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Following multiple RebelPundit reports on guardianship abuse, our latest investigation reveals this problem is widespread across the country and there is top to bottom corruption in court appointed guardianship in Harris County, Texas.

After speaking to victims, lawyers, and activists, the investigation reveals that the probate court in Harris County works much like a good ole boys club where judges receive campaign contributions from lawyers who then receive favorable rulings. In a court with little oversight, several victims suffered physical and mental abuse and were left to effectively be euthanized.

Guardianship is a court created power to take decisions of healthcare and finances away from those the court has deemed incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for themselves.

Initially started to protect the elderly and mentally challenged from being taken advantage of, it has often been corrupted, having the opposite effect. Those perfectly healthy who are effectively jailed and held against their wills, often end up in nursing homes away from their families.

Sherry Johnston told RebelPundit her mother was one of those victims. Her mother died in September 2014, weighing less than thirty pounds her normal weight. She provided Rebel Pundit with a series of photos which showed bruising, bed sores, and she made a You Tube video of doctors and guardianship professionals refusing to provide her mother with treatment, instead choosing to send her to hospice care to die.

Johnston said her ordeal started when a family dispute led to an order placing her mother, Willie Jo Mills, in guardianship. Rather than choosing a family member to be her guardian, Judge Christine Butts, appointed David Dexel to be the guardian.

The judge also appointed a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and an Attorney ad Litem to oversee the case, all at the expense of the estate. Rather than allowing Mills to live with Johnston, as both wanted, Dexel placed Mills in the Silverado Nursing Home in Kingwood, Texas, in the spring 2009.

The estate was charged $7,000 a month for the care.

“At Sliverado she was abused, isolated and neglected,” Johnston told RebelPundit.

Dexel, whose name came up repeatedly in the investigation, is out of the office until December, according to his law office, and didn’t respond with a statement on this and other cases.

According to campaign finance records, Dexel contributed $1,000 to Butts’ campaign while the GAL in the case, Howard Reiner, contributed $2,500 to Butts campaign in 2013.

Reiner didn’t return a phone message left at his law office.

Butts was re-elected in November 2014.

Johnston said her mother’s estate has been charged nearly $300,000 in total fees by court professionals, including lawyers like Dexel and Reiner who charged between $250-300 per hour for their services.

Debbie Valdez, President of Guardianship Reform Advocates for the Disabled and Elderly (GRADE) is not surprised and said poorly thought out legislation has led to problems in the State of Texas and Harris County.

She told Rebel Pundit that her group has received complaints against three of the four elected probate judges in Harris County.

The most notorious judge is Mike Wood who has been featured in a number of exposes in Houston area media. Valdez said in 2005, Woods was one of several judges to testify in front of the Texas legislature to argue for more ambitious guardianship laws, claiming elderly would be victimized without them.

The result was bill SB 6, which Valdez told RebelPundit has done the opposite, leading to far more corruption and abuse.

One problem is that the law turned Texas into a court initiated guardianship state. By this Valdez explained, once any report is made of an individual to probate court, they are immediately put into the guardianship system even before its determined, if in fact, the ward is incapacitated.

“We see court initiated guardianship as very dangerous.”

That’s exactly what happened to her mother said Johnston.

“She never had due process,” Johnston said of her mother. “She never saw a judge or anything (before being put into the guardianship system).”

This creates a “presumed guilty” dynamic.

Another problem is that courts are run entirely through a network the judge controls. In the case of Mills, her family wasn’t allowed to hire an attorney for her, but was instead appointed an attorney by the courts.

Valdez added, with attorneys and social workers are being invited into a dynamic where they are looking to please the judge and to make decisions which will prolong guardianship and thus add to the fees.

Possibly the most disturbing story was that of Helen Hale.

In an extensive expose, Lise Olsen of the Houston Chronicle wrote:

Under a court-ordered guardianship, 86-year-old widow Helen Hale was plucked from the house she and her husband had built on wooded acreage in Cypress for their retirement and relocated to an unlicensed group home run by a caregiver with a criminal history.

In some of the state’s largest counties, like Harris, Travis and Bexar, so many people are in guardianships that each probate judge oversees from 1,500 to 3,000 ‘wards’ of the court. Yet most judges have only a single investigator to check out potential problems.

Upon speaking with Hale’s family, the end result is that more than three years later nothing has changed.

RebelPundit conducted interviews with Hale’s daughter Susan Staley and her granddaughter, Jennifer Goings, and though Hale has six children, Judge Butts, without explanation, chose a daughter with a history of drug use who had recently spent more than a decade without seeing her mother, as her guardian.

Goings provided RebelPundit with a series of photos which show bruises, bed sores, and other signs of neglect perpetrated on her grandmother.

The photos of Hale’s bed sores from one of the unsanitary nursing homes she’s been forced to stay in were to graphic for publishing.

Staley said she can’t remember the last time she’s seen her mother, because in order to do that she’d first need to get permission from her estranged sibling guardian.

“I won’t give her the satisfaction.” Staley said.

The Goings family has written a series of letters and emails begging Judge Butts to reconsider this decision including one written by Ron Goings on April 4, 2012.

“She (Helen Hale) has asked us to please get her out of this situation. At every turn we have been painted into a corner as being aggressive, manipulative and now as terrorists. I cannot understand how the court and its investigators and supposed guardians can be so blind.”

Harris County has a population of 4.1 million people, according to the 2010 census, making it the largest county in Texas and third largest in the country. It includes the cities of Houston and Sugar Land.

