Withholding Optimism On Probate's Future

From my seat in the last row in the regal room that is home to the state Supreme Court, I surveyed the royalty of our probate court kingdom. Read more
Steven_G_Erickso n

West Roxbury, MA

#2 Oct 4, 2008
The way to best understand the failings of law enforcement and the courts is to follow what happens to a wife or girlfriend beaten by police officer or dragged by his cruiser:
http://thesrv.blogspot.com/2008/10/our-tax-do...

If police cover up for other police officer that do this, and if a woman can't get justice in civil or criminal courts, the system is broken.

There is no adequate oversight of the police, prosecutors, lawyers, legislators, and judges in Connecticut. Self policing doesn't work for Catholic Priests, the banking industry, and for law enforcement and the courts.
Jim Ricci

Wallingford, CT

#3 Oct 5, 2008
Steven, forgot to mention our state agencies,DOT,DCF,DMV,XYZ all under investigation and all failing in many ways to follow their own laws/regulations.

Begs the question, Whats Working???
concerned citizen

United States

#4 Oct 6, 2008
As the economy worsens, the elderly will become more vulnerable. The older folks are a source of income to the financially compromised probate--both for the lawyers who charge exorbitant fees and the medicaid/medicare system channeling the old into nursing facilities.
When the money runs out what happens?
Death. The final insult.
Free from Corrupticut

AOL

#5 Oct 7, 2008
Ms. Donovan is seeking fees she charged as Mr. Gross's conservator in fighting Mr. Gross' efforts to regain his freedom.
Mr. Gross was a resident and domiciliary of the state of New York, not Connecticut. The conservatorship was later declared invalid by a Superior Court decision, and Mr. Gross was freed through a Writ of Habeas Corpus (unlawful imprisonment). Ms Donovan's appointment was illegal, and now she is suing Mr. Gross' estate for fees created by her own efforts to deny Mr. Gross his liberty. Should victims of a kidnapping be forced to pay their captors for "services" performed by the captor during captivity?

I have a personal connection to this case, as my mother, Maydelle Trambarulo, then a resident of Delaware, encountered a similar situation in the probate courts of Connecticut. Fortunately my mother has survived her captivity, but we had to first pay a ransom to her kidnappers in order for her to be allowed to leave the state. Yes, we agreed to pay her conservator and court-appointed lawyers for their "services", as we felt getting her out as soon as possible was most important. We know we can never receive justice in any court, as they are protected by judicial immunity, a principle that has also protected the judge and conservator in the Gross case from prosecution.

It is difficult for me to comprehend how any judge could even contemplate granting Ms Donovan her demand for these fees. This conservatorship in Connecticut should never have occurred in the first place, and to allow this suit to proceed is a continuation of a travesty. The family of Daniel Gross has been through enough pain- do not prolong their suffering.
Probate Abuse

AOL

#6 Oct 8, 2008
"Judge Knierim,...told the gathering he sees the courts as one might view 'a beloved old historic building.' It's something like an icon of Main Street, he said, but with a leaky roof, crumbling foundation and assorted other problems. The choices are to let it fall apart, tear it down or see what can be done to restore the old mansion.

Knierim, a patient woodworker who once served as law clerk to former Chief Justice Ellen Ash Peters, prefers a top-to-bottom restoration of the family homestead."

Knierim uses a metaphor, but not a good one. Very telling though. Often one uses a metaphor to explain an "unknown," by speaking of it in terms of a "known." Now, I realize that Knierim is a nostalgic, but this antiquated probate system which operates like 17th. century star courts bear NO relationship to any "beloved old historic building." Aside from the "beloved" building being an inanimate object CREATED by workers from tangible items, compared to a "system" dreamed up by some individuals who have decided that it's legitimate to hold meetings behind closed doors, without evidentiary hearings or proper records, where people's civil rights are violated, where they are threatened and intimidated, their property plundered, rights of inheritance violated, constitutional rights violated without due process of law, while holding competent people hostage to ensure jobs for people who might otherwise be unemployed were it not for the state subsidizing these staged litigation schemes to steal from it's ccitizens, there's also a problem when politically connected people can manipulate the "powers that be" to remove a known reformer for a "professed" reformer who claims to want to preserve the system, thereby saving probate judges their jobs. The "financial crisis of probate?" Cut costs and close shop.
The victims of probate abuse are nostalgic about their lost family members who were abused, lied to and about. Those family members who suffered an early demise, those forced to experience death without dignity. Family members are nostalgic about the probate instruments their predecessors carefully set up to protect their family members, and for which they paid members of the legal profession, but which were IGNORED by members of the "legal" profession. They're nostalgic about their inheritances that were squandered by the involuntary redistribution of their assets through the machinations of probate courts.
So, Knierim would like to "restore the old mansion."
He views probate as "the old mansion?" Those abused by the unethical probate courts would like their homes restored to the rightful owners.
As to the Daniel Gross case, that probate court had no juristiction. The proceedings were to be stopped immediately upon question of juristiction.
Yes, there's a good- old-boys network. AND the ABA is working right now to work on ways to get around the juristiction "problem." They want to "uncomplicate" the juristiction problem. Sure.

