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POWERLESS OF ATTORNEY

Sister Legally Forces Gay Couple Apart and Evicts from Home After 34 Years Together

jim-lon

After his partner fell ill, a gay man in Texas was allegedly torn from his side and kicked out of the home they shared by a vindictive, estranged relative simply because they were not married.

Lon Watts, via Gay Marriage USA, shared their heartbreaking story on Facebook:

My partner Jim (left) and I (Lon) shared 34 Years together!! The past 6 years he has suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was hospitalized last year. His estranged sister filed for guardianship of him and won. We gave each other Power of Attorney, which she never revealed in court as I was never mentioned nor considered nor notified.

She put him in a Nursing Home and had criminal trespass orders against me to keep me away from him. I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO SEE HIM AGAIN! She got his bank account from Social Security Disability and sold his house out from under me. I had 2 weeks to vacate uur [sic] home of 12 years.

If we were EQUAL in the eyes of the law we would be together till the end. But as it stands in Texas, a money hungry greedy relative was able to steal our life and toss me out as trash to pad her pocketbook. I pray God has mercy on her soul for her evil deeds. I am content knowing the world is coming around to acknowledge that ALL HUMANS ARE CREATED EQUAL and SHOULD HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS.

Their story sadly mirrors that of Roger Gorley and Allen Mansell of Kansas City, Missouri. When Alan was taken to the hospital weeks ago, Roger refused to leave his side and was forcibly removed despite having Power of Attorney.

Both stories perfectly illustrate the need for the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, without which loving couples like Roger and Allen and Lon and Jim are woefully left vulnerable and deprived of protection under the law.

Anyone with legal advice is encouraged to contact Lon through his Facebook page.

(h/t: The New Civil Rights Movement)

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Apr 30, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,
  • 48 Comments
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      Typical christian crap!

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • guyingpp
      guyingpp

      I don’t mean to be that guy, but this smells like b.s. Valid powers of attorney are not “ignored” by the court…even in Texas. Being a family member does not automatically trump a POA unless there is finding, on the record, the designee is not appropriate to be guardian. Also, if you went to the trouble of getting a POA, why was he not on the title to the house? Why was he not joint on bank accounts…etc.

      Look people, if you are in a relationship and there is any significant entangling of assets… for the love of all that is holy, get thee to an Attorney or at least go on Legal zoom and get some of it down in writing. Simple estate planning is not expensive. There are evil families that pull this crap, but none of this happens unless you let it happen through inaction.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dugout
      dugout

      Thanks Queerty for getting back to basics. Now: To be LGBT in America means that heterosexual Americans own you ultimately. Like a doll made of meat. Unless you’re Ellen,she’s got some glitter mixed in for sure.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ecllips
      ecllips

      @Ogre Magi: They never said anything about the relative being being christian. Just that she wanted to “pad her pocketbook”. This is a case of greed not religion. So read before you post a comment. Thanks.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamal
      Jamal

      @guyingpp: The point is they shouldn’t have to go out
      and get a POA, there needs to be equality for everyone regardless. People shouldn’t
      have to worry about these things. You are being “that guy” because you’re making
      them look like the bad guys for possibly not having the appropriate paper work when
      they spent their lives together for the last 34 years. Nobody sits around thinking
      some estranged relative is gonna come and take the roof from over their heads. There
      should be equality for all to prevent these incidents, not having to get POA,and go
      through some bs legal paperwork.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • singforfood
      singforfood

      @guyingpp: Thats kind of what I thought, but some of the comments on the original story have listed a ton of other forms needed in addition to a POA in order to have the same decision making power as a spouse or blood relative.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ottoman
      Ottoman

      @guyingpp: Back in 2008 in Rhode Island, Mark Goldberg and his partner Ron Hanby had wills, living wills, powers of attorney and a Connecticut marriage license. Yet when Hanby committed suicide, the state refused to release the body to Goldberg for 5 weeks. And not until someone in the government helped him. Powers of attorney and other legal docs do not guarantee that you can overcome the biases of your government or the nastiness of your relatives.

