Archive for the ‘Pro Se’ Category

No Right to Life: The Fight for Gary Harvey to be Reunited With His Wife, Sara

February 15, 2012

Where do you turn when you become disabled, vulnerable, or old and become unlawfully a victim of the system?

There are no kind words for the injustice that Chemung County New York has visited upon Gary Harvey and his wife Sara.

Gary Harvey a veteran who served his country and fought for our freedom is being denied his. Until January 2006, Gary was leading a normal life.

Although Gary Harvey is still a living person, he has not been treated as such since 2006 when he fell down a flight of stairs and sustained traumatic brain injury. Sometime later, his prognosis worsened into a vegetative condition, but this would only be the beginning of his nightmare.

St. Joseph Hospital billed Sara’s private insurance nine hundred and thirty two thousand ($932,000) last year, out of those submitted claims eight hundred ($800.00) were for therapy.

Sar reported the 15 episodes of sepsis in a 2 year time frame to NYSDOH. Neither St. Joseph hospital, nor Chemung County nursing facility has reported this per public health law 2819. Bed sores, and a dislocated hip that Sara recently learned about but was never informed of.

Sara has no say in the matter; the county uses HIPAA as their shield for protection.

She reports it to Gary’s court appointed attorney Kevin Moshier from MHLS and unbelievable his trail goes back to Chemung County Law Department via. Davidson & O’Mara he wrote to her “Some of your concerns might well merit your advocacy, but not necessarily mine”.

Gary Harvey has been institutionalized for more than 5 years and isolated from the love and compassion of his wife.

Gary deserves the love and companionship of his wife, the comfort of his home and friends. Not only is it inhumane to continually deny him quality care, treatment and testing but cruel to continue restricting his wife’s visits.

The crime against disabled, vulnerable and elders is growing.

Gary Harvey remains today in the hands of his abusers, the very same people who tried to end his life.

Sara is now representing herself in Federal court, if you know of someone that can assist her in the Federal Court Judicial Office please contacte therighttolife@activist.com
Full Article and Source:
No Right to Life; The Fight for Gary Harvey to be Reunited With His Wife, Sara

See Also:
HelpBringGaryHome

BoomersBewareOfGuardianshipAbuse

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Jane Branson Files Suit on Behalf of Her Mother

November 22, 2011

A Hillsboro woman is suing her brother, her mother’s lawyer, Highland County Probate Judge Kevin Greer, and even Ohio Gov. John Kasich over issues involving the legal guardianship of her mother.

Jane Branson filed the suit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for southern Ohio. Representing herself, Branson claims in her suit that her mother, Mollie Florkey, should be released from a nursing home in which she was placed, and also claims she has been denied proper access to Ohio’s courts.

But records show she has long been involved in court in regard to a disagreement among her siblings over the guardianship and care of her mother. Records show that in 2002, Molly Florkey filed both a Living Will and a durable power of attorney form expressing her desire that her son, James Malott, be designated her guardian should she become incapacitated.

Those documents also reflect her desire to have another daughter, Helen Olberg, designated her guardian in the event her son was unable or unwilling to perform the duties.

In 2007, Malott and Branson both filed documents in court seeking to be named guardian of their mother. Greer, guided by Florkey’s living will and power of attorney forms, ruled in favor of Malott’s petition.

Since then, Branson has attempted to overturn Greer’s decision, as well as asking Greer to remove himself from the case, which he refused to do. She has also petitioned the Ohio Supreme Court several times to have Greer removed from the case. The court has turned down her request each time, most recently admonishing her not to file any additional requests on that subject.

In her suit, Branson claims she has been denied the ability to exhaust her access to the courts, and demands that her mother “be released (from a nursing home) and restored of her liberty, and, for all just and proper relief deemed appropriate by this court and under the facts and circumstances presented.”

Greer declined to discuss the merits of the case, but did say it was the first time in a 31-year career he had been sued.

Also named in the suit is Hillsboro attorney J.D. Wagoner, who is Florkey’s attorney. Wagoner said he was unable to comment at this time, and Malott’s attorney, William Peele of Wilmington, did not return a request for comment.

