Words that would defy your right to personal property!

The definition of wealth is like beauty, in the eye of the beholder.  My personal wealth is whatever I own, regardless of the worldly evaluation.  But, did you know current Arizona law allows your private property rights, including your personal wealth, to be taken without full due process? 

Absolutely!  It is called conservatorship.

Public demand to stop this insanity came after years of documented abuses by fiduciaries.  Current law has allowed everything from the draining of personal wealth leaving the once solvent ward penniless and destitute, the destruction of marriages and families with divorces filed and homes sold by fiduciaries forcing families into homelessness, restriction of visitation, the severe personal neglect, and even untimely demise of individuals in the care of their court appointed “protector” have been alleged.   

It was easy money.  No one was watching.  And the rules for placement were very loose.

While placing someone into guardianship requires clear and convincing evidence and the right to a jury trial, conversely establishing a court ordered conservator has no such evidentiary language or threshold.  By default, the most loosely interpreted methods of evidence have been used to strip individuals of their rights.  Now comes a bill, HB2424, which would require the same standard in all cases where a private citizen is potentially limited by court order from being fully in charge of their own matters.  That standard is clear and convincing evidence.

Deprivation of a property interest is protected in the 5th amendment to the Constitution, and is of absolutely equal stature with “life and liberty.” We should not be so cavalier with the deprivation of one’s property interests. The “takings clause” of the Fifth Amendment is very clear… “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

So, why would anyone feel anything less than “clear and convincing evidence” would be grounds for the court ordered removal of individual rights?  In the absence of a criminal action, how can anyone justify anything less as an evidentiary standard for the wholesale, court ordered “taking” of one’s property? 

Being placed into conservatorship results in the loss of all control and use of one’s own funds, severely limits their franchise rights, restricts all aspects of their life.  If I cannot choose when, how, how much, or where to spend my money, If I have no control of my own land, am not legally able to enter into a binding financial contract or sell my own holdings…then what personal liberty do I have left?

Moreover, losing control of one’s property is losing control of one’s life

As in all cases when profit and greed are at the center of public policy, those with the most to lose have lobbied the legislature trying to disguise their motives.  They have gone full force as there is great wealth at risk. Not their current wealth of course, but the prospect of your wealth in their hands.  The very entities that can be found at the center of all the horror stories, the negligence, and the profiteering at the expense of others, the fiduciaries, are now demanding protection to keep up their bad acts!  They are demanding the “clear and convincing evidence” standard be removed from HB2424. 

Of course they do not want such a standard…what cash cow will they have if that goes away?  The status quo is serving them quite well, thank you.

Such an egregious attempt at circumventing due process cannot be tolerated and should not be supported!

Kudos to Sen’s. Ron Gould, Don Shooter, Lori Klein, and Sylvia Allen for their particular vigilance in the Senate Approps hearing yesterday in defending our rights! 

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