Judge Butts provided a statement to RebelPundit addressing these two cases:

I am unable to comment specifically on the cases you identified, as the Code of Judicial Conduct provides in part that, ‘A judge shall abstain from public comment about a pending or impending proceeding which may come before the judge’s court in a manner which suggests to a reasonable person the judge’s probable decision on any particular case.’

However, I will tell you that, with regard to the cases involving Helen Hale and Willie Jo Mills, such cases were contested in that the children of Ms. Hale and Ms. Mills were in dispute as to the appropriate choice of guardian.  With regard to all cases in Probate Court 4, copies of the pleadings (which include orders of the court and reports of the court investigator) are available through the Harris County Clerk’s office.

“Ms. Mills due process rights were violated when she was not allowed to participate in resolving the dispute in Judge Butts court, instead Judge Butts removed all her civil, constitutional and human rights by forcing a guardianship upon her which ultimately placed Ms. Mills in an abusive and exploitive lifestyle until she died.” Sherry Johnston said in response to Butts’ statement. “Ms. Mills guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, guardian,  were and remain to be much better protected by the guardianship placed on Ms. Mills than she was,while she suffered, and her estate paid for the abuse, neglect and exploitation she was subjected to. Her only protection would have been by and from Judge Christine Butts.”

In another similar case, Mack Peterson told RebelPundit that guardianship has fractured his family. For the last year, he’s been unable to see his mother Ruby Peterson after Judge Loyd Wright gave guardianship to an estranged sibling.

“They’re criminals,” Peterson said.

Like in the case of Johnston, Peterson’s mother has been housed for the last year in a Sliverado nursing home, this one in Sugar Land.

Silverado’s corporate office didn’t immediately provide a statement or response to questions about the Peterson and Mills cases for this story.

Peterson said he was once nearly arrested when he attempted to visit his mother.

He hired Phil Ross to represent his interest and Ross said when he attempted to visit Ruby Peterson for his investigative work he was turned away.

Ross said he was recently able to negotiate a settlement with other Peterson siblings which paves the way for Mack Peterson to finally see his mother.

Ross also said the Peterson case has involved a plethora of court professionals including a guardian ad litem, attorney ad Litem, and another attorney, Sarah Pacheco, who represented Peterson’s sibling as the guardian.

On Wright’s campaign reelection website, he lists his contributors which include Dexel, Pacheco, and Russ Jones, the GAL on Peterson’s case.

Jones and Pacheco didn’t respond to an email for comment.

Ross said that psychiatrist, Christopher Merkl, originally reported Ruby Peterson had full dementia, only to change his testimony later, after she’d be put into a nursing home for partial dementia.

A message was left with Dr. Merkl’s answering service but he didn’t respond.

Mack Peterson said the family has spent over $600,000 from the expenses incurred by the probate court.

Ross said in one case he’s handling not only is there a guardian ad litem, an attorney ad litem, and a guardian, but the court has appointed an attorney for each of the three, “all at the expense of the estate,” Ross added.

Sharon Thomas said her aunt, Ivory Ellis, felt pain in her leg in 2007 and when she went to the hospital, she got stuck in the probate system for six months before anyone in her family saw her again.

Thomas said her aunt was moved routinely from nursing home to nursing home over the next seven years. The probate court listed her next of kin as her dead husband, Thomas told RebelPundit, and said she believed this oversight was done to make it easier to keep her in the system.

Thomas said her aunt was routinely mistreated in the nursing homes chosen for her. In November 2012, Ellis was moved after an examination found the following: “Ivory Ellis Face was inflamed (left and right jaws), bottom lip was puffy and a small cut on left cheek.” Her Care taker explains she arrived from Woodridge Nursing home (in this condition), and was not aware that face or lip were inflamed. Her Family noted the condition of Ivory Ellis’s face with appointed guardian by e-mail, however, Ivory Ellis stated liquid medication was given to her only.

Thomas said her aunt died earlier this year isolated and alone.


In another guardianship battle, Donna DeFrancesco and her brother Greg said they’ve been able to put lifelong sibling rivalries aside and they’ve grown closer fighting corruption in Guardianship.

“I assumed guardianship was lawful.” Greg DeFrancesco, a recently retired Houston police officer, told RebelPundit.

About a year ago, he thought guardianship was best for his mother, Olga, now 87, but this was challenged by his sister.

“They (guardianship abusers) are looking for people like us.” Greg DeFrancesco told RebelPundit.

By this, he meant that once there is a dispute amongst the family, that’s all that’s necessary for probate court to step in and take over.

Judge Loyd Wright appointed David Dexel who proceeded to stick their mother in a nursing home. The DeFrancesco’s have become close to Sherry Johnston and they believe their mother was treated much like hers.

In September 2014, after the two siblings reconciled, they wrestled guardianship back into his hands.

Greg DeFrancesco said when he finally removed his mother from the nursing him she was near death, dehydrated, and malnourished.

He told RebelPundit he believes his mother was effectively being euthanized. She’s now recovering.

He said guardianship hasn’t stopped haunting him with investigators popping up at the home his mother is staying at routinely for unannounced inspections.

Valdez said, though Houston is a Democrat area, Harris County itself is quite Republican meaning the four Republican probate judges currently serving win with little effort, despite exposes like this calling into question their competency and judgment.

Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Many folks want to do right by their elderly relatives and the government created guardianship, but in Harris County and across the nation, it has largely turned into the nightmare Reagan spoke about.


