Saturday, August 22, 2009

Belinky Plans To Cut Staff

Judge Mark Belinky says all that will be left to staff Mahoning County's Probate Court as of September 19th will be "myself, one magistrate and two clerks," when he says he'll be forced to lay-off most of his employees to get through the rest of the year.

Belinky says he sent a letter to County Commissioners notifying them of the layoffs -- at about the same time they and Administrator George Tablack were warning sales tax revenues were declining -- complaining other office holders weren't getting the message.

Belinky sued Commissioners earlier this year -- after the Board appropriated about $200,000 dollars less for Probate Court than the Judge had requested.

A hearing on Belinky's lawsuit is set for late next month in Canton. The Judge claims if he wins the case -- and Commissioners are ordered to fully fund his budget -- he will bring his laid-off workers back.

Full Article and Source:
Probate Judge Threatens To Cut Staff

See also:
Date Set in Mandamus Lawsuit Case

Judge Files Suit Over Budget

Suleman Loses Court Battle

An Orange County judge ruled Friday that an advocacy group for child actors can move forward with its bid to get a guardian appointed to oversee the financial interests of Nadya Suleman's children.

Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston denied Suleman's motion to dismiss the guardian petition submitted by former child actor Paul Petersen, president of A Minor Consideration.

Johnston did not comment on the merits of Petersen's petition, but wrote that California law does not require someone to be an "interested person" or "enjoy any type of relationship with the minor or minors named in the petition."

Johnston's ruling states: "As the paramount concern in guardianships is the best interests of children, the Legislature has not restricted the class of individuals who may petition seeking to protect those interests."

Full Article and Source:
Suleman Loses in Financial Guardian Ruling

More information:
Judge rules against "Octo-Mom" on child finances

See also:
Suleman's Hearing

Friday, August 21, 2009

Legal Guardian Denies Family Contact

Carol Kinnear, a retired Belleair Elementary teacher in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, signed an update to her trust in June 2008.

Her wish was clear: For the rest of her life, regardless of her health, she wanted to stay home.

The trust provision, her daughters thought, would assure she could do that.

On Monday, Kinnear, 78, was taken from home and moved to an unnamed facility, the act of a court-appointed guardian. She would be treated there for "high anxiety and confusion," the guardian wrote in an e-mail. Her children, blocked from contact, were told it was in their mother's best interest.

Earlier this year, to safeguard their mother's estate after money had come up missing, they had filed for guardianship in a Pinellas court.

Now they find themselves the victims of unintended consequences, guarded against by the person they had sought for help.

Kinnear's first guardian, Sandra Scott, caused her to fall after giving too high a dose of medication, said Kellee Watt, 45, of Indian Rocks Beach.

Teri St. Hilaire, who replaced Scott on July 1, didn't return phone calls and e-mails from the daughters.

Full Article and Source:
Legal guardian denies Alzheimer's patient her home and family contact

Sandra Scott certified with the Center for Guardianship Certification, an allied foundation of the National Guardianship Association (NGA).

Teri St. Hilaire is certified with the
Center for Guardianship Certification, an allied foundation of the National Guardianship Association (NGA).

Officials Upset About Probate Plan

Officials from small towns across the Connecticut say a draft proposal to consolidate local probate courts creates sprawling districts that would be inconvenient for families.

Members of the Probate Redistricting Commission heard testimony on Thursday about a proposal from the Connecticut Probate Assembly, made up of probate judges, that reduces the 117 court districts to 50.

The commission is now charged with reviewing that plan, taking into account the concerns raised at the hearing. It must come up with a final recommendation to the General Assembly by Sept. 15.

Full Article and Source:
Conn. towns upset with probate court plan

See also:
Governor Celebrates Reform

Rell Signs Legislation

Connecticut Probate Courts


Suleman's Hearing

Octomom Nadya Suleman will try to convince a judge that a guardian isn't needed to oversee the financial interests of her children.

