Those under guardians get rights

  • Article by: JAMES ELI SHIFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2011 - 3:32 PM

The Legislature responded to cases of misconduct involving vulnerable people.

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erenoireMay. 24, 09 7:12 PM

NASGA is an organization of victims and families working to expose and end unlawful guardianships. We applaud this victory and thank the MN Legislators for their overwhelming support in protecting their vulnerable citizens. Reform comes a step at a time -- the first step is always the biggest. Thank you for taking a giant leap! For more information on unlawful and abusive guardianships, visit NASGA at www.StopGuardianAbuse.org & http://NASGA-StopGuardianAbuse.blogspot.com. Yours, Elaine Renoire NASGA

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missyhippaFeb. 11, 1011:43 AM

This does not even began to impact the problem at hand. I have worked as a social worker with vulnerable adults since 1985. I spent the majority of my career providing case management services but have also worked as an administrator for several group homes serving developmentally disabled adults. I am currently unemployed because I reported suspected abuse and/or neglect to the owner of the agency (I thought they were not aware of what was transpiring in the home as the majority of their time was spent in another facility, and this home was a separate entity). Unfortunately I believe they were fully aware of the situation and the only change they were going to make was to fire both myself and another coworker that also had reported the abuse/neglect. My coworker didn't report to the owner but the state of Minnesota itself. My mom lives in a nursing home and I question every day about how many staff witness abuse or neglect and don't report because of the consequences that may occur. How am I able to feel that my loved one is being treated with dignity and respect when I, program director of a group reports such violations, only to be thrown out in the street. I know the abuse continues as the ones that were guilty of the abuse continue to work at that home.

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lsringApr. 29, 1110:55 PM

Thank you for taking this critical step towards ending abuse and exploitation of your State's most vulnerable citizens. I hope every other State follow suit. We have been begging for reform for years and the stories we hear just continue to get worse as the abusers become more bold in exploitating estates and abusing these citizens who have been stripped of the right to fight back. Over 1200 people have signed a petition at www.endguardianshipabuse.org and across this nations victims and their loved ones are crying out for help and national reform. Thanks again and kudos to the State of Minnesota for taking action. Latifa Ring NOTEGA - National Elder Abuse and Guardianship Victims Taskforce

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azjayzJul. 16, 1112:00 AM

My elderly mother has become a "Prisoner of Probate" Since late 2007, she has been forced to pay nearly two million dollars in legal and administrative fees alone. The probate court refuses to enforce the probate rules that apply to accountings submitted to the court. my mom has a trustee, conservator and three attorneys who know of unlawful actions taken against her, but none of her representatives has taken a single step to seek justice on her behalf in the court. My mom is not informed of what is being done with her money, is not given a choice how her money is spent,is given less to live on than her employees, and will never see accountability for the unlawful acts that have harmed her. The Probate court has relaxed the rules to the point that the rules are completely ignored, and my mom is the only individual who is NOT protected from further harm. Thus far, her representatives treat her as if her life has no significance, but her money is always readily available to them when they need it. The Probate Court is a horrific place to spend the rest of your life- unfortunately, vulnerable adults are not given a choice once they are forced into a conservatorship or guardianship.

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azjayzJul. 16, 1111:58 AM

I forgot to mention that my elderly mom's case is in MINNESOTA. No restrictions, enforcement of laws/rules have been implemented in my moms conservatorship case; in fact, it has become increasingly WORSE. The Judge recently took an ex parte action between the court and only two attorneys (there are eleven other parties involved in the case)and the judge invited proposals from the two attorneys. No other parties were notified of the action, nor were they allowed their rights to be heard on the matter before the Judge issued an order; the order caused TWO ADDITIONAL appointments of "professionals" who will add their fees (likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range) to my mom's skyrocketing bills. The Judge's action is essentially forcing my mom to pay for services that do not benefit her, but will benefit the new appointees significantly. No one was aware that a probate Judge has the right to deny certain parties their right to due process, but according to moms attorneys, THIS probate Judge DOES have the right to deny most parties their right to be heard before the Judge issues an order/decision on the matter. Its like taking most of the parties and locking them in a closet, and not letting them out until AFTER the Judge makes a decision/issues an order...and the parties who were kept in the dark have no idea what the action was and had no chance to respond to what was being proposed by the Judge favorite attorneys (the attorneys do NOT represent both sides in the case). I guess the Judge can take this kind of action on a regular basis. The Minnesota probate system is just as bad as any other state.

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