61 Responses

  1. paula fowler

    Here is My Story:
    I am the ward in a misadjudicated guardianship. I was persuaded by the GALs and attorneys to accept a limited guardianship back in 2007 when I was 52 while going through a complicated divorce. The attorneys involved had been made aware there was ‘money’ coming into my life. While not terribly happy about the GAL’s proposal – I mistakenly thought ‘I could manage’ this. Later, either through not notifying me of a hearing or presenting the hearing under such a false premise to me that I consciously chose not to attend(probably something having to do with my divorce) – she pushed through full power and became my Trustee. Then, in 2011 my brother asked me (in a half-hearted effort to address the guardianship problems I constantly obssessed with) to speak with some ‘social workers’ that shared an office with his attorney. –
    Months later, and far after my mistake, I discovered that his attorney was also ‘their’ attorney. You see, back in 2007 when the initial guardianship, was put through, during the divorce time, Mom was diagnosed as Alzhiemers. In what I thought at the time, due to being 3 hours away from her and in the throw’s of a divorce, was a responsible decision, I put her and her estate in brothers hands and the attorney he chose was later (much later) discovered to be their attorney as well as his. I felt that was a ‘conflict of interest’ but it was refused to be acknowledged by my attorney. At any rate, once again I was persuaded to accept a guardianship. Their premise was that the guardianship would be moved to Idaho and my life would be all well and good. It was discovered that the attorney had gained full trusteeship. Since I had already verbally accepted the Idaho guardians and had signed paperwork to the attending GAL- who presented a ‘trumped up’ petition to the judge full of misallegations and had a court visitor also ‘trumped up’ her recommendation of a full guardianship – despite every hair here being in place upon her ‘surprise visit’. And nothing of the ‘promised’ sort happened with the Idaho guardians. I found myself surrounded by guardians and their attorneys on both sides all collaborated and coordinated, working together to ‘keep this guardianship in place’ at all costs. I have entered into litigation now, as well with Idaho social workers. On December 31st 2014 – My Washington trustee Lin O’Dell was brought in front of Stevens county courts on 13 counts of misconduct. It was decided to have her business in my financial affairs investigated by a high-ranking member of the Washington boards and Supreme Court. His findings at a hearing in early March of 2014 were that the guardianship of myself in Washington be DISMISSED. I believe I just heard there is to be a hearing to announce the judges’ Final Findings on November 20th, this month. One more thing, while I may have had some personal issues back in 2007, as all humans do, I was not then, nor ever have been Mentally Compromised, Incapacitated, Elderly or Disabled I have heard Lin O’Dell continually misrepresent my capacity, intelligence, character, what my Mom wanted, and exactly ‘how’ I accepted her original ‘limited guardianship’ both in the courts to judges, and through social media. Ultimately, I believe this began as a ‘family scandal’ that the guardianships have collaborated with. The last living member of my direct family(other than me), my younger brother – Rex Shank passed away the day after the Dec. 31st Lin O’Dell hearing on New Years day, due to his proveable history of lifelong drug and alcohol abuse. I was estranged from him during the event due to conflict concerning the Idaho guardianship. There was a Christmas(2010, I believe) that my ex will witness where my daughter told her Father ‘We are going to ‘put Mom away Dad and you cant do anything about it because you are divorced’. I have been estranged from her since early 2012. My ex is also a very important witness in the destruction this Washington trustee did to my life in 2010. Here is a letter I just sent off to the judge in Kootenai County concerning a major circumstance-altering event the Wa. Trustee pulled on me back in 2009: On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 4:20 PM, Paula Shank wrote: Dear Judge In 2009 – when called me (Mark Fowler – husband at the time came with me) down to Spokane to ask me sign a TEDRA agreement, for my so-called ‘special’ Trust there was an Attorney in attendance from Idaho. I was introduced to . I BELIEVE I was told that she represented ‘the Idaho interest’. which (due to the fact that I still lived in Washington, and had not indicated any intention to move to Idaho, I ‘assummed’ she was referring to my dear alzhiemer Mom’s interest’). In the court documents I received copies of concerning financial reports, there is one set that refers to this ‘incident’ concerning my ‘Trust’ – that there was an Idaho representative(attorney) there to represent MY ‘best interest’. does not mention a name (just a ‘representative for my interest’) in the paperwork, but I remember the name because is a well-established name up north and there is even a town of , Washington. From the court paperwork on record – it states ‘this person was representing MY interest’ Now, I do believe they, (with all in attendance) ‘did’ refer to the term ‘special needs’ but being a person of a high level of education, but in other areas and growing up as a child in a very normal fashion, I had never even been faced with the ‘meaning’ of that connotation, not my entire life. Mark didn’t ‘catch it’ either and he is NOT a ‘special needs’ person either. (Glad to have ‘your ‘witness Marcie) And, in fact was never even familiarized with ‘the connotation’ until years later when I moved here to Idaho and a t.v. news show had a happy story about a ‘special needs(i.e. ‘retarded'(!)) couple. I would say….this ‘GAL’ Grosly MISREPRESENTED me and my interests in an illegal and corrupt way along with the Wa. trustee. – AND this matter should be brought before the courts. However, this ‘stand-in GAL’s office refuses to interact with me in any way, indicating I must go through my attorney. – See more at:

    • joanne denison

      Loved your post. It’s amazing how someone so high level thinking can get in the mess of a guardianship, many are chemically restrained and then put in locked down nursing homes where they have to escape and then live on the street because both public AND private AND professional guardians refuse to dispense money for food and housing.
      It’s easy to become homeless in the current “guardianship” system–and anyone is vulnerable, attorneys and judges alike.
      Sounds like you were luck to get out. Please see my blog and report your story there

      • paula fowler

        Thankyou – I will copy/paste and think on anything else to say…….

