Woman's Probate Nightmare Finally Over

Woman's Probate Nightmare Finally Over

There are 72 comments on the Hartford Courant story from May 8, 2008, titled Woman's Probate Nightmare Finally Over. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

The burly German man with a red face looked me in the eye, squeezed my hand and started to cry.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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JoeC

Irvine, CA

#1 May 9, 2008
Well, Rick, I, for one, do think that you did a great thing by publicizing this case.

Now, the next thing to ask is, what can be done about the probate system in Connecticut? Is there a legislator out there who could introduce legislation to change this system?

You know, the whole Connecticut legal system is rife with cronyism and conflict of interest. This probate case is just one small example. You will find that there is a core group of attorneys who feed off of the various courts in the state. For example, in the probate court, I am sure that you will find Vanessa Fuller and Norman Hurwitz have been involved in dozens of probate cases. They have figured out how to game the system.

Another example is the juvenile court system. There are certain attorneys that specialize in these cases. That, in itself, is not a problem. The problem arises when there is a way for the incestuous nature of the system to get in the way of justice. For example, there are Clerks of the Court who feed these cases to their spouses. So, the court appointed attorney is somebody with a connection to the court, who sometimes represents the child, sometimes the parent. The whole system works around this orchestrated dance in which everybody knows everybody else's moves and, most importantly, everybody gets paid. That is the most important thing.

So, when you wrote your article, you forced the dance in probate to stop, just this one time. Your writing forced a judge, who otherwise would not care a whit about justice in the case, to face the fact that his ruling was being scrutinized. You can be sure that, once the publicity of this case fades, the system will work the way it has always worked, and everybody will get paid. But is that the justice system we want in this state?
kimmanire

Van Alstyne, TX

#2 May 9, 2008
YEA!!!!!!!!!!

I AM SO HAPPY THAT MARGOT CLAUS IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Green I feel that you are a major part in the release of this lady. Your articles helped a lot more than you know. Please keep reporting on this issue. There are alot more victims like this, all over the US. It is an epidimic.

Green tea

Washington, DC

#3 May 9, 2008
What the hell? What about this Linda person? What happens to her and the lawyers, the people responsible for emptying this woman's apartment? This should be illegal. These people should be in jail. Other than being one of the most racist states, this is a blemish on the state of Connecticut
ezzie

West Hartford, CT

#4 May 9, 2008
This is a wonderful resolution. Except let's be realistic about what will happen to this system if all is moved to Superior Court. Will it really be better? Will an already taxed Superior Court take the time to travel to a hospital, nursing home, person's home to give this person the opportunity to be heard? Will things move along quickly or will issues linger? Have any of those encouraging the demolition to get rid of probate actually looked at the process in other states?
Yes, it's an aged system that needs some modernization and better safeguards. Yes, perhaps some consolidation is needed. But are we perhaps looking at this a little too narrowly? Is the culprit the probate court - which is a statutory court - or the people bringing petitions? Where was Margot Claus when the petition was initiated? Where was this family prior to her move to Connecticut? What is the complete story? To use a cliche, let's not get rid of the baby with the bathwater and do think carefuly about all sides of this problem.
doh

Avon, CT

#5 May 9, 2008
Probate, the only court in which the judge is not required to have any background in law, go figure how wonderful this system is.
waterbury victim

Marion, CT

#6 May 9, 2008
JoeC wrote:
Well, Rick, I, for one, do think that you did a great thing by publicizing this case.
Now, the next thing to ask is, what can be done about the probate system in Connecticut? Is there a legislator out there who could introduce legislation to change this system?
You know, the whole Connecticut legal system is rife with cronyism and conflict of interest. This probate case is just one small example. You will find that there is a core group of attorneys who feed off of the various courts in the state. For example, in the probate court, I am sure that you will find Vanessa Fuller and Norman Hurwitz have been involved in dozens of probate cases. They have figured out how to game the system.
Another example is the juvenile court system. There are certain attorneys that specialize in these cases. That, in itself, is not a problem. The problem arises when there is a way for the incestuous nature of the system to get in the way of justice. For example, there are Clerks of the Court who feed these cases to their spouses. So, the court appointed attorney is somebody with a connection to the court, who sometimes represents the child, sometimes the parent. The whole system works around this orchestrated dance in which everybody knows everybody else's moves and, most importantly, everybody gets paid. That is the most important thing.
So, when you wrote your article, you forced the dance in probate to stop, just this one time. Your writing forced a judge, who otherwise would not care a whit about justice in the case, to face the fact that his ruling was being scrutinized. You can be sure that, once the publicity of this case fades, the system will work the way it has always worked, and everybody will get paid. But is that the justice system we want in this state?
I am in accord with Joe C who sees through the system, recognizes its flaws, and asks to rectify the deplorable.

