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Real-estate heir blows $3.5M meant for charity on cars, hotels: suit (NY)

The heir to a Manhattan real-estate fortune squandered millions of dollars that was supposed to go to a Jewish charity, going on a spending spree that included fancy cars and posh hotels, according to court papers. The United Jewish Appeal claims it was supposed to get the remainder of a trust set up by building Keep Reading…

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Texas bill: Search warrant required before body cavity search at traffic stop

A bill is set to go before the Texas State House of Representatives Monday that would protect individuals from body cavity searches by peace officers unless a search warrant has been issued by a magistrate. The bill, authored by Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), is designed to address incidents in Texas where law enforcement officers conducted Keep Reading…

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Bill targets Texas audio recordings’ one-party consent status

While laws vary per state, Texas currently is a one-party consent state when it comes to audio recordings meaning a conversation can be legally recorded so long as one participant has knowledge of the recording. A bill, however, recently heard before the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice seeks to change that. Why is this Keep Reading…

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Judge Early responds to South Carolina Supreme Court’s request for information (SC)

BAMBERG, S.C. (WRDW) — South Carolina’s Supreme Court Justices are getting answers about the status of legal battles involving James Brown’s estate. In a letter dated May 6, 2015, Judge Jack Early addressed multiple parts of the case including the paternity of James Brown II and whether Tommie Rae Brown was married to James Brown Keep Reading…

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Editorial: 9 days of disheartening testimony in Webber-Goodwin case (NH)

After hearing nine days of testimony in Strafford County Probate Court, Judge Gary Cassavechia will hear final arguments Tuesday and then decide whether Portsmouth Police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin exerted undue influence on Geraldine Webber, and whether she had the mental capacity to legally change her will to leave him the bulk of her $2.7 million Keep Reading…

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Disbarred Queen Creek probate attorney gets prison for fraud (AZ)

PHOENIX (AP) — A disbarred Queen Creek probate attorney has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for theft and fraudulent schemes. Maricopa County prosecutors say 69-year-old Rodney Matheson also was sentenced Friday to seven years of supervised probation after serving his prison term. Matheson was disbarred in September 2013 and arrested by Gilbert Keep Reading…

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Group advocates against Texas HB 1438 guardianship bill

Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship Phone 855 913 5337 Fax 305 503 5930 kelley@aaapg.net PO Box 800511 Aventura FL 33180 Press Release AAAPG Coalition opposes Texas HB 1438 National Coalition to lobby Texas Legislature Austin Texas, May 11, 2015: Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, a Florida-based 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to combating abuses in probate guardianship Keep Reading…

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Update: B.B. King proposed guardianship (NV)

BB King’s daughter sobbed in court today after a judge ruled that legal control of the musician’s affairs must remain with his manager. Three of King’s 11 surviving children – Karen Williams, Rita Washington and Patty King – suspect the 89-year-old musician’s longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, is stealing money and neglecting his medical needs Keep Reading…

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Grandmother accused of wiping out girl’s $50,000 inheritance (WI)

Probate courts generate plenty of stories about bad guardians, people appointed by a court to look after a ward’s well-being or finances when they are too young or otherwise unable to take care of themselves. Then there’s Betty J. Coleman. Prosecutors say she lied about her criminal past to be named guardian of her granddaughter’s Keep Reading…

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Woman busted in $300K inheritance scam: DA (NY)

A Brooklyn woman scammed $300,000 from her friends by telling them she had inherited a boatload of cash but needed their dough to pay off the estate’s taxes and liens, prosecutors said Tuesday. Helen Lurene Elias, 48, gained her victims’ trust by playing off their shared Caribbean heritage and by promising them big returns in Keep Reading…

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Lawyer’s work as guardian prompts ethics-violation case (OH)

A Columbus lawyer facing felony charges that allege he mistreated his wards while serving as their court-appointed guardian now faces ethics violations in the Ohio Supreme Court. The Columbus Bar Association brought 15 charges of misconduct this week on three separate counts related to actions by Paul Kormanik while he served as guardian of several Keep Reading…

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Family seeking repayment of $504K missing from estate (LA)

A woman is pursuing civil action in 4th District Court to recover $504,717.33 that was held by the attorney her family hired to manage an estate of her late brother, Monroe native Clyde Carzet Tidwell. After Tidwell’s death in 2007, Lauretta Tidwell Robinson and her siblings, also Monroe natives, hired Monroe attorney Clyde Lain II Keep Reading…

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Portsmouth cop details relationship with elderly woman in inheritance dispute (NH)

DOVER — Portsmouth police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin was with 93-year-old Geraldine Webber on the day she died.He was by her side, as he had been at other times in the two years that he knew her. He still remembers the final words she said to him just hours before her death on Dec. 11, 2012. Keep Reading…

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Clark County Commissioners, Nevada lawmakers move to reform ‘appalling’ guardianship program

Calling Clark County’s court-appointed guardianship operation “appalling” and “frightening,” county commissioners Tuesday called for a sweeping overhaul of the system. While no formal decisions were made, commissioners called for a blue ribbon panel to examine the shortcomings and gaps in the system that leaves elderly and mentally incapacitated residents vulnerable to Private Professional Guardians looking Keep Reading…

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Caswell to talk evils of civil forfeiture before U.S. Senate panel (MA)

TEWKSBURY — Two years after the owners of the Motel Caswell won their battle against the federal government to save their business, U.S. senators will gather to hear the family’s story. Owner Russ Caswell has since sold the property along Route 38 — now demolished to make way for a bowling alley — but he Keep Reading…

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