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Monthly Archives: October 2011

By Attorney David Engler

Golf on your mind?

In Florida if you punch a guy over 65 in the nose it is a felony. No matter what.

A Sheet and Tube Mill retired mid-level executive and his retired school teacher wife moved to a Condo golf course townhouse near Naples. A boy who had grown-up in Brier Hill during the forties, went to Korea, worked at a mill in purchasing, was now taking it easy. He would visit the grandchildren every winter holiday back in Youngstown, Ohio, play golf and sometimes drive over to see the dogs race. Brier Hill was a melting pot of immigrants and their children. Everybody had a church…Poles, Italians and the Irish like him. Mac learned to play golf at the nine-hole-public course, up Fifth Avenue, closer to where the wealthier people lived. You could not spend more than $20 for a season. The beer gardens were nearby for after a round, where everyone knew who was a golfer or a sandbagger.

Down South, where he and Lorraine now lived, just outside his very modest townhouse; the sliding glass patio door was just 10 feet away from the practice putting green. Every day another retiree from New Jersey who had worked in retail clothing and lived at an even more modest condo further away from the Ocean, practiced his putting and very little chipping. The 30 by 30 green was close to one of those many man-made drainage ponds that courses gussy-up and call a lake. Herb, the guy from Jersey, apparently suffered from a BiPolar Disorder and retired early and moved to Florida. He was 69. His wife was happy anytime Herb was out of the house. So Herb joined the closest golf course at River Wind and obsessed over putting. He was on the practice green for more than three hours a day, 10 feet from Mac. Mac was getting older by the day and had always been an unreasonable man. And it is suggested by research, that early onset dementia can start to turn a cranky person, even crankier.

Day after day Mac either sat in his condo looking out the screen door, past the small concrete slab of a porch, at Herb, the skinny guy from New Jersey putting hour after hour. Or if it wasn’t too hot, Mac would sit on his porch and look at him. Mac believed that a man ought to be able to sit on his back porch drink Buds, eat grapes and spit seeds and not have to look at Herb. So after Year 3, Month 4 of the incessant putting, Mac starts with the comments. Mac had no idea of Herb’s ethnic background, place in life or mental history. He decided to call him everything and anything for days under his breath, but loud enough for a 69-year-old guy to hear. The day In August was hotter and stickier than most Florida days; and the war began. Herb mouthed something back and Mac arose from his canvas-back camp chair, strode 7 f feet and landed a blow to Herb’s nose. Down goes Herb. One of the dozens of other old people simply looking out their screen doors for amusement and a chance to spot the book club girls making the turn at 10, called the Police.

Herb was okay. But since he was a senior (someone over 65 in Florida) it was more than a misdemeanor assault; it was a felony. Herb could care less than he got decked by a guy 11 years older than him with two replacement knees. No, Mac had to be stopped. A couple of the condo ladies agreed and let the Judge know it. Mac was too proud to hire an attorney. The Judge would have to be a fool to see that a man should not have to look at the same lame golfer taking thousands of putts all within the reach of a grape seed spit. Maybe one of the condo commandos had some clout because the Man in the robe came down heavy on Mac. He was given a death sentence. Five Years reporting probation and HE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO GOLF! The $500 dollar fine and court cost was nothing All those years paying a silly HOA fee and paying off the mortgage so he would never had to see another house payment in his life; and “this is what he gets?”

If he wants to go back North, he needs the permission of his probation officer. He stills sits on the porch and reruns the injustice in his mind. None of his kids bring it up at family celebrations, because they know Dad won’t stop talking about it. Herb no longer plays golf at River Wind anymore. In fact someone thought he had died. Two more years of probation and maybe he’ll play again. Or maybe he won’t since that would be a good way to show the traitors that turned him in that he could hold a grudge.

There is no real moral other than 1) get an attorney, 2) older people can get cranky and could use the help of a therapists 3) the law shouldn’t apply if you are an older person hitting a younger person and 4) do not in any manner, piss off a guy from Brier Hill!

