What can happen when Court ordered Guardianship goes WRONG


This case summary was chiefly written by Seattle attorneys in their brief to the King County Court of Appeals regarding a respected Police Lieutenant (Retired) cut down and betrayed by family and friends. The case was unfortunately settled out of court due to lack of funds and should have gone to prosecutors in the early stages. The following is a synopsis of that summary as a way of illustrating to the reader:
How A Fraudulent Guardianship/ Conservatorship Commences And Continues
by Angela V. Woodhull, Ph.D.

This is one case example out of millions committed by coldblooded guardianship firms, judges and attorneys that use the process to commit guardianship fraud as outlined by Dr. Woodhull. When we found Woodhull’s article, we realized it was a match for the same proceedings used against the victim’s friends who were trying to save him.

Step One: Eminent Danger – The Initial Court Petition. In this case the initial court petition was against the friend who had the most documentation. She knew that the victim was afraid of his wife and experienced panic attacks caused by childhood abuse, had filed for divorce, had purchased a plane ticket to move out-of-state pending the divorce, and had a recent clean-bill-of-health from his neurologist, had inherited millions of dollars from his mother, and she also knew that he told his regular physician that he thought his wife was a sociopath.

Step Two: The Examining Committee. In this case the victim was taken for a “psych exam” that was inconclusive with the wife present who made contradictory statements and had no input from the victim’s physician. Because of the number of witnesses and the fact that the victim’s wife and her friend had made an attempt to take his assets prior to his becoming a ward of the state and prior to the “psych exam,” the victim was administered psychotropic drugs by the wife to enhance the claims that he was incompetent. The victim was noted as being “almost immobile” at his vulnerable adult hearing.

Step Three: The “Feast” Begins. This victim’s home was worth between $700,000 to $900,000. His father had owned a manufacturing facility that was sold and the proceeds from that sale invested in CDs in approximately six banks. The victim’s wife had asked him to marry her in 2002. He was a lonely man and this was his third wife and her first husband. The week after they married the wife told the victim that “God didn’t think they should have sex” according to court records.

The friends who were sued probably lost a quarter of a million dollars in fighting the false claims and continued lawsuits in attorney fees and bogus fees imposed by the Commissioner. Having someone to sue allows the attorneys to drain the victim’s funds that much more quickly according to Dr. Woodhull.

Step Four: The Mysterious Deaths. This man has been kept isolated and medicated while his assets have been taken over by the wife he was trying to divorce and the guardianship firm. As Dr. Woodhull states: “Once the funds have been spent, the ‘ward’ oftentimes suddenly dies.”

This was quick and relatively easy for the unscrupulous professionals involved in this guardianship fraud scam, and they made millions with little effort and with little public awareness. The public appears to shy away from believing that there are lawyers who lie, cheat, steal and murder, which keeps this crime somewhat under the wire. Other lawyers, such as the ones in this case appear to think they are being ethical by protecting their fellow attorneys and refusing to go to the prosecutor as their client requested. Psychologist would probably call these lawyers enablers, and the rest of us call them accomplices.

Once judged incompetent and placed under a conservatorship [or guardianship], a citizen becomes a nonperson, with fewer rights than a convicted felon in a penitentiary. — Robert Casey, Editor, Bloomberg Wealth Manager


From the onset of this case petitioner attorneys knowingly and willfully brought misleading and false charges to promote their cause when as examples:

  1. The attorney for the man who betrayed the victim and tried to gain custody of his guardianship brought the original petition against the victim’s friends that falsely stated the victim had been diagnosed with dementia for several years knowing the diagnoses was done the day prior to the hearing.

  2. The attorney for the guardianship firm that received (or was sold) the guardianship, threatened the family trying to help the victim to sign a CR2A in September 2011 knowing that this attorney was denying the victim’s friends of their Constitutional rights to go to law enforcement or government agencies. The CR2A is all the more a concern since the it came on the heels of a nurse’s report to the guardianship attorney and subsequently to the Commissioner regarding the suspicious psyche exam used to declare the victim a vulnerable adult that contained no sustaining documentation of dementia from his physician.