Suleman filed a motion to dismiss an effort to appoint a guardian to oversee her children's financial interests.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston appointed lawyer Norbert Bunt to serve as guardian over the octuplets' financial affairs. A state appellate court later stayed that decision, pending Thursday's hearing.

Paul Petersen and Gloria Allred say Suleman has exploited her octuplets for financial gain. She has countered that the two are suing just to promote themselves.

Full Article and Source:
Octomom To Argue For Financial Oversight Of Kids

See also:
A day after Fox show, octuplets' mom Nadya Suleman in court over money

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hostage To The System

A few years back a local man by the name of Tom Davis shattered his knee and was admitted into a nursing home.

Life had grown dark and depressing for Davis until he met a beautiful, inspiring fellow patient who had a brief stay at the home while recovering from a stroke.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, developed a lasting friendship with Davis and enjoyed the company of an intelligent man with whom she could comfortably converse. Davis and his companion shared similar backgrounds, both having roots in rural surroundings. They became inseparable friends and soon fell in love.

On June 25, the couple married.

However, the honeymoon never truly began for the happy newlyweds because Davis' financial life is chained to the legal system.

The couple talked of traveling together and possibly relocating, but Davis was informed that he could not leave the state. In fact he could not drive, vote, or even open up a bank account.

said Davis, shaking his head in dismay: "I'm a hostage to the system. I even tried opening up my own bank account, but they shut it down," he said, referring to his legal guardian.

Davis became a ward of the Gila County Public Fiduciary Office.

Anyone who knows Davis can see that he is not incapacitated. State statute allows the ward or any person interested in his welfare to petition for a new court appointed attorney to reevaluate their situation.

Last August, Mrs. Davis did just that. Her petition was recognized and her husband did have his day in court, but to no avail. At the hearing his fiduciary spoke for him, but it was not the representation Davis was hoping for. He was not allowed to speak for himself at the hearing and make his case to the judge that he was a capable man of sound mind.

Mrs. Davis stated that the judge rubber-stamped him as an "adult protected person" upon his fiduciary's recommendation, and he was denied impartial representation by a court appointed attorney.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing home romance stifled by system

Tiffany Poarch of Gila County Public Fiduciary is registered with the National Guardianship Association

Death Panels

People are kidding themselves if they think there are no health care “death panels” in existence and just waiting to be expanded upon. Insurance companies, who deny rightful claims without reason or under the technicality umbrella, have death squads whether decisions are made by individuals or actual committees. There are hospitals and nursing homes that have decided to get on board with their so-called ethics committees that make life and death decisions even in spite of the “actual” wishes of the patient or the patient’s family. Shall we say, “Andrea Clark“?

Now we have Gary Harvey from New York, whose wife is fighting both for his life and the right to take him home.

“This is a case where a 55 year old man had a heart attack, fell down the basement stairs, and ended up severely brain damaged. It is a case where still another so-called ethics committee felt it had some sort of god-like wisdom and right to determine life or death for a stranger. It is a case where a so-called ethics committee decided, behind closed doors, that it was perfectly okay to starve and dehydrate this man — Gary Harvey — to death by termination of his Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) feeding tube.”

Thankfully the request has been dismissed for now.

Full Article and Source:
Obama Claims No Death Panels, Some Already Call the Shots

Guardianship Webinar

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc., and its partners, invite you to register for their four-hour webinar, "Lighting the Way to Guardianship and Other Decision Making Alternatives".

Friday, August 28, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday, August 29 , 2009
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m (EDT)

This webinar, allowing participants to type in their questions for the presenters to answer, will be covering topics, in an abbreviated format, that include Fundamental Concepts, Options for Decision-Making Assistance, Guardianship and Guardian Advocacy, and Legal Resources. These topics were presented during the live full-day workshops held in Jacksonville, Palm Beach Gardens, and Sarasota earlier this summer.

Please note that space is limited, so please register as soon as possible.