How anyone of good conscience can tolerate and continue to allow this
distortion of justice is not worthy.
By ignoring the truth and turning a blind eye we become the problem.

I BEG once again to have the legislators change the laws.
Stand up for humanity and justice, don't blame the rest of the world for what we do not do in our own country. Money and power should not be the defining standard for justice.
Judges should not be above the law--they should uphold it! They should have training as judges; guardians should have training and maintain a standard and have to answer to. perhaps a citizen watchdog
group. And, lawyers should remember to uphold the laws and do not let greed propel them into apathy and acceptance of wrong doing no matter how credentialed the abusers are.

Please stand up for good and justice ,help your fellow citizens and humanity, expect the best and give it!

LEGISLATORS LOOK FOR THE TRUTH AND DO NOT CONTINUE TO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN IN OUR COURTS.

Caught in Corrupticut

AOL

#7 May 9, 2008
The following is taken from the newly revised probate law which went into effect October 1, 2007. This was a result of similar cases like those of Dan Gross and Maydelle Trambarulo, both non-Corrupticut domiciliaries who were entrapped in the probate mire. Articles by Rick Green helped free them as well.

Judge Brandt certainly should have investigated the residency status of Ms Claus more thoroughly based on theses laws as quoted below. Under this law she should have been given an opportunity to return to New York, if not Germany. This case is just another example of the overeagerness of Corrupticut probate courts to annex citizens of other states (and countries), and hold them hostage.
"An application for involuntary representation for a nondomiciliary of the state made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not be granted unless the court finds the (1) respondent is presently located in the probate district in which the application is filed; (2) applicant has made reasonable efforts to provide notice to individuals and applicable agencies listed in subsection (a) of section 45a-649, as amended by this act, concerning the respondent; (3) respondent has been provided an opportunity to return to the respondent's place of domicile, and has been provided the financial means to return to the respondent's place of domicile within the respondent's resources, and has declined to return, or the applicant has made reasonable but unsuccessful efforts to return the respondent to such respondent's place of domicile; and (4) requirements of this chapter for the appointment of a conservator pursuant to an application for involuntary representation have been met.
(c) If, after the appointment of a conservator for a nondomiciliary of the state the nondomiciliary becomes domiciled in this state, the provisions of this section regarding involuntary representation of a nondomiciliary shall no longer apply.
(d) The court shall review any involuntary representation of a nondomiciliary ordered by the court pursuant to subsection (b) of this section every sixty days. Such involuntary representation shall expire sixty days after the date such involuntary representation was ordered by the court or sixty days after the most recent review ordered by the court, whichever is later, unless the court finds the (1) conserved person is presently located in the state; (2) conservator has made reasonable efforts to provide notice to individuals and applicable agencies listed in subsection (a) of section 45a-649, as amended by this act, concerning the respondent; (3) conserved person has been provided an opportunity to return to the conserved person's place of domicile and has been provided the financial means to return to the conserved person's place of domicile within the conserved person's resources, and has declined to return, or the conservator has made reasonable but unsuccessful efforts to return the conserved person to the conserved person's place of domicile; and (4) requirements of this chapter for the appointment of a conservator pursuant to an application for involuntary representation have been met. As part of its review under this subsection, the court shall receive and consider reports from the conservator and from the attorney for the conserved person regarding the requirements of this subsection."
The laws are now in place, judges just need to follow them!
sheepdog

