Senior Well-Being: When You Need a Restraining Order

Stan Lee, the co-creator of super heroes like Spider Man and Black Panther was issued a temporary restraining order by California against his legal guardian, Keya Morgan in the months before his death.

Morgan was arrested for filing a police report in relation to Mr. Lee. Morgan was Mr. Lee’s guardian-ad-litem. Mr. Lee suffered from hearing, vision, and memory impairments.

It is alleged that Morgan began inserting himself into Mr. Lee’s life as a caregiver after the death of Mr. Lee’s wife. Mr. Lee, the Los Angeles Police Department and Adult Protective Services believed Morgan was unduly influencing Mr. Lee and isolating him from his friends and family.   

The events that prompted Morgan’s arrest are quite disturbing. Police detectives and a social worker went to Mr. Lee’s home to conduct a welfare check. The police instructed Mr. Lee’s security personnel to not allow anyone in while they were interviewing Mr. Lee.

Morgan arrived a short time later demanding entry and the security personnel denied it. Morgan next called the police department. According to the 911 transcript Morgan reported that three unidentified people had gotten into Mr. Lee’s home and locked everyone out.

Morgan placed a second call, this time reporting that there was a threatening and aggressive man with a gun in the home. Mr. Lee’s security guards advised Morgan that the police and social workers were speaking to Mr. Lee. The aggressive man was in fact one of the security guards.

In response to Morgan’s call, eight police units and a helicopter responded to the call. Following the police’s investigation, Morgan was charged with placing a false police report.

The court issued a temporary restraining order barring Morgan from abusing, harassing or contacting Mr. Lee and staying at least 100 yards away from him.

A restraining order commands a person to refrain from certain behaviors. In Mr. Lee’s case, the behavior was abusing, harassing, and contacting. Some other behavior can be threatening or intimidating, for example. A restraining order may also contain a stay away provision, meaning the person must physically be separated from the other person. In Mr. Lee’s case it was100 yards. In situations like these, if the caregiver resides in the home with the person, the caregiver must move out immediately.

Violation of a restraining order subjects the violator to possible incarceration and other supervisory situations like probation. The restraining order in Mr. Lee’s case was temporary because to become final, Morgan would have had to consent to it or be given an opportunity to present a defense and then the judge deciding if Mr. Lee was being unduly influenced as the police department and social worker determined.  findings. Mr. Lee died in November of last year while Morgan’s case was still pending.

If you feel your loved one is being unduly influenced and isolated by a caregiver or family member it is important that you seek assistance from a social worker or elder care attorney that can help protect a vulnerable person.

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