When is someone going to clean up the massive elder financial abuse going on in Orange County, CA with the assistance and support of the court. The probate judges support their lawyer and conservator buddies and rule in their favor irrespective of the law and have even stated that they are queen or king here and what they say goes. They regularly talk about cases outside court with lawyers on one side of a case and then don't let the other side even fully put their case forward. They ignore facts that do not support the way they want to rule (often seems pre-arranged with one sides lawyers). In the end, the elder and family member get cleaned out and the lawyers end up with all the money. There are dozens of these cases in Orange County. The judges seem to "edit" the court transcripts before they are released, removing the judges disparaging and demeaning comments to cover up their unethical behavior. Seems the Orange County DA has a blind eye to all the abuse and will not investigate. The majority of the abuse can be found clearly in the court records, even with the editing.
to protect writer from retaliation
Thank you for writing in to E.A. It's not just Orange county California, it's Orange County Florida and all others in between the level of run away corruption has reached epidemic levels and the feelings of mistrust and betrayal by our courts has never been greater...
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
To return America to its foundations, citizens must remind themselves how our unique Declaration of Independence makes the United States different from any other nation in history. The Declaration proclaims that rights come not from a king, the government or a Constitution, but from God. Additionally, it states that a government was to be formed with the consent of the governed to make our God-given rights secure.
Posted: 20 Nov 2009 03:18 PM PST
Journalist Janet Phelan regularly reports on conservatorship activities in California. An important appeals hearing recently took place regarding the licensing of conservator Melodie Scott. Scott was prominently featured in the 2005 Los Angeles Times series Guardians for Profit: When a Family Matter Turns into a Business. Click here for an overview of the proceedings. Two later articles are also available: As Scott’s Licensing Hearing Resumes, Conservatee Dies and Scott Licensing Question Now Up to Judge.
Janet sent this request for the EoD audience:
Steve Price, who testified at Melodie Scott’s licensing hearing, has constructed this affidavit for people to sign and will forward the signed copies to the Department of Consumer Affairs. At last count, I believe we have somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty signatures. The head of the DCA must sign off on whatever judgment the Administrative Law Judge comes up with; therefore, the DCA is the best place to lodge our concerns. Please post this with the Price’s email address and a request for signatures and forwarding to Price.
If you have any trouble downloading the affidavit please send me an E mail to Ray@ElderAbuseHelp.Org with the header Affidavit and I will send you a copy in .pdf format.
--------------------------------------------------Few People have persevered and endured unbelievable hardships in shining the light into the racket that is Guardianship abuse like Journalist Janet Phelan and she deserves our support.
258 A Street 1-15
Ashland, OR 97520
November 17, 2009
I am asking you to recuse yourself from hearing any matters pertaining to RIP 080974. You have had ex parte communication with the other side which you failed to disclose. The ex parte communication resulted in your withdrawing your action concerning sanctions against attorney J. David Horspool for failure to appear on October 9th and then offering excuses for him, in absence of his making any statement (in open courtroom, that is) concerning his reasons for failing to appear. When pressed by Petitioner for an explanation, attorney Horspool gave a false statement as to the hearing date and time, which you accepted without challenge. Horspool is representing Melodie Scott in this matter.
Your ex parte communication also involved an agreement that the other side would not be compelled to produce records concerning alleged criminal financial activity on the part of the other side involving the Bank of America account belonging to my mother, Dr. Amalie Phelan, as well as documents pertaining to her Visa cards. Instead, you issued a pre-arranged suggestion that I subpoena these records from the bank. Shockingly, my informant detailed that this pre-arrangement included an agreement that the subpoena would not be fruitful. As disturbing as this appears, I must remind you that Commissioner Burgess has similarly colluded with the other side by producing TWO minute orders for the same event, one of which contained a gag order on Petitioner, and that Petitioner was not served with that version of the order. This put me at risk for unknowingly violating a “court order” and thus opening the door for my being jailed for contempt of court. The fact that the court has already tampered with documents in order to deprive Petitioner of her rights is thus, sadly, nothing new.
You have also denied my request that the other side produce records relating to monies distributed to the other beneficiary when the core of my case is that monies were paid to the other beneficiary in excess of what the court ordered and authorized.
In addition, you have violated my right to due process by denying my ex parte application for a Request for Reconsideration. Tellingly, you give no reason for such a brazen and illegal denial of my constitutional rights. The Request for Reconsideration details the illegality of your order that I respond to the final accounting in too short a time for someone living out of the country. CCP 1013 (a) details the extension of time allowed for out of the country service and response. International treaties also mandate the extension of time accorded to someone living out of the country.
You are thus obstructing my cause at nearly every turn, and doing so with brazen disregard for the law. Your extreme prejudice against the rights of Petitioner , evidenced by the above, render you incapable of acting in an impartial and just manner. I request you step down immediately from this case. You may have already been informed of my intent to involve The Hague in resolving the depraved and highly illegal shenanigans that have occurred in Riverside Probate Court. Please govern yourself accordingly.
Janet C. Phelan
No further! Christians draw battle line in culture war
Declaration warns of civil disobedience over life, marriage, religious liberty
Posted: November 23, 2009 By Drew Zahn © 2009 WorldNetDaily
Over 150 Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christian leaders have signed the Manhattan Declaration, a pledge in defense of life, religious liberty and traditional marriage, a line in the sand of the culture war warning that Christians will resort to civil disobedience if necessary rather than retreat from these three moral principles.
"The Manhattan Declaration is a wake-up – a call to conscience – for the church," writes Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries and co-author of the declaration. "It is also crystal-clear message to civil authorities that we will not, under any circumstances, stand idly by as our religious freedom comes under assault."
According to ManhattanDeclaration.org, over 47,000 others in the last few days have added their signatures to the list of 152 Christian leaders who have committed to the pledge.
The website states that the declaration calls upon all fellow citizens to join in defending "fundamental truths about justice and the common good," namely:
- The sanctity of human life
- The dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- The rights of conscience and religious liberty.
"Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the wellbeing of society, they are inviolable and nonnegotiable," the website states. "Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them."
"We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right – and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation – to speak and act in defense of these truths," the declaration states. "We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence."
At a D.C. press conference last week, Dr. Robert George of Princeton University, one of three leaders who drafted the declaration, affirmed that if laws require Christian doctors and hospitals to perform abortion or euthanasia, if the government demands churches bless homosexual 'marriage' or any other dictates attempt to force Christians to act against their moral convictions, there will be no compromise. Recalling the actions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. years before, George said there may even be call for Christians to engage in civil disobedience:
"We hope and pray that it does not come to this," George said, "that the impositions on conscience will not require anybody to practice civil disobedience. But if it comes to it, as it came to it for Dr. King on the great issue of racial justice, then we have to be prepared to make sacrifices."
Please E mail Heather Boltz for further Info:
Heather Boltz: firstname.lastname@example.org
The vise tightens further on Rifqa. The authorities, at the command of the Barys' lawyer Omar, continue to isolate Rifqa. She has been in Ohio for well over a month and still there is no "approved visitation" list. How can this be? How can it be that friends who request a visit, and whom Rifqa requests to visit, are repeatedly told "there is no approved visitation list"? Is it not the very mission by objective of children's services to protect the health and welfare of a child? Why has Rifqa been denied "pastoral guidance"? Convicts, murderers, rapists, and pedophiles have access to "pastoral guidance". Is that how powerful and influential Islamic jihad has become in the state of Ohio -- that one young girl is starved of spiritual nourishment so as not to insult Islam? Has everyone gone mad?
No phone. No net. No religious succor.
This is why I so fiercely fought her return to Ohio. Columbus is home to one of the largest Somali Muslim populations in the United States, 70,000 and growing. This is the group, Somali Muslims, that has been at the epicenter of myriad busts for jihad in recent weeks (and one coming today). Is she safe in a devout Muslim community?
The office of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (recipient of buko Islamo-bucks) issued a statement back on September 14th, on why Rifqa Bary should be returned to Ohio.
"Child welfare agencies and authorities in Ohio and Franklin County are fully capable of providing for the security and well-being of Ohio's children," the statement said. "The governor believes this is a family matter and therefore would most appropriately be handled here in Ohio with the assistance of the child welfare and foster care system."
"We have no reason to believe that she would be unsafe in Ohio," his statement said.
There is a dependency hearing on December 22 in Columbus. I know it's awfully close to Christmas. I know you are busy. My kids are in from school too. We must rally for Rifqa the day of her hearing, a day she could be sent back to a devout Muslim household. How frightening for her.
Ohio child services continues to earn its infamous reputation as one of the country's worst places for children in foster care. Funny how Meredith "hijabed" Heagney at the Dispatch never cited this article from her own publication:
UPDATE: Jamal Jivanjee tells first hand what happened:
AFTER BEING BACK IN OHIO FOR ALMOST ONE MONTH, WHY IS RIFQA BARY BEING DENIED VISITS DUE TO A LACK OF AN APPROVED VISITOR’S LIST?
If you are incarcerated in an American prison today, you have the right to have a visit from a Pastor. Rifqa Bary does not have this most basic right that most criminals have today. During the week of November 16-21, I was in Columbus Ohio for the rally for Rifqa, as well as the hearing that eventually was cancelled. It came to my attention that Rifqa was requesting a visit. While most 17 year old girls worry about their social lives, or what colleges they will attend, Rifqa’s worries are quite unique. Unlike most girls her age, Rifqa wonders how long she’ll be in a safe home, or how long before the Ohio court system extradites her back to her parents custody that she fled from out of fear for her life. Many expect that she’ll be taken back to Sri-Lanka immediately if that is the case. Because of Rifqa’s apostasy from Islam and conversion to Christianity, a woman’s prison, forced marriage, or even a death sentence await her back in her native land. Obviously, this would be a heavy burden for any of us to carry, let alone a 17 year old girl. In light of this, Rifqa needs all the encouragement and support that she can get. As you can imagine, visits are a crucial way for Rifqa to receive the needed emotional and spiritual support that she needs.
So in light of these facts, why has Rifqa Bary been cut off from the people she is requesting to see? After learning of her need of a visit, I approached Rifqa’s attorneys requesting the proper procedure to schedule a visit with her. When she was in Florida, it was a matter of a simple phone call. Not so in Ohio. It seems that Ohio has effectively put her into solitary confinement. Her attorneys told me that I would have to contact her case worker with Franklin County Children’s services to attempt to schedule a visit with her. I left her social worker a detailed message indicating that I was a friend of Rifqa, that I needed to schedule a Pastoral visit with her, and that my time in the city would only be a few days. I never heard back from her. Finally after repeated phone calls, I decided to take most of the day on Wednesday to track someone down at Children’s services to attempt to schedule a visit. This was an incredibly difficult task as no one seemed to answer their phones, and no one would return my calls. Finally, a director from children’s services contacted me to let me know that they would not be able to accommodate my request to visit Rifqa Bary.
I reminded the director of the utmost importance that Rifqa Bary not be isolated from her friends and supporters. He agreed, but said that in light of a meeting with her attorneys, her attorneys would need to put together an approved visitors list for her. Until then, I was not allowed to visit her, even if she requested a visit from me. As a result of this conversation, I then contacted her attorneys who told me that they were now putting together a visitor’s list, and that the ultimate authority to approve or deny potential visits would rest with Franklin County Children’s services. When I asked how long it would take to get this potential list approved, no one had an answer for me. Because of this bureaucracy, Rifqa is now effectively in solitary confinement.
How can this be good for Rifqa? On what grounds can they keep her from the most basic of privileges that are afforded to common criminals? Why has Rifqa Bary been in Ohio for almost one month, and they have still yet to approve a visitor’s list for her? Is this not an outrage?
