Elder Abuse Victim’s Son Says Judge R. Gary Klausner Failed to Protect the Victim


Wayne Carmona, son of elder abuse victim, on California Judge R. Gary Klausner failing to protect abused seniors

I am writing to add my voice to the number of individuals who seem to have fallen into the prejudice of the probate court in Los Angeles presided over by the Honorable Judge Gary Klausner, apparently against my attorney, Marc Hankin.

I met Marc Hankin in 1998. I was my son’s Cub Scout leader, and Marc was the father of one of the boys under my charge. At the time, I had no idea what his area of expertise was or what he did to earn a living. During a weekend Scout camp outing in the summer of 2000, I happened to tell Marc about my mother who was ill and revealed that she had given large sums of money to a neighbor. It was at that time that I found out that Marc was an attorney who specialized in elder law. He explained to me that he chose this field because his father, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, had to divorce his mother in order to receive any health care under California law.

Marc recommended that once my mother returned from the hospital, UCLA geriatric psychiatrist Stephen Read, M.D., examine her to determine if in fact she suffered from any signs of Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. Additionally, due to the large and extraordinary sums of money that my mother had doled out to casual acquaintances, Marc also suggested that I become conservator of her estate. It was during our court appearance that I first became aware of very personal prejudices against Marc Hankin. Judge Gary Klausner seemed anything but interested in protecting my mother through a conservatorship.

This prejudice seems to be consistent with any judge who Marc appears in front of on behalf of my mother. I have compelling evidence that at least two individuals have taken large sums of money from my now-deceased mother.

Marc Hankin cannot seem to get an audience with any court to address this matter, and in fact, the court seems to be playing some perverse game of “he said, she said,” “this court assignment, no we meant that court assignment.” I was in court, in fact, when Marc directly asked the Honorable Judge Debre Katz Weintraub, “Did you discuss this case with the Honorable Judge Thomas Stoever?” The Honorable Judge Debre Katz Weintraub refused to acknowledge the question.

My conclusion was and remains that Judge Weintraub and Judge Stoever had indeed spoken. Furthermore, Judge Weintraub seems to be adverse to us. For example, Judge Weintraub seemed unwilling to order the persons who victimized my mother to answer questions, despite their stipulations to the proposed orders. The judge’s foot-dragging and evasion of Marc’s questions or requests gave everyone in the court the impression that Judge Weintraub did not want to order the victimizers to answer the questions.

I have seen firsthand that there is extreme prejudice against Marc Hankin, and I, as his client, am having to suffer because of this prejudice.

The court system is meant to be a neutral and impartial entity where justice is to be served. I consistently have the impression that the judges have not read the pleadings Mr. Hankin files and that the judges are prejudiced against me because Mr. Hankin is my lawyer. The only thing that is being served to my observation is the pride of the judges that I have witnessed firsthand. The balance of justice is segued.

I urge the California Legislature to take the time to examine probate court procedures. You too may someday have to address the passing of a loved one who has suffered from reduced faculties and preying predators.

[Written by Wayne Carmona]

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