Archive for October, 2011

Matthew Keenan’s Fight for Freedom Cost Him $120,766

October 31, 2011

Matthew Keenan, the man who fought for independence from his conservator after recovering from a coma, has been ordered to pay a portion of Colorado State Bank and Trust’s court costs.

But the $120,766 awarded to the bank is less than half of what it spent in a four-year legal battle with Keenan.

The bank had sought more than $300,000 to recoup the costs of contesting Keenan’s petition for independence, costs of an appeal, costs of litigating issues remanded by a Colorado appeals court and interest on its unpaid bills.

In February, the appeals court ruled the bank had reasonably contested Keenan’s efforts to terminate its services as his conservator but left open the question of whether the bank could collect $217,466 in legal fees and costs. That issue was remanded to the Boulder district court.

In Boulder, the bank also requested $40,457 for appeal costs, $20,585 for litigating the remanded issue and $30,928 in interest.

Boulder District Court Judge Thom as Mulvahill ruled Oct. 21 that the bank “employed reasonable litigation tactics” because Keenan “was effectively challenging every transaction and expenditure involving the conservatorship” besides petitioning for independence.

But the judge rejected the bank’s requests for interest and payment and reduced the payment on its fees.

In doing so, the judge found that Keenan should not have to pay for the bank’s “protracted and expensive handling” of his requests for a new manual wheelchair and portable wheelchair charger.

Mulvahill also deducted a portion of the bank’s expenses, ruling that the bank “is in a relatively better financial position to bear the attorney fees and costs resulting from the litigation than is Keenan.”

Full Article and Source:
Recovered Patient’s Tab to Break With Conservator $120,766

See Also:
Probate Loss Might Change Colorado Law

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Need to Know: ‘Lives on Hold’

October 31, 2011

The pentagon estimates that one in five American soldiers will return from battle with a traumatic brain injury. Need to Know checks in on three families that have had to deal with the effects of TBI.

Watch the Video: Need to Know – ‘Lives on Hold’

State of CA Says 1,000 Care Facilities Match Sex Offender Addresses

October 30, 2011

The addresses for more than 1,000 state-licensed care facilities for vulnerable people in California matched addresses on the state sex offender registry, according to a newly released audit.

State Auditor Elaine M. Howle said the California Department of Social Services failed to check the sex offender registry even after her office advised it to do so in 2008.

The facilities matching the registry of sex offenders included foster homes, group homes and day-care facilities for children, as well as facilities for adults with special needs and the elderly.

The auditor informed state regulators of the 1,000 sex offender hits in July. Investigations are now complete and the state said eight licenses have been revoked or suspended and regulators issued 31 orders barring individuals from licensed facilities.

The audit was ordered earlier this year at the request of state Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno). The audit was also intended to compile data on deaths of children who were under the oversight of child protective services.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors balked at subpoenas for information and hired outside lawyers to fight the inquiry. The auditor’s office has vowed to continue to press the county for records and to issue a second report in the coming months.

Full Article and Source:
State Says 1,000 Care Facilities Match Sex Offender Addresses

Elder Care Advocates Must Tell Congress to Protect Long-Term Care Programs for Seniors

October 30, 2011

[T]he Consumer Voice released an “Action Alert” this week calling on all advocate to send a message to Congress so that they do not cut important programs for seniors. As many readers know, the “Super Committee” made up of a group of Congress members are currently meeting to discuss ways to trim the federal deficit. Many different proposals have been brought forward upon which the committee may act, usually involving a combination of tax increases, loophole closures, and spending reductions. Clearly, some changes need to be made by lawmakers to ensure long-term national financial stability. Yet, it is important that those changes not result in cuts to programs upon which seniors depend. If that happens, the “cut” may actually be counterproductive, because it will result in more social, financial, and medical problems for the seniors—ultimately costing taxpayers more money to treat.