      • paula fowler

        Joanne – I need the address of your Blog to go there and post.

      • Paula Fowler

        ThankYOU Michael! I have tried to find an email address to contact you as well. Can you advise me? Or get in touch with me – as you know my email address.

  2. Elaine Renoire

    Guardianship abuse is a growing threat to the health and wealth of our elderly and adult disabled citizens. As this article exposes, for years the system has run with little or no monitoring, oversight, penalties or enforcement. As a result, unscrupulous guardians and their attorneys have gotten rich off the backs of the helpless — at the expense and to the detriment of the very people guardianship law was created to protect.

    Thank you, Michael Volpe, and Rebel Pundit, for shining a bright light into the darkness of guardianship abuse.

    Join the national movement for reform of unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships. Join NASGA:

    • paula fowler

      You don’t have to be elderly, incompetent, incapacitated, disabled or debilitated. It can happen to most anyone who is naïve about how corrupt this legal racketeering actually can be, when there is money to be ‘had’ by the hopeful rackateers. I know, and I am NONE of the above.

  3. sherry Johnston

    The attorneys becomes Certified Guardians, then become Limited Liability Corporations. and they prey on helpless victims to start guardianship process. The shady doctors are continually being employed by the assistant living facility that perform the evaluations or by the court guardians, Everybody gives campaign contributions to the judge and then the next thing you know your love one is assigned a guardian without anyone seeing the judge much less a jury, The ward ( your love one) becomes the personal private property of the guardian to be abused and neglected. You become the property just like a car, boat, cat or a jacket, The guardian make every decision and the ward has no human rights. I call this being bought and sold through probate court

    • paula fowler

      Always remember when asked to get any kind of legal document, medical record or other – make sure it is from an authority of YOUR choice. Do not allow appointment!

      • Sherry Johnston

        Happen to me and about 10 other families in 2016-19. These courts are so corrupt and the attorneys that operate in them are whores with a suit. Judge Butts was paid by attorneys and certified guardians when wards would die. The attorneys paid 2000.00 to the judge and the court ad litem became associate judge the day my mom died. I would call that Murder by a black robe no conscience, money hungry judge, certified guardian and court attorneys. Probate courts are lower than child molesters. Thieves in a black robe

  4. Diane Wilson

    The question remains the same for all of these criminals. Why aren’t they in jail? It frightens me to think what Judge Butts and Dexel have done to their own mothers and family members. I believe that is the avenue we need to take. Find out the names and addresses of all family members and friends of these monsters and mail them these stories. Perhaps they are all in on it as well; perhaps they have no idea. It is time to bring all of this to light.

    • sherry Johnston

      Christine Butts mother is Representative Debbie Riddle from the Woodlands area and her father runs a trust- estate limited liability partnership and is also campaign manager for her reelection. It’s funny that Chistine is friends with some of my dads family and they were shocked to find out that she was the judge that did this to mom. I bet Christine is wondering what is going through my family and her friends minds!

  5. Ted Taupier

    Mike, these stories are freaking scary, the amount of court corruption fleecing america is INSANE!!. This is not america its NAZI GERMANY – LAWYERS WORKING IN CONCERT WITH JUDGES IN HIGH CONFLICT CASES…All to extract – extort and alienate families from love ones and wealth acquired through generations. How you ask…. easy – get two family member’s to start to fight and rob them while they are fighting in the ring and ignoring the obvious – corruption under the heading of the Court!

      • paula fowler

        Well see,….Im not dead, Im not disabled, Im not in a wheel chair and I have a ‘fire’ in me for ‘Justice for All’. However, I am not ‘over and through this’ by ANY means.

    • Liz

      “This is not america its NAZI GERMANY”
      I was thinking the same thing! And in the education transformation is coming in the via special ed laws, remember NAZI Germany ‘exterminated’ almost 100k special needs persons, who were not ‘able’ citizens before the death camps got rolling. Charter schools marginalize and even reject special needs kids in some cases.

      Ok add the brain mapping program , bioinformatics and healthcare informatics, trans humanism. ALL code for NAZI eugenics, creating ‘state approved’ citizens. All included in your computer dossier in IL from birth to death. In MO dna is taken at birth.

      Did I mention the Gobbels media events we have now?

