Saturday, October 27, 2012

Washington State Guardian Accused of Stealing From Elderly Clients

A 61-year-old Sedro-Woolley woman pleaded not guilty to charges accusing her of stealing money from at least two of her legal guardianship clients.

Sharon Nielson is accused of more than $370,000 of suspicious financial activity in her handling of two clients’ bank accounts between 2009 and 2011, according to police reports. She is charged with four counts of first-degree theft and one count of money laundering.

Nielson was the legal guardian of an 88-year-old Anacortes woman and a 77-year-old Sedro-Woolley man, both of whom lived in nursing homes, court documents say.

An audit of the woman’s finances after Nielson was removed as her guardian revealed more than $92,000 of unauthorized expenses from the woman’s estate, including payments to casinos and writing checks for cash to herself and her business.

She is also accused of writing checks for thousands of dollars to herself from the Sedro-Woolley man’s account.

Nielson appears to have used multiple accounts to conduct payments on behalf of her clients, making it hard to determine which transactions were on behalf of her clients, payments for her services and for her personal use, the affidavit said.

Full Article and Source:
Guardian Accused of Stealing From Elderly Clients

See Also:
In the Matter of Sharon Nielson, CPG: #10082
In the Court of Appeals in the State of Washington

Bad Behavior Behind the Bench

Mary Chrzanowski is a no-nonsense judge. Some have called her "Scary Mary", accusing her of being out of line on many occasions.

FOX 11 Legal Analyst Robin Sax says it may be hard to believe, but bad behavior behind the bench is not an isolated problem. She says, "Over and over, I'm seeing cases where judges love to grand stand and love to make the opportunity to make their own career. You can't forget that judges before they were judges were lawyers, and while we expect them to act with dignity when they put on the black robe. Sometimes they just act like lawyers."

In order to fix this, Robin says, "My advice to people out there who are experiencing bad judges is to tell their story and tell it often on websites, blogs, judicial committees, is to file complaints, talk to the media, and tell your story until someone listens. Because the only way the public knows about these outrageous cases is by people who have suffered through to talk about them."

Judge Scary Mary: Bad Behavior Behind the Bench

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sacramento County can't be sued in group home death, court rules

A state appeals court has ruled that Sacramento County cannot be sued over the death of an Oak Park group home employee that allegedly resulted from a conservator's placement of a paranoid schizophrenic with a 20-year history of violence into the home.The mental patient, Ofiu Edwards Foto, is accused of smashing Pausta Sibarani over the head with a wooden chair and assaulting her husband, Tumbur Purba, who also worked at the home. Sibarani, 65, died and Purba, now 73, was left with permanent brain injuries.

Full Article and Source:
Sacramento County can't be sued in group home death, court rules

Judges' battle called 'chaos'

Although Hamilton County’s Juvenile Court already has an administrator, Judge Tracie Hunter wants a second one – who would report directly to her.

And it will cost taxpayers an additional $106,900 per year.

After being rebuffed, Hunter filed a court order on Tuesday afternoon requiring county officials to make the hire.

Ignoring such an order could lead to a contempt action and possible jail time for county officials.
Hunter’s court order comes as juvenile court is $300,000 over budget this year. And like all county offices, it’s facing cuts next year. County officials want to cut $2.8 million from the court’s $18.5 million budget.

It also comes as Democrat Hunter and Republican John Williams, the other Juvenile Court judge, have battled for two years, first for a judgeship and now for control of the court.

Hunter accused the current Juvenile Court administrator, Curt Kissinger, of insubordination and reprimanded him prior to picking attorney Wende Cross to serve as her court administrator.

“I did it so that it will be carried out. Thus far it hasn’t been,” Hunter said of her order.

Full Article and Source:
Judges' battle called 'chaos'

NY nursing home cited after resident choking death

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A choking death has led to changes at a central New York nursing home.
The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that the Loretto Cunningham skilled nursing facility was cited Oct. 3 by the state health department for a violation that created "immediate jeopardy" of serious injury or death for residents.
Neither the nursing home nor the health department would detail how the resident died, including whether it involved eating or drinking.

Full Article and Source:
NY nursing home cited after resident choking death

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guardianship release sparks celebration/desperation on Macomb Daily Facebook page

Reaction to Macomb Daily court reporter, Jameson Cook’s story about a retired chiropractor’s escape from guardianship on the Macomb Daily website was swift and celebratory but also rift with examples of guardianship abuse throughout the country amidst our society’s most vulnerable.

