Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jane Branson Files Federal Complaint

The case is being brought by Jane Branson, written on behalf of her 93-year-old mother, who is "an adult ward under court-appointed guardianship." Branson - who is not the guardian - is acting as her own attorney (pro se) in the suit.

Highland County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Kevin Greer brought the suit to the attention of local news media on Friday and provided copies of court documents. Greer, Hillsboro Attorney J.D. Wagoner, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and James Malott - the court-appointed legal guardian of the 93-year-old - are named as defendants in the case.

Wagoner is the 93-year-old woman's guardian ad litem, according to the court documents.

Greer said that the situation began with a 2007 case in Highland County Probate Court when he presided over a case to determine guardianship for the elderly woman. Branson had filed an application to be appointed guardian of the woman's estate and person, which was denied. Branson made the appeal to Ohio's Fourth District Court of Appeals, which upheld Greer's decision.

According to the 2008 judgment from the court of appeals, Branson and Malott are two of the elderly woman's four children. Malott is her power of attorney, and according to documents she filed with the Highland County Recorder's Office, "In the event that [it] should become necessary for a guardianship of my person and or my estate, I request that the probate court appoint my attorney in fact, James D. Malott, as such guardian, without bond." The court upheld Greer's decision to appoint Malott, stating that under the Ohio Revised Code, because a guardian had been named in the power of attorney, the court had to appoint the person nominated (Malott) as long as he was competent, suitable and willing to accept the appointment.

"The court (Greer) was required to appoint Malott, absent a showing of incompetence, unsuitability, or unwillingness to accept the appointment," the court of appeals wrote."

Branson claimed in the appeal that she was more qualified to care for the woman, and that she had been caring for her for four years. "In Branson's lay opinion, (the woman) was not getting appropriate care at the nursing facility (where she is now living)."

Malott testified, the court said, that the woman was "getting appropriate care at the facility."

In the case filed with the federal court, Branson alleges that the 93-year-old, who she says suffers from Alzheimer's disease and dementia, was "granny-napped" when she was placed in a nursing home by her court-appointed guardian, that she does not receive adequate care, and that she is "forcibly" kept from friends and family members.

Branson alleges that the elderly woman has been "unlawfully deprived, denied and restrained of her liberty;" denied due process; denied her right to appear in Ohio state courts; denied legal counsel; denied access to Ohio courts; and denied a right to a review or appeal process.

Among the prayers for relief requested in the suit, Branson asks for "an award of compensatory damages in an amount yet to be determined, an award of punitive damages where appropriate and in a sum sufficient to deter future like conduct by defendants," and for attorney fees, costs and litigation expenses.

Full Article and Source:
Pro Se Complaint Filed in Federal Court Against Highland County Judge, Attorney and Gov. Kasich

See Also:
See 9/30/2011 Court of Appeals Decision


Barbara said...

Jane, why was your original application to be your mother's guardian denied?

StandUp said...

I think when Mrs. Florkey wrote her advance directives, she might have been thinking that her son would actually take care of her rather than put her in a nursing home.

Mel said...

what is a judge doing going to the media? Is that not some kind of ethics violation? Oh I forgot, these abusers of the guardianship process know no ethics not do they seem to care either

Pat said...

I spoke to Jane recently and following our discussion I had a question that maybe some of you can answer.

How is it that Judge Greer "brought the suit to the attention of local news media on Friday and provided copies of court documents." when he was not served the summons and lawsuit until Monday the 21st?

In fact, according to Jane, none of the defendants were served summons or the lawsuit before yesterday, so how is it that Greer had knowledge and copies last Friday?

Anyone care to guess and answer that one ??

Jane Branson said...

Barara, that's a good question, the judge's decision to appoint my brother guardian was based on a fraudulent POA/DPOAHC document that nomonated my brother guardian. My Mother, Mollie Florkey was rail-Roaded at the November 14, 2007 Guardianship Hearing. My brother and his attorney coerced my Mother who was "Already," diagnosed with Paranoid Psychosis into signing a fraudulent POA document January 8, 2002,(Medical Records prove Mother was not competent)my brother was aware Mother was not competent, there is evidence that prove it..
My brother made sure language in the POA document stated, he had total control of Mother, her home, property and all assets he has never accounted for. He also made the designated second guardian a sister that lives out of State that made it clear to family she did not want to care for our Mother.

Mother never wanted to live with the sister that lived out of State becuase Mother knew she would be forced in a nursing facility.

Mother's eldest daughter who is disabled (blind) agrees Mother should live with me where she would receive proper care as before when I cared for Mother.

During the guardianship hearing, the judge refused to hear my evidence, Mom was not allowed to attend her own hearing, My own attorney jumped ship and followed my brother's attorney's lead, and remained silent (while evidence sat beside him that proved Mother was not competent at the time she signed the POA) Proof my brother was Not suitable to be Mother's guardian. My attorney never made one objection instead agreed my brother was competent, suitable and willing because he's in law enforcement. My attorney without making the first objection guaranteed Mother's case would be lost.

These men sentence my Mother to a Hellish existence at the nursing facility where she has been forced to live for the past four years plus where Mother has needlessly suffered, has been abused, threatened, neglected and isolated from her family for the past four years. Can you imagine the abandonment and heartache she endures daily ?

honeybear said...

The judge may have followed the law at the inception of the guardianship, but Mollie Florkey has been institutionalized against her will. What would she want now? The judge needs to ask her.

Thank you for your reply to Barbara's question, Jane.

Amy said...

Jane, I can imagine the abandonment and heartache your mother feels. And you too. I am so sorry.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. You took care of your mother so you should be taking care of her now. This is wrong in so many ways.

I hope you are able to prove your case against your brother and that you also pursue him with criminal charges.

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia:

A “kangaroo court” is a sham legal proceeding. The outcome of a trial by kangaroo court is essentially determined in advance, usually for the purpose of ensuring conviction, either by going through the motions of manipulated procedure or by allowing no defense at all.

A kangaroo court's proceedings deny, hinder or obstruct due process rights in the name of expediency. Typically, a kangaroo court will deliberately abuse one or more of the following rights of the accused:

Right to hear a full statement of the exact charges made against the accused
Right to summon witnesses
Right of cross-examination
Right to introduce evidence which will support acquittal of the accused
Right not to incriminate oneself
Right not to be tried on secret evidence
Right to control one's own defense
Right to exclude evidence that is improperly obtained, irrelevant or inherently inadmissible, e.g., hearsay
Right to exclude judges or jurors on the grounds of partiality or conflict of interest
Right to have a verbatim stenographic record of the trial proceedings created
Right of appeal

pammy c said...

Hi Jane,,, Iam glad that progress is being made to care for your loving mother,,, bless u.. luvs u bunches... take care my friend,, and may god be with u and your mother during this difficult time..hang in there,be stong,be positive, and most of all, never give up hope...

Bert said...

Anonymous, wiki search "Star Chamber"

it is/was a special court of old England