We need to contact Rifqa Bary’s attorneys, Kourt Gatterdam, and Angie Lloyd and let them know that Rifqa Bary’s visitors list needs to be completed ASAP and it must include the specific people that Rifqa has requested! We also need to contact Rifqa’s case worker at Franklin County Children’s services and let her know that this visitor’s list needs to be approved in its entirety with no further delay.
Attorney Kourt W. Gatterdam can be reached at: email@example.com
Attorney Angie Lloyd can be reached at: Lloyd.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rifqa’s Franklin County Children’s Services Case worker Margaret Shirk can be reached at 614-575-3514 .
Thanks so much,
Send her a Christmas card. And please join us on December 22 for Rifqa's hearing. Let the authorities know she is not alone. Be there on the 22nd.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
LOS ANGELES (CBS) Nov 17, 2009 ―A local nurses assistant has been charged with drugging seven of her elderly patients. Three of them died. Police are now investigating to see if murder charges can be filed.
"My mom says to me, 'I've done my grieving. God took him.' God didn't take him, mom.
Somebody killed him," Suzie Yarger said. Dameria Lawhorn, 51, has been charged with seven counts of elder abuse for allegedly overdosing seven patients with morphine.
Dameria Lawhorn, 51, has been charged with seven counts of elder abuse for allegedly overdosing seven patients with morphine.
This are a few of the cases that come to light, experts say that 85-92% of cases of elder abuse go unreported.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Translated from Russian, first published in English by Infowars Ireland]
Based on autopsies, we have come to the conclusion: it's not pneumonia, but cardiopulmonary insufficiency and cardiogenic shock... The virus enters directly into the lungs, there is bleeding... Antibiotics should not be used...
Why do we have such a high mortality rate in the country?
Because people are going to pharmacies to get medicine instead of going to their doctors to be treated... No it is not pneumonic plague. It's all nonsense... antibiotics do not help... Those with strong immune systems will survive. People with weak immune systems will succumb to the illness... Face Masks provide 30% extra protection. Wearing glasses gives an additional 10% protection, that is 40%, because the virus penetrates the mucose membranes.
The Head of the Chernivtsi regional forensic bureau, Professor Victor Bachinsky M.D. makes a strong statement: all the victims of the virus in Bukovina (22 persons aged 20 to 40 years) died not from bilateral (double) pneumonia, as previously thought, but as a result of viral distress syndrome, i.e. the total destruction of the lungs. We caught up with Professor Bachinsky, to find out how he came to this conclusion, and how people can protect themselves from this disease.
Professor, you said earlier that the virus, from which many people have died – is a mixture of types of parainfluenza and influenza A/H1N1. How do you cure this disease?
The question of how to treat this virus is not up to me. I am a pathologist. I just found out what it is and made an exact diagnosis. It is important to provide the correct treatment based on diagnosis.
There are strict protocols and standards of treatment in medicine. If a doctor treats a patient who dies, their relatives can make a complaint that they were not treated properly (misdiagnosed). The Ministry of Health has set the protocols and standards of treatment for each diagnosis. If diagnosed correctly, the treatment should be correct...
In the Chernivtsi region 18 people have died. We studied all the history and evidence from this disease, preclinical, clinical, resuscitation. When we perform an autopsy organs and tissues have histological studies (cell analysis) and we concluded that it was not pneumonia, and has no relation to pneumonia whatsoever.
These results are the foundation to ensure that doctors who treat this disease all over Ukraine, change their tactics and standards of care.
Can this new virus be cured?
It depends on the immune system. If a person's immune system is strong, they will overcome it. There are people who carry this strain of H1N1 and remain on their feet and don't even realise they are sick.
Antibiotics definitely should not be taken. Antibiotics are the reason we have such a high mortality and infection rate in this country, because people go to the pharmacy, describe their symptoms to the pharmacist and ask for drugs. They buy antibiotics, take them, this lowers their immune system and as a result they become sick. If prescriptions were required to buy these medications, like in other countries, this would not have happened. It is the ability to buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription which has done so much harm to the State.
During autopsies, what did the lungs look like? Were they really black, which gave rise to so much talk of pulmonary plague?
No, they are not black... This is not pneumonic plague. It's all nonsense. Pneumonic plague has a very different morphology. We have, for example, 60 thousand people who became sick and 23 have died. With pulmonary plague, we would now have a mortality rate of 59 thousand...
This is a viral attack that destroys the lungs.
It turns out that not only in Bukovina, but also throughout the Ukraine people did not die from pneumonia, but from this toxic strain?
Yes, It's not pneumonia! This destruction of the lungs. This strain is very toxic, and if the immune system is weak, there is bleeding in the lungs. In the lungs there is a tiny structure – acinus, which looks like a bunch of grapes. When you breathe, oxygen enters this tiny “bunch of grapes” ( pulmonary alveoli ). On the surface of the acinus are the capillaries, where red blood cells saturate with oxygen and give blood, which supplies all tissues and organs in the body.
And once the virus enters the lungs – hemorrhaging begins immediately in the acinus. A continuous hemorrhage... It takes several hours. In the blood fibrin is formed, and from it – giolinovaya membrane, resembling a plastic bag. It envelops the acinus, and the person breathes in oxygen, but it is not transferred to the tissues. And people just gasp. There is a cardio-pulmonary insufficiency and cardiogenic shock. People die of cardiogenic shock. And there is no pneumonia. Pneumonia – an inflammation, which is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics cannot help at any stage. There should be absolutely different treatment.
And how about Tamiflu – does it help?
This is not an antibiotic, it is an antiviral drug, which should be applied on the second or third day of the disease. But you can not use Tamiflu as a preventitive, because it is toxic.
What are the best measures to resist the disease? Is it advisable to use a mask, garlic, vitamin C?
The primary method of prevention is a face mask. This give 30% extra protection. If you wear glasses [goggles] – it is 40%, because the virus enters through the mucous membranes.
It is necessary to improve the human immune system. Not only now, but in general. Garlic, onions, wild rose, viburnum (guelder rose), raspberries, citrus fruit, honey, and other fruits and vegetables – whatever you want. Those with a strong immune system will survive. Those with weaker immune systems will succumb to the disease.
