Guardianship News:

Pennsylvania: Daughter names Pennsylvania judge in federal suit over elderly mom’s guardianship

Genevieve Bush, conscripted into guardianship by Judge Katherine B L Platt, Pennsylvania Genevieve Bush, conscripted into guardianship by Judge Katherine B L Platt, Pennsylvania

 Federal Judge Timothy Savage further explained in his ruling that even legal or factual error, personal malice or the performance of an act in excess of jurisdiction will not remove the Honorable Judge Platt’s cloak of judicial immunity.

PENNSYLVANIA – A Pennsylvania woman is alleging she was targeted and harassed for some ten years by a Judge who reportedly conscripted her aging mother to be a Ward of the State under guardianship. The Plaintiff Daughter Mary Bush named the Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Katherine B.L. Platt in her Sept. 24 petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

As previously it is not uncommon for the elderly and people with disabilities to lose their individual rights around choice of meals, health insurance, marital status, medical care, residence, visitation, assets and property once they become a ward of most American states under a court-ordered guardianship. 

Ms. Bush is seeking redress for the right of communication and association with her mother Genevieve Bush, which she alleges has been intentionally severed by the Honorable Judge Platt since 2016.

When asked for comment, Stacy Witalec, spokesperson for Pennsylvania courts and judges, said that no information can be provided.

The 89 year old mother resides in a care center where the Plaintiff Daughter is only allowed one paid visit per month for one hour, which is court ordered to be monitored by a Sheriff and an Adult Protective Services (APS) supervisor, according to a press release.

“Defendant [Judge Platt] has used the mother daughter relationship by intentionally severing it as her weapon to intimidate and discourage petitioner’s limited legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights,” said Ms. Bush, the Plaintiff Daughter. “Defendant  [Judge Platt] has been maliciously inciting public hatred towards  petitioner that has resulted in physical attacks, injury, further  identity thefts, financial destitution and continued irreparable harm.”

As previously reported in the Southeast Texas Record, it is not uncommon for the elderly and people with disabilities to lose their individual rights around choice of meals, health insurance, marital status, medical care, residence, visitation, assets and property once they become a ward of most American states under a court-ordered guardianship.

The Plaintiff Daughter in this case is demanding the immediate release of her mother, alleging that the Honorable Judge Platt has turned a blind eye to neglect, abuse, improper medical care and treatment.

“Had there been due process and a jury, both petitioner and her mother would have never suffered such irreparable, devastating life altering harm,” stated Ms. Bush in court records. “Petitioner can prove that she and her mother have been intentionally targeted by defendant, Judge Katherine B.L. Platt, for cash and property.”

“Petitioner can prove that she and her mother have been intentionally targeted by defendant, Judge Katherine B.L. Platt, for cash and property.”

The Plaintiff Daughter’s petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus cites 28 U.S. Code § 2241, which is typically reserved for prisoners incarcerated in a penitentiary.

“She [Mary Bush] claims the guardianship is “fraudulent” and “was created and used by Judge Katherine B L Platt in great conflict to bring in revenue to her county and pay attached court allies tens of thousands of dollars,” states U.S. District Federal Judge Timothy Savage in his Nov. 18 Memorandum. “The petitioner [Mary Bush] seeks to end her harassment and terminate her mother’s guardianship arrangement.”

Although a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus may be granted by federal district courts and any circuit judge within their respective jurisdictions, the Honorable Judge Savage denied the forlorn daughter’s pleading.

“Because the petitioner [Mary Bush] is not in custody, she is not entitled to habeas relief,” wrote Judge Savage in his dismissal order. “The petitioner, as a non-attorney, cannot proceed with this action on behalf of Genevieve. The Defendant [Judge Platt] is also protected by judicial immunity.”

Federal Judge Timothy Savage further explained in his ruling that even legal or factual error, personal malice or the performance of an act in excess of jurisdiction will not remove the Honorable Judge Platt’s cloak of judicial immunity.

“Only when a judge performs a non-judicial act or acts in a “clear absence of all jurisdiction” is the protection of judicial immunity lost,” he stated.

The complaint lodged by Ms. Bush is one of many filed by adult children under various causes of action across the country, which are highlighting the emerging downsides of court-imposed adult guardianship. Although they are designed to help the elderly and people with disabilities manage their lives, adult guardianship programs have been plagued with allegations of neglect, abuse, starvation, over medication, wrongful isolation, financial exploitation and outright murder.

HR 4174 is currently pending before the House Committee on the Judiciary and, if enacted, would activate protections against elder abuse, exploitation and neglect under court appointed guardianship. Most recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed $6.4 million in new funding to support the state’s Office of Public and Professional Guardianship, which would include adding staff and investigators.

“Guardianship abuses are resulting in seniors literally being held against their will, isolated from family members and friends, their assets liquidated and drained by unscrupulous people gaming a broken system,” said Florida Congressman Charlie Crist who was among the U.S. Representatives who re-introduced HR 4174 on Aug. 7.

In her Oct. 15 Motion for Reconsideration of denial, the Plaintiff Daughter Ms. Bush told the Honorable Judge Savage that the goal of her petition is not just the release of her mother but to ensure due process under the U.S. Constitution.

“Convicted felons have more rights, freedoms and protections,” she said. “Mary and Genevieve Bush have committed no crimes.”

Judge Savage’s decision to dismiss is currently on appeal before the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.