Full Article and Source:
Hillsboro Woman Sues Her Brother, Judge Greer Over Mother’s Situation

Note: Jane Branson is a member of NASGA

Jane Branson Files Federal Complaint

November 22, 2011

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

Holly Peffer Argues Her Own Case For Her Mother’s Return

October 20, 2010

The matter at hand stems from a battle over who should be guardian of Rita Denmark.

Holly Peffer presented exhibits and arguments, at a hearing in the McKean County Court House small court room Friday [10/8/10], and pleaded for a ruling that would get her mother, Rita Denmark, out of a Florida nursing home and back to Bradford to live, in effect ending her brother’s guardianship over their mother.

Attorney Ronald Langella, appearing for his client Etta Getty (who did not attend), lodged a continuing objection to most of what Peffer was presenting to the extent it relied on facts not presented before White’s eqarlier ruling, and later declared that the judge lacks the authority to confer with a Florida judge concerning a procedural puzzle at the heart of the case. Getty is a Florida guardian appointed by a Florida court.

For his part, Senior Visiting Judge H. William White listened closely, patiently allowed for the difficulties faced by a party proceeding pro se (serving as her own attorney). His interest in the case and the legal issues it raises was evident throughout the hearing.

The judge said he would examine the items being presented for consideration, and would take into consideration those that he properly could, so as to decide “whether I was wrong.”

At one point White mused about some the murky points considering how a court in Florida had come to accept jurisdiction and why it had handled things as it did. He suggested that it would be practical for the judges to communicate, “me picking up the phone and conferring with the Florida judge.”

Peffer’s pleadings have argued that fraud was committed in order to get the matter out of McKean County and under the jurisdiction of a Florida Court; that because there had been a guardianship action commenced in McKean County, the Florida Court should not have agreed to hear a petition for guardianship in Florida. Besides, Peffer said, the Florida court assumed or was told Mrs. Denmark was domiciled there, when instead she had been taken there in a ploy to derail the McKean County guardianship petition.

Peffer also had harsh words for Bradford attorney Mark Hollenbeck, claiming he had been engaged to represent her mother’s interests but had worked against those interests.

Judge White stated that it is a very serious thing to suggest that an attorney has failed to carry out his duty toward his client, because “the courts, our system, we depend on being able to know that attorneys represent their clients faithfully.”

Full Article and Source:
Martha Knight, ERA Correspondent: Peffer Argues Own Case for Mother’s Return

Peffer Case Summary

October 20, 2010

In the summer of 2007 Rita Denmark, a widow living with one of her Bradford daughters, was a fit 76-year-old who walked miles every day. She had cross-country skied in the winter. Her memory was not what it used to be, so she had given another local daughter, Holly Peffer, durable power of attorney responsibility, and Peffer managed her finances and bills in consultation with her mom.

An Office of Aging social worker recommended that a guardianship be arranged. The Orphan’s Court of the McKean County court system would be the court to grant that.

Accordingly Peffer set about getting guardianship in place by filing the appropriate petition in Orphan’s Court.

Even as the procedure was getting underway, two other adult children stepped in. The other Bradford daughter with whom she had been living took Mrs. Denmark to Florida to visit her son.

Early in that visit Mrs. Denmark was taken to see an attorney who had been lined up by the son she was visiting. She signed an affidavit which indicated that she had moved to Florida.

In more recent actions in McKean County Orphan’s Court, Peffer has maintained that Mrs. Denmark was tricked into her part in the proceedings, and had no intention of moving to Florida—only meaning to visit a son she had had little recent contact with. Peffer is convinced her mother was tricked into saying she was a Florida resident.

She considers the guardianship proceedings in Florida to have been based on a fraud on the court there, and the representations in McKean County Orphan’s Court to have been fraudulent as well, all intended to support the contention that the Florida court had jurisdiction in the matter.

Peffer says jurisdiction should have remained in McKean County, and the decision of the Florida court should be declared a nullity or should be overturned somehow.