“Good to hear that Mr. Chism has regained his freedom as a result of ‘clear and convincing evidence,’ to make his decisions to his life as he chooses!” wrote Joe Roubicek
Moments after his guardianship was lifted, James Chism, 75, of Clinton Township, a long-time Macomb County chiropractor, smiled as he walked out of Macomb Probate Court in Mount Clemens – but declined comment.
“He’s made remarkable progress,” said his attorney, Patricia Patterson-Courie. “He’s got his driver’s license. He’s passed all of the tests.”
According to Marty Prehn, a national elder advocate and NASAGA member, he was contacted by producers of the Dr. Phil show, interested in covering the story.
“What isn’t debatable any longer is the reason for the guardianship, advanced dementia was not accurate,” wrote Sylvia Rudek. “The misinformation in guardianships is common and takes too long to get the true facts presented to the court…. The family has no standing to sue for elder abuse until the victim dies. Where is the civil court system in providing protection to the elder victim? It is all about billable hours.”
“It is not about billable hours it is all about FRAUD, Deprivations of Rights under the Color of Law, Consipracy against Rights, and violations to the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” said Debby-Texas, Advocate. “A person under a guardianship loses all rights, equal protections under the law under the presumption of incapacitation without ‘clear and convincing evidence’.”

Full Article and Source:
Guardianship release sparks celebration/desperation on Macomb Daily Facebook page

Former Judge Joan Benge can practice law again, Supreme Court says

Former Judge Joan Benge, removed from the 24th Judicial District Court bench in Jefferson Parish because of a ruling she made in a personal injury lawsuit more than a decade ago, will be able to practice law again, the state Supreme Court decided Tuesday in closing what appears is the final chapter on her discipline. Justices barred Benge from practicing law for three years, but they applied it retroactively to February 2010, when she volunteered to suspend her license on an interim basis until the state Supreme Court could decide on the future of the profession she has had since 1991.

The ruling means that Benge, 55, of Kenner, should be able to resume practicing law in five months. She could not be reached immediately for comment Tuesday.
Only months after Benge was elected to the state bench in Jefferson Parish in 2001, she ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Philip Demma, who fabricated a claim that he cracked a tooth during a car accident in Metairie in 1998.

Full Article and Source:
Former Judge Joan Benge can practice law again, Supreme Court says

Forest Grove detective receives award for role in helping protect vulnerable elderly from abuse

A Forest Grove detective was named a recipient of the Oregon Health Care Association's Special Service Award last month for his role in helping shape legislation to protect vulnerable elderly from fraud and abuse.

Detective Matt Smith was honored along with Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney John Wentworth and Brady Scott, director of in Bandon, said Capt. Mike Herb, Forest Grove police spokesman. The three last year were appointed to a governor's work group that drafted legislative recommendations to further protect the elderly from abuse. The result was House Bill 4084, which Governor John Kitzhaber

The bill allows law enforcement to gain access to records that belong to elderly victims without them -- or a caregiver -- signing a waiver, if investigators believe abuse is occurring. That way, authorities can access records much faster, Smith said. The bill requires banks and financial institutions to turn over records upon receipt of a subpoena. Health care providers must comply without court order.

"Detective Smith contributed countless hours in attending meetings and legislative hearings at the State Capital in creating new legislation to protect seniors from becoming victims of fraud and financial abuse," Herb said in an email. "He is definitely a crusader fighting for our vulnerable elderly population."

Full Article and Source:
Forest Grove detective receives award for role in helping protect vulnerable elderly from abuse

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Five Year "Anniversary" of Court-Ordered Hell

It was five years ago today that David E. Tate, Petitioner, along with notorious attorney Paul T. Housch, entered “Judge” Randy Kennedy’s court to conduct an “emergency” Ex Parte hearing “petitioning” the court for a conservatorship over brother John Daniel “Danny” Tate. With nothing but grossly perjured hearsay testimony, Kennedy “glad to do it” entered orders of conservatorship, administered the fiduciary oath to David E. Tate and ordered Danny Tate’s Vanguard account seized.

No evidence whatsoever was presented:
1. No medical evidence
2. No financial evidence
3. No crime(s)
4. No 911 reports
5. No complaints from the neighbors

Pauper vs Probate: October 23, 2007 Ex Parte Hearing 5 Year Anniversary

See Also:
Danny Tate's Home Auctioned Off to His Former Lawyer!

"California's Ludicrous New Elder Abuse Reporting Law"

California law has changed dramatically for mandated reporters of suspected elder or dependent adult abuse. The good news: The changes only impact some instances of abuse. The bad news: The law is a needlessly complex mess.

