Wednesday, February 11, 2009

State of Texas tries to negate fees for eight years of guardian services.

This one going to the Texas Supreme Court may be one to watch:

On June 24, 1994, a guardianship was filed for Wallace Darst who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease by a son, Joseph Darst. On July 5, 1994, Darst’s other son and daughter filed to deny the material allegations in the application and to specifically contest their brother’s qualifications as a guardian.

The presiding county judge at the time was Maxine Darst, who recused herself. Judge Glen Ashworth in Texas’ 86th District Court presided over the case. Kaufman attorney Jo Ann Combs was appointed by the court to act as guardian.

In 2002, after a contested hearing, Ashworth awarded Combs $143,168.95 for fees and expenses provided and incurred in the performance of her duties as Darst’s guardian.

No fees were received and Combs filed a lawsuit in 2006.

That was dismissed as the county’s attorneys successfully argued that the 86th District court never acquired jurisdiction and Ashworth’s judgement was unenforceable.

Combs appealed to the Fifth District.

They said that no one had objected to Judge Ashworth’s appointment or jurisdiction in the eight years the guardianship was open.

Lot of unanswered question in the article. What is the system in Texas like. Why in this case is the state paying. Did Mr. Darst pay for any services. Nothing in the article in Kaufman Hearld indicates that there is a dispute over the quality of services provided or even the cost which turns out to be over a period of eight years 17,896.12 per year and 1,491.34 per month.

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