My question involves civil rights in the State of: Illinois, California
Three years ago, my older sister came from California to take my mother, who had dementia, to the Mayo Clinic, concerning a medical issue for which she was being treated locally and was responding well to treatment. Unbeknownst to me, the Mayo Clinic was an excuse to get my mother away from me so she could take her back to California with her. She kidnapped my mother to California and called me from a train, stating that I would never get my mother back. A long legal battle ensued. I had been given poa's over healthcare and property by my mother before she had developed dementia. She had also left her house in trust for me to inherit if she predeceased me. She had given me a life estate in the house. When my sister had found out that was when she planned the kidnap in order to gain control of my mother's assets.
After she won conservatorship over my mother's estate, she told some lies to LA police and they put a warrant out for my arrest. I was arrested in Illinois, where I was still living in my mother's house, and extradited to California. I had used my motherís Discover Card while I was in California for a court hearing, trying to get mom back. My legal bills were draining me. At the time I had powers of attorney over healthcare and property. I had every legal right to use the credit card. Yet, after my sister finally won conservatorship because I had ran out of funds to fight it, she had my powers of attorney revoked. Moreover, when she found out about the credit card usage, she called Discover and told them I had committed fraud. I was arrested and charged with identity theft. There was NEVER any evidence to support those charges. Discover never produced any phone tapes or written documentation. I had, in fact, been designated as an authorized user of the card, and my powers of attorney gave me the authority to use the card as well. I never did anything fraudulent or illegal. I spent over 100 days in jail before it was discovered that there was no substance to the charges. All charges were dropped and I was subsequently released from jail, having lost my job, my car, my four cats had been destroyed, and I had been psychologically traumatized from the experience itself. Shortly after returning to my mother's home, my sister completed the sale of my mother's house and I was thrown out. If it had not been for a family member to take me in temporarily, I would have been out on the street.
I have since been declared factually innocent in California court. My Public Defender, Randall Rich, said I should never have been arrested. I want to sue all those responsible for my suffering and losses. Mr. Rich said my sister should never have been appointed conservator because I had poa's already prior to the kidnap. There has also been negligence on the part of the court appointed attorney. There has been a court order for my sister to account for my mother's money. The house she sold was worth over $250K, yet I have been told that she reports there is little money to account for. The judge has been very dissatisfied with her lack of accounting and it is becoming increasingly clear that she is taking advantage of my mother financially. On June 26th she was supposed to give another financial accounting. Again, she failed to do so, but it appears that nothing is being done about it by the court.
I have been drained financially and emotionally by these events, and am seeking some kind of legal assistance. One attorney has said he would represent me in a federal case against my sister but wants $10K in advance. I work locally as a teacher now, but I have had to start from scratch after going through my life savings. I don't expect legal assistance for nothing but I don't have any large lump sums to come up with at this point. I am trying to save enough money to retain this lawyer but would like to explore other options if there are any.
Where else can I go for legal assistance? There is much more information about my case, and Randall Rich, Public Defender in Los Angeles County would be able to share that with you.