FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: JUNE 16, 2012
DAUGHTER JOINS ADA LAWSUIT
Hillsboro OH: According to the U.S. Supreme Court, as most of us known and believe, “[I]n our society liberty is the norm.”
Life-long area resident Mollie Florkey once worked as “Rosie-the-Riveter” at the Middletown Ohio Aeronca Aircraft factory during WWII. She likewise had four young children at home, and a husband. Mollie made her contributions in support of liberty when the stakes for the world were critical.
Yet as reported just this past week – “Magistrate advises dismissal of Hillsboro woman’s Suit against Greer, others” (5/31/2012) – and liberty takes one on the chin because for Mollie Florkey, according to her federal lawsuit – being discriminated against because of her disability is her norm … a norm that apparently this Federal Judge would accept being visited upon herself, were she herself a qualified individual with a disability.
According to Tim Lahrman, Executive Director – National Association for the Advancement of Disabled Americans [NAADA] – “[T]hese guardians and judges have this all wrong in these ADA/guardianship lawsuits. The media even misses the point and excludes the “real party of interest” when identifying and reporting on these cases. This is a common and easy mistake to make, but Jane Branson did not file this lawsuit, these are not Branson’s claims as you report – these are the claims of Mollie Florkey, this is Mollie Florkey’s lawsuit, and she sued because she is being discriminated against, excluded from court, excluded from access to a review and appeal process all the while isolated in her own Guantanamo Bay, isolated and derived her fundamental liberty interests in her right to assemble and associate with her own daughter, and vis-a-versa.” Lahrman asked, “[I]s this the norm we are willing to accept? I thought the days of isolating the disabled were over?”
Jane Branson, daughter of Mollie Florkey, recently filed her motion to join in the ADA lawsuit as a “party plaintiff”. She says, “the rule is rather permissive and I am confident that I will be able to join and bring what are my own claims.” Attached to Branson’s motion to join is her own lawsuit wherein she complains, among other things, that – “[T]he appointed guardian has, without cause, reason, an appropriately specific court order and/or sanction of court approval, denied and deprived Branson and her mother their First Amendment right to freely associate, freely assemble and do so in the privacy of their personal choosing, and, do so as is their Fourteenth Amendment right to commune in unity as family and as mother and daughter.”
Attached to Branson complaint is a letter/exhibit which, written by the appointed guardian dated June 9, 2010, states:
“… that Carol Jane Branson is not to visit, talk or physically examine M.F. until further notice from me, this instruction applies to any and all individuals to include relatives, and Church associates of Carol Jane Branson who she instructs, pays, and/or talks into visiting,seeing, or meeting with M.F. this instruction of
course does not apply to legal counsel for M.F. appointed by highland probate court.”
Branson complains that the appointed guardian “dictates” and “conducts himself as the bully he is, while holding himself out as the appointed guardian and likewise a member of local law enforcement, handing out his FBI business card to flaunt his ego and authority.” She says, for this interview that the very idea of her “paying” someone to visit her mother is just absurd and the fact that her brother would even make such a claim shows just how absurd this whole matter is. Branson says, because of her brother who is simply drunk on his ego and history of sibling bullying, she has not seen her mother freely for four years now … “and there is no court order which says I cannot see my mom, that’s why I joined the lawsuit”, Branson said, “to stop the retaliation, intimidation and unlawful interference with my efforts to try and help my mom.”
Lahrman added, “[I]t’s going to be interesting to see how these issues play out in the Courts – it’s hard to believe that a judge who discriminates from the bench can claim to be performing a judicial act when, in light of both Tennessee v. Lane which held that there is no immunity whatsoever for disability discrimination in violation of Title II of the ADA and the Daniel Gross case pending in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, this question of “immunity” as a defense may not be as rock solid as this guardian and judge may seem to believe.”
In the end Branson reminds us – “[T]his is about my mother, about her quality of life as she ages. What is so hard about being kind and congenial to an aging parent that my brother has to always be a bully and in charge, even when he is not in charge. And it’s nice to know that Judge Greer is concerned about “paying for a visiting judge” and doing his job, well, how about he do his job and protect my mother from being wrongfully isolated against her will and in a nursing home at taxpayer expense – as opposed to being cared for and loved in a home with family. Yep, isolate, medicate and raid the estate, and my mom is just one of the many. How sad, but we see this going on all over the country at NASGA where I am a member.”
NASGA: Mollie Florkey, Ohio Victim