Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ask The Attorney

January 28, 2008

My 90 yr.old brother and his wife 87 are being held in a Hernando County Nursing Home facility. My brother cannot see his wife of 67 years, whom he has cared for for the last 30 some years. She is invalid, he is considered unstable and not able to manage his own affair, after loosing his home and his credit, due to illness and poor financial planning. He was taken by Adult Protection services, put in lock up for 72 hrs.

The psychiatrist at lock-up gave my brother a sanity test which he passed with flying colors.

I went to see them yesterday at the Nursing Home and they told my brother that he could not permitted in the building because a loud argument had erupted sometime last week where they claim that my brother was forced feeding his ailing wife.

They would not give me any information about my sister in law’s condition, because something about the “privacy act”.

I have tried to find a lawyer in Hernando County, but there are only two lawyers listed and they both work for the County Court.

My brother is more than a hero to everyone who has known him. A Puerto Rican born an American Citizen, and is being treated by the Court as scum. He gets a pension from the State of New Jersey and ITT.

I plan to talk to the court appointed lawyer tomorrow and also my brother’s court appointed guardian. I want to know why my sister in law was in such a distressed condition yesterday. She sat on an old wheel chair without foot rest with her feet, cold on the floor. She was responsive, and answered all my questions, but would not eat unless her husband feeds her, and these people don’t let him do that. He shaved her faced and put her shoes on, in the usual loving ways.

My plate is full, what can I do?

Thank you for your attention,

Patria M. Summers


By Maria C. Gallo, Esquire

I do not go as far north as Hernando County. But there are a few things that make me ask:

If your brother passed "the sanity test" with flying colors and the Petition for Protective Services was denied, then he should not have a court-appointed guardian.

His lawyer needs to file a motion to dismiss. BUT since he does have a free lawyer and before the lawyer is discharged, your brother should get him to have the wife re-evaluated or if this is not likely to change the outcome with regards to her mental well-being, then to locate staff/doctors/witnesses that will testify that your brother (the husband) is no threat to his wife and that he needs to be allowed access to her or, even better, that should be allowed to remain together in the same facility (if that is what your brother wants) or return both of them to their home with appropriate services/medical assistance in the home.

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