AOL

#8 May 9, 2008
JoeC wrote:
Well, Rick, I, for one, do think that you did a great thing by publicizing this case.
Now, the next thing to ask is, what can be done about the probate system in Connecticut? Is there a legislator out there who could introduce legislation to change this system?
You know, the whole Connecticut legal system is rife with cronyism and conflict of interest. This probate case is just one small example. You will find that there is a core group of attorneys who feed off of the various courts in the state. For example, in the probate court, I am sure that you will find Vanessa Fuller and Norman Hurwitz have been involved in dozens of probate cases. They have figured out how to game the system.
Another example is the juvenile court system. There are certain attorneys that specialize in these cases. That, in itself, is not a problem. The problem arises when there is a way for the incestuous nature of the system to get in the way of justice. For example, there are Clerks of the Court who feed these cases to their spouses. So, the court appointed attorney is somebody with a connection to the court, who sometimes represents the child, sometimes the parent. The whole system works around this orchestrated dance in which everybody knows everybody else's moves and, most importantly, everybody gets paid. That is the most important thing.
So, when you wrote your article, you forced the dance in probate to stop, just this one time. Your writing forced a judge, who otherwise would not care a whit about justice in the case, to face the fact that his ruling was being scrutinized. You can be sure that, once the publicity of this case fades, the system will work the way it has always worked, and everybody will get paid. But is that the justice system we want in this state?
"You will find that there is a core group of attorneys who feed off of the various courts in the state. For example, in the probate court, I am sure that you will find Vanessa Fuller and Norman Hurwitz have been involved in dozens of probate cases. They have figured out how to game the system."

"The problem arises when there is a way for the incestuous nature of the system to get in the way of justice. For example, there are Clerks of the Court who feed these cases to their spouses. So, the court appointed attorney is somebody with a connection to the court, who sometimes represents the child, sometimes the parent. The whole system works around this orchestrated dance in which everybody knows everybody else's moves and, most importantly, everybody gets paid."
Wow Joe, that sounds like a certain type of white collar enterprise. Whew!

waterbury victim

Marion, CT

#9 May 9, 2008
BRAZEN, OUTRAGEOUS AND WANTON GREED!!
Need I say more?!!
Elaine Renoire

AOL

#10 May 9, 2008
Unlawful and abusive conservatorships are a national disgrace. Thank you, Rick Green, for keeping the spotlight shining bright!

It's not only the current victims you are championing for - the feeding trough of conservators and lawyers is anxious for their next windfall: the Baby Boomers.

Unless we stop them!.

Yours,
Elaine Renoire
National Association to STOP Guardian Abuse
www.StopGuardianAbuse.org
&
http://nasga-stopguardianabuse.blogspot.com
concerned

West Hartford, CT

#11 May 11, 2008
Unfortunately these cases are not isolated and ANYONE
can fall victim to the greedy who are protected more than
the victim.

We must have a voice now and change these abuses and have the lawyers who feed off the elderly held accountable.

Probate judges should not be immune either, if they don't know or follow the law-they are elected officials,
Nick

Waterbury, CT

#12 May 11, 2008
Congrats to Rick Green. It's nice to see a much needed win.

And Happy Mothers Day to this woman and her family
Angry Citizen

Keene, NH

#13 May 11, 2008
Perhaps Margot Claus & her relatives should file a federal lawsuit against the State of CT & all the people involved with her illegal kidnapping, incarceration & theft of her possessions & domicile. Only then, under the threat of sanctions & monetary judgements will the State Legislature & officials finally sit up & take notice to change the status quo of the corrupt probate system, just as they did with the corrupt sheriff's department.
sheepdog

AOL

#14 May 11, 2008
Aside from the fact that some of the victims of this judicial abuse end up with their estates plundered to the point of making the victim a burden on the State (a Medicaid recipient), these elected politicians want to burden the State even more by having the State pay for their health insurance. The motto, I guess, is to screw everybody possible. Especially the taxpayers. Really responsible huh? A social conscience? Nah! What's THAT?
Some attorneys and judges have even gotten into profiling and stalking. Oh the questions sound so innocuous, of course,(the question/concern that someone in the neighborhood might be sick, and that should be reported to the town fathers who just happen to be friends), but they shouldn't be out at meetings asking to be informed about anyone. Violating privacy. Next, the puppet plaintiffs (conservators) are sent in. All this, of course, goes on in the background.
Practicing attorneys should never be probate judges. Too many conflicts of interest. Also, an accurate list of all contributors no matter how small or large a donation, should be made public, and no one (attorneys or their partners) who contributed should be allowed to take a case before that judge.
Actually, probate should be a special division of Superior court where at least one wouldn't be denied due process, and proper records could be available. As things stand now, it seems that there's no accountability for the wanton destruction of families and individuals. Is this America?
Helens Niece

Bartlett, IL

#15 May 11, 2008
This is the very best news. I think Rick Green is dedicated to public service.

