Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Please Let My Mother Live!

On Tuesday, January 18, KPFK in Los Angeles ran a groundbreaking interview concerning conservatorship abuse. I appeared on the program to discuss the abuses being inflicted on my mother (and myself) through the Los Angeles probate court. Janet Phelan also appeared on the show, to give her perspective as a reporter who has been covering the issue of abusive conservatorships.
Access Unlimited 90.7 FM, 2:00-3:00 PM, Dr. Henry Slucki, USC, moderator.
Here is the link to the KPFK interview:

In February 2010, my mother was wrongfully removed from her lovely Los Angeles, Westwood home (in violation of the probate court’s own statute Probate Code 2253(g)) and had her home and all her assets taken by the temporary conservator. My mother was quickly declared incompetent and incapable of expressing her needs and wishes so that her statements that she wants to live with me in her own home could be ignored.
At the same time, I was also wrongfully removed from this Westwood home, my residence of 8+ years where I had been living and caring for my parents. The Court revoked my durable powers of attorney for health care and assets and the appointment of me as conservator. I was thrown out even though I am a principal first beneficiary. I had even been paying their expensive mortgage for almost half a year in order to prevent foreclosure.
In June 2009 my brother and sister, without any notice to me filed papers to be named our mother’s permanent conservators. Their papers contain outright falsehoods about my isolating mother. This filing was done right after they put our father, a former director of the Federal Reserve Board, San Francisco and Los Angeles on “comfort care” at a west Los Angeles hospital, against his wishes, and against the wishes of his wife and me and despite our valid durable powers of attorney for his health care and the fact that neither had a valid power of attorney. His death was thereby accelerated to May 21, 2009. I went to court to bring father home from the hospital but he “died” that very day.
I had been living with and caring for my parents since 2002 without criticism or complaint from my brother and sister, during which time, neither of whom provided much of any financial assistance or personal assistance for their care beyond sporadic occasional/
limited visits and help. They in fact praised my care in writing with greeting cards and gifts to me.
Copies available upon request.
My brother told the probate court that he had been handling our parents financial matters for the past 20 years. Documentation shows however, that rather than manage their business (after father’s retirement from the company that he and mother founded) in order that they be provided for in their old age, under his management only the house and substantial tax liens remained.
Seeking to protect themselves against the repercussions for their own behavior and seeking to remove my mother from my care and deprive me of my home, they did the following. Without evidence of any wrongdoing by me or by the caregivers, the caregivers were changed on 2/8/10. I was then thrown out of my home on 2/18/10 based upon false elder abuse charges made by the new caregivers, the temporary conservator and sister in documents prepared and filed by the temporary conservator and her lawyer and the court appointed lawyer for my mother.
There was no evidence of wrongdoing by me, and they never proved their allegations. They never bothered to try the charges because these allegations were used as a ploy to remove me from the house. The pvp attorney, the siblings attorney, the temporary conservator and her attorney came to the house on 2/18/10 and made me leave. My attorney was also present. On that same day they took my mother out of her home and kept her in the siblings underground basement converted to a unit until March 27/10 based upon more false statements that her house was unfit to live in.
The legal bill for the lawyer of the first temporary conservator dated 12/17/09 states: Review correspondence from CW (temporary conservator) re getting Jeannie out of the house. Taking the conservatee to a new doctor; correspondence to CW re same.”
The temporary conservator’s notation for services rendered for 2/4/10 states: “Telephone call from CT (sister) regarding her expectations of the hearing on 2/10/10. She expressed her frustrations about the lack of progress in changing caregivers and moving her sister, Jeannie out of the house.”
The Constitutional-civil rights protections of speech, religion, right to own arms, procedural due process, right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures and cruel and unusual punishments are supposed to protect my mother and me as her long time familial caregiver,
but these laws are disregarded by the probate system as described below.
In September of this year, the temporary conservator violated my personal privacy by breaking into three locked suitcases and examining confidential and private papers, despite the fact that I had expressly told her she did not have permission to do so.
Without any evidence or pending accusations, and based totally on unfounded hearsay, I am forbidden by the probate court from caring for my mother, talking to her about her medical care, diet, residence, vitamins/supplements/medications and speaking in Japanese with her. My mother’s health condition has greatly deteriorated since I was removed from her care.
By court order, although I cared for her 8+ years and am her daughter, I am not allowed to cook any food for her or make any juices, take her pulse, blood pressure or weigh her or speak with her caregivers or any medical personnel caring for her. I am not allowed to see my mother or talk to her by phone when I want to or when my mother wants to see me or talk with me. The temporary conservators have arbitrarily canceled visits without notice, shortened times of my visits, changed visit days without reason or based upon untrue statements even when mother has begged and pleaded to be with me, to have me by her side, to have longer visits, more frequent visits. (taped).
Since February 2010, my mother and I have been forced to pay $50/hr. for monitored visits without any evidence having been presented for this requirement and despite my objections and requests for unlimited, unmonitored visits with my mother. I was not allowed to take her out at all--to eat or on rides for months.
Just recently, we are charged for visits over an hour and if I take
my mother out. The minimum charge is $100 per visit.
A one hour visit time is too short to go to Church. One hour visits are extremely too short and cruel, especially where both mother and daughter have repeatedly asked for more time together. I can only bring one visitor at a time to the basement unit with me so there is no more Bible study.

