A Wayne County judge says a Houston woman had no right to take $500,000 from the bank accounts of her now 95-year-old mother in 2008.
Wednesday's decision by Probate Judge David Szymanski means lawyers for M. Louise Stanton can file court papers to go after the assets of Janice Stanton Hines, 58, whom Szymanski jailed for contempt of court in December for refusing to repay the money. Stanton Hines is still in jail.
"The court finds that these assets belong to M. Louise Stanton," Szymanski said in an eight-page decision. He rejected Stanton Hines' claim that her mom gave her the money.
"I'm ecstatic," Charlene Glover-Hogan of Detroit, the mother's court-appointed lawyer, said Wednesday.
"I couldn't imagine doing anything like that to my parents," Glover-Hogan added.
The mother's court-appointed guardian, Steven Geller of Royal Oak, said he will take steps to have a judgment entered against Stanton Hines, enabling him to seize her assets.
Court papers say Stanton Hines, a disaster relief coordinator in Houston, withdrew nearly $800,000 from M. Louise Stanton's accounts after her mother added her and another daughter's names to them. When the other daughter confronted Stanton Hines, she returned $286,000, leaving a $500,000 shortfall.
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Judge: Woman Had No Right to Mother's Money