We have a lot of people in Ukraine who like shopping at the open markets. If we can avoid open markets, the less people will be in contact with each other and more lives will be saved.
You have contacted the Health Ministry and advised them to review the standards for treatment of patients. What did they say?
We sent them all our data, the necessary protocols and standards of treatment, our diagnosis. But it is clear that decisions cannot be instantaneous.
And why until now has nobody else known about this disease? What were the leading specialists in the Ministry of Health doing all this time?
Perhaps this is due to the fact that there are scientists who are working on a purely theoretical basis. And there are scientists who have seen the autopsy results. I practice as head of the regional forensic bureau and as a professor. The fact that we have established this diagnosis – it is not just to my credit, and this is not my personal opinion. This is the opinion of specialists, morphologists and doctors in Bukovina. There are five professors in our group – I just head the group.
Professor Victor Bachinsky, M.D. is a coroner in the Chernivtsi region of Ukraine. He also teaches at the Department of Anatomical Pathology and Forensic Medicine of Bukovynian State Medical Academy.
Original interview in Russian by Anna Yashchenko published by Unian: www.unian.net/rus/news/news-346721.html
Saturday, November 14, 2009
By Susan Spencer-Wendel Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Friday, Nov. 13, 2009
As former Circuit Judge William Berger resigned Friday from the law firm at the heart of an alleged massive investment scandal, he depicted Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler's lead partner as a "financial serial killer" whose actions harmed not just investors but less well-heeled victims.
Asked about the at least $1 billion Ponzi scheme federal authorities say partner Scott Rothstein operated, Berger spoke of a secretary at the embattled law firm who scraped together $2,000 for a down payment on a home, put it in a firm account and now it's gone.
"When the public sees Scott (Rothstein) there on TV drinking martinis, they have to think of hundreds of thousands of lives that have been adversely affected by his acts," Berger said in his first public comments on the scandal.
"I think back to the law firm picnic with hundreds of employees, their families, little children, grandparents, spouses. Rothstein walked around like Santa Claus," Berger added. "He saw close up who he would be hurting."
Those people entrusted their lives to him, Berger said.
"He violated their trust in the most cold blooded, heartless way. He really does deserve to be shot like a rabid dog."
Berger, who worked primarily in the firm's satellite office in Boca Raton along with Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams, said he believes no one at the firm knew of Rothstein's alleged financial chicanery.
Yet this is the the question on many minds since the shocking fraud story broke: How could the flashy Lamborghini-driving Broward lawyer single-handedly have duped so many?
Federal investigtors are now addressing it.
"I do not believe that this was a one-man show," said John Gillies, head of the FBI in South Florida, which has launched a massive probe and set up a hotline for investors to call.
Berger said he has not been interviewed by any federal investigator, nor does he know any fellow attorney who has.
When asked whether he would cooperate and speak to federal investigators, Berger declined to comment, but later followed up with an answer: yes.
Rothstein's recent comment on WSVN-Fox 7 that he's made "a very, very serious mistake" and will pay every single penny back falls flat with Berger.
"What he's doing now is his next scam and the public is his target," Berger said. "This business about … making everything right… I don't believe a word of it. In the words of another attorney, 'He's working down from a life sentence.' "
Berger, who had served as a judge for 5 years following a lengthy career as a lawyer, left the bench in March 2008 and joined the firm that June. He said he left to work with his friend of 10 years, named partner Stuart Rosenfeldt, and work at a firm he perceived as vibrant, exciting and successful.
"You have to go back to March 2008, I don't know what [Rothstein] owned at the time or how flashy he was. He had not bought Bova (restaurant) at the time. He had not bought the Versace mansion or the 87-foot yacht. And he had not designed a bunker in the office," Berger said. "We are not talking about the same outward appearances then as now."
Berger, one of many lawyers who have left Rothstein's firm in recent weeks, is mulling his options and "has a dialogue" with at least six different job prospects, he said. He is considering all size of firms, including perhaps starting his own.
Together with another lawyer at the firm, Brad Edwards, Berger worked on the cases of two alleged underage victims of billionaire Jeffery Epstein's sexual dalliances in his Palm Beach mansion. The women are currently suing Epstein, and the lawyers represent them on a contingency fee basis, Berger said.
Epstein's legal team is exploring accounts that Rothstein fraudulently peddled the potential millions in Epstein settlements to investors, two sources have told The Palm Beach Post. That possibly sets the stage for Epstein's attorneys to argue their lawsuits were scams to begin with.
Under Rothstein's alleged scheme, investors would pay to invest in the clients' court claims. A a portion of any court wins or settlements would be paid to clients and the rest was gravy for investors.
When asked if the Epstein victims he represented had indeed had their interests sold, Berger said he is sure no one ever approached the women he and Edwards represented. And if they were sold, the women and the lawyers did not know it, he said.
"To me any possible connection that people may try to make with what Scott Rothstein did in secret with the claims of these young women is completely irrelevant," he said.
Among the allegations against Rothstein is that he forged signatures on federal court orders as he bamboozled auto magnate Ed Morse out of $57 million. The Sun Sentinel reported it obtained copies of court orders with the forged signatures of U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra and U.S. Appellate Court Judge Susan H. Black.
And Marra is presiding over many civil suits filed against Epstein in federal court, one of which is set for trial in February.
"These young women have already suffered and experienced a terrible personal trauma in their lives," Berger said. "I'm not sure what his acts will cause them. I'm not sure how it's going to play out."
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Needless use of anti-psychotic drugs is widespread in dementia care and contributes to the death of many patients, an official review suggests.
About 180,000 patients a year are given the drugs in care homes, hospitals and their own homes to manage aggression.
But the expert review - commissioned by ministers - said the treatment was unnecessary in nearly 150,000 cases and was linked to 1,800 deaths.
And for a US H1N1 update we go to BBC News.....