Full Article and Source:
Invitation to participate in live guardianship webinar

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Luke Forrest Humphrey

I'm sad to report that Luke passed away Monday morning. Here is the letter that I wrote and drove to Tyler to deliver to Judge Rogers and hour and a half after we were notified of Lukes' death.

Patricia Pondoff
P.O.Box 236
White Oak, Texas 75693
August 18 2009

Judge Randall Rogers,

It’s sad to report to you the death of Luke Forrest Humphrey. He passed away sometime Monday morning August 17, 2009.
What’s even sadder is that no-one notified the Mother, Susan McLendon until Tuesday at noon to let her know the funeral was in one hour, knowing she was in Youngstown, Ohio.
This was in direct disobedience of YOUR Court Order.
The Mother was to be notified of any illness that was severe.
Luke went into respiratory failure and no one assisted him because YOU failed to rule on the DO NOT RESUSCITATE that we filed in December of 2008.
I asked you not to transfer this case to Somervell County but you did it anyway.
How appropriate that Luke passed away when the guardianship was in limbo between two counties..
I thank God that Luke will no longer suffer at the hands of his abusers.
Everyone is accountable for what we do here on earth either before man and most assuredly before God Almighty. You don’t owe us an explanation but you will owe God an answer.
McLendon had already buried one son, Mike, and was denied the opportunity to see Luke, hold him, or tell him how much she loved him, was denied to opportunity to attend her own sons’ funeral and was not notified of his death until 1 hour before the burial.
How sick and how sad this whole situation is and each and everyone of you are responsible for your part in it.
____________________ Patricia Pondoff

See also:
Guardian Troubles

DC Protest

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nurse Aide Charged With Assault

A nurse’s aide from Quincy has been arrested after police say she tormented and abused residents at a home for people with memory loss.

Kara A. Murphy, a nurse aide since 2004, manhandled at least four elderly residents at the Atrium at Faxon Woods during a shift, police said. They also said she boasted to another caregiver about force-feeding an 89-year-old woman her own feces.

The charges against Murphy are based entirely on the account of another employee who reported the incidents to her director.

None of the victims had any recollection of the incidents, police said.

Murphy pleaded innocent in Quincy District Court. She is charged with seven counts of assault and battery on disabled persons older than 60.

Judge Mark Coven ordered her to remain under house arrest until authorities can fit her with a GPS tracking device. Murphy is next due in court on Oct. 8.

Full Article and Source:
Elder abuse horror in Quincy

Pima County's Janice Bernardini

Death Served the Purpose

Jan Bernardini and Judge Munger

Youth Inspires Others

Pima County Guardianships

Attorney Bernardini and Judge Munger

Puppets Imitate Life

Bernardini & Munger

A Grandchild's Fight

Sisters Raging Custody Battle

A child-custody battle is being fought - not by parents but by two sisters.

On the one side is the twins' mom, Dr. Robin Recant, a physician with the city Health Department's sexually transmitted disease bureau. She's a single mom and former mental patient who claims that her unmarried, childless sister is trying to steal her kids.

The sister she's at war with is former Criminal Court Judge Donna Recant, who was censured by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2001 for, among other things, chaining a defense lawyer to a bench for being "disrespectful" and handcuffing a defendant for blowing bubble gum.

Donna, who left the judgeship in disgrace in 2005, now has temporary custody of the twins, and she wants to keep them. She insists this is the only way to protect the children from the unstable, paranoid woman who gave them life.

But Robin Recant swears that her sister has wanted to take her kids away from the day they were born.

According to Robin -- her sister bullied and threatened her into signing over temporary guardianship of her children.

Full Article and Source:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Educational Discussion for Seniors

Infinity Home Health Services is teaming up with six other healthcare-related businesses to present Healthcare Alerts in the Changing Economy: An Educational Discussion for Seniors and their Children at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Rocky River Memorial Hall, 21012 Hilliard Blvd.

The discussion will include seven panel members from various healthcare organizations.

