GLSP helps elderly woman escape abuse by her family and move into safe housing
Mrs. Carter, 74, had owned and lived on a large parcel of land near Dalton for many years before her health began to decline in her later years. She had deeded a couple of acres to one of her daughters and her husband, but they couldn’t pay the mortgage on the house they built, so Mrs. Carter took it back and paid off the debt. She moved out of her mobile home into the house and rented out the mobile home.
As her health declined, Mrs. Carter realized that she could no longer live alone. She asked her granddaughter Linda to move in with her children and help. Linda did, but shortly thereafter, she moved her boyfriend in, as well, against Mrs. Carter’s wishes. The situation began to deteriorate, with Mrs. Carter, now bedridden, being left alone for hours at a time. Linda’s son was being abusive to Mrs. Carter and there was drug use in the home. Trash was everywhere and the house was in bad condition. Neither Linda nor her boyfriend had a job or any income other than Mrs. Carter’s.
The case came to the attention of Georgia Legal Services Program through a tenant who rented the mobile home on Mrs. Carter’s property. She said the water bill had not been paid, and she and her children were without water. Could GLSP help? As lawyer Marcy Muller investigated, she realized that Linda was not keeping up her side of the bargain to take care of Mrs. Carter, nor was she keeping up the house or tending to the rental property. Some visitors to the home had noticed drug paraphernalia and had reported it to police, but the police had not followed up. Mrs. Carter’s health was becoming worse and she was in hospice care at the home. In signing papers for the hospice care, she had unknowingly signed a quit-claim deed that gave Linda title to the house and land. However, the deed appeared to have been witnessed and notarized fraudulently.
Mrs. Carter’s daughter finally moved her mother into her own home to get her out of the bad situation. Mrs. Carter’s health almost immediately began to improve. She was able to walk again and was removed from hospice care.
Ms. Muller took the case before a judge, after confronting Linda with the problems Mrs. Carter and the tenant were having. She was able to get the quit-claim deed voided and get Linda and her family out of the house. Although she was not able to get Linda to pay for the damage to the house, the property was available to be renovated and sold to pay for Mrs. Carter’s care. She was able to move into a senior living facility.
We are a non-profit law firm serving rural and small town Georgia.
We offer free legal services in civil cases to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We have 11 offices around the state to serve people where they live.
Our clients have “high stakes” problems, such as domestic violence, eviction or foreclosure, denial of hard-earned benefits such as unemployment, inability to get critically needed health care or food aid, and many more.
Our work is to assure that low income people have access to justice and opportunities out of poverty.
When problems occur, we help our clients secure the support they need to get back on their feet — with dignity.
When rights are denied, we help our clients seek redress and have those rights assured. Click below to see a video on GLSP made on the occasion of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys Founders award ceremony.