The new laws come too late for Lacy Waters. It's been more than a year since she regained her rights, but she still lives in the same slumping Liberty City apartment with her husband. She says they want to buy their own place in a better neighborhood, but guardianship took a bite out of her settlement money, and the monthly annuity payments she's left with aren't enough.

"Miss Jackie offered to help us buy a house," Lacy says, standing on a tiny patio smeared with dog feces. "But my husband said I cannot go back to that woman."

Barbara Stone might have no choice. She still has no idea where her mother is being kept. The last time she tried contacting her, the judge threatened to send Barbara to jail for ignoring his stay-away order. Barbara — as well as a New Times reporter — is even banned from viewing her mother's court file. She's afraid the next time she sees her mom will be at her funeral.

Illustration by Pat Kinsella
Illustration by Pat Kinsella

"I don't give a damn about the money," she says, her voice breaking. "It's not about that. My mother's life has been ruined. My life has been ruined. They call it guardianship, but it's more like hell."

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My Voice Nation Help

 I am a former court appointed Guardian in another state, although I live here.

With the rights of the children to bring their parent or grand parent home, there are specialized attorneys in estate law that can deal with this. From my experience, there is another perspective on this. Whether one is 80 or 20 and on a feeding tube because of a stroke or delated disorder,

there is the risk of the person choking when eating by mouth. Well intentioned people can feed someone by mouth and insist that the feeding tube is removed. However, even if the person appears to be eating all of the food, salivation can be created from a remnant of food left in the mouth, and that cause a severe stroke victim to aspirate.

We live in world now where people from Florida may be dealing with grandparents under Guardianship in Georgia or Alabama, for example. Quality attorneys specialized in this field can be of great assistance.

Winston Grace



This is Investigative reporting!  

great (sad) story