      “Ron had no next of kin other than me. I shared our Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney and Marriage Certificate to the Police Department, Medical Examiner’s Office and the Department of Health, but no one was willing to see these documents. The State Law stated that a two week search for next of kin must be done. The Medical Examiner’s office waited a full week before placing an ad in the Providence Journal. After no one responded they waited another week to send paperwork to the Health and Human Services Department listing Ron as an unclaimed body. During this four week process, I was on the phone every day trying to convince someone, anyone, that I was the person claiming Ron’s body. The same response came back to me every time; “It’s State law, our hands are tied, there’s nothing we can do”.”

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @guyingpp: They can be if the court isn’t told they exist in time… which is hard to do if you’re not even notified there’s a proceeding.

      @Ogre Magi: Not likely. It reads more like pure greed coupled with opportunity. Lots of families have people who would pull this sort of thing given half a chance regardless of sex. The same mindset is behind people who falsely accuse their spouse of abusing them and/or their children just so they can get custody and a bigger share of the assets.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PeterPJB
      PeterPJB

      Unless the Federal Govt provides the identical rights that a straight couple currently have all these domestic partnership papers are not worth the paper they are printed on. Who cares what they call it eg. Marriage or Partnership but the legal rights are paramount here and nothing less will suffice….

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • guyingpp
      guyingpp

      @jamal… I am not disagreeing that there is injustice. Yes, if they were married, they would not need much of the paperwork we need. I am saying that BECAUSE of the KNOWN injustice prevalent in the system, it’s almost inexcusable that even the most basic things were not addressed. How many times does one need to hear this story before one makes sure it will never happen to them? I don’t mean to blame the victim, however not only do certain things about his claim not make sense, there are very simple and FREE things they could have done to avoid much of this. Which then raises the question about what facts we are not being told.

      look, I see this as similar to a situation where I empathize with someone who is struggling with lung cancer, but I really can’t get all outraged over the injustice of it all when the cancer is a direct result of 25 years of smoking a pack a day.

      If you are in a relationship and have entangled your financial lives, until such time as marriage is legal, it’s incumbent on you to act to protect yourself and your partner.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • guyingpp
      guyingpp

      @hyhybt That is true. However, he clearly got notice and knows what happened. A petition to modify the Guardianship based on a) the presence of a POA; and b) a fraud upon the Court on the part of the sister in withholding that information and not providing notice would be the way to redress the injury. Perjury is a crime..even in Texas..even when it’s employed to screw of teh gheys. Posting on a blog is not going to get him any relief or assist him in clawing back money and his partner from his partner’s sister. Which again…makes me wonder what we’re not being told.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • guyingpp
      guyingpp

      @ ottoman – that is a different situation… and you are correct. Many states, my own included, under statute “next of kin” trumps POA/domestic partner in terms of disposition of remains. This is not that. POA designations trump family petitioners unless there is a showing the designee is unfit to serve. Even in Texas being a ghey is not a reason.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • verygraybear
      verygraybear

      Just remember this if you should ever consider Texas as a place to live or vacation. I grew up there in the 1950’s and the day I hit the age of 18 I got out. I didn’t see my parents for 20 years. They would have done this same thing.
      I feel so sorry for this couple can only hope it turns back and bites the bitch sister in the ass.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      Just because the courts “should” handle something a certain way does not mean they do it that way, particularly in the early stages when small town police, prosecutors or court officers are involved.

      I stood by a friend for many years as he tried to protect himself and his deceased partner’s wishes from the family (and others). My friend ended up having several court cases going on concurrently to try to protect his rights….My friend and his partner had everything legally in writing… yet in one of the cases, the family was able to get the local small town (Boxford MA) police to file criminal charges against my friend saying that he had stolen everything he had legally inherited from his partner !!! This after the family had assented to the will in writing!!! The police even seized the items ! While EVENTUALLY his attorney got the charges dropped, it was a long, painful, expensive journey through the court system and my friend never got any restitution or compensation for his legal expenses, and the police never returned the seized items!!! And this was in Massachusetts of all liberal places!!! (before gay marriage was legal there though).