As for Mrs. Denmark, she has been appointed a “professional guardian” who has worked with the two Florida attorneys. They placed Mrs. Denmark in an assisted living facility (or possibly a nursing home). Also, the attorneys and guardian got court approval of a no contact/no visitation order which keeps Peffer from having access to her mother.

“My mother is being criminally confined behind the locked and secured doors of a Florida elder care facility,” Peffer wrote to U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton, based in Pittsburgh, in September. “She is being held against her will and she wishes to return home to Pennsylvania. There is substantial, clear and convincing evidence that my mother is a lifelong domiciliary and resident of Pennsylvania.”

The Florida guardian, Jetta Getty, assisted by others, came to Bradford and took custody of Mrs. Denmark’s valuables, antiques, car and jewels. Previously they had obtained Peffer’s assistance in packing up some of the items, and transferring over $240,000 in Mrs. Denmark’s funds from Hamlin Bank to a Florida bank.

Peffer says she cooperated with Getty because Getty told her this would be the most efficient way to get things in order so that Mrs. Denmark could some home.

Was there fraud upon either or both courts? How could that be determined? Peffer, representing herself, maintained that there was fraud, and offered case law to support such a conclusion.

Peffer’s hopes for her mother’s return are pinned to the judge’s decision. But there are others interested in the outcome as well: activists who are seeking changes in how guardianship of adults is handled, across the United States.

Full Article and Source:
Martha Knight, ERA Correspondent: Guardianship of Adults Can be Tricky and Contentious, Local Family Fights

NASGA Members Support Holly Peffer at Hearing

October 20, 2010

Among those who attended last Friday’s hearing in McKean County Orphan’s Court, and paid close attention to what Senior Visiting Judge H. William White said and did, were several members of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse (NASGA).

Although they did not participate in the hearing, they did sit in the small court room where it was held, and handed out large pin-back buttons to anyone who wanted one. During a break in proceedings they huddled with the litigant who was present, Holly Peffer, who is seeking to have a Florida guardianship over her mother, Rita Denmark, dissolved, and the elderly widow returned to Bradford where she had lived nearly all her life.

On their website and in their literature, NASGA describes sequences of events and procedures used to gain total control over the wards placed in the care of guardians, and includes unethical attorneys and corrupt judges among the players in a system gone awry, as they see things.

Full Article and Source:
Guardianship Abuse Group Following Rita Denmark Case

Help Bring Rita Denmark Home

September 27, 2010

Pennsylvania member Holly Peffer is involved in a pivotal hearing on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 2:30 P.M. at the McKean County Pennsylvania Orphan’s Court.

NASGA asks for your support on behalf of Holly and her Mother, Rita Denmark. The State of Florida is currently holding Rita captive in an abusive guardianship and won’t let her come home to Bradford, PA.

She is not a criminal. She has done nothing wrong. But, for over three long, miserable years, she has languished in a Florida nursing home, completely isolated from her family and friends, while her daughter, Holly, has battled the legal system for Rita’s freedom. Florida doesn’t want to let Rita go. But, Rita’s not a resident of Florida. She’s just caught up in the system and red tape. It’s up to the State of Pennsylvania to bring Rita home.

The October 8th hearing is critical.

Please show your support for Rita Denmark and her right to come home and happily live her life with her loving family and friends instead of dying prematurely, alone and afraid in a stark and cold institution, held captive against her will.

You can make a difference! Please show up for the hearing and help send the message that it’s not only time for Rita Denmark to come home, it’s her right as an American citizen.

After the hearing, a reception will be held at Holly’s home. Everyone is welcome!

Please contact Holly Peffer (hlpeffer@yahoo.com) for directions and more information.
——————————————————————————–
McKean County Court House
500 West Main
East Smethport, PA

Friday, October 8 · 2:30pm – 4:30pm
——————————————————————————–

See:
Congressman Joe Sestak’s Letter Supporting NASGA Member Holly Peffer

Grandparents Lose Guardianship

April 23, 2009
When the Department of Children’s Services took Alena from her mother for neglect, her grandparents jumped in. John and Cindy Moffit took her from DCS custody at 8 months, put her in her own carefully decorated room and loved her.

