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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37131
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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We live with my father-in-law and are all in a law suit against

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We live with my father-in-law and are all in a law suit against my sister-in-law. She has power of attorney over my mother-in-law who has Alzheimer's. My mother-in-law is pretty much an infant. She doesn't understand, walk, talk or recognize anyone anymore. My sister-in-law (Debbie) has stolen all of their savings which was over $300,000 in 2005-2011. My father-in-law also brought in around $5,000 a month from his different compensations. She has taken ALL up until October 2011 when we moved here to help him, he is 85. Now, we are shaken to know she has put up security cameras watching us come in and out of the living room which is where my mother-in-law has a bed and which is also where the front door is. We are wondering if this is against the law since she does not live there. These are hidden cameras. We also have a worker that works 10:00 pm to 6:00 am 7 days a week. She changes clothes in that room and sleeps with the camera watching her. Debbie has also swindled my father-in-law out of his house. In December 2000, he was signing over POA to Debbie in case something happened to him. She works for an attorney and THEY had in come in and sign a bunch of papers. He was in a hurry to leave and said she kept making him sign more papers. He was in a hurry because Bonnie, his wife was already in a bad way and couldn't sign her name without him helping her. He pretty much signed it for her. Well he thought this was wrong and wanted to leave but they kept having him sign more. It ended up he signed over his and her Wills, POA's for both of them and his house. He did not know this until we did some digging because things were not adding up. We moved here and she because hostile and trying to make us move out of the city. We got suspicious. So, there is a lot going on here. But, right now she says it is her house she can watch us if she wants. We are not getting much help from anyone since her boss is big in the community. Please help! Angela
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question, Angela. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.


I am very sorry that you are in this situation. In what state is this taking place in? Recording laws differ from state to state, please advise!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

West Virginia

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your patience. Please allow me to go line by line here with my responses.

Under West Virgina laws, specifically . Va. Code § 62-1D-3, recording third parties is permitted provided that one of the parties to the recording has consented. Recording WITHOUT consent is illegal. It is also permitted to record, specifically under . Va. Code § 62-1D-2, if there is no reasonable expectation to privacy. Here, if the person is located inside a private residence, there is a reasonable expectation, so it may well be that the recordings are invalid if the home owners did not consent to the recordings being placed on the premises. But if the home is under her name, she can indeed place cameras on premises.

What you are describing here appears to be a very terrible example of multiple counts of financial elder abuse. The documents that were signed, if the person did not know what he was signing, could be fought since consent but understanding (competency) is required. You may want to retain counsel and reach out to both the police and also to the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services about how to file a grievance and to have them investigate the parties for elder abuse. Here is their link--this is a state-wide agency, so they can help you even if the community on a local level is unwilling to touch it:

http://www.wvseniorservices.gov/

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

So, even if she doesn't live there she can watch us?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,

If she owns the property, then her ownership is treated as consent. She can therefore place video camera on her own property, and can therefore watch you. The reason is purely because she would have then consented to being taped and by placing it all over her own property.

I am sorry.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry. I am confused. I just want to explain a bit. The people that live in the house is my father-in-law and my family. Debbie tricked him into signing over his house to her in 2000. Debbie lives 20 miles away. So, you are saying she can come over and put up hidden cameras and watch us and our care workers changing clothes and doing daily things without our knowledge? Angela

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,

If she owns the property and nobody on premises is a 'tenant' who pays rent, she CAN enter the premises since she owns them, and place cameras there. If your father-in-law and family refuse the cameras, they have to tell her so and remove them. If they do not say anything, her filming of them is not against the law. The home is hers, but if they have rights as occupants, your in-laws can asert those rights and remove the cameras from the home. If they do not, she is free to tape.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

What can I do if she refuses to take them down?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,

