My question involves a person located in the state of:North Carolina
First time poster, short time lurker. Apologies if the post is long.
My adult sister lives in a nursing home because she is mentally incapable of taking care of herself. We were not able to get power of attorney several years ago because the judge was concerned of her suicide threats if my parents were granted such. She is currently overseen by a Personal Attorney and an Estate Attorney who handle her affairs and ensure treatment, which in turn is monitored by the state.
She has attempted to sever ties with us and we believed it might be for the best after several outbursts and, specifically, a threat to have restraining orders placed against us if we persisted in visiting her. We gather what information we can via third party, the lawyers and what the nursing home feels it is allowed to release.
Recent events have caused the family to be more concerned for her well being, mentally and physically, specifically related to the care and oversight she receives. A Silver Alert was posted recently that we did not hear about until a member of the church asked us about her. We were advised we were not informed because everyone "thought we'd already been told". Over the course of three days she and another mentally challenged person hitchhiked across four county lines before admitting themselves to an emergency room for care.
It was only after the alert was posted and we began investigation in earnest did we learn this is not the first time they have hitchhiked across county lines. This was the first time they did not come back.
She refused see us tonight when we learned of her location. After a series of family meetings and discussions it is our concern that we have been acquiescing to her ultimatums too easily and for too long. It is our intent to resume supervised visitation with her on a limited basis by all legal means.
We are concerned she might carry through on her threat to issue a restraining order if we attempt to inspect her care and health in the future.
There is no prior act of physical abuse, though she claims some (specifics added to ease concern: my dad grabbed her arm once to prevent her from hitting my mother a second time. She attempted to press charges at that time but, I feel, common sense prevailed), as well as mental trauma (my mother is the root of all evil, my father and I are willing lackeys. If you've dealt with someone suffering dementia, you are well aware of these trends). There is hereditary mental instability in the family (dementia, functional sociopathy, etc). The facility in question is not gated. However, if she persists, we have been informed that her place of residence may change to one that is.
Our concerns: Can she issue a restraining order against us based on these facts? More specifically, would a judge uphold it if she is already proven to be unable to take care of herself? I have been advised that we can defend against any attempt she makes by having a court appointed psychiatrist confirm her inability to understand the ramifications of her actions. We are afraid of two outcomes. First, while unstable, she does know how to dupe a shrink, if only for a limited time. Second, should she play the suicide card again, we fear the judge will agree to a restraining order against us to protect her from herself, as we were informed was the reason for the verdict when the courts turned her care over to the state a few years ago. We also wish to know what resources their are to challenging an existing restraining order.
We do take the suicide threat seriously as well. But in light of recent events, we are growing more concerned that she will unintentionally harm herself, either by being picked up by the wrong person or stripping down to her skinnies and running across the freeway. Again.
Thank you in advance for your replies.