Sen. Jones honored by Michigan probate judges

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Rick Jones was presented on Thursday with the Michigan Probate Judges Association’s Legislator of the Year award by Clinton County Probate Judge Lisa Sullivan.

“I am honored to receive this award from an organization comprised of locally elected judges who every day are making important decisions impacting Michigan families,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “The most rewarding part of receiving this honor is that it is the result of countless hours of hard work to improve our laws and protections for all Michigan residents.”

Among the reasons given for the judges’ honoring Jones was the senator’s work on legislation to protect Michigan seniors from being financially exploited by a family member.

“Michigan courts should have the power to stop someone from taking advantage of our most vulnerable residents — our seniors,” Jones said. “I have worked hard with the judges improving Michigan Law to protect seniors and ensuring that our judges have the power to protect Michigan residents from abusive relatives who try to steal their money.”

Senate Bill 270 would allow Michigan judges to take jurisdiction in guardianship cases if certain criteria are met.

“This bill was inspired by a real case here in Michigan, in which an elderly woman from mid-Michigan was taken by her son to Nevada, was put on too many medications and deemed incompetent. Her son proceeded to drain her bank accounts,” Jones said. “Her daughter succeeded to bring her back to Michigan and got her off the unnecessary medications. But when she asked a Michigan judge to declare her competent to be her own guardian, she was told there was nothing the judge could do.

“It was unacceptable, and I worked with the probate judges to revise the law and empower Michigan judges to protect our seniors.”

SB 270 is currently before the House Judiciary Committee.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Jones is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorRickJones.com. Click on “Photowire.”