If you do not live on the premises, you personally cannot remove them. But if she refuses to remove them, you can hire your own specialist, e-enter the premises, and ahve that specialist remove the cameras. Cameras cannot film where where is a 'reasonable expectation' of privacy, such as bathrooms, so if you fnd any cameras there, it may potentially pemit you to pursue criminal charges against this person once the cameras are removed.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Our care worker sleeps in the room that has hidden cameras. She said no telling what she has shown to the cameras. I do live in the same house. Can we take down the cameras ourselves or do we have to have someone else do it? They are just plug in cameras. All we would have to do is unplug them. Nanny cams.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,

There is no requirement that you hire someone to remove them, but I suggested you retain someone so as to find the hidden cameras. While you can simply unplug the cameras, if you physically damage the property, she could sue for damages. This is why getting a professional to actually remove may be more practical and wise.

Good luck!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you so much! Is there anyway you could send me a link to print which I can show her and her boss so they know I know what I'm taking about. (Under West Virgina laws, specifically . Va. Code § 62-1D-3) I don't know how to go about getting this code, is this what I need to show her? Thanks, Angela

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,

You are most welcome. Once you positively rate my answers, you will ahve the ability to print out a copy of our communication, or have the thread be emailed out to you.

Here is the link to the law:
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=62&art=1D
(It is W. Va. Code § 62-1D)

Good luck and please take care!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

One last question, I think. Do you know of any attorney that would help us around this area? We don't want anyone from Logan County. Debbie took all my father-in-laws money so if you know of a pro bono one that would be best but if not maybe one that would work for a percentage of what he gets back from Debbie. You have been so helpful!


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Angela.

I honestly do not see this as a contingency case. While you can look around, I doubt very much you would be able to find anyone who is willing to work for contingency. You may look for counsel at websites such as www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com. There you can search by location, fees, experience, and expertise.

Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I am so sorry but I need to ask one more question...Debbie has threatened to tow our vehicle if we didn't move out of the driveway to let her park there. And on another occasion she blocked our driveway so we had to park down the street and wait for her to go home so we could park in our driveway. If she parks in the driveway and blocks us either to get in or to get out of the driveway what can we do? We called the police once and they know her boss so they told us to leave the house when she comes over and wait until she leaves before coming back home. This isn't fair. What can we do? Can we tow her if she blocks us from leaving? Can we tow her if she blocks us from parking in our driveway? Promise this is all I want to know.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,


SInce you physically reside on premises, you can tow her from premises for interfering with your property rights. While she may be the owner, you are lawful tenants and you are entitled to the use and enjoyment of the premises.

Good luck and please take care.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Well...my father-in-law has a life estate. We are there to help him so we are not paying any rent. I guess you can say we are his guests. Does this change our rights?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

It would mean that the father-in-law would have to pursue the removal of the vehicle, not you. He would have the right as a life tenant to not have his driveway be blocked by third parties.

Good luck and kindly do not forget to rate my answers to you at this time. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

What if my husband is now my father-in-laws DURABLE Power of Attorney? Does this give my husband that authority?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Yes, if he has a durable power of attorney, he can act on behalf of the father-in-law and pursue removal.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Even if my father-in-law says not to? Does this also apply to the cameras and anything else? My father-in-law is afraid of his daughter so that's why I asked if my husband can do what's right even if my father-in-law says not to.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,

The father-in-law MUST consent. If he does not allow it, then your husband cannot remove. Simple as that. Having a power of attorney does not over-write the rights of the other person, that person is the one who is in charge. If the father-in-law does not wish to remove, then you cannot remove. You either would need to obtain guardianship over him, or convince him to allow removal. But if he is refusing to remove, that is essentially consent, and that terminates you right to remove.

Good luck and kindly rate my answers at this time. I apologize but at this point as a courtesy I have continued to assist you, but I cannot do so indefinitely. Take care.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you so much! You have helped us immensely!!! Sorry I took up so much of your time YOU WERE GREAT!!! I will make sure to ask for you in the future! Angela

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Angela,

Glad to help! Should you need me again, please do not hesitate to request me again by name, and I would be glad to assist you. Take care!

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37131
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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