Saturday, August 29, 2009

Elderly Couple Forced Into State Custody

They’re not criminals. They’ve broken no laws. But they’re being held against their will by the State of Texas. Why? It’s a tragic story about what can happen when you are alone in the world and lose control of your rights, your money, and your ability to complain.

Jean and Michael Kidd never imagined their retirement would play out like this. “I feel like I am not in America,” said Michael Kidd. “I can’t believe I have been hi-jacked off the street, virtually from the hospital, and imprisoned,” Kidd told FOX 4.

Michael Kidd and his wife Jean have been living out of a tiny room for months. They have lost control of their money, their home, even their car. They say they’ve been robbed of their dignity and their voice. And who do they say is responsible? The State of Texas.

“It is a shock to our system,” says Kidd. “We are still kind of in a state of shock,” Kidd told Reporter Becky Oliver.

Michael Kidd worked as an engineer at KDFW for 23 years. He retired in 2001 with a pension, retirement account, and social security. Last month, he called the station for help. The Kidds have no children or relatives nearby. In November Michael fell and broke his hip. He was taken to a Plano hospital and into surgery. After a few days, the hospital called the state Adult Protective Services to report Jean had been in the waiting room for days and wasn’t eating. What happened next is a complicated, legal tale told in hundreds of pages of documents filed with the Collin County Probate Court.

Caseworkers paint a picture of two incompetent old people, age 67 and 70, suffering from dementia. Reports say the Kidds have mismanaged their finances and used poor judgment, that Michael is verbally abusive and even attempted to assault Jean. Michael says Jean has memory trouble but denies everything else. A judge determined the Kidds were incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. The state took over the Kidds lives, sent them to the Countryside Nursing Home in Pilot Point, and is now burning through their money to pay for their care.

“You have no idea how much money you have?” Oliver asked Michael Kidd. “None at all,” Kidd responded. “I know what my income was and I know it was more than enough to take care of my bills. Now, I am deteriorating instead of getting better,” Kidd continued.

The monthly tab for a couple at Countryside is about seven thousand dollars. Court records show, for five months’ care, the guardian paid eleven thousand dollars out of the Kidds’ accounts. The state’s Medicaid program kicks in the rest. “I could be at the Hilton for this kind of money,” Kidd told Oliver.

Full Article and Source:
Elderly Couple Forced Into State Custody

Friday, August 28, 2009

Referee: Woman Can Visit Mom in Hospice

Nursing home says daughter's visits are disruptive. But the daughter says she's "scared for my mother's life."

A probate court referee ordered a St. Paul nursing home to allow the daughter of an ailing woman to visit her mother in hospice care, despite the nursing home's claim that the daughter's conduct is "severely detrimental" to Edna Wigen's health and "disrupts the orderly and safe operation" of the facility.

Judy Luzaich, 66, of Stillwater, and two of her mother's longtime friends were barred from St. Mary's Home in St. Paul's Highland Park this year after complaining that the 91-year-old woman was receiving substandard care.

St. Paul police and officials from the state Department of Health are investigating allegations of suspicious injuries to Wigen's head, arms and legs that were photographed by her longtime friends Patty and Al Noren. Nursing home officials deny that Wigen was mistreated, saying everything done was necessary and appropriate.

Ramsey County District Court Referee Dean Maus said that Luzaich should be allowed to visit her mother three times in the next week but he didn't address future visits, leaving that to a state judge who is expected to conduct a hearing on the dispute sometime next month.

Full Article and Source:
Referee: Woman Can Visit Mom in Hospice

No Social Services Investigation for Nadya Suleman

A California appeals court has ruled that octuplets mom Nadya Suleman will not face an investigation by Child Protective Services.

Suleman's attorney Jeff Czech says the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday to halt the investigation that was ordered by an Orange County Superior Court probate judge. The appeals court also ruled earlier this month that Suleman would not have to have a court-appointed guardian to oversee her children's finances.

Paul Peterson, an advocate for the fair treatment of children in show business, had filed a petition requesting the appointment of an independent guardian. Suleman then filed a motion challenging his right to file the petition.

Czech says Suleman is relieved over the ruling.

