My 88 year old aunt, my 86 year old mother and I, a 65 year old senior citizen, are going through a nightmare that is beyond belief because it is, I am told by several government officials, legal kidnapping. .
My aunt and I have been very close all of our lives. Our relationship has been more like mother and daughter. We have spent a great deal of time together over the years, even though I was in Florida and she lived in St. Louis. My Aunt worked for 59years for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company before she retired in 2003. She was extremely successful at her work and over many years of hard work and frugal living she was able to accumulate a sizable retirement fund and investments.
I worked for 20 years as a realtor in South Florida for Century 21, where I received awards as a high performer. With my expertise in real estate my Aunt and I were able to form a business relationship that was profitable in the investment of homes and the rehabbing of them. We have a long list of taxes we paid on these properties.
In 2008, my aunt and I decided to sell our house in St. Louis where my aunt lived for over 65 years. We purchased a 5 bedroom home with a guest house apartment and an in ground pool in Bradenton, Florida. My Aunt and I lived in the main house and during the winter months, my Mother, her sister, would come from her home in Indiana and stay in the adjacent apartment.
My Aunt and I had barely begun to enjoy our new home, when my brother, Jim, who wanted my Aunt to live with him in Indiana, began to launch complaints against me and my Aunt to Florida family service. He accused me of embezzling her money and basically harassed us with a constant barrage of false allegations. These allegations were cleared each time by Family Services and we felt we had been vindicated. My brother continued his attacks on us and threatened to contest my Aunts will in her passing. She had made me a recipient of her estate, along with my brother, but he was constantly harassing us as he felt we were spending his inheritance for the future.
Due to his efforts and an incident, where my home was broken into in the spring of 2010, and I was beaten to a pulp, new allegations were made against me by my brother who pushed the lies that I was a danger to my Aunt. In April 2010, my Aunt was taken from our home by the State of Florida and a guardian was appointed for her property and one for her person. The States Attorney office refused to file criminal charges against me. Pamela Buha, States Attorney for Manatee County Florida , repeatedly told the 2 guardians and their attorney that I was a victim and their allegations were not true. Over the next couple of months, the guardians retaliated with a Civil lawsuit for embezzlement. Then the guardians attorney made motions to not allow my written responses to their accusations. I assume this judge refused to entertain their bizarre behavior because the charges were dropped
We are not criminals but we are being treated as if we were. My Aunt was initially denied her due process of law when she was taken by the State. She tried to hire an attorney of her own choosing, but was denied the ability, as the State seized all of her assets and assigned her a State appointed attorney, who did not represent her welfare as she requested of him. The Guardians have failed to look out for my Aunts best interests, allowing her properties to fall into disrepair and foreclosure. I am still working with the bank currently to try to save our homestead property. It is a very difficult situation as my money was co-mingled with my Aunts, so therefore many of my assets were seized at the time they took her.
My Aunt is essentially a prisoner of the State, with little or no freedom to do anything. There was quite a mismanagement of her case through the Florida State Family and Elder Services. The court system listened to people who did not have my Aunts best interests from the beginning. My Aunt was not a woman who was not functioning at the time of her incarceration. She was a vital, healthy, and happy woman, who loved to spend time with me and my mother. We went to lunch every day. Now, I have to pay the Guardian a $50 fee just to see my Aunt once a month for 10 minutes. I signed away my inheritance and my co mingled money just to see her at any cost. Her face is sad like an abused sad puppy as she begs me to take her home on our emotional departures.
I am asking that you review my case and give my Aunt a chance to live on her own terms. If she must remain at the nursing home, then please allow me and my Mother to visit with her, to take her to lunch, to build a few more memories. I do not want access to her money. If a Guardian must be involved then I can accept one who managers her finances. I love my Aunt. She is the wind beneath my wings. All my mother and I want is to enjoy our Golden Years without criminal restraints. Since my aunts incarceration, we have not been allowed to see her on any major Holliday or her Birthday. She broke her hip and had to endure the hospital and recovery without