My mother is denied phone calls from her friends and visitors. When she was living at her home, her answering machine was turned off by the conservators. The pvp has prohibited all of my mother's previous caregivers, even if they are personal friends, from visiting her, in all likelihood to prevent them from seeing her sudden deterioration and poor current care.


When I brought a scale to a visit in order to weigh my mother--before the court‘s order that I can not weigh her, the police were called by the temporary conservator and sibling. I left before they arrived. In June 2010, based on totally false accusations, the temporary conservator, in the plain view of my mother, had the police take me in handcuffs to the police station in West LA. I was immediately released because the accusations were completely false.

Mother’s court appointed lawyer blatantly and constantly misrepresents in open court, and makes untruthful statements such as mother’s home is unfit to live in, mother does not want to live in her home, mother prefers to live in the basement unit. The pvp told me that I would never be able to live in my mother’s home with her again without giving me a reason and she told me and the court that she is intending to put my mother in a nursing home rather than let her go back to her home. My mother does not need to go to a nursing home and can easily live in her own home (with me) and with me in my condo. The pvp’s first legal bill to my mother who has extremely few assets was $9,000 for that first month.


Although her blood pressure became unstable and measuring 160's-170's, she has been denied all of her Dr. L prescribed normal blood pressure maintaining supplements and not prescribed any substitutes, nor is she being given any blood pressure medication; She slurs her words because of high blood pressure when she blood pressure reaches the 140‘s. She has developed swelling hands and severe dental problems. She was kept terribly cold last year Feb. March 2010, now she is kept warmer because of all my complaints. She had been kept so cold in the winter that she was shaking from the cold. She still has cold hands & feet from the poor diet and because they don't let her wear a little hat/cap. She continually has cold hands and icy cold feet even in warm weather, she is being given laxatives instead of proper fluids and diet, and was being given seeds and nuts when she has diverticulitis. She has developed new and serious dental problems.

There was an attempt to take her to a new, unknown doctor the day before my mother was to turn 94. We fought hard on this issue and notified all concerned that we thought this was a strange appointment and why wasn‘t she being taken to her own doctor of over 10 years. One of her medical reports states that she has at least another 8 good years ahead if she does not develop certain ailments which since the sister and temporary conservators have taken over, she is suddenly developing the ailments which list includes blood pressure problems, urinary tract and other infections.
The siblings absolutely refuse to sit down and talk settlement despite 8-10 attempts that I have made. I am concerned about the numerous life insurance policies that might exist as mentioned in my father’s personal financial statements on the life of my mother, and the termination of benefits provisions in older policies should an elderly survive past 94-95 years of age. I want my mother to outlive any termination of life insurance beneficiary benefits provisions.

The probate courts are supposed to help those in need conserve their assets (which is why the persons they appoint are called “conservators”). Recent disclosures by a report from the GAO reveal that conservatorship abuse is rampant. My own 94 year old mother is being held in a small, damp, poorly ventilated, 3/4 underground unit where she is denied good nutrition and proper medical care, and her court appointed temporary “conservators” are squandering her assets.

Over a year later, a disputed accounting has just been filed in December ‘10 for questionable spending through May ‘09 only. This “accounting” is mainly being used to present as fact, irrelevant hearsay and totally false allegations unsupported by any evidence to further defame and slander me. The current “conservator” has likewise been allowed to avoid accounting for her spending since she took over in June ’09 to date so that all that we know now remains is my mother’s home in Westwood. The Court therefore, completely refused to acknowledge any of my mother’s wishes to live in her home and to be with me and has allowed her funds to be spent with hardly any accountability.
Mother has not received any of her long term care insurance benefits. Her long term care insurance reimburses payments for a caregiver is at the daily rate of $100. The temporary conservator changed the caregivers on February 8, 2010, firing our $100/day caregivers and replacing them with $195/day caregivers, many of whom could hardly read, write or speak English well and most of whom did not take proper care of mother. (Didn't get up at night to tend to her, did not give her adequate liquids or healthy meals, clean her adequately, provide daily activities for her, talk to her, etc.) The temporary conservators to date, have not obtained the long term care insurer's $100/day reimbursement for mother's caregiver payments.