No Social Services Investigation for Nadya Suleman

See also:
Suleman Loses Court Battle

Suleman's Hearing

A Day After Fox Show, Octuplet's Mom Nadya Suleman in Court Over Money

Former Caretaker Sentenced for Thefts

A Grand Rapids woman authorities say stole thousands of dollars from at-risk adults and used it to gamble will spend a year in jail -- twice the prosecutor's recommended sentence.

Myrna M. Trickey, 70, was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months in jail with work release and five years probation and ordered to pay $47,741.36 in restitution plus other costs and supervision fees for three counts of felony theft.

Clark County Circuit Court Judge Jon Counsell, acting as a substitute judge in the Wood County case, also ordered Trickey to write apologies to her victims, undergo counseling and prepare a detailed financial disclosure statement for the past 42 months.

A joint recommendation from Trickey's attorney, Amy Boettcher, and the Wood County district attorney's office suggested a sentence of six months in jail in addition to the probation.

"It's only by the skin of your teeth that you're not ending up in prison today," Counsell told Trickey during the sentencing. "If you don't follow through and do what you're supposed to do, I fully expect your probation to be revoked, and I will send you to prison for a long time."

According to Wood County Circuit Court documents:
Trickey, who operated a business called Protective Care in Grand Rapids, was the court-appointed guardian for adults described as at-risk -- defined by state law as having a condition that substantially impairs them. Her responsibilities included managing their money and handling their financial affairs.

During a period of more than four years, she wrote 126 checks on the accounts of three adults in her care, totaling $22,500 and used the money for herself. The checks exceeded the amount Trickey was allowed to take from the accounts for guardian fees.

On June 26, the court ruled against Trickey in a civil case, granting a judgment of $14,752 plus other costs, to one of her victims. A $536.70 judgment was issued July 6 for those costs. She pleaded guilty to all three criminal counts June 27, and 17 uncharged misdemeanor counts of theft were read into the record.

Full Article and Source:
Former Caretaker Sentenced for Thefts

See also:
Protective Care

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"I feel like I'm in jail"

A court is keeping Isabelle Jessich in a nursing home even though a doctor says she's sane, sober and fit to leave. Is this how guardianship laws should work?

Last summer, incapacitated by malnutrition and a prolonged bout of heavy drinking, Isabelle Jessich was removed from the filthy bed in her Edina home and taken to a nearby hospital. A month later, with no improvement in her mental condition, the state courts took over Jessich's life, making all decisions on where she would live and how she would get better.

These days, Jessich bears little resemblance to the disheveled woman who refused to leave her bed. She lives in a nursing home, where she is able to eat, dress herself and use the bathroom without assistance. Though she still uses a wheelchair because of persistent dizziness, she exercises each day on a recumbent stepper machine. She has been sober and well fed for a year. In May, her neurologist pronounced her healthy enough to move back home.

Yet three months later, Jessich remains at the Robbinsdale nursing home, her future in the hands of a court-appointed professional guardian. Jessich, 56, has discovered a painful fact about the Minnesota guardianship system: It's set up for permanent oversight of people no longer able to make decisions for themselves. In fact, the more Jessich tries to take control of her life, the harder the system has fought to keep her a ward of the state.

"I'm not saying I didn't make mistakes," Jessich says. "Is that a crime? What the heck am I doing here?"

Jessich's deepest concern is not for herself, but for her teenage daughter, Allison. Since Jessich went into institutional care last year, her 16-year-old daughter has mostly fended for herself, depending on friends, relatives and neighbors for a place to sleep and something to eat. Her mother has come so far since last year, Allison says, that she is ready to be a parent again.

"Just let my mom come home," Allison says. "If she could prove to them there's a reason she has to be locked up like she is, then let her prove it."

Full Article and Source:
I feel like I'm in jail

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Memoriam - Luke Forrest Humphrey

Luke Forrest Humphrey, 23, passed away Monday, August 17, 2009, in Glen Rose, Texas. He was a graduate of Pine Tree High School, attended U.T. Tyler and worked at Home Depot before a car accident in 2005, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Luke's graveside services and burial were Tuesday, August 18, 2009, in Squaw Creek Cemetery in Rainbow, Texas, prior to the family's knowledge.

