Texas Decides Elderly Couple, Their Finances Now Belong to Texas

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Awful story from Texas, where elderly couple Michael and Jean Kidd were made wards of the state of Texas, then held against their will while the state took over their finances.

In November Michael fell and broke his hip. He was taken to a Plano hospital and into surgery. After a few days, the hospital called the state Adult Protective Services to report Jean had been in the waiting room for days and wasn’t eating…

A judge determined the Kidds were incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. The state took over the Kidds lives, sent them to the Countryside Nursing Home in Pilot Point, and is now burning through their money to pay for their care.

The state refuses to give the Kidds an accounting of how it is spending their money, the reason apparently being that because they were deemed mentally deficient, they lack standing to even ask for financial records. The couple was given a court-appointed attorney (paid for from the Kidds’ savings), but he looks to have worked all of 10 hours on their case. According to neighbors, the state has since allowed the Kidds’ home deteriorate, and didn’t even bother to lock the doors after taking the couple into custody. The local Fox affiliate reported at the end of last month that state officials were also planning to sell the couple’s home at auction. Media coverage seems to have pressured a local judge to put off the sale, at least for now.

The same station reports that the judge has clarified an earlier order barring the Kidds from talking to anyone about their case, and allowing them access to their own medical records. But they’re still being kept in the nursing home, and still can’t access any record of how the state is spending their money.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

42 Responses to “Texas Decides Elderly Couple, Their Finances Now Belong to Texas”

  1. #1 |  Al V | 


    HOLY F%$K! How the hell is THAT allowed!?? Bundled off to an old age home stripped of all possessions and barred from talking to anyone about your case??!


  2. #2 |  Justin | 

    Land of the free and home of the brave.

  3. #3 |  fwb | 

    Just wait til Obummer is through with us. W was only the nose of the camel.

    Tiocfaidh ar la!

  4. #4 |  capo | 

    I’ve got an idea how to fix this from happening…

    …Let’s go ahead and make the government responsible for our Health Care. That way, health decisions are never ours to begin with, and if we wind up as wards of the State we won’t feel like we are missing anything.

  5. #5 |  Al V | 


    It’s going to come out that the judge has financial incentives from the conglomerate that owns the nursing home, and the “guardian” is his brother in law.

    I was shocked to find out about the two judges that were sentencing juveniles to long terms in detention over and above sentencing recommendations because they were getting paid by the private-run detention center.

    How do we reverse this kind of judicial abuse?

  6. #6 |  Daniel | 

    Can judicial abuse be reversed?

  7. #7 |  BamBam | 

    There comes a time when non-traditional methods are necessary against everyone involved in this incident.

  8. #8 |  Dakota | 

    Holy hell. Did they not need to PROVE that the Kidd’s couldn’t provide for them selves? Seems the house was there, they were eating. Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.

    If I was him I would seriously consider up and leaving the home, going back to my real home and literally start fighting over this.

  9. #9 |  MDGuy | 

    So let me see if I have this straight…the state comes in and decides these people have mismanaged their finances and are incapable of handling their affairs and then proceeds to loot their finances and has shown itself completely incapable of maintaining their property (which the Kidds obviously managed to do just fine judging by the comments from the neighbor). Sound about right?

  10. #10 |  Chris in AL | 

    “If tomorrow all the things were gone,
    I’d worked for all my life.
    And I had to start again,
    with just my children and my wife.

    I’d thank my lucky stars,
    to be livin here today.
    ‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
    and they can’t take that away.

    And I’m proud to be an American,
    where at least I know I’m free.
    And I wont forget the men who died,
    who gave that right to me.”

    Just kind of chokes you up, doesn’t it. Trying to swallow that bullshit I mean.

    I can’t think of any aspect of what this country has become that isn’t a daily embarrassment, if not a total and tragic bastardization of what it means to be an honest and decent society.

    I am truly amazed that neither of them has been tasered.

  11. #11 |  CK | 

    When he attempts to leave, because he has been adjudged to be incompetent, he will be tazed or otherwise shown state leniency.

  12. #12 |  CK | 

    The hospital snitched them out of course, but if the hospital hadn’t snitched, the hospital would have been guilty of something.

