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Michigan Miracle: Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after TV-7 Investigation

Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after 7 Investigation Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after 7 Investigation

DETROIT (WXYZ) — She’s a 78-year-old Detroit grandmother who just wanted a wheelchair ramp. Instead, she was put under court guardianship. The 7 Investigators were in court Thursday when the Chief Probate Judge terminated that guardianship, bringing a lot of joy to Bessie and her family.

Bessie Owens can now make her medical, legal and financial decisions.

And not only did the judge terminate this guardianship and conservatorship – he also put Adult Protective Services on notice that things need to change with how they’re petitioning the court to put seniors under guardianship.

Cheers and applause filled the halls of Wayne County Probate Court Thursday where supporters gathered to watch Chief Judge Freddie Burton Jr. terminate Bessie’s guardianship and conservatorship cases.

She’s a 78-year-old Detroit grandmother who just wanted a wheelchair ramp. Instead, she was put under court guardianship. The 7 Investigators were in court Thursday when the Chief Probate Judge terminated that guardianship, bringing a lot of joy to Bessie and her family.

“I do not want or need strangers or bureaucrats over my life or finances,” Bessie told the judge.

“I do not want or need strangers or bureaucrats over my life or finances,” Bessie told the judge.

Bessie called the 7 Investigators in August after she discovered Adult Protective Services investigator Tresna Tupper had petitioned the court, saying Bessie was “medically frail” and “unable to manage her affairs.”

At the time, Bessie says all she needed was a wheelchair ramp so she could get out of her house safely. Instead, court records show Tupper told Judge Burton that she couldn’t find Bessie’s adult children to tell them about the guardianship, as required by law, even though the 7 Investigators easily found Owens’ daughter on Facebook.

“It does look like there’s some things that, in the course of doing your job, that some things were missed,” Burton told an APS supervisor in court on Thursday. The supervisor was in court instead of Tupper.

Bessie’s three adult children were also present.

“It seems to me it would be pretty simple to find them. Were other efforts made,” Judge Burton asked.

The supervisor maintained that Tupper followed APS protocol, but ultimately no one objected to Bessie’s request to drop the guardianship and conservatorship.

“It’s clear to me there’s insufficient evidence to continue the guardianship, and so I will grant the petition to terminate guardianship as you requested,” ruled Judge Burton.

A large group of anti-guardianship protestors in the courtroom cheered and applauded the judge’s decision.

The 7 Investigators showed you last week how Bessie’s conservator, lawyer Cynthia Williams, was asking the court to approve $687.50 in legal fees, even though she never met with Bessie.

“Why are you trying to charge her $687 when she only has $6500,” Catallo asked.

“Because that is my fee for my services,” Williams said.

“What did you actually do though,” Catallo asked.

“It’s on my account, did you see it,” Williams said.

Today Williams argued briefly with the judge, but she ultimately waived her fees and the judge terminated the conservatorship as well.

“The thing that’s important here, Mrs. Owens now has her ramp, and the court is apprised. We need to get out of her way and let her go live her life,” Judge Burton said.

“[I’m] elated and glad it was terminated, there was no need for it. And I think there should be something addressed to keep this from happening to another person and their family and friends,” said Bessie after the ruling.

“Did you have any notice from Adult Protective Services this was happening,” Catallo asked Mischia Smith, Bessie Owens’ son.

“No. I talked to my mother, who I talk to on a daily basis and she informed me, they didn’t contact me at all. And I was very surprised by this whole thing. I believe they should be punished for what they do,” Smith said.

Judge Burton also put APS on notice that he wants a meeting with state officials to make sure they are giving family members notice, before taking the extreme step of declaring an adult legally incapacitated.

“It does look like there’s several things we need to shore up, particularly in terms of making certain notice is provided,” Judge Burton said.

Bob Wheaton, Public Information Officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees APS, issued this statement last week about investigator Tupper and this case:

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is committed to respecting human dignity and protecting the health, safety and well-being of vulnerable adults. Adult Protective Services takes very seriously its responsibility to protect vulnerable adults. APS follows policies put in place to help understand and respond to each unique situation, and when necessary, works with partners in the court who make the final decision on what’s best for these individuals. Adult Protective Services aims to provide the least-restrictive services that are necessary to keep a vulnerable adult safe. The department is looking into the concerns that have been expressed.”

If you have a story for Heather, please call 248-827-4473 or email her at hcatallo@wxyz.com

To read this story at the WXYZ.com story on their website, follow this link.