Since I have been put out of the house and not allowed to care for her, my mother has collapsed 5 times in 9 months, twice losing consciousness and in July foaming at the mouth. She has had to be transported unconscious by ambulance to emergency where she had to be hospitalized twice in 2 months. She has had 5 urinary tract infections (uti) in 9 months. Under my care she had 1 (uti) in 8 years and she had never collapsed or been hospitalized during those 8+ years.
After I was removed from the house in Feb. 2010 she had all her doctor prescribed supplements stopped without any reason given. She had been taking these supplements for over 8 years. Under my eight years of care her blood pressure and cholesterol were kept normal with doctor prescribed supplements only. She had no osteoporosis or dental problems. She was healthy, lively, energetic and walking around with her walker. Visitors thought that she was in her 60's.
This is no longer the case. Her care became the following: The removal of her warm clothing, warm blankets, little cap on her head to conserve body energy; inadequate amounts of nutritious liquids, complex carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, dairy and other healthy foods so that she constantly complains of great fatigue, she can no longer walk unassisted, and her cholesterol has drastically increased with bad cholesterol up from 99 to 155. She is given 3 laxatives daily and now suffers from swelling hands, dental problems that she had never experienced under my care.


My mother was taken out of her home against her will and understanding on 7/13/10 and not allowed to return. There has been no medical reason given, or any medical emergency. Her requests to go back home have been ignored and she has been told that if she does go back she will live there alone and not be able to see her grandchildren or her great grand children and that her home is dirty, unsanitary not habitable and that it costs too much money to live there. The court has been presented with false statements about the condition of her home.

Despite my constant suggestions both verbal and email, my mother continues to be given an improper diet, improper care so that she is frequently constipated and is given 3 laxatives instead of adequate nutrition. She is frequently seriously ill from urinary tract infections, has to take harsh antibiotics and be hospitalized, continues to suffer from the complete withholding of her nutritional support and supplements that she has taken for 8+ years and greatly suffers from a forced separation from me and is unable to attend church or travel with me.

My mother has been suffering physically from the substandard care being provided by the siblings and the temporary conservators. And they are doing everything they can to separate me from my mother, since I am in the way of their taking her house and all of her assets, and even her life.

These atrocities must not be allowed to continue, especially after the pvp, the conservators and their attorneys and the court have been advised repeatedly of these matters.

I am frankly afraid that my mother will not survive much longer under these conditions. If my story were unique it would be simply sad. Given the pervasiveness of these sorts of abuses, the situation cries out for exposure.
Recent disclosures by a report from the GAO reveal that conservatorship abuse is rampant. Report to the Chairman, Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate United States Government Accountability Office GAO September 2010 GUARDIANSHIPS.

This, from newspaper The Arizona Republic, dated December 11, 2010:
Score one for the old, the sick and the vulnerable – which, in Arizona, is saying something. The Arizona Court of Appeals on Thursday tossed out a probate judge's ruling that R.B. Sleeth must pay $265,000 to a lawyer who spent most of his time fighting the old guy's wishes. Sleeth, as you may recall, is the 81-year-old Paradise Valley man who spent 10 weeks imprisoned in a lock-down unit for advanced Alzheimer's patients in Scottsdale, never mind that he didn't have Alzheimer's. It took him nearly two years to extricate himself from Maricopa County's probate court. Unfortunately, by then his $1.4 million estate had been reduced to “virtually zero”, according to court records.
To see what is happening to my mother and to other elderly and disabled people throughout the state of California and to understand the extent of the probate court/conservator/guardian peril to the citizens of the United States, please see on the Internet:
An Open Letter to Congress and the White House.
The Probate Murders by Janet Phelan.
3. The map of the US at and note the many complaints.
4. provides information re problem judges, attorneys;
6. Blind, dementia sufferer Lee Peters’ horror story of law breaking and civil rights abuses in the probate court system against vulnerable senior, Lee Peters can be seen at Bobb retired in May 2008.
8. CBS Evening News 12/23/10 , Ms. Couric and Ms. Attkisson did an informative program about guardianship abuse of Marie Long by Sun Valley!
My mother and I are also experiencing squandering, seizure and removal of home and assets, and grossly incompetent care by court appointed conservators and certain family members.
California Probate Code Section 2253(g): The court may approve the request to remove the conservatee from the previous place of residence only if the court finds (1) that change of residence is required to prevent irreparable harm to the conservatee and (2) that no means less restrictive of the conservatee' s liberty will suffice to prevent that harm. If an order is made authorizing the temporary conservator to remove the conservatee from the previous place of residence, the order shall specify the specific place wherein the temporary conservator is authorized to place the conservatee. The temporary conservator may not be authorized to remove the conservatee from this state unless it is additionally shown that such removal additionally shown that such removal is required to permit the performance of specified non psychiatric medical treatment, consented to by the conservatee, which is essential to the conservatee's physical survival. A temporary conservator who willfully removes a temporary conservatee from this state without authorization of the court is guilty of a felony.



Jeannie Tanaka
P.O. Box 241256
L.A., CA 90024

1 comment:

fraud investigation said...

we should raise our hand for the elder abusing after all we are also going to be a elder. This is a time to put a voice on the track of the abusing to the elder