  6. paula fowler

    Sherry I didn’t get a chance to tell you because this blog wouldn’t publish my most recent post. Why, I couldn’t tell you maybe b/c I stated the guardians name – but I would have removed it when I reposted. It would be nice if they would just remove it for me and repost it….. But at any rate, the part that was to you also didnt get posted and I am writing to let you know that yours and other stories here are heart wrenching. My heart goes out for all of the suffering you and Family went through. They play on our vulnerability and unfortunately naievity – Who goes through a normal life wondering and worrying and being ware (or being aware) of legal predators that basically are rackateers and mobsters?? People will say KEEP INFORMED of….or BEWARE of criminals, psychopaths, drug dealers, the Terrorists, or Isis or Russians. Who tells their kids to beware of the legal system, attornies that went to college to stand up for justice, Judges, who were attornies before they were judges. There is no incentive to be informed and stay informed about our ‘great’ U.S.A.
    And that’s exploitation, among other things of the highest level! I just want to say that if I can help in anyway, if you want to take your matters back to court I will do my best to help you with at least the courage that GOD gave me to do try to assist you. I am lucky enough to have ‘other recourses for knowledge and information and strategy. Since we probably cant post or email address here, the only thing I can suggest is the best way to find me is on FB (you will know the page I am an advocate for Wolves and if only humans could be as famiy-oriented and organized in social structure we’d All be better off) And coincidentally my name is under Paula Johnson, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho I was married for a year until the guardianship annulled it – the one and only’good’ thing they did for me and still have not changed my name on FB back to Paula Fowler. Just say hi and I will know who you are 😀

    I also NEED Joanne Denisons BLOG address!

  7. Marcia Southwick

    Taking away the constitutional and fundamental rights of elders is big business due to the fact that many elders have accumulated a life time of savings and their assets can then be accessed by using the court system to do it. Guardianship, the very system intended to protect elders and others in need of it, has turned a corner into a scam that can plunder an elder’s assets and destroy the entire family. Once rights are removed a guardian is often granted complete control over the elder, with the ability to determine who can visit the elder and who cannot. The guardian determines where the elder will live, and can sell the elder’s house is sold, along with everything in it, not even giving the family a chance to retrieve family treasures. They can do all of this without the families permission. This system is as broken as it can get, and is one of the worst kinds of elder abuse imaginable for the families who go through it.

  8. paula fowler

    As I posted before – it doesn’t just happen to the elderly anymore.
    It can happen to almost to anybody whenever there is vulnerability through isolation or naievity involved.


    • Debby Valdez

      Thank you Mike Volpe and Rebel Pundit for writing this story, it is with great appreciation that these stories help to educate the unsuspecting public of what truly occurs inside and in between the walls of Texas Probate Courts and throughout the country in the deception of who guardianships are really designed for and how the elderly and disabled are used and abused for profit of those the courts appoint. In most states, including Texas there is very little oversight of a judge, and his or her court appointed attorneys, guardians, etc. The limited oversight and monitoring of guardianships is used on family guardians, as it is within this guardianship industry to continue to destroy the family unity for third party profiteers. Unfortunately in 2005 our Texas legislators seemed to have been decieved in the representations presented to change Guardianship Law- at that time APS was thrown under the bus by being accused of not protecting vulnerable Texans. These changes have initially deprived vulnerable Texans from any protections of their person or their estates from any enity outside the Probate Courts. Guardianships have become an entrappment for profit off of vulnerable people who in many cases become warehoused while those the courts appoint feed off the estates. Probate Courts are running a business for attorneys and third party guardians, these courts are administrative courts for decedents, a ward becomes civilly dead when all their natural rights and liberties are removed, including the right to be protected. Since 2005 up to the last legislative session of 2013, Guardianship laws continued to change for the benefit of the guardianship industry in Texas. There have not been any changes to law for the benefit of those under guardianships whatsoever. The Texas Estates Code is blanketed with protections of immunities for the profiteers, none for the wards of the state. Once a ward always a ward. Guardianships law in Texas is the only law that allows one third party person, guardianship program, or corporation to physically own a vulnerable human being. The ultimate guardian of a person is the judge as described in the stories written about, it is quite obvious that the judge’s decisions in these cases have not been for the benefit of the person, their estates or their families. Campaign contributions to these probate judges seem to be the deciding factors of “whose best interest” they act upon. Guardianships are a trap for nothing more than profiteering. Once a person is placed under a guardianship they very, very rarely come out. The only way out is by death or broke, once a person becomes broke, the guardianship under Texas law is allowed to be closed, and the Taxpayers become burdened with the expense of caring for this vulnerable population until they do die. This law is such a disgrace to Texas, and through out the country and unfortunately one day we and our families will become a victim to it. Most people do not have any idea of the roll our probate judges may have in our lifetime or within our families. Stories such as this are our only recourse to prepare ourselves and our families to protect ourselves now and into the future. Everyone should fear for what awaits them if they should ever have to walk into a probate court, and hopefully know that what occurs is not at their benefit or for the benefit of protecting the vulnerable from abuse, neglect or exploitation. Guardianships have legalized these actions by those who are court appointed, whereas family members are held at much different standards. It is not legal to abuse, neglect or exploit your own family member. Family members can and will be disqualified as a guardian if they have any financial interest in the well being of their elderly or disabled family members or their estates, however third party profiteers only interest is financial which simply describes different standards. It’s a racket not Guardianship by any means.

  9. Sharon Shepard

    The Harris County Guardianship Program is broke (HOUSTON TEXAS): We will help fix it.
    Corruption: Does the State of Texas Euthanize our elderly while they are in the nursing homes? (Drain Bank Accounts and take their personal property all in the name of making money)
    Who is helping to abuse our elderly while they are in the nursing homes: Is it lawyers, judges, court appoint guardians The State Guardianship Board?
    Do we have corruption in Harris County Probate Courts? Does the Harris County Guardianship Program help Euthanatize our elderly? Do we need to investigate the Texas Health and Human Service Department?
    How many complaints have been turned in to Texas Health and Human Service Department about elderly abuse in the nursing home? What have The Commissioner and his staff members done to stop elderly abuse in the nursing home? (Please call Rose in Harris County)

    Can the nursing homes help euthanatize our love ones by not providing food or providing water while their care?