1 Comment on Michigan Miracle: Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after TV-7 Investigation

  1. kathleen Morris // November 25, 2019 at 5:47 am //

    This news is a wonderful victory and will put all the crooked perverse probate judges in Michigan on Notice! Chief Probate Judge Burton from Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan is the ONLY probate Judge whom I have heard of who follows probate law and rules. Michigan probate courts are rife with lack of accountability, while Michigan state reeks with corruption, fraud, exploitation of elderly, collusion with crooked lawyers who are buddies with corrupt judges, where Kangaroo courts are the norm.. (when there is no justice in guardian cases, where the cases are prejudged setting up the soon to be ward of the court for sabotage by the corrupt predators of the court)! Judge Burton’s ruling of
    terminating Bessie’s unlawful guardian & conservator-ship must be a precedent in all other states as well. This highly organized crime racket of using humans for means of profit by denying them all civil and inalienable rights by snaring them in unlawful guardianship’s for the sole purpose to profit, steal, abuse, isolate,drug dangerous psychotropic drugs which causes their deaths (murder) needs to stop! Michigan judges put more adults under guardianship than any other state! Michigan is known to be the king guardian mafia! They love to fill beds to capacity in fake so-called care facilities, which Michigan Dept of HHS trains evil APS workers to go after prospects for guardianship even petitioning for guardianship’s failing to ever contact family, but lie through their teeth on court petitions they could not find any family ??? As in Bessie’s case and thousands of others, when in fact family was very easily found and outraged their own mother was kidnapped by the state, to profit from. Most often family & friends are barred and never again allowed rights to visit, or communicate by phone or mail! This is an outrage this state has not only
    allowed such crimes against humanity, but seem to love the abuse of power they have to terrorize our vulnerable elderly and disabled. Judge Burton is the first in Michigan history to follow any probate laws or rules in guardian cases I have heard of?! Michigan law is clear there must be clear and convincing evidence that person who is targeted for guardianship – that all avenues for alternatives to guardianship (least restrictive) must be exhausted before a guardianship is to be granted! IT IS UNHEARD OF ANY MICHIGAN PROBATE JUDGE DOING THIS! In fact the crony perverse probate attorney’s work hand in hand with crooked judges to unjustly snare anyone into a guardianship that is petitioned , ignoring all DPOA’s Power of attorney , which is considered in Michigan law an alternative to guardianship… which the law clearly states if POA is in place a guardianship cannot override it! But judges routinely ignore law and zap guardianship , stripping innocent vulnerable of all human and constitutional rights! I filed a formal complaint against several crooked judges . Judge Michael Jaconette, Chief probate judge of Calhoun County, MI… put my dear mom under a guardianship which ultimately killed her, when she had a long standing POA in place! I filed Judge Michael Jaconette must be recused off mom’s case when I hired a lawyer seeking visitation rights of my dear mom. The JTC let him off the hook, as they are all judges themselves and crooked lawyers, and dismiss 99 % of all valid complaints against judges.. case of fox guarding the hen house.. which is more proof of probate corruption, fraud..abuse. This crooked judge continued to allow moms guardian to bar me from visiting or talking to my own dear mom, in a staged kangaroo hearing ! Jaconette gave NO reason why.. only he just said so. I cited in my formal complaint against him, that ISOLATION is abuse and recognized as such nationally! The JTC condones elder abuse, and condones probate judges to violate laws set up to protect our vulnerable against abuse. These crooked judges need to have criminal charges brought against them for elder abuse and put behind bars for life for their crimes! With so many victims in Michigan of guardian probate crime in , it is appalling why the comment section of this great victory is not flooded???? as there are hundreds of Michigan families victimized by the probate guardian organized crime racket!
    Listen up people!!!! WE HAVE A REAL VICTORY HERE!!!! GET YOUR COMMENTS OUT HERE FOR GOD’S SAKE! Dr. Sam Sugar has given us a forum here to shout out for the world to read!!! We all need to have a victory rally in front of Judge Burton’s court and thank him for following the law and setting this beautiful wonderful Bessie free!!!! Where are you all???? Dr. Sugar was there for me when
    I was going through a nightmare hell, after mom was kidnapped by the guardian system, and was barred for 6 years from any contact with me and people she loved! Dr. Sugar was there for me to take my call, and give me moral support to keep up the fight .. gave me encouragement when there was no agency nor entity who would help because these gov. agencies are a blooming farce! Even the police force are involved in guardian racketeering! APS are dirty runners who show up in hospitals and sneak in to fill out papers for guardianship.. they get bonuses for referrals to nursing homes and those fake so-called assisted living facilities… which are prisons and take part in the secret society of using wards of the court for profit while denying them all rights. APS are known to be liars .. big fat liars.. making up outlandish allegations against anyone who may stop their money train scheme. APS show no proof of allegations… they say things they have no personal knowledge of.. just make up nasty stories to defame loving families who try to rescue their parents from court predators!