California's requirements for mandated reporting of elder and dependent adult abuse have changed significantly. These changes have already taken effect, because one of the bills putting the changes into place was marked as emergency legislation. The new law replaces what had been a single standard for when and to whom reports are sent with five different standards based on the specifics of the situation -- specifics that, under the law, mandated reporters are not required to investigate.....

Full Article and Source:
California's Ludicrois New Elder Abuse Reporting Law

Michael Lohan Wants Lindsay Lohan Conserved!

Michael is reportedly hoping to get a conservatorship for Lindsay, TMZ reports. He told his attorney that Lindsay is "in the danger zone," taking drugs and hanging out with a bad crowd.

Michael does not want to be Lindsay's conservator or run her finances, according to TMZ. He wants a judge-appointed conservator to help convince his daughter to go to rehab and get his ex-wife Dina to take the family to therapy.
Source: Michael Lohan Wants Lindsay Under Conservatorship

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Forgotten Ones: Compassion for the Elderly

You make a difference in the dash. ~ by DJ Cronin

Life is short. In the scheme of things this often quoted saying must be true. Our planet has been here for millions of years - our universe billions.

On our headstones will be the etching of when we were born and the date when we died. For example 1960 - 2050.

What matters to me are not the two years mentioned. It is the dash. That little dash. That's our life. That represents to me the short time we have, here, to make a difference, or not.

And making a difference means so many different things to so many people.

But for you, the volunteer, what you do during that dash is most significant.

You can give me money for my cause. Sure. But I may pay that back to you. Say you give a dollar a month. It is appreciated without doubt. It is your dollar. However you may pick it up elsewhere. Something extra you do. Some other way of earning that buck. But how do we give back time?

As a volunteer you give time. Time. The most precious resource in our lives.

Look at the dash. How many hours are in there? It's not billions. It's not infinite. Money can be printed. Time cannot.

*Please volunteer to visit our lonely and forgotten elderly. Call today.

Once you give an hour of your time it is lost forever. That hour you just gave volunteering will never be replicated.
Your time volunteering must be valued but we can never put a value on that time. How can you value something that is priceless?

As a volunteer you bring much. Skills, advice, experience, friendship, vision, leadership, inspiration etc. That you bring. But time you give. In our time poor world you bear the gift of time. You choose to donate the most precious commodity in the known universe.

We may count your time in numbers. We may attempt to count your time in cash value. Though such methods have their reasons we will all be poorer if we don't realize that the giving of your time is simply and utterly magnificent.

Source: The Forgotten Ones: Compassion for the Elderly

Attention California Advocates: Public Hearing on Conservatorship Fees

Assemblyman Jim Beall and Sarah Triano, executive director of the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center, will hold a public hearing Wednesday in San Jose on proposed rules [on conservatorship fees] now before the Superior Court.

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday October 24, 11 a.m. at the Alquist State Building, 100 Paseo de San Antonio.

California lawmaker calls on the public to help protect incapacitated adults from excessive fees in probate court

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cool Justice: Unfit To Serve: The Farce Known As Probate Court

Going to certain probate courts is still like watching a crooked card game where there is no sheriff in town. Question a fixed hand and they’ll plug you full of lead.

Silly me, I thought the great state of Connecticut reformed the probate system in the 1980s after a relatively young state representative named Chris Shays put a laser beam on one of the most grotesque corruption cases in our history.

Shays was outraged by the actions of a Hartford probate judge who oversaw the looting of a $35 million estate by lawyers acting as conservators. Ethel Donaghue, ill and in her 80s, was conserved – losing all control of her finances, health care and mansion across from the governor’s residence – without her knowledge. Two lawyers ran up fees of more than $100,000 a year each “managing” her estate while also hosting private parties and concerts in which guests said Donaghue seemed oblivious.

When no serious action was taken – other than by investigative reporters – Shays pursued complaints before a Superior Court judge, calling reprimands against the lawyers “ridiculously” lenient. Shays argued that both lawyers and the judge should have been disbarred. He refused to stop speaking when ordered to do so, was found in contempt and sentenced to jail.

Full Article and Source:
Cool Justice: Unfit To Serve: The Farce Known As Probate Court

High court suspends lawyer after thefts reported

An attorney who leads Laurel's school board has been temporarily barred from practicing law after he acknowledged keeping fees paid by clients hidden from other partners in his law firm, the state's highest court says.

