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Sister has had temporary custody of father for approximately 1 1/2 years, Court dates have been continuted 6 times for various reasons. On last court to finalize permanent custody she was told that there was a "clerical eror" on their part and that my Dad was never served papers and that the whole process had to start over. This all came to pass with petition from Dad's wife's attorney the day before the court date. Kinda long story....to sum it up. Stepmother had filed for divorce...sister got temporary guardianship of father...wife decided not to divorce since she realized she wasn't getting everything. They share the same house but she lives elsewhere (due to job). She is trying to regain custody of him.. Just to have his money. Dad has dementia and has already signed the house over to her among others things. But didn't know what he was signing. Anyway... how can this happen? Since there was a error on courts part why do sister have to start everything over again? Shouldn't someone be held accountable for the error? By the way I live 3000 miles away.

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Thank you for your answers they have been helpful.
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Dumpling I think you should get the records from the court about the Guardianship ruling. In order for a person to be granted guardianship of another person, he'd would have to been declared incompetent by court or Dr's and Documented somewhere. So... therefore, if he was declared incompetent prior to signing anything legally such as a title or deed to any assets, these transfers may or should not be legally binding. The court documents should be accessible to you. You may be able to do this on your own. Furthermore if your stepmother pulls any stunts in the meanwhile throw this info out there and say to her if she had taken any fraudulent action because of her husbands condition you will prove it and take any necessary legal action to find her guilty of a criminal offence in the third degree of elder abuse, if she's guilty of undue influence. Also find out if the state your fathers (residence) home is in, is a community property state. Because if they resided in different dwellings in a non community property state this could be considered a marital separation, then she can't make a claim through the marital rights as a possession, if they lived apart for a given period of time. I am not a lawyer I just learned the hard way that if you do your homework you can accomplish a lot if you don't give up. If you act on a persons benefit and not for greed things will work out. My answer is based on my own research and please don't rely on this 100%, just check out your options. Greed never beats Heart!!!
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Where was your attorney when this was happening?
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I appreciate the empathy, in the reply from Darcy123. I've been "the little" person for so many years, when my brother's IQ was 4 points above the cutoff to be considered "retarded' so the MR department refused to take responsibility for him, and refused to give him a Case Manager - so I did all the coordinating and tweaking and mediating, for I could see the need. But when trying to argue with the services systems, all their criteria used a completely different set of legal language from my descriptions, and I was shut out countless times. I didn't get guardianship, it seemed so unnecessary and formal and complicated to do it - but without that, my legal standing becomes 0, and common sense or fairness or need arguments get lost in the bureaucratic shuffle dances.
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I am sorry to hear you are going through this. Unfortunately, It has been my experience that the "little" person is the one who has to pay for mistakes, no matter who is to blame. Sad. I hope they are able to get a good lawyer to help sort all this out. I hate it when families get into these situations!
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