“Semper Fi”

Since: Sep 08

North Port, Fl

#7 Oct 8, 2008
concerned citizen wrote:
As the economy worsens, the elderly will become more vulnerable. The older folks are a source of income to the financially compromised probate--both for the lawyers who charge exorbitant fees and the medicaid/medicare system channeling the old into nursing facilities.
When the money runs out what happens?
Death. The final insult.
Yet the lawyers will still make the money. Won't they? And the Government will still remain incompetent. Won't they. It's time for the free market to thrive without the threat of law suits and without the dependence of socialism. Wake up America. The people have always produced a better result than the bureaucratic government.
Probate Abuse

AOL

#8 Oct 9, 2008
Marc P wrote:
<quoted text> Yet the lawyers will still make the money. Won't they? And the Government will still remain incompetent. Won't they. It's time for the free market to thrive without the threat of law suits and without the dependence of socialism. Wake up America. The people have always produced a better result than the bureaucratic government.
Yes, Gov't botches everything it tries to control.
It's only legitimate job is to protect the Person, Liberty and Property of the individual law abiding citizen.
One of the reasons we're in danger of becoming a Socialistic Gov't is because of the agenda of public schools. Students are purposely being indoctrinated (brainwashed)and are not taught about our founding fathers. Constitutional rights are being eroded/ignored because student's are not taught their heritage. This is by design. To eliminate the concept of competition in school is to erode initiative. This is passed off as trying to protect the "self esteem" of ALL students. Actually, there are people who LIKE to challenge themselves (intellectually) and not other people. To get a real good explanation of what's being done in public schools and why, there's a great book by John Taylor Gatto (taught for 30 yrs. and was N.Y. state teacher of the year and N.Y. city teacher of the year) " The Underground History of American Education" (expensive, but available through interlibrary loan)Well worth the effort.
You might find it interesting that Bill Ayers (Weathermen)and Obama (they met through Michelle) were on a Board which worked on Curricula for schools. Ayers says he wants to get rid of the free market system.
If more kids were homeschooled, there'd be more entrepreneurs, and the free market would thrive.
However, after working hard at being a successful taxpaying entrepreneur, no one wants a kangaroo court (probate) to come along and plunder their hard earned assets. That's what's happening now.
Margaret Andrews

Pleasanton, CA

#9 Oct 9, 2008
Dear Rick Green:

I'd just like to say that my experience in just a few probate courts in our state - in Fairfield County - has been excellent. The judges are caring and very concerned about the rights of the clients and with doing the right thing. I especially respect Judge Fox in Stamford. He's a good man who is patient and willing to give the clients every opportunity possible.

Sincerely,
Margaret Andrews
mea06430@yahoo.com

“Semper Fi”

Since: Sep 08

North Port, Fl

#10 Oct 9, 2008
Probate Abuse wrote:
<quoted text>Yes, Gov't botches everything it tries to control.
It's only legitimate job is to protect the Person, Liberty and Property of the individual law abiding citizen.
One of the reasons we're in danger of becoming a Socialistic Gov't is because of the agenda of public schools. Students are purposely being indoctrinated (brainwashed)and are not taught about our founding fathers. Constitutional rights are being eroded/ignored because student's are not taught their heritage. This is by design. To eliminate the concept of competition in school is to erode initiative. This is passed off as trying to protect the "self esteem" of ALL students. Actually, there are people who LIKE to challenge themselves (intellectually) and not other people. To get a real good explanation of what's being done in public schools and why, there's a great book by John Taylor Gatto (taught for 30 yrs. and was N.Y. state teacher of the year and N.Y. city teacher of the year) " The Underground History of American Education" (expensive, but available through interlibrary loan)Well worth the effort.
You might find it interesting that Bill Ayers (Weathermen)and Obama (they met through Michelle) were on a Board which worked on Curricula for schools. Ayers says he wants to get rid of the free market system.
If more kids were homeschooled, there'd be more entrepreneurs, and the free market would thrive.
However, after working hard at being a successful taxpaying entrepreneur, no one wants a kangaroo court (probate) to come along and plunder their hard earned assets. That's what's happening now.
Gteat post Probate. This country would be WAY better off if we had more intelligent thinkers such as yourself.
Elaine Renoire