Patrick E. Vanderslice, 44, of Laurel, was suspended from the bar for a year by the Delaware Supreme Court, a more severe level of discipline than the public reprimand and probation the state’s Board on Professional Responsibility had advised was the proper punishment. The decision came after Vanderslice admitted to his partners at the Georgetown firm Moore & Rutt, P.A., he had stolen $1,780 in client fees from December 2010 to September 2011.

“Because Vanderslice committed theft (an offense involving dishonesty and a breach of trust,) we conclude that he should be ‘professionally answerable’ for his conduct,” the Supreme Court wrote in an Oct. 12 opinion. “A public reprimand, usually reserved for inexperienced lawyers... would be unduly lenient.

Full Article and Source:
High court suspends lawyer after thefts reported

Scientists: Creativity Part of ‘Mental Illness’

If you like to express yourself through painting, writing, or any other form of artistic action, scientists now say that you must be suffering from a mental illness of some kind. In a new display of how truly insane the mainstream medical health paradigm has become, mainstream media outlets are now regurgitating the words of ‘experts’ who say that those who are creative are actually, more often than not, mentally ill.

After all, more than 50% of the United States is, by definition of the psychiatrists of the nation, mentally ill. Even questioning the government is considered a mental disorder. It should come as no surprise to know that upwards of 70% of the psychiatrists who write the conditions are — of course — on the payroll of those who produce the drugs to ‘treat’ the conditions. It should also therefore come as no surprise to note that the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the foundation of the entire diagnosis system) now contains over 900 pages of bogus disorders.

Full Article and Source:
Scientists: Creativity Part of ‘Mental Illness’

Sunday, October 21, 2012

T.S. Radio Tonite: Convenient Incompetency

Illinois resident Delores Bedin has inoperable pancreatic cancer. The hospital wants to send her home. They also want her to have a guardian even though her daughter is putting an addition on her home to accomodate her mother. Her daughter also has power of attorney.

Incompetent: Delores was described as incompetent in Winnebago County Court by employees of Northwestern Memmorial Hospital. They claimed Delores should be discharged under the control of a public guardian. Hospital records indicate that Delores was NOT incompetent.

“The most terrible, terrible things could happen to you under guardianship court. Your elderly parent could be removed from their home and put into a nursing home where they don't want to be, they could be drugged in that nursing home, sometimes unnecessarily. Their property could be seized," says Annie McKenna, Spokeswoman for the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse.

Listen tonight at 7:00 p.m. Central Time:
Guardianship Abuse: Convenient Incompetency

Sister of ex-John Doe seeks to undo his guardianship, claims he was kidnapped

The sister of a man known as John D108 Doe for more than four years filed paperwork in Wayne County Probate Court seeking to terminate or modify his guardianship, claiming her brother had been kidnapped.

Maurice Williams — who was identified Monday after the Free Press ran a story on him — has not yet been reunited with any family members. But his sister Janine Williams filed a petition Wednesday to change guardianship.

“My brother was kidnapped,” she said in the filing. “My family has been searching four years for my brother.”

His court-appointed guardian said Thursday the allegation is unfounded and untrue. Williams, 46, who is severely developmentally disabled, has been living in a group home in Detroit since 2008.
“We don’t solicit clients,” said Kathleen White-Montgomery, his legal guardian and owner of Guardianship Service. “They come through a bigger agency that needs help with a client.”

Full Article and Source:
Sister of ex-John Doe seeks to undo his guardianship, claims he was kidnapped

See Also:
Man has lived as John Doe for years, but now his guardian wants mystery solved

Man Stole Elderly Woman's Funds, Bought Houseboat, Police Say

A St. Charles County man faces criminal charges after O’Fallon Police said he stole funds from an elderly woman, using the money to buy himself a houseboat.

Ben Huffman, 42, of the 100 block of Lake Village Drive in northwest St. Charles County, was charged with misappropriation of funds of an elderly nursing home resident; stealing more than $25,000, a class B felony; and marijuana possession.

O’Fallon Police said that Huffman, acting with power of attorney, stole more than $25,000 from the woman’s bank account between Dec. 3, 2010 and Aug. 24, 2011. He used the money for personal expenses, including buying a houseboat to live on, police said.

Huffman also was responsible for paying for the woman’s care at the nursing home, but she had an outstanding bill of $17,533 as of Aug. 15, 2011, according to court documents. The nursing home sent him certified letters regarding the bill.

Police also said Huffman tried to grow marijuana plants in the woman’s home.

Full Article and Source:
Man Stole Elderly Woman's Funds, Bought Houseboat, Police Say