‘What right does the state have?’ State takes custody of 85-year-old Texas man against his will

As Justina Pelletier’s parents continue to fight to bring their 15-year-old daughter home in Massachusetts, a Texas family is fighting Texas’ Adult Protective Services to regain custody of their 85-year-old relative. According to KDFW-TV, Adult Protective Services took 85-year-old Charlie Fink into emergency custody when it was thought the man was a danger to himself and others.

TheBlaze reports:

The state initially took custody when it thought Fink didn’t have any close family, but two nieces were recently identified. A previous report about Fink’s story in late February said he checked into the hospital for surgery and then wasn’t allowed to leave after.


KDFW added that Fink’s 82-year-old wife was taken into state custody earlier when it was deemed her husband couldn’t care for her anymore.


Fink’s case took a positive turn Monday after his attorney located two of his nieces, both of whom appeared in a court hearing this week. One of them, a nurse, said she would take care of him… Judge John Peyton wants the state to work with Fink’s family members, but Fink will remain in state custody until at least May 7.

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“What is the problem? If this guy wants to go home, and he wants to live on his own, and you know, even if he dies on his own terms… The family now is saying, ‘We want him, release him,’” Glenn said on radio this morning. “[But] the state is not sure. What do you mean the state is not sure?”

Glenn explained that his family recently went through a similar situation with his father, who wanted to spend his final days in the comfort of his own home. While it ended up not being possible to honor his father’s wishes, Glenn believes it is not up to the state to get involved.

“My father wanted to die at home. He died in the hospital. Now, that was because, in the end, we thought it was cruel to move him because he was in so much pain… and he probably would die before he even got to the ambulance,” Glenn explained. “But… a man has a right to die where he wants. If he wants to live in a mess, he can live in a mess… I feel bad for his relatives. But he can be a hoarder if he wants. What right does the state have to tell us how to live?”

As Pat explained, however, this is just another iteration of progressivism.

“Well, [the state has] every right because we don’t know how to… really take care of ourselves,” Pat concluded. “If left to our own devices, we could hurt ourselves and others. And so that’s what the state does. They help protect us from ourselves and others… It’s more progressive bull crap. That’s what it is.”

Watch the KDFW report below:

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

  • Bonnie Somer

    reminds me of the justina case in MA no they do not have the right to tell u how to live they think they do there is a difference

  • Wade Sample

    I am so glad that I don’t live in Socialist USA any more.

    • Anonymous

      come back and fight like a man! 😉

      • Wade Sample

        I’ll have to leave the fighting to the younger folk, Too bad, I used to enjoy a good scrap.

        • Anonymous

          We will scrap on your behalf!

          If we win, please come back.

          • Wade Sample

            Thanks, I have no doubt the good guy’s will win. We are just too damn stubborn, and tough to get beat by a bunch of pansy’s.

  • Guest

    I think that Marissa Gonzalez of Adult Protective Services
    should be taken into custody and put under mandatory state care until she can
    learn that it’s inappropriate to go out into public with greasy, unkempt
    hair! That’s a clear indication that
    she’s totally incapacitated….

  • MikeB

    I think that Marissa Gonzalez of Adult Protective Services should be taken into custody and put under mandatory state care until she can learn that it’s inappropriate to go out into public with greasy, unkempt hair! That’s certainly a clear indication that she’s totally incapacitated….

    • Connie Smith Mendez


    • Mike Nelson

      More than hew appearance, her posture and body language (slight shrug fo only of one shoulder, shaking her head “no” as she states that she would “like” to have family take care of him) indicates that she either does not believe that anyone can take care of him as well as her bureaucracy might (lol), or that she doesn’t want to “lose” this fight and “suffer” the humiliation of such a failure. I would bet an arm that Ms Gonzalez is a lib.

      I am also critical of her apparent age; she strikes me as one who finds herself “her brothers’s keeper” rather than thinking of anyone else as her Brother, and her youth belies this contemptuous treatment of a man who has (presumably) been taking care of himself for longer than she has been alive.

      If the clips of him speaking are indication of his overall level of awareness, he is obviously competent, and the state has stepped WAY over the line on this one.

      • Emily Smith


        ☭☭☭ ☭�☭☭ ☭☭☭ ☭☭☭� ☭☭☭What are they going to do with him? We all die of something. The state can’t prevent that.

  • Connie Smith Mendez

    Sets a precedent for grabbing anybody and deem whether they will be released and whether they find their caretakers/family adequate according to their opinion…. oh my.

