VIDEO ABOVE: NEVADA TAKES ACTION AGAINST CRIMINAL GUARDIANS; WHERE IS MICHIGAN ATTY. GENERAL BILL SCHUETTE?
33rd DC Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson blasts Mary Rowan for comments during Sowards’ trial denouncing media coverage
Rowan admits that she had planned to have Wanda Worley taken directly from hospital to bed-bug infested, unlicensed “group home.”
Rowan apparently runs group home network, takes wards’ funds for ‘rent’ of small space
Judge David Braxton to conduct hearing on Wanda Worley’s petition to remove Mary Rowan as her guardian on Mon. Nov. 6, 2017, 11 a.m.
Worley has been denied right to see her own evaluation by psychologist
By Diane Bukowski
November 4, 2017
Woodhaven, MI – Thirty-Third District Court Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson peremptorily dismissed assault and battery charges against Sharmian Sowards Nov. 2. The charges were brought after Sowards tried to defend her mother Wanda Worley against an illegal seizure by notorious guardian Mary Rowan Oct. 6, 2016, from their Brownstown Township home.
The Nov. 2 criminal court hearing is to be followed by a hearing Nov. 6 at 11 a.m., on a petition brought by Worley to remove Rowan as her guardian. It will take place in Wayne County Probate Court in front of Judge David Braxton, Room #1303 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.
Braxton is to consider a so-called “Independent Medical Evaluation” (IME) of Worley done by the Probate Court’s regularly-appointed psychologist George Fleming, Jr, Ph.D.
Worley has been denied access to his report, although it is her own medical record. Fleming is not a psychiatrist, and appears to have worked primarily at Probate Court since his graduation as a Ph.D.
See http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Official-declaration-of-Wanda-Worley-1.pdf for text of petition.)
Sowards represented herself during the jury trial in 33rd District Court in Woodhaven, MI.
During her cross-examination of the complainant Rowan, she asked whether she knew Debbie Fox and Randy Robinson, children of another Rowan ward, Gayle Robinson, who was forced from her home in Westland to a nursing home. They were waiting to testify about injustices in their mother’s case.
Rowan said she did, but then blurted out, “Why do you have a reporter in the court who doesn’t report the facts?” referring to this reporter.
Judge Hesson responded, “That remark could potentially cause a mistrial. This courtroom is a public, open courtroom. The press is welcome to be here. This reporter has been here before.”
She later condemned Rowan’s challenge to the media’s integrity.
Judge Hesson excused the jury and held a half-hour conference in chambers with assistant prosecutor Kathleen Tulacz and attorney Kelly Leimback, who assisted Sowards during the trial.
When court reconvened, AP Tulacz announced that the “complainant” Mary Rowan no longer wished to participate in the proceedings and moved for dismissal of the charges. Judge Hesson firmly ordered the charges dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot be brought again.
During an impassioned opening statement, Sowards said, “Our system should be made to help people get well so they can go back home to their families, not warehouse them and throw them away.”
She described Rowan’s first attempt to seize her mother and place her in a group home. Sowards said she called an ambulance to take Worley to Wyandotte General Hospital Sept. 7, 2016 because of ailments she was suffering related to previous surgery on her sciatic nerve.
However, doctors there admitted Worley to the psychiatric ward, then refused to let Sowards see her mother. Sowards said she was concerned that they were giving her mother addictive pain medications from which she had been helping wean her.
During cross-examination, Rowan denied that she herself had seen Worley in the hospital. But she admitted that “my provider Wendy Barber met your mother there and said she was an appropriate candidate” to be placed in Barber’s group home.
Rowan said they had planned to take Worley directly from the hospital to the group home.
“What made my mom a ‘perfect candidate’ for your warehouse?” Sowards asked Rowan. “Isn’t she a human being?” She said Rowan testified earlier in Wayne County Probate Court, “I had Wanda in my hands; I don’t know how she got away.”
Sowards told VOD earlier that she had called an attorney with Metro Detroit Legal Services, who intervened to have Worley discharged from the hospital and placed back with her daughter.
Rowan then went to Sowards’ address in Brownstown Twp. twice, where Sowards denied her admission, saying she was trespassing. During the second occasion Oct. 6, Rowan said Sowards “drenched” her front and back with water from a garden hose, the basis for the “assault and battery” charge. There was no allegation of any physical contact, but Rowan said she felt “intimidated” by Sowards.
Rowan said Wayne County Probate Court Judge David Braxton appointed her as Worley’s temporary guardian Sept. 21, replacing Sowards’ March, 2017 appointment. She said she showed her “letters of authority” to a Brownstown Twp. police officer, after which he persuaded Worley to go with Rowan for only a few days.
Rowan said she did not need an “Order of Removal” to take Worley, which she did with no prior notice and without any of her clothes and possessions, violating her duties as a guardian.
Worley told VOD she was placed at a bedbug-ridden group home at 12317 Monica in Detroit. She said that wards in the home were not fed regularly, were given only $40 a month from their social security checks, and that workers there frequently went unpaid as well.
Sowards did not find out where her mother was until months later. Worley later left the group home on her own.
Sowards stressed during her opening statement that Rowan’s basic purpose in seizing her mother was to get control of her Social Security income. Sowards said the Social Security office appointed Rowan as “payee” for her mother’s checks Sept. 9, although Rowan’s document from Judge Braxton says “this document may not be used to access funds.”
Rowan was never appointed as “conservator,” to handle Worley’s funds.
Sowards and Worley went to the Social Security Office Oct. 30 to have Worley’s payee status, as well as the amount of funds seized from her by Rowan, returned to her. They told VOD that the Social Security staff said they would contact the federal Office of the Inspector General to investigate how Rowan got access to Worley’s funds.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Hesson asked security to watch while Rowan left the court premises in her car, then allowed other attendees to leave.
Randy Robinson, who had been waiting in the lobby to testify, said he heard Worley tell Rowan as she left, “I want my money back.” He said he heard Rowan reply, “You’re not going to get a cent.”
Rowan evidently is affililated with numerous “group homes,” likely unlicensed, in the Detroit area. Worley told VOD she was transferred among several after the power went out in the Monica home.
Wayne County Probate Court Judge Judy Hartsfeld recently removed Rowan as co-guardian for Kristina Brockington, 25, who is partially blind, after Rowan seized her from a home she was occupying with roommates. She put her in a group home, also bedbug-infested, where residents were served non-nutritious meals and verbally abused, among other matters. (See http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Official-declaration-of-Kristina-M-Brockington.pdf)
Unfortunately, as in Worley’s case, Judge Hartsfeld has not terminated the court’s supervision of Brockington, and is awaiting results from so-called “confidential” medical documents wards are not given access to. Perhaps the psychologists Wayne County Probate Court is using ought to pay attention to the video below, also from Nevada.
NEVADA FAMILIES ARE GOING AFTER DOCTORS AS WELL
RIGHTS UNDER MICHIGAN LAW RE: GUARDIANSHIP APPOINTMENTS:
Rights of an individual with a guardian:
Powers and duties of a guardian:
Michigan Mental Health Code re: placement of wards with developmental disabilities
Guardianship petitions: Summary under Michigan Law
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