    Ms. C. Patterson court appointed guarding of Ivory Ellis was found guilty of over 17 violations against Ms. Ellis in May 2014?
    What did the Texas Guardianship Board recommend her suspension to be? (2 week without pay)

    What roll does Vince Ryan, play (the DA of Harris County), when complaints come across his desk about the abuse of our elderly?
    What Stand has the Harris County Commission Court takes when concern comes up about elderly abuse in the community?

    • Debby Valdez

      As we all know to well, Elder Abuse is legal in Guardianships by third party guardians, Financial Abuse of the Elderly is also legal in Guardianships when a judge approves the exploitation of the estates when the court appointed attorney’s keep these cases going on for years and years. There is no cost out of these court appointed profiteers own financial resources to keep these cases going on, so if the estates are large enough that will determine how long they can and will go on. It is so very sad that the eldelry actully end up paying for their own suffering and demise under a law that was created to protect them and their estates. The disabled are kept isolated and confined from their own family members for profit and under what a third party guardian alleges that is in their “best interest”. Best interest and probable cause are just words for anothers convenience and financial interest- in guardianship law the terms used as “clear and convincing evidence” are just words too, as a matter of fact it looks good, but they are just words in statute- nothing more- words and words but no accountability for those words in guardianship law. Such as the statute that allows a person to have a jury trial, no one ever gets a jury trial in a guardianship, but it looks good, only for the benefit of our lawmakers to make them believe that a person does get due process- due process is not due process when attorney’s are appointed for you, that process removes natural rights and the liberty to a fair due process for protections of your person and estate.

    • Sherry

      they do nothing just like Judge Christine Butsts did with Willie Jo Mills. She laughed and said that she ever needed a guardian that she wanted David Dexel to be her guardian. She has to be on drugs after seeing what they did to mom! It amazes me that she said she cannot comment and then she comments that we had family conflict. the only conflict we had was that the guardianship was killing mom and my brother was praising the job that David Dexel, Ginger Lott was doing!

  10. Susanna

    This is happening all over TX and the nation. Tarrant County Tx( Fort Worth) has the same type cases that routinely abuse wards, and reward attorneys to go back and do the same to another victim.
    This is human trafficking. Wake up TX legislature. You could be next. One former female TX rep is already experiencing the horrible effects of being a ward in Tarrant Co.

  11. texasprobatevictim

    All of this is happening because a social service, i.e. caring for the elderly and disabled, was placed into the laps of probate courts, delineated by Ms Valdez. Don’t expect any changes; it is a booming industry for all those belonging to the guardianship cartels. Most of whom are lawyers, judges, and for profit service providers and professional guardians and companies that have the attention of the lawmakers. Get it out of the courts, and the needed oversight and controls will come into place. There is no justice, so it is “gestapo justice”.

  12. sherry

    I believe that more exposure is making Harris County probate nervous. P.S. I m not anticipating suicide. So If I come up dead blame it on Probate Court

  13. Beverly Donias

    My Mom was a victim of G.S.I. In Tarrant County Probate 2. My Mom was suppose to get rehab for a back strain. There was no therapist there. All she got was put on unneccessary medications. When we decided she was not getting the care that was promised and noticed she was heavily sedated most of the time. She was also getting repeated urinary infections from a cath she did not need. This was for the nursing home convenience. She also got repeated blood infections coming from the Nursing home. Most of the time gloves were not used and the workers went room to room without washing their hands.
    When complaints were made to the state of course nothing could be substantiated. As it was obvious kickbacks were given and the state worker and the nursing home were very friendly with each other. Each time the same state worker would come out. After my moms 3rd blood infections meds (psych) were given my mom lost her sight and hearing cause by an adverse allergic reaction. At this point I let the Nursing home know we would be taking our Mother home. The Nursing home immediately called the Social Worker of the court who was lunch buddy with the social worker of the nursing home and she came out and told me now the courts were involved so we could not take our mother home and if we did the courts would have us arrested. At the time we believed this to be true. There were no guardianship papers at this time. I ask her what I needed to do to take my mom home and she said I would have to file for Guardianship. This was intimidation and lies at the time I did not know how Guardianship and the courts were. So I filed for Guardianship. Although I was found suitable, willing and able Mom was given to G.S.I based on lies from the court social worker. There was no testimony as the Judge, G.S.I,the prospective Guardian and the Court Social Worker had a meeting before the hearing and it was already decided G.S.I would b the guardian. It was put in the court order I had to take guardianship classes and would be sworn in as guardian upon completion. Again lies. I took the classes over 3 weeks to complete. The Guardian moved my Mom to a nursing home of her chosing where she said most her wards were over 90 of them. She also said her wards were dropping like flies and expected my mom would too. After 6 weeks she placed my mom in hospice although she was not terminal nor was she sick. Mom had been dropped in the tub hitting her head on the faucet. She had fallen out of bed several times. She was pinched and bumped heads with the staff dropping her in the wheel chair. She was left to starve and dehydrate. the last week of her life. We were restrained from seeing her until they gave her a terminal sedation injection of morphine. Then we were allowed back only on the promise we would not make any trouble or the cops would be called and we would be arrested. Ive always maintained my mom was murdered. The nurses even the one who declared her dead had no license. My mom would cry and beg for us to take her home. She never regained her sight and hearing because the Guardian made sure they gave her the meds she was allergic too. Moms neuologist said if she was taken off there was a good chance she could regain her sight and hearing but the guardian didnt want that because thats how they were keeping her under guardianship. Tarrant County Probate no matter what you hear about its program it is not what it seems. There is no accountability, guardainships are based on lies on the families, The only thing the social worker seemed interested in when asking questions was my Moms finances. The first place they went was too the bank. My Mom lived only 12 weeks under G.S.I protection. The judge was aware of the life and death situation but chose to ignore it. No emergency hearing nothing. Someday my Mom will have her justice. This was back some years but Murder doesnt have a stature of limitations. My Mom was not the first this is happening in all states. Most Guardianships are modeled after Tarrant County Program. It works for them. Isolate, medicate, rob the estate. Its a crying disgrace.