The CDC now estimates that 3,900 people in the US have died from the virus in the past six months. The previous estimated death toll from the H1N1 virus in the US was 672.
Read entire report here =>>BBC News
-BARRE - PA-The judge who studied Luzerne County’s “cash-for-kids” scheme said yesterday that children’s constitutional rights had been denied and justice perverted “in ways that I would never have dreamed possible.”
Judge Arthur E. Grim of Berks County, who reviewed transcripts of about 100 cases of juveniles caught up in the scheme, said the scandal grew out of “unfettered power, greed, opportunity, and intimidation.”
Lawyers, court employees, and school officials knew of the scheme, but winked at it for convenience or self-preservation, Grim testified.
He described his findings to the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, an 11-member panel named by Gov. Rendell, legislative leaders, and the state Supreme Court to look into the scandal.
The commission opened two days of hearings here yesterday in its inquiry into systemic failures that permitted what federal prosecutors say was a $2.6 million kickback conspiracy involving former Luzerne County Court Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan.
Grim said “an almost routine disregard for the rights of juvenile offenders” was known to lawyers, court staff, and school authorities, yet went on for six years or more.
He said many school officials supported Ciavarella’s “zero-tolerance” policies toward teenagers no matter how minor the offense.
“When a misbehaving kid was brought to school authorities, they immediately picked up the phone and called the police,” Grim testified. “They did this because they knew that if they did, that child would go before Judge Ciavarella and would be out of their hair as a problem.”
He said many court officials failed to speak out because they owed their jobs to either Conahan or Ciavarella. Under orders from Ciavarella, Grim said, officers of the Juvenile Probation Department stationed themselves outside the courtroom and persuaded parents to give up their children’s rights by signing waiver-of-counsel forms that were improper and legally defective.
Grim noted that in 2001, the state Superior Court reversed Ciavarella’s sentencing of a 13-year-old because the judge had failed to inform the defendant of his right to a lawyer.
“Judge Ciavarella vowed publicly that this would never again happen in his courtroom. This was widely known by the general public, and especially by the members of the bar. Yet Ciaverella subsequently repeated this behavior over and over again. To my knowledge, not a single member of the Luzerne County bar ever spoke out.”
He speculated that local lawyers were silent because Ciavarella was the president judge of Luzerne County Court and they feared retribution in other cases that came before him.
Grim noted that many parents who sought out lawyers to defend their children were told not to bother, because it would “only make matters worse” with Ciavarella.
“It was common knowledge that something was rotten in Denmark,” Grim said.
The state Supreme Court appointed Grim, a senior judge, to review juvenile cases Ciavarella handled. Following his study, Grim recommended that about 6,500 convictions meted out by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008 be overturned. In an unprecedented step, the high court adopted this recommendation on Oct. 29.
Grim said yesterday he decided to recommend throwing out nearly all the cases because so much money was involved in the kickbacks that “it was impossible for Ciavarella to be impartial.”
Federal prosecutors say Ciavarella and Conahan collected $2.6 million from the owner of two privately run youth detention centers in exchange for the judges’ sending teen defendants there.
Ciavarella and Conahan had agreed to plead guilty, but a federal judge this summer rejected their agreements with prosecutors.
They withdrew their pleas and have been indicted again on racketeering charges.
Grim recommended that serious consideration should be given to opening Juvenile Court proceedings to the public, and to creating a system of circuit-riding judges and public defenders with special skills in dealing with juveniles. State law closes criminal court proceedings for people under 18.
Superior Court Judge John M. Cleland, chairman of the commission, emphasized in opening remarks that one of the panel’s primary goals was to discover “what it would have taken to encourage people to act” and prevent the injustices.
“How do we create a system in which those who see corruption call the police? How do we create a system in which prosecutors who see a judge flagrantly disregard the law make a report to the [state] Judicial Conduct Board? How can we develop a system in which we select and educate our Juvenile Court judges so that glib sloganeering - and using phrases like ‘zero tolerance’ - is not mistaken for thoughtful judicial reflection?”
The commission may begin getting answers when hearings resume today, with testimony scheduled from representatives of the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, and Juvenile Probation Department.
Cleland also issued this plea to the people of Luzerne County:
“We know the people in this community did not consciously choose to stand on the side of injustice at the expense of children.
But what was it that made it so hard to do the right thing? Were people afraid? Were they intimidated? By whom? What protections would they have wanted? Where would they have wanted to take the information they had?”
The hearing was in a large meeting room at a hotel outside the city. About 50 spectators, including local officials and representatives of advocacy groups, attended the day session. The crowd size doubled for the evening hearing.
"Justice perverted “in ways that I would never have dreamed possible.” Welcome to the wonderful world of probate court where lives are destroyed , children are exchanged for cash and elders are routinely stripped of their dignity,possessions and thrown under the bus when there is no more cash to be had.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Posted: 09 Nov 2009 03:54 PM PST
Joe Jackson allowance request shows disrespect for son, grandchildren
Lou Ann Anderson
November 9, 2009
In a show of disrespect to his son’s final wishes and grandchildren’s beneficial status, Joe Jackson is reported to be seeking “some manner” of support from the Michael Jackson estate. Here’s a practical translation: Joe Jackson is asking the court to disregard the final wishes of his son, Michael, as communicated in recognized legal documents and he also is asking for the court to diminish the inheritance rights of the named beneficiaries - his wife and more importantly, three grandchildren - in lieu of the elder Jackson’s own self-enrichment.
Michael Jackson’s father is seeking an allowance from his son’s estate to help cover expenses that exceed $15,000 a month, according to court documents filed Friday. The request seeking an unspecified amount for Joe Jackson was filed by lawyer Brian Oxman, who said there was no apparent reason for the administrators of the estate to not seek an allowance for the Jackson family patriarch.
Michael Jackson’s 2002 will, however, omitted any mention of his father. The two had an often-strained relationship, and Michael Jackson said at one point that he would get physically sick — as a child and as an adult — at the sight of his father.
