I am a non-attorney NYS DPOA for a 58 yr. old indigent mentally impaired next friend. (non-institutionalized) She has asked me to assist her in bringing an action to modify her current Divorce maintenance order from durational to non-durational due to her deemed disability for life.
She has been denied representation by several area private attorneys and has been denied representation by several area legal aid agencies.
On it's face, the statute says NYS GOB Title 5, Section 1502H authorizes a NYS POA the privilege to "prosecute and defend before any court or tribunal" as their principal as a non-attorney. Section 15 does not say anywhere one must be an attorney-at-law to advocate in court or to do any other duties that are set forth within Sect.1502H or elsewhere. Many government agencies allow non-attorney POA's to represent others.
As such, does a NYS DPOA have the legislated right to stand in the "name, place and stead" of the principal in any an all capacities as attorney-in-fact
and agent with full power and authority to do and preform each any every act and thing required and necessary to be done as the principal could do if personally present and acting? Some say yes. Some say no.
I have been denied any right to advocate for my principal by NYS Family Court. Only told to sit in back and watch, while two Court Officers stood behind me telling me I will be arrested if I make a sound; while my principal was badgered by the Judge and opposing counsel about who she has sex with until she cried. Also this POA was not allowed to file papers or inquire specifics of case, etc. from Court.
This public obligation statute, (POA) NYS General Obligations Law, was designed for the public to assign someone to manage their affairs and stand in name, place and stead of the grantor. Also, original Hand Bills set forth a POA was to avoid the expense of a lawyer and to have a trusted friend, family member or loved one represent them of their choice.
The peoples POA is being systematically eroded away by the Bar.
NYS Assembly Bill A05630 now being negotiated, is designed to mandate an attorney must certify that the 'POA document is legal' when asked to from any 3rd party. This in effect makes any Principal/Agent libel to pay an attorney-at-law to vet a POA document. The attorney-at-law would seem very apprehensive of "certifying" a document he/she did not draw-up. As such, one would now need to pay a attorney-at-law to have a "legal" POA.
The "Power" needs to be put back in "Power of Attorney". The statutory rhetoric must sanction a non-attorney POA, "to defend or prosecute before any court or tribunal" issues as it might be done by principal. Non-lawyer advocates must follow the Rules of the Court as attorney-at-law must. There is many recourse for any abuse by legal laymen or lawyers.