He is a hero for staying on these guardianship cases like a blood hound on the trail of illegal activities an corruption in the guardinaship racket.

Question: Why isn't there a federal investigation into this case?

Caught in Corrupticut

AOL

#16 May 12, 2008
Anyone besides me wonder why the ACLU isn't involved in cases like these? Civil rights are clearly being violated! The following are quotes from the ACLU homepage on their website.

"The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:

Your First Amendment rights - freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion." (Why was 20-year veteran FoxTV investigative reporter Mary Garofalo fired the day after a show she did on guardianship aired?)

"Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake." (The present guardianship/conservatorship process almost guarantees the civil rights of the AIP (Allegedly Incapacitated Person) will be violated.)

"Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs." (Violation of the right to privacy and government intrusion into private affairs is also present in almost every conservatorship.)

"We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor." (Gee, I guess the rights of old people don't matter!)

"If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled." (For the record, the ACLU sided with Michael Schaivo in his mission to murder his wife Terri Schaivo.)

Sounds to me like the ACLU talks the "politically correct" talk but doesn't put their money where their mouth is!
sheepdog

AOL

#17 May 12, 2008
Helens Niece wrote:
This is the very best news. I think Rick Green is dedicated to public service.
He is a hero for staying on these guardianship cases like a blood hound on the trail of illegal activities an corruption in the guardinaship racket.
Question: Why isn't there a federal investigation into this case?
Very good question.
sheepdog

AOL

#18 May 12, 2008
Caught in Corrupticut wrote:
Anyone besides me wonder why the ACLU isn't involved in cases like these? Civil rights are clearly being violated! The following are quotes from the ACLU homepage on their website.
"The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:
Your First Amendment rights - freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion." (Why was 20-year veteran FoxTV investigative reporter Mary Garofalo fired the day after a show she did on guardianship aired?)
"Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake." (The present guardianship/conservatorship process almost guarantees the civil rights of the AIP (Allegedly Incapacitated Person) will be violated.)
"Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs." (Violation of the right to privacy and government intrusion into private affairs is also present in almost every conservatorship.)
"We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor." (Gee, I guess the rights of old people don't matter!)
"If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled." (For the record, the ACLU sided with Michael Schaivo in his mission to murder his wife Terri Schaivo.)
Sounds to me like the ACLU talks the "politically correct" talk but doesn't put their money where their mouth is!
"Why was 20-year veteran FoxTV investigative reporter Mary Garofalo fired the day after a show she did on guardianship aired?)"
Apparently it wasn't investigated/pursued. You know who "ownes" mainstream media. It's certain radio programs which will give a more accurate depiction of society today.
Unfortunately, it isn't just the elderly who have been victims.
The ACLU is comprised of two organizations? Is it a tax exempt organization? What's with it's priorities????
Nick

Waterbury, CT

#19 May 12, 2008
Caught in Corrupticut wrote:
Anyone besides me wonder why the ACLU isn't involved in cases like these? Civil rights are clearly being violated!
Not defending the ACLU but they do have to be asked for help. So that should be asked of the attorneys for the family.

Notice how more than a few of the posts sound like what an abused child would say to the parent who didnt stop the abuse. Have we collectively reached that point.

Also once again Rick Green thank you once again for not only writting about these things but following up on them. Not many reporters do that anymore.

Take a bow you deserve it
sheepdog

AOL

#20 May 12, 2008
As far as I'm concerned, Rick Green is the most valuable asset that The Hartford Courant could have, and he's most valued by many, many readers.
Again, thank you Rick Green.

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