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Vanderbilt Fan
Member since Jun 2015
1552 posts

How the elderly lose their rights


Without realizing it, the Norths had become temporary wards of the court. Parks had filed an emergency ex-parte petition, which provides an exception to the rule that both parties must be notified of any argument before a judge. She had alleged that the Norths posed a “substantial risk for mismanagement of medications, financial loss and physical harm.” She submitted a brief letter from a physician’s assistant, whom Rennie had seen once, stating that “the patient’s husband can no longer effectively take care of the patient at home as his dementia is progressing.”

She also submitted a letter from one of Rudy’s doctors, who described him as “confused and agitated.” Rudy and Rennie had not undergone any cognitive assessments. They had never received a diagnosis of dementia. In addition to Freud, Rudy was working his way through Nietzsche and Plato. Rennie read romance novels. Parks told the Norths that if they didn’t come willingly an ambulance would take them to the facility, a place she described as a “respite.”

Still crying, Rennie put cosmetics and some clothes into a suitcase. She packed so quickly that she forgot her cell phone and Rudy’s hearing aid. After thirty-five minutes, Parks’s assistant led the Norths to her car. When a neighbor asked what was happening, Rudy told him, “We’ll just be gone for a little bit.” He was too proud to draw attention to their predicament. “Just think of it as a mini-vacation,” he told Rennie.


One of Shafer’s former bookkeepers, Lisa Clifton, who was hired in 2012, told me that Shafer used to brag about his political connections, saying, “I wrote the laws.” In 1995, he persuaded the Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs to write a bill that allowed the county to receive interest on money that the public guardian invested. “This is what I want you to put in the statute, and I will tell you that you will get a rousing hand from a couple of judges who practice our probate,” he said. At another hearing, he asked the committee to write an amendment permitting public guardians to take control of people’s property in five days, without a court order. “This bill is not ‘Big Brother’ if you trust the person who is doing the job,” he said. (After a senator expressed concern that the law allowed “intervention into somebody’s life without establishing some sort of reason why you are doing it,” the committee declined to recommend it.)

Roll Tide Ravens
Alabama Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Nov 2015
3534 posts

re: How the elderly lose their rights
I never realized how much a state could corrupt the guardian ad litem system. The GAL's purpose is to actually verify that the person can longer care for themselves and ensure that their rights are not unjustly violated. However, in this case, they did the unjust violating.
This post was edited on 10/5 at 10:38 am

Panama City FL via LaPlace LA
Member since May 2008
3746 posts

re: How the elderly lose their rights

I never realized how much a state could corrupt the guardian ad litem system.
It happens everywhere. Our family dealt with a corrupt GAL in a custody case in Ohio. He bought the father's claims hook, line, and sinker. He totally ignored every piece of evidence we presented and sided with the father. His word was law to his buddy, the magistrate...what he recommended was what the magistrate ordered.

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The General
Bossier City
Member since Nov 2003
408 posts

re: How the elderly lose their rights
That article is extremely disturbing. I never practiced law in that area but damn, I assumed there be a lot more checks & balances.

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