    This is the first time I have ever heard of a case.. ( especially in corrupt Michigan probate courts ) that a judge put Dept of HHS on notice for not following Michigan Probate laws and rules!!!!! Rah Rah Rah for Judge Burton!!!
    I believe this happened due to our forceful advocacy work going on from victims in Michigan exposing court sanctioned guardian abuse, fraud and corruption! We have been blasting our cases out on internet.. protests, and putting our true horror stories on video.. hearme.tv and thanks to one Detroit news media Heather Catallo for airing stories of guardian/conservator/ probate judge fraud and abuse of our elderly! Our message is getting out – WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE COURTS BLATANT CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OUR ELDERLY, OF THEM VIOLATING EVERY LAW IN THE BOOKS AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! Michigan Supreme court is the biggest farce of all who only cover for their good ol boy system, which is why Michigan judges are so brazen about their crimes.. THEY HAVE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT ADMINISTRATOR MILTON MACK COVERING FOR ALL OF THEM!!!! MILTON MACK HAS A HISTORY OF COMMITTING EGREGIOUS ACTS OF INJUSTICE TO VULNERABLE DISABLED AND ELDERLY AS A PROBATE LAWYER.. I HAVE PRINTED ARTICLES PROVING IT! Yet somehow he got placed as Michigan Supreme Court Administrator??? Fancy that! Any complaints that go out Michigan judge’s he lets them off claiming frivolous, lacking merit!!!
    Dana Nessel MI Attorney General lined up some 80 lawyers and judges to supposedly hear our stories, over several month span this year… giving us victims and families 3 min to voice our complaints in so-called “listening tours”.. what a joke that was! There were no lay person on the panel, there were no victim’s or victims families on the panel???? Who paid all these 80 lawyers and judges to
    be part of this so-called task force??? Did these crooks just line up to drain the 50 million dollar grant given (by the state ) for this task force?? If so, that is just what the guardians/conservators do.. *** lawyers line up to steal every stinking penny of the wards estate and bank accounts.. when they drain them they move on to the next victim! Is that all this task for was?? Michigan has had many many task forces to supposedly “pretend” they are really digging deep into this guardian organized crime racket.. and not one stinking thing has ever changed!!! It is just a way to patronize us.. !!! Was it Michigan Supreme State Court Administrator who ordered probate lawyers NOT to sell their used Michigan court Laws and Rules books, Tompson West publishers, on Amazon anymore,
    since I have successfully ousted 2 crooked judges off the bench by citing all the violations Judge Philip Harter (and Judge Garbrecht) in well written formal complaints to the JTC… and another crooked probate Judge in Ionia,Michigan by the name of Robert Sykes Jr. (who did not get disciplined) for his egregious unlawful acts observed by me in his court.. while he arrogantly put a wealthy elder lady under a unwarranted guardianship to steal her mulit million dollar bank accounts and 340 acre farm… everything this crook did was so egregious I could not begin to list all of Judge Robert Sykes and his buddy lawyer, David Tripp, who actually plays the role as Judge Sykes lawyer ! Each case I court watch in, is worse than the last and each one I think this has got to be the ultimate corruption of a Judge, only to find the next one is even worse!!!
    Is it any wonder we citizens fear being hurled into these mafia courts where justice is only perverted… Is it any wonder many are fleeing the country to avoid the evil U.S. Probate courts???? America is a Banana Republic.. it is not going to be.. it is already there and it is high time we citizens resist and demand justice in our courts.. all of our courts are polluted by this massive
    evil judicial corruption that has run amok!!!!! I thank advocate Harold Jackson for compiling laws in magnificent format .. to help us in this battle.. ways to target criminals who are responsible for crimes in their personal capacity. His dear mom was snared in a unlawful guardianship, her home stolen by the probate racket, and put away with less rights than a convicted felon. He needs Judge Burton to hear his case to free his mom from an unwarranted guardianship! So many victims and each one is worthy of justice and freedom, no one case is more important than another. We have to keep up the fight, and Judge Burton’s just ruling for Bessie gives us a ray of hope we have not ever had before! I thank God for hearing our prayers and for freeing Bessie! We need to have a great celebration and send cards and letters of thankfulness this Thanksgiving to Judge Burton!!!!

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