Mother of Member Bryan Rosen
After five years of trying to get out of conservatorship, my mother finally was released from conservator of the person. And now she has a new attorney, who is involved with the ACLU, and is very supportive of a person’s rights. He’s going to get her out of conservatorship of the estate in about three months.
She had been described as having had dementia by the first two professional conservators. The first conservator had her own evaluators she used, and the conclusion of the evaluations was that my mother had dementia and was going downhill. These evaluations were unfair as they were done at inappropriate times. The first was done after a serious car accident in which my mother lost her husband, had numerous broken bones, and was in a rehabilitation facility under heavy medications. Despite all of that she scored well. Yet the evaluator claimed she had dementia. Another evaluation was done while she was doing chemotherapy. The first conservator tried to get her to take heavy duty Alzheimer’s medications, which she refused. Then the conservator claimed I was doing influence on my mother, and slapped a TRO (temporary restraining order) on me. Fortunately, I got it dissolved, but it got very expensive, as I hired an attorney.
My mother hired her own evaluator. The conservator and the judge wouldn’t listen. They also wouldn’t pay attention to the note her doctor of 25 years wrote that she was a capable human being, and shouldn’t be under conservatorship. The evaluator my mother chose was represented unfairly as being some kind of quack, and they found her guilty by association, as she had met me before.
Everything changed after we got publicity. The day after my mother spoke during the public comment period to the Board of Supervisors, the public guardian/conservator called up, and told her she shouldn’t be under conservatorship, that she has recovered. She no longer has dementia or Alzheimer’s. The court no longer demanded another evaluation. It helped to have a new judge in place, as McLafferty had died. All the court asked for was a declaration filled out by my mother’s new doctor, as her doctor who wrote the prior note had retired. This was a huge step forward from the horrible evaluators Judge McLaffery insisted on using.
We also had written a lot of letters to the editor, and I did an article on conservator abuse.
The judge is still worried about undue influence based upon allegations from my brother and sister, who are very absent, and do little for my mother. There is also an element of sibling rivalry. The judge seems to take these allegations without evidence seriously, but if we keep the pressure up, she’ll probably do the right thing.
Publicity, I believe, is a powerful weapon. We have to keep speaking up until they listen.
~Bryan Scott Rosen