The singer’s private trust calls for money to be paid to his mother, Katherine, his three young children, and various charities.
No apparent reason for the administrators to not seek an allowance for Joe Jackson? How about the fact that Michael Jackson declined naming him as a beneficiary? Either what is written in these estate planning documents means something or it doesn’t. Evidently per Oxman, it doesn’t. We’ll see if a Los Angeles Superior Court judge agrees.
And if using the “no apparent reason not to” argument, why not kick out some dough for Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon? But wait, there’s more. With this rationale, why exclude Rebbie, La Toya, Randy and Janet? To her credit, Janet seems to have actually made something of herself, but past that, who knows how many of these other people were living out of Michael Jackson’s pocket. So by attorney Oxman’s standards, should not all family members who previously mooched off the pop star now file their allowance documents?
In his estate plan, Michael Jackson specifically provided for his mother. That was his stated wish and so it should be. Unnamed charities are also said to be beneficiaries. By virtue of age and relationship, it appears Jackson intended for his children to be the main beneficiaries of his estate, something that decent people would understand and honor. It is deplorable for Joe Jackson to now seek diminishing his minor grandchildren’s means of support due to his personal life choice of dependency rather than self-sufficiency. While he may justify this claim with a “there’s plenty of money” mentality, the point should be that the money being sought belonged to Michael Jackson and was clearly not intended for him. Additionally, Joe Jackson has had a lifetime of opportunity to use his sons’ fame for the creation of his own wealth. The tab for not having done so should not be paid by his functionally-orphaned grandchildren.
The AP further reports:
The filing claims Joe Jackson, who suffers from diabetes, was supported by Michael Jackson before his sudden death through payments made to the singer’s mother and Joe Jackson’s wife, Katherine Jackson, which were passed on to Joe Jackson.
Joe Jackson says his expenses exceed $20,000 per month, but his income from U.S. Social Security is a mere $1,700.
“Mr. Jackson’s circumstances require a family allowance because he is 81 years old and Michael Jackson supported him in the same manner as his wife, Katherine Jackson, who was Michael’s mother and who the court granted a family allowance on October 2,” says the petition.
If Katherine Jackson elects to share her monthly allowance with husband (they reportedly maintain separate residences - Katherine in California, Joe in Nevada), that’s her choice. To ask the court to defy Michael Jackson’s wishes is completely inappropriate.
Do final wishes written in a will really count? Sadly, the answer increasingly is no. The state of New York has disregarded Leona Helmsley’s wishes by adding previously excluded heirs to her estate distribution plan and, to date, by witholding estate assets from her desired goal of helping dogs. Read through the articles and columns at EstateofDenial.com to see more examples of similar cases.
An expedited hearing request on Joe Jackson’s filing has been denied. An early 2010 hearing is scheduled and Katherine Jackson’s allowance status may be reviewed.
If the court approves Joe Jackson’s dopey “why not?” request to undermine his son’s final wishes, Californians will hopefully realize that despite legal industry talking points, their desired final distribution of assets is also completely subject to being changed or ignored. And folks in the other 49 states, don’t get comfortable. It’s no better where you are as we’re all living in the Land of the Gimme-Gimmes and the Home of the I-Want-Mores. Study enough of these estate cases and this conclusion becomes self-evident.
Looting an estate is a tawdry, ugly business no matter how you try to pass it off and Joe Jackson is not alone in his pursuit. Americans from all points on the economic spectrum are slowly starting to learn that death, disability or incapacitation puts one’s assets in an up-for-grabs mode with inheritance rights of designated heirs/beneficiaries being tenuous at best.
Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture. She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com and a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas Foundation. Lou Ann may be contacted at info@EstateofDenial.com.
Friday, November 6, 2009
by Janet Phelan as Published in the San Bernardino County Sentinel 11-06-2009
After three days of hearings in October, the issue of whether Melodie Scott’s professional fiduciary license will be granted is in the hands of Oakland Administrative Law Judge Melissa Crowell.
Melodie Scott first caught the public eye back in November of 2005, when the Los Angeles Times raised questions about her business practices in their series on conservatorships for the elderly, entitled “Guardians for Profit--When a Family Matter Becomes a Business.” As a result of the outcry generated by the Times series, the California Legislature passed the Omnibus Conservatorship Reform Act of 2006, in which regulatory measures were put into place for the previously unregulated and unlicensed conservators. The Professional Fiduciary Bureau, however did not open its doors until 2008. Governor Schwarzenegger line item vetoed the funding for the Act and thus the Professional Fiduciary Bureau did not begin reviewing requests for licenses until the summer of 2008.
Melodie Scott’s application for a license was denied by the Professional Fiduciary Bureau in August of 2008, on the grounds that she made false statements on her application. She appealed that decision and the hearings began in Oakland Administrative court in May, were continued in August and concluded last week after three more days of hearings.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines a conservator as a “protector or guardian.”Conservatorships are generally initiated through court proceedings when there are allegations that an individual lacks the competency to handle his orher own affairs. There are two types of conservatorships in the state of California—conservatorship of person and conservatorship of estate. A conservatorship of person allows the conservator to make personal decisions for the alleged incapacitated person, including whether or not the conservatee will be allowed to marry, where he or she will reside or whether the alleged incapacitated person will even be permitted to see family members and friends. At the initiation of a conservatorship of estate, all assets are transferred into the control of the conservator, including bank accounts and property, which may then be sold without the permission of the conservatee. In many cases the court will approve both types of conservatorships upon initial hearing.
Several witnesses testified at the last round of hearings for Scott, including her attorney J. David Horspool, attorney Jim Church and conservator Sarah Kerley.
Although there were several requests to testify against Scott by those whose testimony could be considered adverse to her achieving her licensure, only one party was actually permitted to testify. Steve Price, of Yucaipa, lost his disabled son Stevie after a series of questionable medical decisions by Melodie Scott, who was the young Price’s conservator. Stevie Price had become disabled at the age of nine due to an emergency room foul-up. His parents sued the hospital and won $4.2 million.