      When I complained to the Boxford police officer why were they not returning the items now that the case was legally resolved in my friend’s favor, I was led around the side of the police station away from my friends and physically threatened and warned not to get involved. I later received a phone call from the Boxford chief of police telling me he would “make my life a living hell” if I continued to ask questions. Since this was just ONE of the legal battles my friend was fighting to protect his rights, and my friend was also fighting AIDS (and this was before modern treatments) our attorney advised him to just move on with his life and other cases… but in hindsight, now I wish I had pressed the issues with the local PD further.

      So I am fully willing to believe that small town Texas is willing to trample over gay rights to “protect” genetic family rights. Until you get dragged into the legal system… you do not really understand that sometimes it does not work as it “should” because … people are people… and they lie, cheat, steal, and express their personal prejudices in the legal system as they do elsewhere in their lives.

      I fully am willing to believe this story. Dealing with a loved one with Alzheimers is exhausting in itself…. I feel full compassion for the surviving partner.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Normally I’d delight in giving out all her personal information, but they’ve been ridiculously vague with everything, there isn’t even anything to cross reference. As soon as there is something slipped by accident [there always is, no matter the case] I’ll make sure it’s updated here.

      I can imagine a great many people delighting in tearing her a new one, you’ll have to get in line.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @guyingpp: despite all of your pontificating, the point of this story is very clear. We need full equality. Sometimes that is aided by human interest. You being ” that guy” does not help toward that end at all. Especially when you do not know that there was actually anything fishy. It might help antigays see us as shifty though. Was it so imperative that you be “that guy”?

      Apr 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      To have the one you love sick, possibly dying and to not be able to be by their side, to comfort them – that is an unbearable injustice.
      A public shaming is definitely in order.
      In fact, to all homophobes, whether religiously inspired or not, I’d like to quote a line from one of my favorite movies – Death Becomes Her:
      ” I just want you to know one thing – You brought this on yourself”

      Apr 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steven
      Steven

      What a bitch they have to stop being able to tear apart people’s lives just for being gay. Come on Supreme Court make the right decision and prevent this from happening day after day

      Apr 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tone
      Tone

      Dox the bitch.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dugout
      dugout

      @2eo: If your doing any online research for this info you need, check your registry and video card if you have a Windows machine. The stuff in there drives your searching to corpo feeds, they like xtians/NeoCons who work for and shop from them. Sooooo…just saying. Clean the machine and start searching, then compare results.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sammy Schlipshit
      Sammy Schlipshit

      @guyingpp: You make very valid points. It does seem like an odd situation.
      One of the puzzlement’s to me is why didn’t the court know about the power of attorney? I understand if the court date was kept secret away from him but wouldn’t there be some sort of legal action to take once the court finds out?

      You are absolutely correct about the mistake made by not having both of their names on all their documents while also setting up a ‘trust’.

      I feel sorry for the guy but he needs to get some advice and take that awful sister to court.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Shill
      Dan Shill

      If there *is* a God, I hope he DOESN’T have mercy on that greedy, evil bitch of a sister’s soul, nor on the souls of any judge, lawyer, or anyone else that helped her to carry out this abominable miscarriage of justice.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cajuninvegas
      cajuninvegas

      I think quite a bit has been left out of this story. When one petition the courts to obtain legal guardianship of another person, especially an adult person, the court will appoint a case manager to investigate the allegations made by the person seeking guardianship. Once the investigation is complete and the case manager has given a detailed report to the judge, then he/she will make an informed decision. This story lacks all of this info….in fact it says the estranged sister went to court and obtained guardianship without their knownledge. I call bullshit on that one. A case manager would have to go to their home, interview both the brother, and his partner, at which time, I am sure the partner would show the case manager the power of attorney. This story is NOT reading right…or I am missing something!!!!!!