  3. The attorney for the guardianship firm and the Director of the guardianship firm made false statements about the victim’s friend to the Guardianship Court to obtain confidential documents that pertained to the request to Adult Protective Services to have the victim’s circumstances investigated.

  4. The attorney for the guardianship firm falsely claimed to the Court that the friend was a “stalker” and was behind the emails and mailings sent out by others.

  5. The attorney for the guardianship firm filed a case of Contempt of Court against the friend with the Commissioner rather than with the King County Prosecutor. The Commissioner consistently ignored the declarations of those who stated that they believed the victim was competent shortly prior to his vulnerable adult hearing or stated that the victim warned them that he was fearful of his wife; the Commissioner ignored the fact that both the guardianship company and the victim’s wife breached the CR2A by the wife going to a detective with whom she worked to harass witnesses and by the guardianship firm making false statements to the Guardianship Court and not abiding by the guidelines of the CR2A by giving six month reports on the victim; and the Commissioner made several errors in the current judgments as noted in the brief to the Court of Appeals when:

    1. Finding the friend in contempt of court without identifying which act(s) the friend committed to warrant the finding and instead making a contempt finding based on inference and the conduct of third parties;

    2. Awarding $28,800 in attorneys’ fees against the friend that were unreasonable and excessive;

    3. Sanctioning the friend $20,000 when such sanction is punitive and imposed in violation of RCW 7.21.030(2);

    4. Awarding $30,000.00 in damages without a showing of actual damages incurred since the court issued its order in June 2012 and with no showing that any injury was proximately caused by the friend’s conduct;

    5. Relying on the court’s inherent contempt authority to impose punitive sanctions without making specific findings that the remedial remedies available under the statute are inadequate to insure compliance.

    6. Imposing restrictions of the friend that amount to an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech in violation of the first amendment.


  6. The attorney for the wife falsely claimed to the Court that the friend was responsible for defamation comments about the wife when these comments were clearly made by the victim to others who wrote declarative statements of this fact that are part of Court record.

In addition, it was reported that the Governor’s Office, FBI, King County Sheriff all had requests that this matter needed investigation that were filtered to the Police Department where the wife worked when:

  1. Major witnesses report that they have not been contacted for an interview of the facts of this matter concerning their declarations to the court which were sent to the police department.

  2. A police detective made a harassing call to another long-time friend who spoke to the victim and was asked by the victim to help him escape. The detective told this man false statements and had no interest regarding the statements the victim made to him regarding the victim’s request for help.

  3. The detective also called the friend being sued to harass her without any knowledge of this case and without any desire to know more about what occurred even though this friend wrote to the police from the onset seeking help for the victim and included the names of witnesses for police to contact.

  4. The detective stated to the friend that he was involved in reports from the wife of the victim regarding her belief she was being harassed, which was in direct conflict of the CR2A for the wife to go to law enforcement.

  5. The Chief of Police of this department responded to the nurse’s request for an investigation by stating her department was not going to investigate this matter and referred her to Adult Protective Services.


Adult Protective Services (APS) case worker responded to nurse’s October 31, 2011 request for an investigation when:

  1. On February 9, 2012 (3 months later) the APS investigator interviewed the victim with his wife present and reported that the victim could only say “Yes” or “No” and that in her opinion the victim had severe dementia. This was eight days after the victim was seen by a psychologist who reported in his Consultation Summary that the victim got up to greet him, they talked, and the victim correctly identified the Governor of Washington and that the victim needed stimulation.

  2. This same investigator from APS called the friend being sued and told her that she thought all of the emails sent to her by the victim were bogus and that all of the emails and letters in the file were bogus. When this investigator was asked if she had called any of the witnesses, the APS investigator responded that it was none of her business. When asked if she would verify that all of the emails were truthful by calling her attorney, the investigator said that the case she was investigating was harassment against the victim’s wife.

  3. The APS investigator called the friend who tried to help the victim escape from his home and told him that he must be lying about what the victim said to him because the victim was “not allowed to talk to anyone,” which clearly violates the Standards of Practice as set out by the National Guardianship Association and should have been investigated rigorously by APS.

  4. None of the witnesses who have written declarations in behalf of the friend or the victim have been called for interviews by APS.