“Then the circus began,” said John Moffit.

Alena’s mother sued to regain custody, as did a woman named Terri Rivera. Rivera isn’t a blood relative but claimed to have taken care of Alena before the Moffits stepped in.

Rivera had been arrested in 1999 for hiring a hit man to kill her then-husband for $500. When the hit man didn’t follow through, Rivera confessed to putting black widow spiders in her husband’s bed. She was charged with attempted murder for the spiders. She pleaded down to aggravated assault and solicitation to commit murder and was put on 12 years probation, which was violated in 2003 for marijuana.

The Moffits figured this was a simple case and decided to represent themselves. Surely, they thought, the court would not give Alena to a non-blood relative with such a criminal record.

So the Moffits representing themselves made a critical legal mistake in their pleadings. Opposing attorneys demanded they be removed from the case. Forced by law, the judge dismissed the Moffits’ attempt to win permanent guardianship.

The judge was left to rule between the DCS-judged unfit mother and Rivera. The grandparents had no rights and no case.

Rivera won permanent guardianship.

Full Article and Source:
Grandparents Fight To Regain Custody Of Child – 2-Year-Old Given To Woman Charged With Attempted Murder

>Grandparents Lose Guardianship

April 23, 2009

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When the Department of Children’s Services took Alena from her mother for neglect, her grandparents jumped in. John and Cindy Moffit took her from DCS custody at 8 months, put her in her own carefully decorated room and loved her.

“Then the circus began,” said John Moffit.

Alena’s mother sued to regain custody, as did a woman named Terri Rivera. Rivera isn’t a blood relative but claimed to have taken care of Alena before the Moffits stepped in.

Rivera had been arrested in 1999 for hiring a hit man to kill her then-husband for $500. When the hit man didn’t follow through, Rivera confessed to putting black widow spiders in her husband’s bed. She was charged with attempted murder for the spiders. She pleaded down to aggravated assault and solicitation to commit murder and was put on 12 years probation, which was violated in 2003 for marijuana.

The Moffits figured this was a simple case and decided to represent themselves. Surely, they thought, the court would not give Alena to a non-blood relative with such a criminal record.

So the Moffits representing themselves made a critical legal mistake in their pleadings. Opposing attorneys demanded they be removed from the case. Forced by law, the judge dismissed the Moffits’ attempt to win permanent guardianship.

The judge was left to rule between the DCS-judged unfit mother and Rivera. The grandparents had no rights and no case.

Rivera won permanent guardianship.

Full Article and Source:
Grandparents Fight To Regain Custody Of Child – 2-Year-Old Given To Woman Charged With Attempted Murder

Denied Access to Probate Court

December 3, 2008
A retiring judge testified against the county’s current probate judge during a hearing before the state Judicial Merit Selection Commission.

The commission was conducting the first-day screening for the fall 2008 judicial candidates to fill “Seat 1” on the 1st Judicial Circuit held by retiring Judge James Williams.

Williams told commissioners Judge Pandora Jones-Glover abused her authority as judge by denying a citizen the due process of the law.

Williams said that he helped a mother negotiate a settlement for her minor son injured in an automobile accident. The mother was appointed as guardian ad litem or legal guardian to speak for the son. Williams said as far as he was concerned the matter was settled and referred the mother, who did not have an attorney, to the probate court to supervise the conservatorship for the minor.

Williams: “It was not long before … the court would not even let her file to be appointed as a conservator for her son,” also noting the probate office allegedly informed the mother she needed a lawyer to be appointed as a conservator.

“I did not think that was right … denying her access to the probate court, I think this is an example of an attitude where the authority of the probate judge was misused. It resulted in a citizen of the state being absolutely denied the benefit of the legal system.”

Full Article and Source:
Retiring judge testifies against probate judge

See also:
Eight local lawyers contend for 1st Judicial Circuit seat