You’ll recall we talked about the Jill Case guardian ad litem situation. The Reader’s Digest summary is that an incompetent and vindictive guardian ad litem cut an elderly woman off from her primary family support, her daughter, and the judge overseeing the case epically failed to do his job well, so the elderly woman was cut off from her daughter for a really long time with no legal basis for it.
The attention that we’ve given to the Jill Case guardian ad litem case gained a lot of attention including some hits from computers on Grand Traverse County servers.
We now have an update from someone we believe to be the daughter involved. She writes:
“The good news is Jill Case got fired. I didn’t realize that so many of her colleagues found her behavior bullying which is exactly what I encountered. After many court dates my position was reinstated as co-guardian. Judge Stanton and the State of Michigan removed all the players in my mother’s life that caused so much pain and cruelty including Adult Protective Services caseworker. It was also stated that the state was removing Jill Case from all wards. Honestly she is the meanest cruelest person I have ever come across and should never be in position to affect another person. I will never understand how Jill was not prosecuted….My mother who is the one that got the short stick. Please feel free to move this comment to other posts.”
My comments: According to the daughter, Jill Case is no longer serving as a guardian in any case. While that’s great, it doesn’t undo the harm that happened to this elderly woman.
The judge’s failures in Leelanau County are a problem. Too often, judges just take the word of law enforcement, in this case, Adult Protective Services. And as Judge Stepka wants us all to know, there are three branches of government. When judges just take the word of law enforcement and demean everyone else in the process, they’re not doing their jobs. I don’t know what the Leelanau judge’s demeanor was to the litigants, but judge demeanor to disfavored litigants is a serious problem in Northern Michigan (and likely the rest of the country). I’ve seen it plenty of times. The judges don’t seem to care that they’re undermining their own justice system one citizen at a time.
As to why Case was not prosecuted, I understand but I don’t understand. As Grand Traverse County Prosecutor, Bob Cooney went out of his way not to charge one of his own. Law enforcement officials protect each other. There’s even a name for it. They call it “law enforcement courtesy.” My perception is that charges against the insiders in Grand Traverse only happen when the case becomes public and they can’t possibly think of a way to deflect public perception. Otherwise, law enforcement courtesy rules the day, in my opinion.
The elderly mother likely has a valid civil claim against Jill Case for breach of fiduciary duty. Breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a person has a legal duty to act in the best interests of another person and doesn’t.