There has been a callous pursuit against the victim’s friend in court by petitioners in opposition to RCW 74.34.200 (2) which states that: “it is in the intent of the legislature, however, that where there is a dispute about the care or treatment of a vulnerable adult, the parties should use the least formal means available to try to resolve the dispute,” thus costing the friend massive attorney fees.

As a case history the original petitioners filed a motion for a VAPA order based on a May 2011 medical report that appears to have been done for the purpose of filing the original VAPA motion and for a Guardianship Petition of the victim. The baseline psych evaluation was done May 5, 2011. The factual wording of the psych exam states that the victim could have metabolic or psychological dementia caused by stress, depression or PTSD. It states that the victim does not have Alzheimer’s. There are contradictory statements by the victim’s wife regarding the victim in the report. There was no input by the victim’s long term physician which additionally raised questions about this report. These matters were ignored by the Commissioner and by the guardianship firm later assigned.

There were misstatements of fact in the original petition which included the assertion that the victim suffered from dementia for a number of years; that his friend took advantage of him by drafting up new wills in which she was the sole beneficiary; and that the friend opened a joint bank account implying that she did so to take the victim’s money – omitting that the entire amount was her own money she deposited and requiring her attorney to facilitate the return of her deposit.


The original petitioners had the victim sign new legal documents transferring all his personal and financial interests over to the wife and her friend when the victim was purportedly suffering from dementia and allegedly lacked the capacity to have signed the previous wills dated sometime earlier. This fact was ignored by the Commissioner.

Thus, the credibility of the wife and her friend are without merit. The attorney for the petitioner should have known this. Unfortunately there have been additional misrepresentations in this case by attorneys, including:

In the Petition for Order Directing Adult Protective Services to Release Investigation File and Identify Complainant presented by the attorney for the guardianship firm states these two false statements:


Despite (the victim) having been diagnosed with dementia several years prior, (the friend) has engaged in an extramarital affair with (the victim). During the course of that affair, inter alia, she drafted a Will for (the victim’s) signature appointing her both Personal Representative and sole beneficiary. See O’B Decl., Paragraph 4.

Declaration of (the director of the guardianship firm) In Support of Guardian’s Petition for Order Directing Adult Protective Services to Release Investigation File and Identify Complainant again states the same false statements:

  1. (The friend) is known to have carried on an extramarital affair with (the victim), in spite of his diagnosis with dementia. During the course of her relationship with (the victim), among other things, (the friend) drafted a Will for (the victim) to execute in which she named herself both Personal Representative and sole beneficiary of (the victim’s) Estate.

The court records show that another friend who had known the victim for over 20 years and tried to help him escape from his home sent an email to a number of people regarding the victim’s welfare and the fact that none of his friends had access to him. This friend was contacted by a detective on behalf of the victim’s wife and given false statements about the friend being sued. The investigator of APS told this man that she did not believe the story that the victim asked for help and wanted out of his house since the victim was not allowed to talk to anyone. Not allowing the victim to talk and visit with friends violates the Standards of Practice as set down by the Certified Professional Guardian Standards of Practice.

The Commissioner again ignored the evidence.

Additionally, there are records in this case that the victim sent many people information about his dissatisfaction with his marriage and his desire to get divorced. This information has been filed by the guardianship firm in the court file and made available to the public and also sent to the Arizona Board of Nursing in their efforts to punish the nurse who reviewed the psych exam. This information had been made available to the detective via the police department and by the friend and the nurse.


As Examples:

  1. The victim stated in his letter to his personal physician that he thought his wife was a sociopath and that he thought she had slept with a large number of police. This letter was additionally sent to the friend who later was the petitioner helping the wife take the victim into guardianship. However, in 2010 he acknowledged the letter in an email to the person he subsequently sued to keep her from helping the victim. A signed copy along with a copy of the Will naming both these same two people as representatives and the victim’s children beneficiaries of their grandparent’s CDs and a copy of the her Durable Power of Attorney was sent in a sealed envelope to the man she thought was a trusted friend of the victim. This man used her Durable Power of Attorney to take her money without her knowledge with the help of the victim’s wife.