AOL

#11 Oct 10, 2008
We must never lose our optimism that change can and will happen. It takes a lot of work, especially when the good ole' boy network has been entrenched for years. And change is slow, but once it takes off, there's no holding it back.

We are watching the case of Daniel Gross as an indicator as to whether the courts do want change or if they're giving lip service.

What Daniel Gross endured at the hands of his so-called "protectors" is intolerable and an embarassment for the CT probate court. The court has a chance to send a strong message that there's a new kid on the block and reform has finally come as well.

For more information on conservatorship abuse, visit NASGA at www.StopGuardianAbuse.org and read victims' stories. If we don't stop unlawful and abusive conservatorships, we may all fall prey.

Yours,
Elaine Renoire
NASGA
Lori View

Boston, MA

#12 Oct 10, 2008
What unbelievable arrogance for a judge to try to steal jurisdiction and then after being knocked down on the issue, even entertain the fee application of his patronage pal!
helensniece

Wheeling, IL

#13 Oct 10, 2008
The well intentioned guardianship system is broken, nationwide. The system evolved into a racket over time.

The Daniel Gross case shows the intent: Power, Control and Greed are the motivating forces driving the probate racket at the expense of the ward and the ward's surviving family.

Greed, fraud and corruption drove the sub-prime mortgage situation forcing the USA citizens to our knees.

The wards have been on their knees pleading for their rights, their basic rights to be heard. Their pleas have been disregarded and dismissed, stripping them of their dignity and their assets, reducing the wards to a product, an item that generates $$$$ for the guardian and the probate loop even after the death of the ward.

Then, next case, guardian appointed.....and the cycle begins - when will this end?
Probate Abuse

AOL

#14 Oct 12, 2008
Some systems should never have been instituted because possible/probable abuses should have been, and very easily could have been anticipated by anyone with the slightest degree of common sense. Severe abuses should have been anticipated. But then, common sense had nothing to do with the concept and function of probate courts.
To even entertain the idea that guardianship was a good concept at some point in it's history which then evolved into a racket is absurd. It was never a positive system. There are other systems in society which could be used without depending on Government.(Family, Churches, Volunteer Organizations). There are many fewer people who need such services as are "serviced" now. It's a BUSINESS. Just as there are many fewer kids who actually need Meds, than who are being fed salad bowls of meds to satisy BIG Pharma. Guardianships are a bogus "new" profession now attached to the courts.

We're dealing with humans ("Judges," Attorneys, Conservators, guardians), humans who've shown themselves to be power mongers. Humans who try to increase their circle of control WITHOUT it's attendant responsibilities (enter judicial created immunity). Where in the world does control without responsibility exist other than in the Theater of the Absurd (The Judicial system)?

AGAIN: "Never confuse the stated purpose of legislation with what it would actually accomplish. Most enactments will be ineffective or counterproductive."
Jon Roland, September 8, 2004

"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered." Attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson or Hubert Humphrey, but unconfirmed.
Probate Abuse

AOL

#15 Oct 12, 2008
Margaret Andrews wrote:
Dear Rick Green:
I'd just like to say that my experience in just a few probate courts in our state - in Fairfield County - has been excellent. The judges are caring and very concerned about the rights of the clients and with doing the right thing. I especially respect Judge Fox in Stamford. He's a good man who is patient and willing to give the clients every opportunity possible.
Sincerely,
Margaret Andrews
mea06430@yahoo.com
You said, "I especially respect Judge Fox in Stamford. He's a good man who is patient and willing to give the clients every opportunity possible."