  13. #13 |  tariqata | 

    This makes me even more angry, because I was once in a situation that involved notifying the public guardian about a person who was quite clearly stricken by dementia (I won’t go into details, but the memory loss, personal care issues, and lack of time/place orientation were all significant and had been getting worse over a period of years), only to be told that, essentially, because the individual was not visibly starving to death, unless she asked for help our provincial privacy regulations meant that the public guardian could not intervene. (I’m sure some here will argue that we had no right to try to get care for this person, and it was something none of us felt good about either, as we recognized that it was an invasion of privacy, but we didn’t feel that it was right that she might, for example, face eviction because she couldn’t remember to pay her rent.)

    Sometimes it seems like we rob the elderly of independence and dignity in whatever way we can, either by refusing help to those who do need it or by forcing “help” on those who don’t.

  14. #14 |  Michael Fontana | 

    Lest we forget, Texas is SUPPOSED TO BE a right-wing state. I thought this was what the conservatives were afraid the liberals would do to them?

  15. #15 |  Mattocracy | 

    Don’t they have kids that could be notified? Or is the only option to kidnap them and steal their money with no impartial council to look out for their best interests. Be nice if Glenn Beck talked about these outrages rather than harp about BO’s birth certificate.

  16. #16 |  SusanK | 

    In the words of Robert Gibbs, if the State thinks it’s necessary, “it’s best not to second-guess”. (quote from coast guard deal earlier today)
    How dare you people question the State for helping out this elderly couple. If the State hadn’t stepped in, these people would have died in a few years with all of their assets in tact and their next-of-kin would have to fight over the estate. Now the stress of this might do them in sooner AND they won’t have any money left for the relatives to fight over. Win-win.
    All your assets are belong to us.

  17. #17 |  MassHole | 

    This makes me want to spit nails. What you wanna bet it would actually be cheaper to keep them in their home, that their income provides for and have a home health service look after them? The boomers are nearing this phase of their life. Imagine what it will be like for them.

  18. #18 |  tb | 

    Michael Fontana,

    This is (or should be) painfully obvious, but judging by your comment, I think it needs to be mentioned.

    Populations, be it at the national, state, county, municipal, or familial level, are not homogeneous. There are pockets of liberals (and conservatives, anarchists, atheists, Muslims, Jews, libertarians, Libertarians, etc.) in otherwise-leaning places.

  19. #19 |  Zargon | 

    I hate to point it out but the difference between the state control of that couple and the state control of the rest of us peasants is a difference in degree, not a difference in kind.

    And the difference in degree is getting smaller…

  20. #20 |  JS | 

    Chris in AL #10 Good post! I want to be sick everytime I hear that stupid propaganda song because it reminds how close to impossible it is to get the American people to wake up and see that everything they’re singing is a lie.

  21. #21 |  Big Boy | 

    “Adult Protective Services,” like “Child Protective Services” is the epitome of the Nanny State. An agency run by Nannies for the employment of Nannies to spend everyone’s money doing what makes the Nannies FEEL good.

  22. #22 |  alkali | 

    Why don’t they just leave? Probable answer: because the husband can barely walk, and because the wife (who is admittedly suffering from “memory loss”) can’t take care of him. I appreciate that the state’s action here may well be heavy-handed, but if you have no friends or family and you are unable to take care of yourself, what happens next may not be entirely fun for you. We could avoid this if we just vowed to let old incapacitated people starve in their own homes, but we don’t.

  23. #23 |  Andrew | 

    The world would be a much better place if everyone employed as “Social Worker” or works for any sort of “Protective Services” division was immediately fired and their jobs abolished.

    The evil they do far outweighs any sort of good they might do.

    Speaking as one who had the unfortunate experience of sharing an office space with these types on two separate occasions I can say that they were to a person either absolutely worthless and incompetent at best and vindictive and malevolent at worst. Just about the worst possible vision one can envision when one imagines a petty bureaucrat.

  24. #24 |  Pinandpuller | 

    If he leaves the hospital and goes home can he use the castle doctrine to legally resist with deadly force?

  25. #25 |  Cynical In CA | 

    It is not enough anymore to define the State as that entity that maintains a monopoly on the use of force in a given geographic area.

    The State is that entity that maintains a monopoly on CRIME in a given geographic area.

  26. #26 |  perlhaqr | 

    Man, that’s some depressing shit.

