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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26953
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My mother goes to an adult day care run by the county of Sacramento. She

Customer Question

My mother goes to an adult day care run by the county of Sacramento.
She is currently living with my sister, Lisa.
Lisa and 6 other sisters are in conflict.
The conflict does not relate to the current care of our mother.
5 of the 6 siblings live out of town/state.
Several siblings have called Lisa so they can speak with our mother.
It's been several weeks and Lisa has not returned their calls/texts.
I live in town - On Friday I went to visit my mother at adult day care.
I made a call to one sister who lives in Indiana and put her on speaker to visit with our mother.
Suddenly, a worker there asked if I Lisa was aware of my visit. I asked if I needed Lisa's permission to visit my own mother. They said yes because Lisa is in charge. I said that Lisa is only Power of Attorney. She is not guardian or conservator. The woman responded that they are the same thing and it didn't matter. Another worker who is an actual Social Worker came out of her office and said Lisa warned us about you, she said to make sure you do not get your mother to sign anything! She also said, Lisa is in charge she even showed us the document that states that she is in charge of making the decisions!
I told her that Power of Attorney doesn't take away my mother's ability to choose whether to see her other daughters or not.
Anyway, these two women made some awful accusations and spoke to my mother one inch from her face and told her make sure SHE doesn't make you sign anything or try to talk you into moving!
I was floored because our conversation with our mother had nothing to do with moving as my sister cannot and would not have my mother move to a cold environment. I already have an international student living with me so I wouldn't want my mother to move in.
I called the Adult Protection Agency and they got my side of the story. However, when they called the adult day care to get their side, the social worker named Donna outright lied to APS telling them that I was trying to talk my mother into moving out of Lisa's house! She claimed she nor the other worker ever even mentioned anything about my sister being in charge nor Lisa ever showing them the Power of Attorney paper. Donna told APS she was doing her job by intervening since we were upsetting our mother in trying to talk her into leaving her current home!
My sister and I are speechless as we, especially my mother and I, were affected by the accusations, etc.
Is there anything that can be done to Donna and the other office worker for causing such a scene. I was so upset Friday I couldn't return to work. It was a long weekend with Monday being the holiday, so I couldn't contact APS or anyone. I didn't go in to work on Tuesday either as I was still so upset I just had to address this issue. When I received a return call yesterday from APS learning they did not believe my complaint was as I had described I am even more devastated. I feel they tarnished my relationship with my mother as she will associate all the commotion with me. She cannot speak clearly due to a series of strokes so she can't make her point known nor would she as she's so nervous about all the changes in her life.
Is there anything I can do either civil or otherwise?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Family Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question and I'm very sorry for the trouble that you've experienced.

 

You certainly have the right to file a complaint against this social worker with the State Department of Social Services, which will give you a chance to have this reviewed at the state level by unbiased individuals/investigators instead of someone local. Here's a link to where you can file a complaint: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/cdssweb/PG22.htm

 

That would be the first thing to do as she's not going to get any discipline from the local level, apparently.

 

Also, it is possible to file a civil lawsuit against the business, the employees and the social worker for defamation of character if you can prove that they knowingly made false representations about you at the gym and also when these reports were made to the Adult Protection Services. If you want to go that route, you should consider consulting an attorney in order to properly file your claim.

 

However, as an initial matter, the formal complaint to the Dept. of Social Services is likely the best place to start.

Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26953
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Roger and 6 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Sorry - one more thing..... you have the right to file a formal complaint with the Dept. of Social Services for the facility as well. Here's a link for you: http://www.ccld.ca.gov/PG408.htm

 

Thanks for your question, and please let me know if you need anything further.

 

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

One other thing, Nancy ----- sorry, for the piecemeal response!

 

You are exactly right that the POA doesn't make your sister the guardian or decision maker over your mother. In fact, MOST POA's are only allowed to go into affect when the person becomes mentally incompetent. I know you said your mother has trouble communicating verbally, but that doesn't mean her mind is incapacitated. Thus, it may be that your sister has absolute no rights at this point.

 

You didn't ask about whether your sister was in the right, but I wanted to mention this just as a side note.

 

Thanks again for allowing me to assist and please let me know if you need anything further.

 

Have a good day!

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