Scott applied to become Stevie’s conservator in 1998 amidst protestations by the elder Steve Price. Following Stevie’s death in 2004, Price was ‘shocked’ to find that the entire trust had been depleted.
In a curious legal maneuever, Scott had actually subpoenaed Price to appear as a witness at her licensing hearing, after she discovered he intended to travel to Oakland to testify against her. This subpoena effectively blocked Price’s appearance in the courtroom and he was thus forced to remain outside of the otherwise public hearing until called to testify--against Scott.
In addition to Price’s testimony, three affidavits were submitted into evidence. These were signed by individuals who asserted they were negatively impacted by Scott’s business practices and constructed by deputy attorney general John Cooper, who represented the Professional Fiduciary Board in this matter.
Scott’s attorney, J. David Horspool has taken issue with previous reports appearing in the Sentinel regarding Scott and others professionally affiliated with her, including himself.
In an email dated October 22, 2009 Horspool lambasted Janet C. Phelan, the author of several of those articles as “not a real reporter. If you were,” Horspool said in directly addressing Phelan, “you would represent the worst of the worst.”
Moreover, Horspool alleged, the articles were not only derogatory but inaccurate. On October 23, 2009, he wrote: “….understand that false accusations of criminal conduct is actionable as slander or libel. If you want to continue down this road, please understand that I can sue you for defamation of character, libel and/or slander, and, when I am successful, I will obtain a charging order….“
On October 23 in Riverside Court, Riverside Superior Court Judge Gary Tranbarger vacated a sanctioning hearing against Horspool for a failure to appear on October 9th. When questioned why he was not pursuing sanctions against Horspool for not showing up or not informing the court that he could not appear, Tranbarger stated he was sure the attorney did not intend to miss the hearing. Papers had been filed for the October 9 hearing alleging criminal activity by Horspool. Tranbarger refused to entertain contempt of court charges against Horspool or discuss the allegations.
Charges have been dropped against Joseph Quattrochi, who was originally charged with threatening an employee of Melodie Scott. Back in 2007, Quattrochi had been parked close to Scott’s office on State Street in Redlands, awaiting the arrival of others who were planning on holding a demonstration in front of Scott’s office. He was arrested and booked by the Redlands Police. All charges were dropped last week.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Subject: RE: Phelan Trust
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 17:03:24 -0700
..."please understand that I can sue you for defamation of character, libel and/or slander, and, when I am successful, I will obtain a charging order against your trust distribution, and take it until the judgment I will obtain against you is satisfied.
Govern yourself accordingly."
J. David Horspool
Also from the charming Mr. Horspool...
Subject: RE: Phelan Trust
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2009 11:16:14 -0700
..."You are not a real reporter and if you were, you would represent the worst of the worst. You are not objective; you use yourself as a “source” and fail to disclose that you are only promoting your own cause and your own self. "J. David Horspool
Well Mr. Horspool if we the victims of greed don't speak out and defend ourselves by promoting our cause then who is going to do it? the likes of you?
And by the way I have seen Janet articles on many publications and newspapers, and heard her Radio Shows, but because you say so she is not a 'REAL' reporter, just like Fox News is not a Real New Channel ? What are your qualifications in deciding who the real reporters are? Those that agree with what you are doing? And who gave you that right?
Will you threatened me too because I have chosen to exercise my rights to free speech?
Your threats have been E mailed far and wide and are on record.....
You Sir are being watched!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Many thanks to Bonnie Reiter for the heads up:
Ukraine Citizens lined up to buy masks from a Pharmacy - Reports now say, no masks are available anymore in the Ukraine area.
I am sorry to have to warn you to take precautionary measures, this week the news have taken a turn for the worst...Talk to your kids have them be very aware and stay at least 3' from anyone sick....
UPDATES to the Ukraine situation - Including almost 900,000- official numbers of people now affected - the Numbers Doubled Overnight! Turkey, Italy and Bulgaria are seeing Spikes in Death now.
Intense and persistent influenza transmission continues to be reported in North America without evidence of a peak in activity.In Europe and Central and Western Asia, pandemic influenza activity continues to increase across many countries. For regular updates see http://ukraineplague.blogspot.com/
As elsewhere, WHO strongly recommends early treatment with the antiviral drugs, oseltamivir or zanamivir, for patients who meet treatment criteria, even in the absence of a positive laboratory test confirming H1N1 infection.
Where to buy: http://b23.ru/slfc
UPDATE 11/8/09 8:08 am est WHO Says Vaccines Are Safe - No Adverse Reactions!
From CANADA NEWS ON ADVERSE AFFECTS FROM VACCINE!
At least 10 people in the Northwest Territories have reported allergic reactions to the H1N1 flu vaccine, but none have been life-threatening to date, health officials confirm.
Unchecked epidemic leads to a pandemic of irresponsibility
Yesterday 30 people had been reporting to the authorities in Sweden that they experienced such severe side effects that they felt the need to contact a hospital. Today the number is 140. The swedish newspaper Expressen is the only one in Sweden reporting on these cases and as usual this is most likely only the tip of a rather large iceberg. UPDATE: According to Dagens Nyheter, the number of reported side effects are now a few hours later 190. 1 person dies after the injection but “no direct relation with the injection has been established”. The biggest medical scandal in the history of Sweden has just started.
One other reminder - he mentions gauze mask in the article, as I said in a post below in regards to another article - the authorities and medical personnel should be informing people "Regular plain gauze or dust mask do NOTHING in protection from either the flu or the pneumonic plague"! It has to be a P100 or N95 mask, to be protected from viral microorganisms. They should pass those out or at least educate the people, so they can actually protect themselves!
Where to buy: http://www.boss-safety.com/shop/index.php
3M N95 Respirators : www.CPR-Savers.com
H1N1 INJECTION (AND SPRAY) - REJECTION :The Washington Post is running a story today, about doctors refusing to give the Swine Flu vaccine to their patients "The senior doctor there doesn't believe in it and doesn't want it for her patients," Soghomonian said. "I think the feeling was it's just too new."