As with all of our stories, the people and stories are real, but the names have been changed. In every case we have received the permission of our client to tell the story.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

By Attorney David Engler

You are at the nursing home. It was a terrible decision you had been forced to make because your Mom had told you years before that she never wanted to go to a nursing home. She said she would rather die.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the nursing home now is asking you to sign something as you and your mother are standing in the doorway!

If you are standing in the doorway and you are asked to sign a contract, understand your rights.

Your Rights
Under federal law, no one is liable for the cost of care in a nursing home except the resident, no matter if the relative signs the contract or puts a Power of Attorney (POA) next to the name.

The nursing home cannot ask for a deposit upfront as a requirement for admittance. They cannot ask for a ‘gift’, to expedite admittance.

The nursing home cannot deny admission just because the resident is going to pay with Medicaid benefits.

The nursing home cannot require that the resident be on private pay for so many months before Medicaid is applied for.

The nursing home may not charge a resident for failure to notify them in advance that he or she is going to leave.

Nursing Home Stress
The bottom line is to know what you are doing at this very stressful time.

I would suggest not signing any contract.

The only recourse a nursing home would have against a relative is if they believe and could prove that the relative depleted assets belonging to the resident that could have been used to pay for care.

If you have a question email me at davidengler@eguardianship.com or call my office at 330.729.9777.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

By Attorney David Engler

Two stories from this week’s pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer:


13 arrested in prostitution raid at Philly Mummers club


One night a month, police say, the inside of the modest Mummers’ Downtowners Fancy Brigade clubhouse in South Philadelphia transformed into a bacchanalian free-for-all where dozens of men ate, drank, and had sex with prostitutes in full view of each other.

For a $30 cover charge, attendees got one free beer from the cash bar, food, and access to the women at the party. The women, police said, walked around scantily clad or naked, charging from $30 to $100 for sex.
This past week, the festivities came to an abrupt end when police officers swarmed the two-story building near Second Street and Snyder Avenue.

About 50 men and 10 ‘working’ women were inside……


Police find four adults chained in Northeast Philadelphia apartment

Three people were arrested and charged with kidnapping, assault and other crimes after Philadelphia police found four mentally handicapped adults shackled in “deplorable conditions” in a basement storage closet of a Northeast apartment building Saturday.

The three men and a woman were found by a janitor chained to a water heater, in a 15-by-15-foot room, locked behind a steel door. All were malnourished, said a police spokeswoman.

The female victim is 29, the men 31, 35 and 41; each has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, police said.

Police said the room included buckets for urine and feces……


Here in the “City of Brotherly Love”, not twenty minutes from each other, in tough pockets of Philadelphia, four mentally disabled forty-something adults were being held in a chained room as a paid sex party was happening not too many blocks away at a Mummers Club.

The Mummers Club puts on an annual New Year’s Parade each year and dates back to the days of Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia. The MUMMERS Club said they did not know about a sex party and were only renting it out once per month to help the not-for-profit.

The four disabled adults were found alone in an apartment building nearby. It was in the basement of a building in a semi-industrial section of town. You would drive by and wonder if anybody actually lives there. They were wards of someone. Their social security money funded this “care”. It was a group home of sorts. Each of the four was malnourished and taken to a hospital. No one took responsibility.

The fifty men present paid $30 to get into the party which included a free beer ticket and access to the women. It was a wide open sex party. The women would then negotiate an extra charge for sex with men at the party. The women were busted for prostitution and the two bartenders who were club officials as well, and managed the monthly brothel were charged with criminal conspiracy. The Johns were let go since the police did not know if compensation was exchanged before the sex. The women apparently approached the undercover cops to negotiate.

The disabled adults were used for their benefit money. They will be on record with some court or social security as being wards of someone or some agency. The conduct was criminal. But there is also criminal conduct in the gross negligence of a guardian or agency charged with making sure disabled adults are not abused. They all had the mentality of 10 year olds. No one has yet to be charged.