    • sherry Johnston

      Your story is almost the same to the tee as mine. You are right until the people open their eyes tht this is nothing more than kidnapping the elderly and judges awarding them to their criminal friends for campaign contributions while the ward pays for everything

      • paula fowler

        Human-Trafficking is exactly what I have referred it to in the past!!! Its no better – yet Human trafficking gets appreciated as a ‘crime of society’ – the legal officials keep it ‘hush-hush’ so they can continue getting away with ‘The Perfect Crime’!!!!

      • sherry Johnston

        My Mission in life is to expose all this corruption every opportunity to the friends and family of the guardians and judges through what ever means necessary. Maybe they will be shamed into repentance and the torture the gave to the old will make them go insane and people like Ginger Lott, David Dexel can abuse them just like they did Willie Jo Mills. And Howard Reiner and Clarinda Comstock can be their protect just like they protected mom. Louis Ditta can rip them off by looting their estate..

  14. paula fowler

    I see I have a ttpo here. My comment should read “The legal officials keep predatory guardianships ‘hush-hush’.

    • sherry

      You are absolutely right. I Would love to ask Judge Christine Butts how can she defend her court room after seeing all these pictures, videos, audios, texts and e mails intentionally abusing, exploiting and neglect Willie Jo Mills. I have forwarded the video to Harris County Commissioners Court , North Houston Republican tea party, Woodlands Tea Party and to Lise Olsen at the Houston Chronicle with no response. When is America going to wake up? Since America is more upset that women don’t get their abortion birth control paid for by us that killing the elderly by abuse after looting their estate would not upset them

      • Rosanna

        I had a whole spill typed in here and then technical difficulties hit and I lost it. The short version is this, we need to get out of the courts. They are a syndicated criminal activity rings. The other branches are not going to step in and stop the corrupt courts they co-join with. So we need to give up this insanity of repeating ourselves.. I am not into “talking/reporting” anymore I am done with that we need ACTION groups. THINKERS…..

        I believe in the Common Law grand juries (NLA and like others) but how are we going to get 12 – 23 people an area given people are hiding, scared or don’t care. 3 people is easier than 12-23 which is why I am leaning to Notary Publics. People do NOT know how much power they have and if you can get a tribunal of 3 on Affidavits, Notices and Presentments that leads to judgments. Notaries are officers of the Common Law court. They have kept this process a hidden secret. Did you know a NP can issue a subpoena and get a contempt of court if it is not honored? If there is a judgment they can order the issue for a Writ and the Sheriff has to serve it.
        I have a lot of info and studying this now but I still need to learn a lot. I would like to get a weekly show going on this process to iron out all the questions I still have and I can share what I do have. You or others can contact me thru NASGA if you are interested. We need to stop these demonic forces in their jobs (formerly offices) and think outside the box. We are going to have to find the remedy ourselves. Thanks
        PS This time I am copying this incase I lose it again.

      • Rosanna

        I think I found your email. I will send you a contact. If you dont’ get one reply back to me here. I don’t do facebook or other. I simply dont’ have time and don’t want any danger of moles. They are in epidemic proportion.

  15. Robert Gettinger

    These crimes have been going on for decades. As a former peace officer I refused to believe this went on in our courts, however having been victimized personally by judges in Los Angeles Superior Court that has changed. Those of you not familiar with Richard Fine a Los Angeles lawyer who exposed Judge David Yaffee for taking bribes from Los Angeles County. Later Fine exposed the fact that almost all Los Angeles Superior court judges were being bribed by the county to rule in their favor.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, in my case the opposing lawyer Chino Hills CA Phillip Barbaro Jr. was attending parties with the judges who sat on my case. Perjury, elder abuse, grand theft, embezzlement and conspiracy are just a few of the crimes that took place and were ignored by once Judge Candace Beason ( who now has disappeared from the scene). Google dishonest presiding judges like Aviva K. Bobb who retire early after being exposed for causing the death of Lee Peters of Los Angeles and a child due to her neglect and ego.

    My own mother was victimized by Los Angeles Superior Court Probate division in 2006 Case Number GP012634 when Sylvia and Gary A. Schmidt of San Marino CA perjured a petition for conservatorship. One of the reasons for getting conservatorship was to stop Gertrude Gettinger from going to the police to report the Schmidt’s for stealing over $200k in bank accounts. These accounts were stolen prior to the conservatorship and never reported missing to the probate deparment once conserved. How do you explain (2) missing bank accounts worth $200k not being reported? What is worse is when I reported the missing accounts, even produced the account numbers which I had made deposits to, police, PVP and APS did nothing.

    Why because if this was exposed it would expose the PVP who always did anything Sylvia Schmidt asked no matter how abusive it was to Gertrude. No visits by family, Haldol injections, even stopping medications against doctors advice all took place.