He is survived by his parents, Dr. William and Susan McLendon of Hallsville; sister, Kari Schneck and husband, Thomas, of Longview; brother, John Gasper; stepbrother, Will and Amber McLendon of Albuquerque, New Mexico; stepsister, Charisse and Rob Tolleson of Pasadena, California; grandmother, June Slaughter of Tucson, Arizona; father, Landy, and his family; aunts, JoAnn Bowshot and Rose Pondoff of Youngstown, Ohio; aunt, Patricia Pondoff of White Oak; cousins, Kathy, J.T. and Hailey Murphy, Nikki and Bobbie Bowshot, Scott and Shawna Bowshot, Bryan Pondoff and Tony Smith; nephew, Harrison Taylor; and best friend, Grant Thomas, who survived the accident; and his Home Depot family who loved him.

To view Luke's story go to

In lieu of flowers, the family requests all donations be sent to the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse at or P.O. Box 886, Mount Prospect, IL 60056.

It is the four years of mourning, the voicemail I received of my brother's death the day before my birthday and the conversation that the funeral had already taken place for me to realize what it is I am feeling.... I am thankful.

I am thankful to have had Luke in my life. Luke was a wonderful brother. He was funny, confident and full of life. Luke was a hard worker. He took pride in his appearance, his possessions and made lasting friendships. Luke had a great life, a promising future and parents who loved him.

I am thankful that I will be able to celebrate my birthday every year with him. But most of all, I am thankful for my mom and Luke's dad for making me Luke's sister because without them, I would never have known Luke Forrest Humphrey.

Fly with the angels, Luke. I love you! Your sister, Kari.

To my beloved son,

As the family knelt by your grave, we read the Bible verse that I read to you everyday in the hospital, Psalm 91.

Everyone shared a funny story about Luke. He loved to pull pranks and never forgot April Fools Day. He made funny faces in every picture he took. Luke loved life; he loved everyone. There was such a purity about him and a genuine smile for everyone. He was free spirit like his mom; he took life right in stride. He was a great sport, a team player and an athlete.

I knew as I knelt by your grave that you were in my heart. The memories of 20 years of packing lunches, going to games, the family vacation every year, going skiing-we had such happy times and no one can take away all our precious memories. Luke was there with us that day. I could feel your smiling, glowing face; I could feel the warmth of your character, and I know you are happy and free. I promised you, I will never give up the fight to have your perpetrators brought to justice.

I can feel your smiling face with me, and I feel your comfort. I know you are here with me and Bill, Kari and Johnny.

Luke, we love you, and you will always be in our hearts and minds!

Obituary of Luke Forrest Humphrey

Luke Forrest Humphrey

Guardian Troubles

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lokuta Files Petition

Former Luzerne County judge Ann Lokuta has asked the state Supreme Court to take jurisdiction of her case from the Court of Judicial Discipline, alleging the disciplinary court has shown a bias toward her in its rulings.

The petition alleges the disciplinary court has failed to follow the Supreme Court’s directive regarding the standard of review it should apply in reexamining Lokuta’s misconduct case.

It also again challenges the refusal of attorney Richard Sprague, who headed the panel, to recuse himself given his representation of Robert Powell, one of the key figures in the judicial corruption probe.

Lokuta also asks the court to reinstate her salary and benefits pending resolution of the case, arguing the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts has wrongly denied her the compensation.

Full Article and Source:
Lokuta asks high court to take over case

See also:
Lokuta Not Entitled to New Trial

Complete Lives System

Troubling Questions Remain About Obama's Health Care Plan
by Sarah Palin


I join millions of Americans in expressing appreciation for the Senate Finance Committee's decision to remove the provision in the pending health care bill that authorizes end-of-life consultations (Section 1233 of HR 3200). It's gratifying that the voice of the people is getting through to Congress; however, that provision was not the only disturbing detail in this legislation; it was just one of the more obvious ones.

As I noted in my statement last week, nationalized health care inevitably leads to rationing. There is simply no way to cover everyone and hold down the costs at the same time. The rationing system proposed by one of President Obama's key health care advisors is particularly disturbing. I'm speaking of the "Complete Lives System" advocated by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the president's chief of staff. President Obama has not yet stated any opposition to the "Complete Lives System," a system which, if enacted, would refuse to allocate medical resources to the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled who have less economic potential. [1] Why the silence from the president on this aspect of his nationalization of health care? Does he agree with the "Complete Lives System"? If not, then why is Dr. Emanuel his policy advisor? What is he advising the president on?

Full Article and Source:
Sarah Palin - Facebook