The Super Committee has been charged with coming forward with a deficit reduction plan by November 23rd. They must essentially cut $1.5 trillion, and so a wide range of essential program that seniors depend on are at risk. All senior advocacy groups are urging seniors and their loved ones to take time to contact members of this committee and urge them to take fair and reasonable steps to reduce the deficit that does not place the lives of our most vulnerable community at risk. There are many ways in which advocates can make their voices heard. The Consumer Voice has an online letter than can be signed urging the Super Committee not to force seniors and the disabled for carrying an unfair share of the deficit burden. In addition, everyone can contact these members on their own via postal mail, email, fax, or phone call. It is particularly important for those people who live in the districts of Super Committee members to take the time to contact their representative and urge fairness in the process.

Full Article and Source:
Elder Care Advocates Must Tell Congress to Protect Long-Term Care Programs for Seniors

Gov. Chris Christie: Elitist Judges Must be Stopped

October 30, 2011

State Superior Court Assignment Judge Linda Feinberg set off a furor last week when she ruled that increases in the cost of pensions and health care benefits for judges and justices were, in effect, pay cuts that are forbidden by the state Constitution.

Although [Governor Chris Christie] appealed the decision Tuesday, he is intent on seeking a constitutional amendment to bypass it.

As for Feinberg ruling in favor of the justices, [Mount Laurel Mayor Jim]Keenan dismissed the notion that Christie was “politicizing the judiciary.””It is simply common sense and fairness,” he said.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver went on record last week opposing the constitutional amendment, which would require legislative approval before being put before voters.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he would wait for the case to make its way through the courts before deciding what to do.

Full Article and Source:
Gov. Chris Christie: Elitist Judges Must be Stopped

Tommy Thompson: Guilt-Ridden Children Are Spending Too Much On Grandma’s Health

October 29, 2011

Former Wisconsin governor and US health secretary Tommy Thompson offered up an intense psychoanalytic take on the thorny issue of end-of-life care this week, saying that “guilty” children who ignore their elders then overcompensate at their deathbed are responsible for spiraling costs.

“What happens? Mother or father or grandpa and grandma, you’ve been away, you haven’t done very much. Children come home, mother or father’s on their deathbed, they feel guilty because they haven’t being paying attention to mother or father,” Thompson said at a luncheon in Madison. He continued: “Let’s face it. So they say ‘let’s do everything we can for mother or father. Don’t spare the costs.’ I’m not talking about denying anybody anything. I’m just saying let’s let mother and father have their wishes. They may not want to be on a respirator the last six months of their life.”

According to Wisconsin Radio Network, Thompson, who is expected to run for Senate in Wisconsin, “said people need to have durable power of attorney to ensure their wishes are known, and he also said the nation’s medical schools need to start talking about death.”

Full Article and Source:
Tommy Thompson: Guilt-Ridden Children Are Spending Too Much On Grandma’s Health

91-Year-Old Who Can’t Stand Unable to Get Voter ID in TN

October 29, 2011

If you’re trying to avoid being disenfranchised by your state’s voter ID law, it’s usually a good idea to avoid being a minority, a college student or poor. As it turns out you also probably shouldn’t be 91-years-old and have trouble standing for a long period of time.

Tennessee resident Virginia Lasater found out the hard way after she was unable to get the photo ID required to vote in her state because she wasn’t able to stand in a long line at a DMV:

Lasater told The Daily News Journal that she has voted and worked in campaigns for 70 years. She recently moved to Murfreesboro and on Wednesday registered to vote at the local election commission.

A new law requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls. Since Lasater doesn’t have a photo on her driver’s license, she went to get one. But the testing center was packed and there were no chairs available.

Her son says a clerk told them there was nothing they could do.

Since Tennessee isn’t covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, there’s not much the Justice Department can do about the law until after the 2012 elections.