  2. The victim had filed for divorce from his wife in January 2011 on his own accord. Presumably, had his attorney thought he had dementia and unable to make decisions on his own it would have interfered with his ability to file the victim’s petition for dissolution as he did.

  3. Another close friend of the victim since childhood, states in her declaration that she asked the victim years previously why he didn’t just divorce his wife. According to this trusted life-long friend, the victim replied, “I don’t dare. I don’t know what she’d do, but it wouldn’t be pretty.”

  4. Another lady who spoke with the victim states in her declaration that when she spoke with the victim on the phone regarding her experiences with her husband, the victim replied with statements that lead her to believe he had experienced something similar, “I told (him) about my experiences and the sensation I had that things were unreal, that I couldn’t defend myself, and that I felt emotionally unstable. Each time I made a point about my own experiences, (his) comment and tone of voice indicated that his wife was treating him the way I had been treated by my ex-husband. For example, I described to (him) how my ex-husband would accuse me of being the crazy one, and how I started believing he was right. (He) responded, ‘I already know that.’ When I described how sociopaths have a tendency to twist your words to use against you, he responded ‘she does that.’”

  5. The victim was sent a letter by his friend who was sued addressed to his first wife. The victim told his friend that he did not trust his first wife and was afraid that she would send the letter to man who betrayed him. The victim sent this letter asking for help to several of his friends throughout the United States and some of those friends contacted his friend that was sued. In this letter were numerous statements that the victim had made to his friend regarding his wife. When his childhood friend contacted the friend being sued following the first hearing, this lady told the friend that the victim had told her all of the same things about his wife reflected in that letter. One of the statements in this letter found in the email from the man who wrote a second email about his concerns over the victim was that the victim told him that his wife had sex with the guide when the victim took his wife on an African safari and that the victim felt his wife married him for his money.

  6. In the document prepared by the petitioners first attorney entitled Joinder and Declaration in re Petition for Immediate Temporary Order of Protection for a Vulnerable Adult, the victim crossed out the words “and do not intend to divorce C.”

  7. The GAL found it was necessary to appoint a professional guardian for the victim. She did not allow the wife or the friend who betrayed him as originally petitioned to be guardians. The GAL interviewed the childhood friend of the victim who had known the victim since 4th grade and whose mother’s were best friend. The GAL left the victim with the right to vote, which is highly unusual when a victim is declared a vulnerable adult; it is as if the GAL knew this was guardianship fraud.


The Commissioner ignored all declarations and ruled in favor of the victim’s wife and the guardianship firm in all instances.

There were multiple irregularities in this case which run the gamut from misinformation provided by attorneys regarding the victims own actions prior to his wife and neighbor taking over his life such as (falsely) telling his friend that the victim was seeing multiple women (at the same time alleging he had dementia), to information told to the friend’s first attorney by the guardianship attorney regarding the victim’s health and wealth and the victim’s health updates which were inconsistent and/or false.

The records show that shortly before the VAPA petition was initially filed, the victim was capably living alone, driving without difficulty, and able to care for himself. This includes the victim’s preparations to voluntarily move to Arizona; filing for divorce; and letting his divorce attorney and others know that he was excited about moving to Arizona. A declaration informed the court that another friend visited the victim in his home in April 2011 when the victim was still living alone and driving. This friend reports she did not see any evidence of dementia. The first psych exam was done May 5, 2011. The first hearing was May 6, 2011. The Commissioner was advised at the hearing that the psych exam noted in the petition stating it was done several years ago was instead done the day prior to the hearing. The Commissioner assigned a GAL rather than dropping the false charges against the friend.

The friend sued was repeatedly falsely characterized as a “stalker” in court hearings and court documents by the guardianship attorney. Not only was that a legal misuse of the term, but it was untrue. Declarations filed in this case state that in January 2011 when this friend went to Seattle to visit friends, including the victim, the victim called her to tell her that his wife had taken his car keys and was taking him to a bogus doctor appointment (the victim’s words). The victim gave his friend the address of the doctor’s office, the time of his appointment, and asked her to meet him there. Had the victim not contacted his friend, she would have had no way of knowing about this appointment. It was due to his wife’s reaction at a chance meeting with the victim’s friend at the doctor’s office that the wife told the friend her husband had Alzheimer’s and dementia. When the victim realized what his wife was planning, he told her he wanted a divorce.

