8 pretrial hearing, when Stalder objected to Phillips' continuing on the case. Raising his voice, an increasingly angry Phillips accused Stalder of arguing with him and ordered a bailiff to escort her from the courtroom.

Stalder: “Honest to God, I really thought he was going to have the bailiff taking me directly to a holding cell.”

Philllips soon held an informal meeting and agreed to recuse himself. Another pre-trial hearing is scheduled before Juvenile Court Judge Michael Schneider, who was appointed by the administrative law judge to hear the case.

The Del Bosques—who had received glowing reports about the home they provided their grandchildren until the judge determined their age to be an issue—are now hoping to regain custody of the boys, who are 1 and 2 years old.

Full Article and Source:
‘Too Old’ Grandparents (59 and 52) Hope for Custody Under New Judge

See also:
Texas Judge Takes Tots from ‘Too Old’ Grandparents, Age 59 and 52

Ray of hope for 2 boys in legal dispute

Contesting Designation of Will

The beneficiaries of a trust set up by Dr. Frances Cline are contesting the designation in her will that 23.4 percent of her estate be distributed to the International Association for Clear Thinking (I’ACT) if that association is “in existence” at the time of her death.

According to court papers, Cline’s beneficiaries, Joanne Durchslag, Cili Durchslag, Cindi Durchslag and Jill Bertoldo argued the trust is ambiguous because the term “in existence” can be interpreted in more than one way.

The beneficiaries claimed the term “in existence” actually means a “vibrant and active” existence and the I’ACT was “little more than a shell of its former self with no substantial, material or regular activities” when Cline died in November 2004.

In June 2008, Oneida County Circuit Judge Mark Mangerson ruled I’ACT should get its portion of the estate as Cline directed. According to court records, Mangerson deemed the association to be existence because it remains incorporated, maintains a library, receives orders for information and has assets of $150,000 to $200,000.

The other beneficiaries appealed Mangerson’s ruling to the third circuit court of appeals in Wausau which ruled in favor of the I’ACT.

The court of appeals ruled the term “in existence” means “just that.”

Full Article and Source:
Dr. Cline’s legacy to be resolved in probate court

Handling the Guardianship Cases

Cody Cross won the position of probate judge against his opponent, Joley Barber after long-time Judge Donald “Hoppy” Royston announced his retirement.

Cross began working as a jail dispatcher during the pre-911 days in January 1993. In 1996, he was promoted by former Sheriff Jack Fortson to road deputy, then promoted again, this time to investigator, by former Sheriff Clayton Lowe in January, 1999.

The probate office handles marriage certificates, birth and death certificates, wills, guardianships, citations, game and fish licenses, administration of estates and more.

Cross said he thinks one of the most difficult of his duties will be handling the guardianship cases of incapacitated adults.

Cross: “That means taking away their liberties and rights – that’s hard.”

Full Article and Source:
Former investigator settles in as new probate judge

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Proposed Bills

State Sen. Brad Ashford introduced a bill (LB253) to help families get services before their children become state wards or commit a crime.

Sen. Amanda McGill of Lincoln brought a bill (LB275) to require the state's six behavioral health regions to staff 24-hour crisis, information and referral services.

And Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton has a bill (LB247) that would require the health department's Division of Children and Family Services to become accredited by a national council meant to help improve delivery of services.

On the Net:
Nebraska Legislature:

3 bills proposed to help Neb. families in crisis

See also:
'It's Only Beginning to Rain'

Couple Accused of Bilking Elderly

A couple has been charged with stealing more than $170,000 from an elderly woman in North Seattle.

Katie and Michael Lambard were charged with six counts of first-degree theft and 27 counts of second-degree theft in King County Superior Court.

The Lambards are accused of exploiting Margaret Martin, an elderly woman living in the Ida Culver House, an assisted-living facility in North Seattle. Katie Lambard worked as Martin's driver.

Katie Lambard also helped Martin sell her home and move into the assisted-living facility. According to court documents, Lambard isolated Martin and convinced her that she had her best interests in mind in order to gain control over her finances.

She persuaded Martin to transfer her accounts, including the $270,000 in proceeds from the sale of her home, into a joint account with the Lambards at Watermark Credit Union, where Michael Lambard was a teller.

An arraignment has been scheduled for Jan. 22.

Full Article and Source:
Shoreline couple accused of bilking elderly woman out of $170,000

More information:
Couple charged with stealing $170,000 from elderly

Couple accused of stealing from elderly woman

Forum on Adult Guardianship

The Indiana Adult Guardianship Services Project (IAGS) will host a community forum on adult guardianship services issues and needs in St. Joseph County from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 26 at Logan Center, 2502 E. Jefferson Blvd.

The forum is part of the statewide activities that the IAGS Project is sponsoring to improve the quality and provision of guardianship services for adults ages 18 and older who are incapable of handling their own personal and financial affairs.

Anyone interested in adult guardianship issues is invited.

For information about the IAGS Project, visit

or e-mail

For more information about the forum, call Logan Center at (574) 289-4831.

Forum focuses on adult guardianship

Civil Death

"We call it civil death. Once you are under guardianship, that's it – you basically become a non-person"

Scotland on Sunday