Full Article and Source:
91-Year-Old Who Can’t Stand Unable to Get Voter ID in Tennessee

Probate Sharks: Watch This Case Very Carefully

October 28, 2011

Editor’s note:

Heard in the shark tank: This case in U.S. Federal Court, while not very great monetarily, is important for its content. Apparently, the Chicago FEDS are now moving against the fraudulent Medicaid, Medicare and Probate Cartels. We sharks have our suspicions as to the identity of “Individual A and Agency A”. If our suspicions are true and correct, a turning point of monumental importance has been reached in the war against the Probate Court Terrorists.

United States of America vs. Jay Canastra

~Lucius Verenus, Schoolmaster, ProbateSharks.com

Source:
ProbateSharks

Press Release: NY Lawyer Comments on Unconscionable Abuse of Facilities in Brooklyn

October 28, 2011

Residents at the Garden of Eden Home in Brooklyn charge that they were abused mentally, emotionally, and financially by adult home administrators responsible for taking care of them.

In response to the allegations of the adult home abuse, legal action was filed against the New York State Department of Health (DOH), charging that the state Health Department failed to enforce the laws and regulations protecting adult homes residents from psychological abuse and financial exploitation.

“Thousands of individuals are abused each year in adult homes, nursing homes and other facilities responsible for their care,” said New York nursing home abuse lawyer David Perecman. “This is a tragedy that needs to be stopped and, in a number of cases, legal action appears to be the most effective way to send the message.”

According to Garden of Eden residents, head administrator Martin Amsel repeatedly bullied them into attending optional treatment meetings and would threaten them with eviction or unnecessary hospital visits if they didn’t do as he dictated. They said they were also bullied for complaining about conditions and requesting help with medical problems, reported by the New York Daily News.

Adult abuse and nursing home abuse lawyers in New York understand unsanitary living conditions at the facility were significant issues for complaint.

As reported by the Daily News, the DOH noted that residents at the Garden of Eden Home complained they were served stale and moldy food.

Financial abuse was another major issue of complaint.

One resident complained she was forced into a $1,000 contract for the use of air conditioning in her room.

In another incident, the home illegally deducted money from a resident’s monthly personal needs allowance, which residents receive to cover all expenses beyond room and board. These deductions are prohibited by law.

Incidents of adult home abuse and nursing home abuse often go unreported. Residents may be reluctant to complain for fear of retaliation or embarrassment, caretakers may cover up abuses, and family and friends of the abuse victim may be unaware of the warning signs of abuse, explained Perecman, a New York nursing home abuse lawyer with over 30 years of experience helping adult home abuse and nursing home neglect victims.

Full Article and Source:
New York Nursing Home Lawyer from The Perecman Firm Comments on the Unconscionable Abuse of Adult Home Residents in Brooklyn

Audits Show Alabama Conservator Zondra Hutto Mismanaged Ward’s Cases

October 27, 2011

A former Tuscaloosa County conservator has been ordered to reimburse more than $100,000 of unwarranted and undocumented expenditures she made from the accounts of 17 people.

As the county’s conservator, Zondra Hutto was responsible for the finances of elderly people who were unable to manage their affairs. Hutto resigned from her position after she pleaded guilty to a federal charge of not reporting the crimes of an employee.

Hutto’s law clerk, Brian Lunceford, has been accused of using credit cards belonging to one of Hutto’s wards to buy clothing, a designer purse, gas and a trip to Mexico. Hutto pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony because she knew about the charges Lunceford allegedly racked up. She is scheduled to begin a three-month federal prison sentence in January.

Since Hutto resigned as conservator for about 30 people in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court, the wards’ newly- appointed guardians have scrutinized the final accounting she submitted in the cases. They have found that Hutto overcharged their accounts and kept sloppy records.

Circuit Judge Brad Almond has presided over court hearings in many of the cases and has ordered Hutto to reimburse $110,008 of unwarranted and undocumented expenditures to 17 wards. She will likely owe more once the remaining cases go before Almond in November.

Full Article and Source:
Audits Show Conservator Mismanaged Ward’s Cases