The file reflects that the childhood close friend of the victim who spent much time with the victim prior to this incident sent information about her perception of the guardianship firm and the victim’s wife to their mutual former classmates in an email in early Fall 2012. A friend who was living on the east coast who had also received an email from the victim asking for help in early 2011 sent another broadcast email seeking help for the victim. The emails from all of the victim’s friends contained factual information available in the public court file. The original friend who was sued was falsely accused of being the sole person behind all correspondence, when in fact this information was public and had been presented to the Court numerous times by the guardianship firm.

The fact that the guardianship firm was appointed guardian instead of the wife and then allowed the wife whom the victim was trying to divorce to act as gatekeeper to the victim was troubling, to say the least, and at most signals that the guardianship firm may have violated the Standards of Practice as set down by the Certified Professional Guardian Standards of Practice. It was additionally troubling that the detective personally known by the wife harassed and made false statements to those involved trying to help the victim, and that the APS investigator never interviewed witnesses and told the witness whom the victim asked for help in escaping that it couldn’t have happened because the victim was not allowed to talk to anyone.

The guardianship firm filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Nursing requesting an investigation of the nurse who reviewed the initial psych report that she found bogus after threatening her to sign a document that her letters of warning to agencies were instigated by the victim’s friend. Upon the nurse’s refusal to commit perjury by signing the document, the complaint to the Arizona Nursing Board was filed by the guardianship attorney.

The Commissioner ignored this evidence.

The following legal arguments prepared for this case by counsel for the court of appeals also pose questions regarding First Amendment rights denied the victim’s friend.



The protection order entered in this case violates two provisions of the First Amendment: the right to free speech and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. One provision of the order states that (she) cannot have any contact with the vulnerable adult by any means “including without limitation filing of legal or administrative actions regarding the vulnerable adult.” Added in the margin and adopted by the court “and law enforcement and government agencies.” Another paragraph includes this provision: “In the event additional reports alleging abuse, neglect or exploitation of the Vulnerable Adult are filed by Respondent(s) or their agents without reasonable cause with any governmental, legal or administrative agency in the future, Respondent shall be liable for any costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, etc.”

The protection order is a prior restraint on speech. A prior restraint is an administrative or judicial order forbidding in advance certain communications. Alexander v. United States, 509 U.S. 544, 550, 113 S.Ct. 2766, 125 L.Ed.2d 441 (1993). “Temporary restraining orders and permanent injunctions—i.e., court orders that actually forbid speech activities—are classic examples of prior restraints.” Id. Prior restraints carry a heavy presumption of unconstitutionality. Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 70, 83 S.Ct. 631, 9 L.Ed.2d 584 (1963). They are permissible only in exceptional cases such as war, obscenity, and “incitements to acts of violence and the overthrow by force of orderly government. Near v. Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697, 716, 51 S.Ct. 625, 75 L.Ed. 1357 (1931). “An order issued in the area of First Amendment rights must be couched in the narrowest terms that will accomplish the pin-pointed objective permitted by constitutional mandate and the essential needs of the public order.” Carroll v. President & Commissioners of Princess Anne, 393 U.S. 175, 183, 89 S.Ct. 347, 21 L.Ed.2 325 (1968).

While an order prohibiting (her) from contacting (the victim) directly might be upheld, the superior court’s order defines “contact” far more broadly. It includes “filing of legal or administrative actions regarding (the victim)” including those addressed to “law enforcement and government agencies.” Clearly this is not merely a restriction on “contact.” An agency could handle a complaint concerning (the victim’s) treatment without passing on the content of the complaint to (the victim) himself. The Court’s order severely chills (her) right to free speech and to redress of grievances by threatening – and as it turns out, imposing – substantial financial sanctions. This is a classic prior restraint of First Amendment right.



Michael Larsen and Anthony Domanico



Page Summary

This is an actual court case example of a how friends or family are sued so that a fraudulent guardianship can be obtained.