Genevieve Bush 89 of Chester County, Pennsylvania
Before the Guardianship
Nearly a decade in, Genevieve Bush, 89, continues to be held in guardianship against her will, against advanced directives, her life savings is nearly depleted.
The Estate Battle
Bush’s saga started approximately fifteen years ago, when Genevieve Bush’s sons, Joseph and Michael, challenged the estate of her and her husband.
After her husband had a stroke and was hospitalized in November 2003, they saw an opening, according to a letter she wrote in 2007, to her brother Leon.
“In April 2004, before Fabian (her husband) passed, Joseph asked me to sign a blank check…Joe asked me to sign more blank checks so he could move the money…In May of 2005, Joe called me and told me he was putting stocks in my name…Then, (a) month later in June, Joe Decided to give papers about me being an estate, like I was already dead.”
At the time, Joseph and Michael had power of attorney power which Genevieve quickly sought to overturn after the squabble turned bitter and wound up in court.
“I, Genevieve Bush,” she stated in a notice of revocation of power of attorney dated September 6, 2005, “do hereby revoke any and all powers of attorney given to Joseph Bush.” (she also revoked Michael Bush’s power of attorney at the same time)
Four days later, the Chester County of Pennsylvania Department of Aging showed up to test Genevieve, according to the same letter, “On September 10, 2005, the Department of Aging came to Mary’s home (where Genevieve was then staying) with the State Police and gave me a competency test.”
Genevieve stated that the Department of Aging came because Joseph complained to them. While she passed the test, her ordeal was not over.
“September 13, 2005, the Department of Aging came to my house. I told her to leave me alone.
‘This is all about money.’ That day all three sons called me on the phone. I guess they wondered if I got removed from my home….We started the new year (2006) just great. Joe called threatening to call the Department of Aging again.”
Bush hired attorney Jay Fischer to represent her and he sent a letter to Joseph on November 21, 2005, stating in part.
“In addition, you are requested to return all funds, investments or other accounts transferred into your name to your mother immediately.”
Fischer continues to practice law in Pennsylvania but did not respond to a voicemail at his office.
A court fight over the estate resulted and this even included a brutal deposition of Genevieve which lasted between four and six hours.
She described it in her letter. “All of them were there with lawyers. I brought a lady friend for support, but they would not let her in. I felt attacked, question for four hours straight.”
The matter was finally decided on October 2007, when Judge Robert Shenkin ruled in favor of Genevieve’s sons, that the monies were “gifted to them” according to a timeline Mary provided.
The full letter Genevieve wrote is below.
The Incapacitated Claim
While Genevieve lost, Mary told me she still had over $1 million left after the settlement. She went ahead with her life until 2009, speaking rarely to her sons.
That all remained until on October 30, 2009, a petition was filed with the Chester County Orphans Court by her two sons to have Genevieve declared incapacitated.
“Now comes Joseph Bush and Michael Bush, sons of the alleged incapacitated person, Genevieve Bush, through their attorney, Alex Chotkowski,” their petition stated, “and hereby Petition this Honorable Court for the Declaration of Incapacitation and the Appointment of an Emergency Guardian for Genevieve Bush and an injunction.”
An incapacitated person “means that you are not able to receive and evaluate information and communicate decisions and that you are unable to manage your money and/or property, or to make necessary decisions about where you will live, what medical care you will get, or how your money will be spent,” they stated in the petition.
Chotkowski still practices law and continues to represent Joseph and Michael today but he did not respond to an email for comment.
When someone is accused of being incapacitated, their case goes to probate court as a guardianship or sometimes called conservatorship.
This is a civil, not criminal court, where the protections of a criminal court for an accused often don’t apply.
Chotkowski described the reasons needed for the declaration in the petition.
“Petitioners believe that guardians should be appointed for the alleged incapacitated person because the alleged incapacitated person cannot manage her financial and cannot care for herself without the assistance of skilled caregivers. The physical condition of the alleged incapacitated person is that she is in poor physical condition due to her advanced age.
The matter wound up in front of Judge Katherine Platt.
On June 24, 2011, Platt made her decision.
“The nature of the condition or disability which impairs Respondent’s (Genevieve Bush) capacity to make and communicate decisions is cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s.” Platt stated in ruling her incapacitated. “The extent of Respondent’s capacity to make and communicate decisions is severely impaired.”
But Mary Bush told me the hearing was a farce, Platt made the decision without giving Genevieve Bush any chance to be heard, “Mom never had a single day in court and Judge Platt never met or saw my mother”, Mary told me.
Furthermore, no one had claimed Genevieve ever had Alzheimer’s or claimed she had Alzheimer’s since 2006, even though no such evidence was introduced.
“The duration of such guardianship shall be permanent.” Platt stated, nonetheless in her decision.
Judge Platt did not return a voicemail at her chambers and a subsequent email to Stacey Witalec, the press contact for the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, was also not returned.
Judge Platt remains on the case today.
The Uneasy Set-Up
Initially, there was an uneasy dynamic created. Mary shared guardianship with her brothers. Judge Platt ordered Joseph to be guardian of the estate, while Michael and Mary were made guardian of the person.
