“The case of the Dorothy Luck Guardianship is a tragedy like so many others that play out in the probate courts across this nation. Everyday Judges with overreaching powers granted to them by our elected officials strip ordinary citizens of the civil and constitutionally guaranteed rights and often it is done without due process. Please take the time to read this story.
The following is Reblogged from the article Grabbing the Purse – Fort Worth Weekly. by Jeff Prince
“Dorothy Luck was enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of hard work: a well-cared-for house, a good-running Cadillac Deville, a million dollars in a bank account, another million in annuities, and a monthly income from investments and Social Security. A widow with no children or close relatives, she remains active and relatively healthy at 85.
Her comfortable lifestyle was made possible by various investments created with her husband, Leskie, who died 20 years ago. The couple co-owned and operated Luck Field, a general aviation airport that opened in 1960 in South Fort Worth, offering a landing strip and hangar rentals for 40 years, until it closed in 2000.
Shyness isn’t a problem. Luck dominates conversations, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and can be a pistol when riled. She’s also softhearted. Her church gets 10 percent of every dollar, and Luck gives additional money to charities and friends in need.
The neat and still-elegant woman has always kept a close watch on her finances, and she believed she’d have plenty of money to last until the end of her life.
“I was very wealthy,” she said. “Now they’ve stripped me of about everything I have.”
The people stripping away her wealth aren’t con artists, muggers, or thieves, although the end result looks the same. “They” are a judge and court-appointed lawyers involved in a probate system that deemed Luck to be mentally incapaci-tated and unable to handle her affairs.
Two years ago they took control of her money and her life. She’s been writhing in the court system ever since, trying to regain control of her bank account, which has become at least $500,000 lighter since the court took over.
“I’ve worked since I was 15 years old, and I don’t deserve this,” Luck said. “It’s going to kill me. It’s aged me terribly.”
Texas, unlike most states, allows its judges to initiate guardianship cases. If a defendant in a civil lawsuit refuses to settle, a Texas probate judge can say, “I think you’re mentally incapacitated.” Then that same judge can remove the defendant’s right to hire an independent attorney and use court-appointed attorneys to settle the case in a closed hearing without the defendant’s input.
Don’t believe it?
Luck wouldn’t have believed it either. Until it happened to her.”
Click here to read the full story – Grabbing the Purse – Fort Worth Weekly.
What is most disturbing is that numerous legislators in the Texas House and the Texas Senate sat by and listened to Dorothy and others testify that she was being denied the right to counsel but they all went home and did nothing to correct the problems and loopholes in the Texas probate code that lack the checks and balance provisions neccessary to ensure that no such abuses can occur.
When these officials are up for re-election they should be voted out for the callous disregard of the fallacies of their laws and their utter failure to act to protect the vulnerable elderly and disabled adults.