A licensed social worker will speak about community-based resources and attorney Hugh Carlin will discuss guardianship and power of attorney. Realtor Tom Assad will also be present to provide his expertise on selling homes and reverse mortgages.

Each speaker will present information for approximately 10 minutes, followed by a question and answer session.

This event is free and open to the public with no reservations required.

Full Article and Source:
Inifnity Home Health Services to host senior healthcare discussion

AARP Corrects Obama

President Barack Obama said the AARP had endorsed his health care reform.

The exact quote from Obama at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H.:

We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors. AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare.

This is what COO Tom Nelson says about Obama's claim:

AARP has been working with Democrats and Republicans to fix our broken health care system. While the president was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate.

Full Article and Source:
Obama lied about AARP endorsement

More information:
AARP Corrects False Obama Claim

AARP Reacts to President’s Health Care Townhall

Twist in Speakes Battle

A Mississippi judge ruled that the Arlington condo owned by former White House press secretary Larry Speakes may be sold by his daughter, Sondra Speakes Huerta.

The ruling was the latest twist in the battle between Speakes's wife, Aleta, and two of his children from an earlier marriage over guardianship of Speakes (who suffers from Alzheimer's disease) and his estate. Without the knowledge of Speakes's wife, Huerta put the condo on the market, and a contract for $420,000 was signed in early July. But the sale stalled when it became public knowledge that legal control of the condo was among the issues being hashed out in court. Lawyers for Aleta Speakes asked the judge to prevent the sale, but lost this round.

Full Article and Source:
Update on Larry Speakes case

See also:
Speakes Family Conservatorship Battle

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Federal Probe of Rita Hunter Tenure

The files of county wards while Rita Hunter was public administrator will stay locked away for the time being.

Dean Dankelson, Jasper County prosecutor, said that access to the files is being limited at the request of federal authorities. Hunter told Probate Judge David Mouton there is no way she can answer questions before the court about former wards’ estates without file access.

Dankelson said he is keeping the materials locked away at the request of the U.S. attorney’s office.

Officials announced last month that federal authorities had taken over a probe into operations of the administrator’s office during Hunter’s tenure. Investigators with the Missouri State Highway Patrol started the probe in January after Hunter left office and took with her all the files of wards under the care of the public administrator’s office. She later returned about 30 boxes of files, and additional materials were recovered as a result of a search warrant.

Full Article and Source:
Feds want file access denied

See also:
Former Administrator Rita Hunter

Rita Hunter was registered with the National Guardianship Association (NGA) during her tenure. Angie Cassavecchia Ashens, Jasper County Public Administrator is now registered with the NGA.

Judge Anthony Cutrona

In the Matter of Murray Feingold

Elder Abuse or Slavery

No Help For Postal Worker

With Kendra’s Law, mental hygiene courts now have unprecedented powers over the lives of the mentally ill--and a long track record of shutting them out

Children Battle Over Estate of Wang

A New Jersey judge refused today to dismiss a lawsuit over who should administer the multibillion dollar estate of Formosa Plastics Group founder Wang Yung-ching.

Wang was Taiwan’s second-richest man when he died at age 91 without a will in October in New Jersey. The eldest of his nine children, Winston Wong, sued on May 13 in state court in Newark, New Jersey, arguing the case should be heard there because of his father’s extensive business holdings in the state.

Four of Wang’s children, led by his daughter Susan, asked Superior Court Judge Walter Kaprowski Jr. to dismiss the case, claiming their father had no assets in New Jersey and the matter should be decided in Taiwan. Kaprowski denied that bid and also said the parties need to gather pretrial evidence to determine whether Wang owned assets and was a resident of New Jersey.

Kaprowski ruled at the hearing: “It’s an issue that requires some discovery so that I can make a jurisdictional ruling as to whether this matter can proceed.”

Full Article and Source:
N.J. Judge Retains Case Over Estate of Formosa’s Wang

More information:
Tycoon's children battle to control late father's cash

Estate Hearing