Genevieve initially lived at her home.
It was a troubled dynamic that continued to be abusive to Genevieve, particularly when her sons petitioned the court for another evaluation.
“AND NOW, this 12th day of February 2013, upon the Motion to Compel an evaluation of Mrs. Genevieve Bush IP., by Movants Michael and Joseph Bush, it is hereby ordered,” Judge Platt’s order stated.
They did this even though another court appointed evaluator submitted their report on October 21, 2011.
“Dr. Sarah Stookey, court appointed psychologist concluded her evaluation of Genevieve Bush that she became very agitated around Michael and said to her ‘wants none of that’ when reminded of her session with Michael.
Judge Platt ignored the report from her own court appointed doctor.” Mary stated
This created all sorts of drama, particularly in arranging for this evaluation.
George Zumbano represented Genevieve during this period, and he sent a letter to Judge Platt stating.
“I write to Mr. Chotkowski’s letter to you. First and foremost, this whole most unfortunate disagreement arises because Mr. Chotkowski failed, contrary to your direction, to circulate the Order to counsel prior to submitting it to Your Honor for signature.
“Be that as it may, let me simply address two brief issues. As to the 10:30AM time frame, we will do our best with Mrs. Bush. My understanding was that she couldn’t be dressed, fed, etc. under her normal routine before 11AM.”
Zumbano continues practicing law but he did not respond to an email at his work email.
The initial evaluation turned into a nightmare, according to an email from Mary’s then lawyer, Clifford Cohn to Chotkowski from February 13, 2013.
“Apparently a caregiver had to leave at 9AM. I understand the doctor did not feel comfortable interviewing Mrs. Bush without someone else being present. As nobody else meeting the criteria as set forth in the order had been obtained to stay with Mrs. Bush, she apparently left without doing the interview. I suggest we reschedule as soon as possible.”
Cohn did not respond to a message at his office.
At around this time, Mary was removed as guardian of the person by Judge Platt, and she was replaced by Elizabeth Srinivasan in 2013.
Srinivasan is an attorney who sometimes acts as a professional guardian; she did not respond to a message at her office.
In 2015, the Chester County Pennsylvania Department of Aging stepped in, Mary told me.
“My mom was punched in her abdomen, (and the) department of aging removed her,” she told me.
As a result, Judge Platt removed everyone from the guardianship matter and replaced them with Carol J Hershey, who is also a professional guardian.
Carol Hershey and the Vicious Cycle
Things have only gone from bad to worse for Mary, she told me. Her mother is now in a home, where Mary provided PA Health Department citation evidence, she is not receiving proper care.
“Based on a review of the facility abuse policy, clinical records, and staff interviews, it was determined that the facility failed to fully investigate allegations of abuse to a resident,” according to a report about one facility Genevieve stayed at.
Mary also provided photos where her mom also appears isolated and mistreated.
Hershey, “tried to charge me with trespassing, always maligned me, restricted visits,” Mary said, of the things Hershey has done.
She said Hershey ordered that each visit be supervised and charge from $400-500 for a once a week visit.
Bush remains undaunted.
On November 1, 2018, Judge Platt denied one of Mary’s motions; this, among other things, asked for Hershey to be removed.
On November 2, 2018, Judge Platt disregarding a higher courts order gave guardianship of the person back to Michael Bush who did not file a petition, thus ignoring Mary again. The Pennsylvania Superior Courts Order No. 3207 EDA 2015 dated February 21, 2017 (permanently removed Michael Bush as a Co-guardian or Plenary Guardian of Genevieve Bush.)
February 21, 2017, higher courts decision states on page 8; "The record supports the trial court’s findings and conclusion that Michael’s appointment, as either sole or co-guardian of the person, would not fulfill Mrs. Bush’s best interests. See 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5521 (duty of guardian of the person to pursue an incapacitated person’s best interest). Michael’s actions have ignored Mrs. Bush’s best interests." “he has been passive about her medical care, physical therapy and encouraging her social life.”
On May 7, 2019, she sent Judge Platt what she referred to as a Memorandum of Understanding.
“Let this be our Memorandum of Understanding, with all parties copied on the above-referenced issue; that according to statements made by Terri Clark the Chester County Register of Wills/Clerks of the Orphan’s Courts on May 6, 2019, to me Mary Bush, that you have given an Oral Order to the Clerk of the Orphan’s Court, not to allow me access to any of the Guardianship Reports from 2015 to the present times that contains substantive issues.
“As you know I have been a party to this matter of my natural mother Genevieve Bush since the onset of this matter starting in 2009 to the present." Carol J. Hershey (professional for-profit guardian) “tried to charge Mary Bush (daughter) with trespassing, always maligned Mary Bush, restricted Mary Bush's visits,” this is just some, of the things Carol Hershey has done.
Mary Bush said Hershey ordered that each visit be supervised and charge from $400-500 for a once a week visit.
Mary Bush remains undaunted and willing to protect her mother to the best of her ability.
Written By: Michael Volpe
Full Article & Source:
The State of Pennsylvania "Cash for the Elderly" is MURDERING the elderly for the profit of Judges "friends"