      Apr 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @cajuninvegas: I call bullshit on the sister knowing enough about their lives TO feel the need to go to court. If she is “estranged” she didn’t know crap.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarthKitsune
      DarthKitsune

      I regret that what was omitted will only hurt those fighting for the right to stand with their partners despite not being allowed to wed in the long run.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      Maybe 60 mins, will be interested to make a documentary out of this story. Reveal the bitch’s face in public…

      Apr 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hermes
      Hermes

      @guyingpp: Not only are you being “that guy” – but you are completely wrong. Power of attorney is ignored all the time under some circumstances, as are other legally binding documents. For example, in NY – 10 years ago, I had a stroke. We had inches of paper, including durable powers of attorney. The only thing that allowed Jonathan to make my medical decisions in the 24 hours following the stroke was the hospital that the ambulance took us to, BY CHANCE. At the time NY law allowed any hospital to CHOOSE to disregard any such papers when presented by a non-legally married partner, and the other major hospital in our town at the time had made the decision to do so, though we certainly did not know that. 25 years ago a relative left his parents’ home – where he was being beaten on an almost daily basis and came to our home. I applied for custody and an order of protection, the order was granted pending the case for custody being heard (which I eventually won), the order was presented to the school. The boy went to school, his father, specifically named in the order, told the principle that I was getting in his way as a parent, and with the principle’s permission kidnapped him, holding him in another state for 24 days before we managed to get him back (that’s probably why I won the custody case btw – in honesty). I’m sorry, but you really are that guy, and seriously, you are wrong. In this case the story makes clear that the PoA was never mentioned, the partner had no reason to know the court case was going on — and the court, particularly in TX would certainly not look to see if a same sex partner somewhere had a DP0A. It is expected that if you have such, you will be at court to present it. Further, I do not know TX law – but I do know that in Florida, for example (the Lisa Ponds case if you want to research it) the Florida courts held that no hospital has to recognize any same gender document, regardless of its legal standing, including legal powers of attorney. Therefore, in Florida no document you can present is recognized if a reasonable person might suspect that you are the homosexual partner of the person for whom you are presenting the documents – TO THIS DAY. There are other states with identical laws, whether or not TX is one, I do now know.

      Regards.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hermes
      Hermes

      @cajuninvegas: You are lacking a good understanding of the Deep South I think. Research the Lisa Ponds case, read available information, look at the court decision, and then you will have a better understanding I suspect.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hermes
      Hermes

      Sorry Lisa Pond, not Ponds. You can start wtih the NYT story on same, which was released before the final decision but gives a good overview.

      Reyn

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html?_r=0

      Apr 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TxHeat
      TxHeat

      @guyingpp: I live in Texas and let me tell you this does not sound like BS to me. I can assure you in counties run by Southern Baptists and others of there ilk, no legal papers will make a difference to them. I think maybe in the Austin and Houston metro areas it might be like other places but in smaller counties they do as they want and if you complain they will make your life a living hell one way or another by any means necessary legal or not.

      May 1, 2013 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DOFEK
      DOFEK

      WTF! WHERE IS THE TALIBAN, WHEN YOU NEED THEM?. AdamHomo

      May 1, 2013 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • daniwitz13
      daniwitz13

      @guyingpp: No one so far have mentioned that when on buys a property, there is such a thing as tenancy. Which is how one wants to hold TITLE. In this situation with two partners, and want the other partner to acquire it, SIMPLY choose Joint Tenancy. Which is, when one dies, the other gets. Again, what the Gay above said, do your homework, especially knowing your situation. Pity.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @guyingpp: Don’t forget this is Texas!!! Do you really think the legal rights (if there really are any in Texas) are going to be upheld over the “families rights” in Texas? In the other case the hospital and nurse blatantly ignored the POAs that existed in the patients own chart at the nurses desk!

      May 1, 2013 at 5:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @guyingpp: You are blaming the victims! If they had been a heterosexual couple, even common law, they wouldn’t have to go through all of these legal steps that you obviously are aware of but not everyone else is. Show some compassion instead of judgmentalism!

