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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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My brother will not allow any family member to see my 86 year

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My brother will not allow any family member to see my 86 year old medically ill mother. He is power of attorney and has been verbally abusive to her, isolating her from anyone and everyone. She is very afraid of him and intimidated by him. She is old and frail. This has gone on for too long...We the family want to see her as this has gone on for way to long. We have been threatened with getting arrested and in legal trouble for trying to see her. He has a crooked lawyer who works against our family in trying to keep his billable hours coming in. She has no access to phones and has a medical aide who is in charge of keeping her hostage and notifying authorities and keeping my brother informed as to anyone who tries to come in contact with my mother. I had the opportunity to speak to her and she is desperate for help, but she is afraid of him. She wants to have a relationship with her family before she dies. My sister passed away and my brother would not allow my mother to see or speak to her before she passed. This is unlawful and should be stopped immediately. Can anyone please advise me as I am desperate for some emotional support? Thank you...
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Does your mother live with your brother?
Is she mentally competent?
Is she physically able to walk or to leave where she is?
What "attempts" did you make for a guardianship?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, my mother does not live with my brother. She lives in an apartment with a home health aide who is under the orders of my brother not to allow my mother to call anyone or to allow any visitors in to see her. The home health aide under strict orders by my brother to call the police if anyone should attempt to go near her. Her phone is constantly off the hook and she is not allowed to use the phone. Yes, my mother is mentally competent, however, her eyesight and hearing are very poor. She is not able to walk without assistance and she is not allowed to leave the premises unless my brother is with her. My uncle and I hired a lawyer in 2009 to try to have me appointed as her guardian. My brother took my mother to the courthouse to have her sign all her assets and her rights over to him. Our lawyers said that they didn't feel that they could win the case because my mother is of sound mind even though she did this under duress. Keep in mind, she is very afraid of him and intimidated by him, but she wants to have a relationship with me.

Dear JACUSTOMER - This is all very sad but I believe that you should be able to get some assistance from your local county authorities by filing a claim with Adult Protective Services or a similar agency and claim elder abuse and the fact that your mother is being kept a prisoner in her home. I also believe you may have a case to refile for a guardianship since there can be a lot of changes in 4 years. There are only so many options in cases like this so unless you can get help from the county services or get a judge to rule that she needs a guardianship then you are going to continue to have problems. I have no idea why your brother is doing what he's doing but your Mom has a right to see who she pleases so if you can get her in front of a judge or other public official where she can express her wishes it may allow you to have the contact you seek.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you keep you updated, we spoke to elder abuse and they said if your mother is clear, alert and oriented, there is nothing they can do to help, she has to advocate for herself. They said to go there with a police escort, however, that was unsuccessful as the police did not want to get involved either. We were able to get in to see my mother, but my mother states that my brother is holding my mother hostage and that she is terrified of him. He is verbally abusing her and she looks awful and beaten down. She also said she is not allowed to use the phone. The phones are rigged to not allow outgoing or incoming calls, only messages are able to be left. My brother screens every incoming message. My mother was coerced into signing paperwork at the lawyers office to say she wants nothing to do with her family which is not true since she says her heart is breaking and wants to see me. Do you have any more advice on this matter? Thank you!! Diana

If the police will not get involved then the only other place you can seek assistance is the probate court and get a subpoena for your mother to be brought in front of the judge to tell her story. If she will not say to the judge what she says to you then I have no solution since the court is going to want to hear from her that she is being held against her will.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you we need a lawyer to file a petition at Probate Court?

You are permitted to file your own case but you are in a rather complicated area of law and I would strongly suggest that you have legal representation if you want this to be a success. This is especially true if your brother also has a lawyer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

David, thank you. We went to probate court today. Probate court sent us to speak to an investigator in the district attorney's office who works on criminal domestic violence cases. He said since my mother's physical needs are being met, there is nothing that anyone can do. It is a family matter that needs to be worked out. I don't know how to work it out with my brother since there is no reasoning with him. It's impossible. Any other ideas or advice on this matter? Diana

There's only so much I can do from this website. If the state will not start a criminal case then the only other recourse is to file for a legal guardianship. I understand you are saying she is mentally competent but you can claim she is not and that will get an investigation started. If and when she talks to the investigators and she doesn't relate her situation then I know of nothing you can do. If she doesn't tell others that she is a prisoner in her own home then you can't force her to do so. You have the right to start a civil action for guardianship but I strongly suggest that you get legal assistance to do this if you want any chance at success.
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