    All to steal over $2 million in funds from an 85 year old woman, Gertrude Gettinger by her child Sylvia Schmidt who never had a good relationship with anyone in her family. Yes people, its that easy, anyone can go to court, LIE, say there is no other family and the court grants them control. With that control they have the right to drug, isolate (lock away in a nursing home) and then liquidate their assets. Now remember that no less than 3 lawyers involved some getting over $350 an hour to appear, so no one wants this crime to stop as they’re all leeches and lowlifes who care only about stealing from the elderly and defenseless.

    Want to read the full story visit

    • Sherry

      When our self centered children wake up and realize that they will receive no inheritance because the corrupt attorneys , certified guardian and the judge stole it from them while abusing, exploiting the estate and neglecting your love one . Maybe they will get mad and fight back. How does it feel for the guardian buying Christmas presents to their family while you love one sufferers being drugged and made sick. They are totally isolated from you while attorneys and the certified guardian are looting your inheritance leaving you nothing from your parents who worked hard, did without, and sacrificed to make life better for you

      • paula fowler

        Sherry – I am in the same situation(!) And I am estranged from my daughter. My brother died 1/14 of life-long alcohol abuse, Mom died 2011, Daddy (20 years older than my Mother died in 1981. I am the only surviving member of my direct Family, I was estranged from both my brother, (and my daughter too) when he died (sad) because they both threw me under the bus and were supportive of the guardianship I just became FREE of. (Paise the LORD) – but I have done it all my own with the help of Friends that are more Family than Family was,…
        I wont leave her anything, sorry – I feel that is ‘just’, and I will make sure the grandsons get it with no hands of hers on it. ….Don’t even really know how to get in touch with her. Last I talked to her was 2 & 1/2 years ago…. or more. THAT knowledge, that they were just as ill-intended as the court-appointed people, breaks my heart, all the time

  16. workers compensation lawyers in los angeles

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  17. Myra Tanksley

    My son is an young adult with autism. The state of ohio, probate court of franklin county, oh and franklin county, oh and his corrupt court appointed limited guardian who is an unfit, lying attorney has treated him like an animal. My son has been repeatedly abused, neglected and assaulted in an state operated facility for over 2 years and was recently discharged into a community apartment with 24/7 DD staff. Because of my advocacy for my son and my exposure of how my son has been treated, they did not tell me what street he is living on. I have 2 facebook pages that show what my son and i have been going thru: and The so-called “guardian” has not let me see my son since February 15, 2015 and he had an eye infection when i seen him. I know my son is heartbroken and wondering where his mom is at. Now this corrupt attorney wants me to start visiting my son at an place for supervised visits and if you visit over an hour, you have to pay the company. We are not an abuse/neglect case, yet these shedevil attorney is allowed to do this. Ive contacted the department of injustice to no avail. Im glad to see that you are exposing this disgraceful practice in this country!

    • Rosana

      Myra, contact me as soon as you can… I live close to Franklin and am going thru the same thing only with my Dad being removed from my life to steal my parents estate. I have seen way too MUCH….740-969-2468. Maybe we can help each other. I don’t do facebook.

      • Frania

        My mother is almost dead from being taken from her home, family , friends, drugged with things she never needed it took in her life , house sold. …. So many involved and no one to free her? Why?

  18. Sherry

    Elderly being Human trafficking by judges and probate attorneys in Harris County Reporting to House of Representatives . Judge Christine Butts, Lloyd Wright, Rory Olson, Mike Woods are probate Judges in Harris County. They are accepting bribes from probate shark attorneys campaign contributions for allowing fake guardianship service providers rippoff the elderly and finally killing them on hospice with their blessings

  19. Sherry

    This video shows the abuse Willie Jo Mills suffered while under a guardianship service provider Ginger Lott. Judge Christine Butts allowed Her, David Dexel, Clarinda Comstock, Howard Reiner, Louis Ditta to abuse, neglect, exploit mom and forcing her on Hospice with a mere UTI infection. The last 9 months mother estate was fleeced over $300,000.00 by them

  20. tim bennett

    this abuse needs to stop nearly 30 years ago i was about to become a ward someone came to our house talking me to and my brother and call corparation of guardianship call industrial services i’m sitting there thinking i’m not going to be put in a facility and drugged against my will and be held captive in a sheltered workshop the judges and court appointed guardians need to be put in a mental institution and drugged against their will and put them in a padded room in a strait jacket and be declared as a danger to others and become wards of the state

    • sherry

      The judge and all the court appointed attorneys should have to live in an guardianship for 12 months and smile while the guardian steals everything you worked for while isolating you from your family before they can be a guardian. A guardianship service provider can steal, kill, isolate the ward from the family and have total immunity. The judges blesses the neglect, isolation, and abuse by awarding huge fees to the perpetrates

    • Sherry

      I have personally taking on Harris County probate judges. I turned into a watch dog and spent 2014 and 2015 testifying before the house of Representatives and the Senate exposing murder of the most important persons our elderly for profit through the certified guardianship program. These judges protect the thieving certified guardian and the low life attorney’s that forces our family into guardianship without a trial by jury or any due process

  21. Sherry

    After 700 pages of documents consisting of court records, emergency restraining orders, e mails, pictures, videos and audio recording the Jbcc wanted to throw my complaint away against Ginger Lott But the commission told them to go back and re investigate my complaint

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  23. conservatorship abuse

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