  27. #27 |  Rob Robertson | 

    Sent to a nursing home? What a waste of a perfectly edible couple.

  28. #28 |  MattinCincy | 

    Zargon I meant to “plus” you, but I accidentally hit minus. Sorry! I hope I’m not deemed incompetant by the State of Ohio.
    Probably won’t be as I’m broke and trying to raise 3 kids…

  29. #29 |  drunkenatheist | 

    @ Chris in AL:

    I got into earlier today on Facebook when a girl mentioned something about freedom and I pointed out that, for me (a bisexual), arguing freedom is kinda silly. You know, given that whole DOMA thing and the whole not having as many rights as y’all heteros. LOL 2ND CLASS CITIZENSHIP!

  30. #30 |  RGD | 

    How and why?
    Answer: Texas. The most incompetently run state in the Union.

  31. #31 |  Steve Clay | 

    The ruling to appoint a guardian may have been legitimate if their dementia was well-established. Because they appear lucid in a news interview doesn’t imply they’re capable of handling that awful disease by themselves.

    That said, yeah, they probably should have received home health and some follow-up evals to determine what’s necessary, and hopefully a good lawyer will take on the state.

  32. #32 |  Baker’s dozen links dump | 

    […] The state of Texas destroyed an elderly couple’s lives and wiped out their life savings by hav… But guiz, the gubment is totes not gunna fuck up health care! […]

  33. #33 |  JThompson | 

    What people are conveniently neglecting is this was state laws instead of federal. What happened to state’s rights, eh?
    Of course it’s in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, a veritable bastion of liberal ideas.
    So a (probably) conservative judge drawing on the laws of one of the most conservative states in the country is a perfect example of how the national level moderates are going to screw up health care.
    I’m not suggesting they’re not going to screw it up, I’m just suggesting some people’s logic fails on multiple levels.

    Of course the liberal solution to this would’ve been billing medicare for a home health nurse. Then they might have been allowed to live out their remaining years in their own home with a bit of dignity. Since that would be “socialism” I guess I shouldn’t suggest it.

  34. #34 |  bob42 | 

    It’s quite likely that if Mr. Kidd wasn’t formerly employed by KDFW-TV, nobody would have heard about their mistreatment. Any time the state attempts to operate under secrecy, alarm bells should ring to warn us that they’re probably up to no good.

    As the battle for their liberty and right of self determination continues, I suspect the Kidd’s would appreciate knowing that they are in the thoughts and prayers of more than a few liberty loving people.

    You can send them a spirit lifting card or letter via snail mail here:

    Countryside Nursing And Rehabilitation
    1700 N Washington
    Pilot Point, TX 76258
    Telephone: (940) 686-5556

    Countryside Nursing And Rehabilitation
    1700 N Washington
    Pilot Point, TX 76258
    Telephone: (940) 686-5556

  35. #35 |  drunkenatheist | 


    “What people are conveniently neglecting is this was state laws instead of federal. What happened to state’s rights, eh?”

    Uh, are you really trying to argue that it’s better if the state government screws you over? Oppression is oppression is oppression, dude, and not everyone here thinks that federal oppression is teh evul and state oppression is teh r0x0rs!

    I’d venture to guess that even the most ardent states’ rights supporters would still look at this situation and say “that’s fucked up, dawg.”

  36. #36 |  Charlie O | 

    I can tell you this about Texas. This was done because this couple HAS money and an income. If they were poor or destitute, they would have been told to fuck off, pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

  37. #37 |  Lalacalifornia | 

    The same bullshit happens here in California. This nightmare has been in my life for 13 years now. My mother in law is not incompetent, nor did she ever show by legal standards that she could not handler her own affairs. It was my sister in law who felt she wasn’t getting enough of her mother’s money, and we thought she was getting too much. So sis called in Public Guardians. What a pack of mother f*@#kers. They lie, cheat, steal, and laugh about how helpless we are. F@*&K this SH*t! Land of the Free? I thought I lived in the best country, but once again I was fooled. Just like I had once believed in Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny.

  38. #38 |  Elaine Renoire | 

    What happened to Michael and Jean Kidd is happening all over this country to vulnerable people who have worked and saved a lifetime for their “golden years” – only to have everything taken from them under the guise of “protection”.

    NASGA is an organization of victims and families working to expose and end unlawful and abusive guardianships/conservatorships — a growing national epidemic.