      May 1, 2013 at 5:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @nature boy: Thank you for sharing your and your friend’s experience and pointing out the obvious violations of rights and miscarriages of justice that continually occur because bigots can get away with it, particularly in a small rural town and particularly in a state like Texas!

      May 1, 2013 at 5:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dbmyers
      dbmyers

      @cajuninvegas: You are so certain that the way the legal system ought to work is the way it does work? In Texas? Give me a break! Your skepticism makes clear your lack of compassion for what happened.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cajuninvegas
      cajuninvegas

      @dbmyers: @dbmyers, don’t let the screenname fool you. I LIVE IN TEXAS!!!

      May 1, 2013 at 6:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cajuninvegas
      cajuninvegas

      @DarkZephyr: I agree, the sister is nothing more than a money grubbing c&&t and Ron should go back to court to get what is rightfully his and his partner’s.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cajuninvegas
      cajuninvegas

      @Hermes: I was raised in the “DEEP SOUTH” and am currently living in Texas. I have seen many same sex couples end up at the hospitals where I live and the hospitals accept the POAs. It’s evident the court in this jurisdiction did not have knowledge of the POA or knowledge of the his wishes. A judge (any judge in any jurisdiction) will take that into consideration more than the word of the person petitioning the court.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FStratford
      FStratford

      @cajuninvegas:

      I was living in TX unlyil last year.

      I believe from my own observations that POAs are ignored all the time – outside of Austin/Travis or greater Houston or The Dallas Metroplex.

      The only real way for a gay guy to protect his partner from family who hate gays is to DIVORCE them, do they lose all family rights.

      May 1, 2013 at 9:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Skywalker001
      Skywalker001

      I think this is a horrible woman. If that’s the true of what happen. What comes around goes around, remember that.

      May 1, 2013 at 10:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TxHeat
      TxHeat

      @cajuninvegas: I am glad you live in a blue part of Texas, but you are dead wrong when you say any judge in any jurisdiction would do the right thing. There are many parts of Texas where Southern Baptists still rule and the judges are Southern Baptists also. I can understand you wanting to defend the south but you are delusional if you think all of Texas is like that. Houston and Austin are like different countries when it comes to Gay issues. My county went 80 percent for Romney.

      May 1, 2013 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @TxHeat: So you’re saying that if the problem is homophobic judges ignoring legal documents (PoAs etc.), maybe in the future they’ll ignore another legal document (marriage) too?

      May 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tchuy03
      tchuy03

      Something smell funny here, I do not understand why these partners never covered their bases when it came to getting old and or ill after 34 years. This happens all the time the only twist to this story is that they are gay. In laws has always been a thorn on people’s sides. If Lon feels he is such a victim and wronged why does he not appeal the ruling????

      May 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bledoutcolor
      bledoutcolor

      Great piece queerty! Anytime someone says gays shouldn’t be able to marry and that civil unions are equal they should be pointed to stories like this and Roger Gorley and his partner’s ordeal. It’d shut em up real quick. Of course some people just hate gays and cant be reasoned with, but those who have any empathy or concern for the constitutional rights of all Americans or have any logical abilities at all will be won over by stories like these. I wish both couples the best and hope that these injustices wont stand, though I don’t see the sister being reprimanded or her actions being declared illegal anytime soon. She should be tried criminally for kidnapping or SOMETHING. If so.done tried this with a straight couple they’d be set in place in two seconds flat.

      May 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro
      Polaro

      Maybe he should have hired a lawyer. Seems pretty lame to me. If he had the proper papers all he needed to do was go to a judge himself. Yeah the woman is a bitch. But there are penalties for stupid too.

      May 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HirsuteOne
      HirsuteOne

      Why did they not have a joint deed with right of survivorship? He needs an attorney to further this case. Nothing is ever final at this level.

      May 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ass eater
      ass eater

      This is so sad! I hope she believes in ‘karma’. She could find herself at the mercy of a gay person years from now.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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