Same night and it was the same story. Men are pimping out vulnerable addicted women for quick cash. A sleazy “group home” is pimping out the weakest among us for some quick cash. Both of these dirty secrets were taking place at the same time, in the same City. The celebrated Mummers Club claimed not to know anything about a group that had monthly pay-for-sex orgies at their building. The local government and courts knew nothing about tax dollars supposedly used for the humane care of people being misspent and the people becoming prisoners in filth.

We have a special responsibility to protect these wards, if we are in a position to know. It goes beyond the bewilderment we all sense when driving though a bad section of town and worrying if anyone cares. It is not enough to claim ignorance of what happens in a building you own when you are collecting rent as a social hall. It is also wrong to ignore where your ward is living if you are the guardian. We all rely in good faith that others feel a sense of accountability for the way they make money. It did not happen that way on an early fall day in Philly. If a social club looks the other way while sex is sold or a court or government responsible for paying benefits to a “caretaker” turned torturer never asks questions, then the bond between us in society is broken.

The whole idea of this City was one of ‘brotherly love’. There is no greater love than treating a stranger as your brother. It is the Golden Rule. Those in a position to know, allowed gold to rule them and allowed the weakest of our brothers and sisters to be exploited and abused. That’s a criminal shame.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

By Attorney David Engler

There is nothing more lasting than memories. It is one of the cruel ironies that the diseases of the elderly like Alzheimer’s and dementia often rob our loved ones or wards of the past. I have advocated in the blog post: “Let Grandma Facebook” that we should try to teach seniors how to get on Facebook as an incredible tool for socializing. Without socialization, we start to diminish.

I have included the photo of my friend Ray who is blessed. He is 85; plays golf three times a week, travel the world with his wife and can tell a story. I was lucky enough this past weekend to learn how he spent the last months of World War II.

Ray and his ping-pong paddle!

It was easy enough to get in to the Army. No one really checked birth certificates, so being 16 or 17 was no problem. Ray enlisted and soon found out that his $30 dollar a month would be bumped up with a bonus of $50 if he agreed to jump from a plane and become an Army Ranger 11th Airborne Division. It was the end of 1944 and the war was going full-scale. Growing up in Brier Hill on the Northside of Youngstown and being one of 8 children during the depression meant that patriotism came easy. You grew up on a street where every kid was poor and didn’t know it. Every family on Sunday went to their respective ethnic church. Ray’s family was Polish so St. Kashmir was the place to pray. It also had a ping-pong table. He had played his cousins and every other kid on the Northside for years. He had a quick defense and could play from 8 feet off the table. No nickels or pennies wasted in a pinball machine, when 6 hours of fun was available at the Church.

By the time he finished basic training in Alabama and jump school at Fort Benning, he was deployed to Okinawa. He was one of the elite but by the time his company arrived the Emperor had surrendered after the Atomic Bomb was exploded and the Russians had invaded. It was September of 1945. The Japanese were completely compliant. They did as the Emperor directed. Sure there were holdouts on islands that did not get the message and one fought all the way until 1970(true!).

Ray was stationed in Sendai where the tsunami recently killed thousands. There was not a great deal of danger and the troops needed entertained, so there were Ping Pong tournaments. Ray took on all comers, even the Japanese. The picture I have attached is Ray holding the 1946 Pacific Rim Championship Ping Pong Paddle. He is like a real life Forest Gump, except Forest was shot at. The winner got a trip to stay at the Emperor’s Palace for two weeks. Imagine being 20 years old and living in a palace. There was no shortage of anything. America had won and Ray was the greatest Ping Pong player on this vanquished island-nation.

Ray is lucky because he has shared these stories with his children and grandchildren, but there is no reason they should not be captured with our camera phones, blogs and HD recorders. On the net, the memories can live forever on sites like Facebook, Tumblr and WordPress. Take the extra few minutes at your next visit and capture the video memories of these American treasures, our seniors.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

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