    Guardianship wards are stripped of all rights: the right to decide where to live and whom to associate with, how to spend (or save!) ones own money, to accept or refuse medical treatment — or even ask for a second opinion, marry, vote, etc. Most important, wards are stripped of the right to complain.

    With the fox guarding the henhouse and the hens muzzled, guardians and their attorneys can easily unjustly enrich themselves at the expense and to the detriment of the very person they have been court-appointed to protect.

    Many wards are forcibly taken from their homes and isolated in nursing facilities against their will – and family is not permitted to visit or have information or input regarding medical “care”. Wards die prematurely – alone and afraid. The devastation victims and families suffer at the hands of the system haunts them for the rest of their lives.

    And where do the victims go for help? Many go to the AG, only to be turned away because the abuse has been court-sanctioned.

    Visit NASGA at StopGuardianAbuse.org or NASGA’s blog at http://NASGA-StopGuardianAbuse.blogspot.com for more information.

    Elaine Renoire

  39. #39 |  Frank T | 

    Just what do you think the second amendment is really for anyway? One must always be prepared to sacrifice one’s life for freedom and liberty.

  40. #40 |  strycat | 

    Pretty timely post for me. My Dad and I just finished a round with this kind of “service.”

    At this point if you get injured, you and your family are better off just letting you lay there and die than risk going to the hospital and having APS called.

    If you need something like home health care, don’t by any means arrange for one of these company that take Medicare or Medicaid. Again the risk of APS being called is too great. You’re better trying to find a friend or neighbor to pay and have them come in and help.

  41. #41 |  Kenneth | 

    You people are sheep blindly following Rebecca Oliver’s reporting. Did any of you research the facts of the case for yourself. It is all public record including the medical reports showing the need for care. Rebecca Oliver has an agenda. That is why she did not interview anyone connected with the case other than Mr. and Mrs. Kidd. She didn’t even acknowledge all the evidence showing that these two needed care. Where were the neighbors and co-workers she interviewed back when these two were in their home wasting away? They weren’t caring then. Rebecca Oliver is a liar and a charleton. She could not be bothered to present the whole story because the whole story wouldn’t fit her agenda. Don’t listen to me, don’t listen to her. If you want the real story, read the court file. All the information you need is in there.

  42. #42 |  pam | 

    the same thing happend to my uncle here in Illinois. He had developed speech aphasia and a woman he encountered at a senior center (he was only 67) called an ambulance because she was having trouble understanding him. He was forced to get in against his will and admitted to the psyche ward. Within 24 hours a doctor declared him in need of 24/7 nursing home car and gave the family names of facilities we should contact. I was stunned. He was a retired electrical engineer with an engineering degree from Purdue. Had never married and had no children and a shitload of money. He was happy, had life long friends, paid his bills, traveled, bla, bla. Overnight he was declared mentally ill and in need of 24 hour nursing care. He was put on a boatload of anti-psychotic drugs and tricked into signing something where he could not leave the psyche ward. After being put on all the psychotropic drugs he started acting crazy. At that point it was a downward spiral for him and eventually we spent a year in court trying to get him out of the chokehold of the state. They took over his accounts and used his money to do all of this $20,0000 total. They did despicable things I won’t even go into. The judge eventually ordered him confined to a locked Alzheimer’s facility (he did not have Alzhiemers) and I was taken off the visitation list because I was a “troublemaker”. It was an absolute nightmare. I had to secretly meet him at a restaurant set up by friends who could visit. He is now in the most horrible shape imaginable and I can’t even bear to see him anymore. The place costs $5,000/month and he is in shambles. He is only 70 years old and is the walking dead. The State of Illinois killed my uncle and redirected all his money to the nursing home, Arden Courts. It is run like a gulag. He’s been there 5 years now and soon will be sent to a state facility because his money has run out. The state facility here smells and looks like a zoo. Piss and shit everywhere. Yes it happens, I witnessed it with my own eyes. Plus they went into his townhouse, rifled thorough all his things and deemed him crazy. There was nothing crazy about him, he was a bachelor and lived like one. Not much in the fridge (cause he ate out, duh) and unpacked boxes. Anyway, beware of any agency called Senior Social Services. They are criminals and earn $60 an hour trying to get the elderly without power of attorney put away.