I don't know why there should even be any question of patience. We're talking about probate court here, not CRIMINAL court! What in the world are you talking about? If he's a "judge" (actually he's not a judge, he's most probably an attorney/politician)and we're talking about probate so why would he have to "give every opportunity possible?" Opportunity for WHAT? Are you sure you know what probate court is? Are you sure you know the duties of probate, and duties of "officers" of the court? Are you sure you know anything about feduciary duties?

"willing to give the clients every opportunity possible." We're not talking about criminal DEFENDANTS here!
Constituents expect a probate judge to conserve the estate for it's beneficiaries (or to see that it's done). They expect a probate judge to be efficient and accurate. They expect NOT to have their loved ones dying wishes ignored. People pay attorneys to have probate/estate instruments created to protect their hard earned assets, to have them go to their prescribed/predesignated heirs. Many, many, many people have found that they/their benefactor/predecessors were sold a bill of goods, a false sense of security, because those instruments were worth no more than a piece of blank tissue paper to a probate judge.
You said you have "experience" in a few probate courts (in Fairfield County)and you mention "judges" (plural?)You didn't say in what capacity you functioned in those "courts." Are you a court clerk?
a "judge?"

You said, "The judges are caring and very concerned about the rights of the clients..."
What in the world makes you think that the constituents who walk into probate are looking for, or need someone who's caring or concerned? A quality of no consequence here. Caring? Concerned?
I think that's a fiction members of that profession have concocted to assuage themselves or rationalize their existence. Constituents want a probate judge who BEHAVES in court as an adult, who does not violate their Civil and Constitutional rights, who protects their rights rather than violate them, and who has INTEGRITY(that means he/she doesn't engage in shakedowns). In otherwords, they want transparency, and they don't expect a "judge" to remove a family member from their feduciary duties for no reason other than to appoint a colleague who'll "play the game."

You said, "The judges are caring and very concerned about the rights of the clients and with doing the right thing."
You can't speak about the rights of "the clients" you can only speak for yourself. And you don't know about concern "with doing the right thing." Actually, who ARE you speaking for? From what frame of reference are you speaking?
When you can walk into any probate court because it has open doors, when anyone (even beneficiaries) can see their complete and accurate court files, when after named executors are removed and replaced (for no reason), and completely accurate accountings of finances and furnishings are submitted, then I and others I know of, might consider what you've said.
And I haven't even touched on the physical or emotional abuse.
Probate Abuse

AOL

#16 Oct 12, 2008
TYPO: feduciary=fiduciary.

BTW, Is judge Fox the attorney Fox who is probate judge Secola's law partner?
Robin C Westmiller JD

AOL

#17 Oct 13, 2008
It is mostly due to excellent reporters like Rick Green and editors who are not afraid to expose the horrors of a failed guardianship system that CT's probate court is starting to make necessary changes in the way they deal with the living. Advocates for National Guardianship Ethics and Reform: angr.us applauds this one beacon of light in the media darkness to cover and expose these abuses which will eventually bring necessary changes to protect the vulnerable elderly and their families and eventually being down all those who have been mis-using the system for personal gain.
Kim

Collinsville, TX

#18 Oct 14, 2008
People are taught that truth and justice are what the laws are all about. I hate haveing to say this now, but I do not trust any judges, or attorneys after what my family and other families have been put through by the PROBATE ABUSE SYSTEM. Oh do not get me wrong, other courts are just as bad I am sure, but when truth and justice gives judges, and their hired hinchmen the rights to take and abuse anyone, especially the elderly or disabled, that makes alot of what we were taught as a good thing really ugly and scary.

Just think about it, Mr. Gross and his family have already been put through so much, the man was imprisioned under false pretense, held and raped of his life, family, his rights, his freedom, and his money, all of this was done to him with the blessings of the PROBATE JUDGE. Now the woman who held him and charged him to tourture him is wanting more money for her hate acts. If this woman is given this money then we are all doomed, UNLESS THAT IS YOU ARE A JUDGE, ATTORNEY, OR COURT APPOINTED GUARDIAN.

And that reminds me, even some judges are not exempt of abuse, look at the judge who is being railroaded for trying to make his state and court less corrupt.

Judge Knierim, I hope for the people of your state and that of the elderly that you do try to carry out the previous judges goals and be an honest and law abiding judge who is not out to make elder people suffer just so that you can show your friends that you are POWERFUL, and can make them POWERFUL as well as richer.

Mr. Green,
Another great article, keep it up. Without you the word would not be getting out about the corruption in any court.
Kim

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