SE Texas Record

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Elder guardian suit against Health & Human Services Commission voluntarily dismissed

By David Yates | Aug 27, 2019

General court 05

NEW BRAUNFELS - The 75 year old single, New Braunfels woman who was guardianized by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) after falling ill with potassium deficiency has voluntarily moved U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman in the Western District to dismiss her federal lawsuit.

As reported in the Southeast Texas Record last month, Thomson sued in federal court through legal counsel for alleged violations of freedom of speech and right of association after Comal County Judge Charles A. Stephens issued a Temporary Restraining Order on July 3 preventing her from visiting with Attorney Phil Ross.

Thomson’s notice of dismissal with prejudice filed on Aug. 26 came on the heels of HHSC’s Aug. 23 motion to seal the case.

“The Second Amended Complaint contains Individual Defendant [Anne M.] Angerer’s personal residential address,” wrote Benjamin S. Lyles, the assistant attorney general representing HHSC. “It also contains her work address and the address of her employer, Texas Health and Human Services Commission. In the alternative to sealing, this Motion seeks only the redaction of Individual Defendant Angerer’s personal residential address.” Angerer is employed as an attorney with HHSC.

Following a trip to a hospital emergency room, a court appointed guardianship was imposed upon Ms. Thomson on May 23 by Judge Stephens. She was forced to move out of her New Braunfels home against her will and into a bedroom in a locked section of the Colonial Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, according to a press release.

“Safeguarding our nation’s seniors from abuse and exploitation must be a priority, and too often our current guardianship system fails to protect older Americans,” said Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell who is advocating against such alleged legal forms of kidnapping with the reintroduction of HR 4174 together with U.S. Florida Representatives Darren Soto, Charlie Crist and Gus Bilirakis.

If enacted, HR 4174 is expected to protect from the risks of abuse and neglect under court appointed guardianship.

For example, in Michigan, Attorney General (AG) Dana Nessel and the state Supreme Court launched an Elder Abuse Task Force after Attorney Bradley Geller alleged Medicaid fraud, violations of due process and the Americans with Disabilities Act in a federal lawsuit against each of the state’s probate courts, all 300 professional guardians as well as Nessel and the Michigan Supreme Court.

On Friday August 26, four Michigan public administrators, who are named in Geller’s complaint, were removed by AG Nessel, according to a statement online. They include Robert Kirk, who served 30 years with the Macomb County Probate Court, John Yun, who served 18 years with Oakland County Probate Court, Thomas Fraser, who served 14 years with the Oakland County Probate Court and Jennifer Carney, who served four years with the Oakland County Probate Court.

"It is hoped the Michigan Supreme Court will now order probate courts to relieve them of all their guardianship and conservatorship cases," Geller said.

Filed in Michigan Eastern District Court, Geller’s case, Boucher, et al v. State of Michigan, et al., is currently on appeal with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Issues presented include:

  • The dignity and fairness of the Court were undermined with repeated incivilities, such as untruthfulness, insults, denigration,  disingenuous case citations and mischaracterization of the content of the complaint.
  • The court expanded the Rooker Feldman doctrine beyond the bounds set forth in District of Columbia Court of Appeals v Feldman.
  • The court abused its discretion in offering a mere conclusory statement without evidence that even a single allegation was totally implausible.
  • The Court erred in determining Plaintiffs did not allege fraud with specificity.

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