I have found report after report on message boards of people getting sick, from nausea, paralysis, hives, swollen areas from injection sites, chills, fevers, the list goes on and on. I have even read, where groups of people from a work place have gotten the vaccine together and anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 the people have had very adverse reactions, with some of the above symptoms! http://ukraineplague.blogspot.com/
Why the Hell is MSM not saying a Word about this? Not online and not on T.V?! Nothing - nada - can anyone find Anything from MSM about this?
Sherrie the answer to your question is the same reason why only 4-15% cases of Elder Abuse are ever mentioned. Michele Malkin wonders aloud why we have to go to overseas news to get the beef straight up! Sherrie, Michele you are not the only one that has noticed I think I can answer both of your questions again by reading headlines in overseas Newspapers! This in the Daily Times
By Paul Craig Roberts
America has become a pretty discouraging place. Americans, for the most part, will never know what happened to them, because they no longer have a free and responsible press.....
Comments from readers:
Ray, why do you sound so anti-American in some of your postings?
November 09, 2009
I am sorry if I come across that way, I know that USA is a huge country that can afford to turn on it's own people and create huge animosity against cross sections of the population e.g. conservatives , elders who retire with some savings and are left at the mercy of predators, etc. However it wasn't that long ago when government and news org were of the people, by the people and for the people and if you had a problem they helped you.This is no more, now they all are working for the big interests and the victims have no rights!If this makes me sound anti american, it isn't, I love America and the values for which it was founded on .
New EoD article at Examiner.com
Posted: 29 Oct 2009 04:58 PM PDT
In the past, benefiting from an estate was generally a reactive status. More stories are surfacing, however, indicating proactive approaches being used to gain control of estates. Nefarious deeds are nothing new to inheritance tales, but the bold sense of entitlement accompanying today’s acts illustrate America’s further progression into becoming the Land of the Gimme-Gimmes and the Home of the I-Want-Mores. Looking at cases from Ohio, Maryland, Kansas and Florida, the lengths to which people will go to acquire the assets of others literally have no physical or moral bounds.
Read more here.
New EoD article at Examiner.com
The new inheritance fast-track
Life sentence for murder involving trust dispute
Vegas real estate slump hits Hughes’ heirs
Gottlieb fortune Manhattan’s new high-profile estate dispute
Gottlieb estate background
Estate protected pending murder trial
CA attorney disbarred; criminal sentencing upcoming
No-contest clauses examined
By Shelly Banjo Posted: 02 Nov 2009
On a recent vacation in Ireland a woman told me, “Where there’s a will, there’s a relative.”
But the latest high-stakes inheritance dispute isn’t a fight between family members. Rather, the daughter of oil pioneer and cultural philanthropist Alfred C. Glassell Jr. is contesting her father’s most recent of nine wills, claiming lawyers forced him into shrinking her share of the estate to $1.6 million from $100 million and bequeathing it to charities such as Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Mary Flood writes in the Houston Chronicle.
If she wins the court case, Curry Glassell and her brother each would take some $100 million and land but if the jury finds she contested the will in bad faith she could lose the entire inheritance.
If squabbles weren’t enough, high-profile estate planners must also worry about will forgery.
Dow Jones Newswires reporter Arden Dale recently wrote about Anthony D. Marshall, the son of socialite and philanthropist Brooke Astor, who was convicted this month of defrauding his mother and stealing millions of dollars from her in her dotage.
Francis X. Morrissey Jr., a lawyer who did estate planning for Marshall, was convicted of forging Astor’s signature on an amendment to her will.
The former FBI agent who testified for the defense in the months-long trial of Astor’s son Alan Robillard said charges of forgery are more common than proven cases of it. They often originate with an adult child who, feeling short-changed in a parent’s will, accuses a sibling of doctoring the document.
Other Related Articles at EoD :
Last Saturday October 24th 2009 we reported that Obama Declared a H1N1 National Emergency this was not talked about in the mainstream media and barely mentioned in others.
However the fact that the media routinely avoids some unsavory subjects such as elder abuse and elder financial abuse which has been called the scourge of the 21st century and has reached epidemic proportions does not mean it isn't happening.
In Ukraine in Europe the politicians and media avoided the subject as long as they could and are now under attack and the Ukrainian health minister Vasyl Knyazevych who had asked the media to show restraint in their reporting is now facing a lot of angry citizens who they not only want to be sacked, but jailed.
As all the schools close and people complaint that the authorities should have provided accurate information about the outbreak so that Ukrainians could seek appropriate medical help the government is coming under attack for downplaying the epidemic and not doing enough to warn its citizens of the impending crisis.
Experts say Ukraine was unprepared for the swine flu outbreak, and the hunt for political scapegoats is likely to continue.
He said he wanted to hold a TV marathon to raise funds to fight the epidemic.
The first aircraft to arrive in Ukraine from Switzerland carrying emergency medical supplies,
was met by the country's leadership.
They demonstrated how to put face masks on in front of cameras.
Many Ukrainians however, are asking why their government did not act sooner.
Does anybody know what's happening on Ukraine? I'm from Poland (the neighbour country) and I hear in the radio that there is an "viral pneumonia epidemy" in western Ukraine. I hear that "people are escaping", "there is no more places in hospitals", "hundreds of people need to be hospitalised", "the goverment advices people to stay in home", "there is a strange virus epidemy", "there are some confirmed swine flu cases", "people are dying" and "the exact reason of the epidemy is not yet known". I think that the situation is serious.
It looks more and more serious every hour. There is no more free places in hospitals. They are planning to use military medical forces and make a quarantine for the whole country. Poland-Ukraine border (EU border) is still open, but there is increased medical control there.
I attach source information in polish and ukrainian:
http://www.rmf.fm/fakty,164141,Epidemia ... osoby.html
"The world has given us the financial crisis and now this horrible flu." Yulia Tymoshenko Ukrainian Prime Minister.