    • Anonymous

      Tell me this…what the heck do they want with him? What are they going to do with him? We all die of something. The state can’t prevent that. SO they think we’ll die better in their care than in the care of our relatives? sigh

      • Guardian

        Then they get to charge the estate for his hospital stay and if need be they will confiscate his house and property.

  • Jim Reuter

    What, does Texas not have Hospice? That’s exactly what they do, caring for people in their final days, either at home or at one of their hospice centers.

    • Norma Kelley

      From the information that is given, I don’t think he is eligible for Hospice. I don’t recall it saying anything about him having a terminal health condition.

  • landofaahs

    You have no rights PERIOD. So now I guess the question is what do we do. DIVORCE maybe?

  • Deckard426

    Send the guy to Mexico and let him walk back across the border into the United States. After that nobody will lay a finger on him.

    • ellievl

      Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Well first they say our kids are not our own. Now we can not even be responsible for ourselves. They want to tell us how to live and how we must die. We can raise our own children as long as they agree with it. They are taking away all CHOICES unless of course you choose to kill your unborn child. How is it that WE THE PEOPLE continue to allow this government to exhist.

    • ellievl

      Amen to that!

  • Debi Deason

    As a nurse who worked for many years in Texas as well as 4 other states, I can tell you that there is more to this story than is here. I have had to work with people in both the mental health and home health fields who were not able to care for themselves. And I can tell you that the same people who are yelling loudest about “the state” stepping into this situation would be yelling if something happened to this man or his wife and the state knew about their unsafe situation but had done nothing about it. I have worked with people who were clearly unable to care for themselves, placing them in danger. I have had, as a medical professional, to call Adult Protective Services. It’s the law. When a little old lady who can’t remember that she left the stove on is caring for her bedridden husband, in a home with inadequate heat or sanitation, piled with flammable material, you have an obligation both as a professional and as a human being to try to help them.

    • jesusknight

      To HELP them, NOT incarcerate them!

    • Norma Kelley

      It was likely appropriate for the state to intervene initially. However, it is now known he has family willing to care for him. There is no necessity for the state to continue their involvement; release him to the nieces.

    • ellievl

      I know of a pt. who was murdered by another pt. in a county run mental health facility! I had a friend who committed suicide in a state run facility! Your part of the system right? Helping could be accomplished in a temporary older adult foster care home.A State Run Mental Health facility is not safe for an elderly man!!! Would you want your 85 year old dad in one? No body was screaming Debi! Follow the $ trail!

  • MaveRick

    This guy is walking around and talking clearly with other people. For all anybody knows, he could live past 100. This means he could be stuck in a hospice for over 15 YEARS! Let him go home and arrange for a visiting nurse to check in on him and he will be fine. If I was his neighbor, I would be more than happy to check on him and chat over a cup of coffee. That’s how things used to be back when we were a great nation. Neighbors would look out for elderly neighbors instead of letting the state just take them and lock them away in an institution.

    • Anonymous

      If the gentleman is a hoarder as described, a nursing company may not be willing to send an employee to the home. The company will inspect the home for hygiene and safety for the staff and patient.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72EnfFysPFE Connor

    Welcome to Obama land.

    • MaveRick

      When Pelosi said that we would have to pass Obamacare so we could know what was in the law… well, here it is. People seeking medical care are getting locked away in institutions “For their own good”.

  • Anonymous

    Marxist, statist, liberals, and progressives have the bad habit of FORCING their conscience, preferences, and opinions on others.

    Leftist often ARE what they preach AGAINST.

  • Norma Kelley

    The guy has family (two nieces) who are willing to care for him. Release him to their care. There is no necessity for the state to demand the family subject themselves to state evaluation, submit an “appropriate” care plan, etc. etc.

  • ellievl

    This has got to be about money. This man has some assets which the state will take ownership of. He will pay for his stay a the state run mental health facility. He will pay court costs and fee’s. I would not be surprised if he had some cash stashed in his “hoarding” that some one else has ownership of now, probably a state employee.

    If this was a member of my family, I would get better legal council and begin a lawsuit against the Adult Protective Services in Texas. I would take the case to a higher court if possible and demand immediate release to the family while the state continues to investigate, if they so desire with knowledge they are being sued. I would also begin a personal (Civil) lawsuit Against Marissa Gonzalez, demanding she be removed from the case and have another worker pick up the case. The only way these systems can be stopped it to fight back with a better legal team.

    Being held in a State Run mental Health Facility at the age of 85 can only be described as cruel. Story’s like this make me ashamed of America. I had thought better of the State of Texas. When something insane like this is going on, especially with elderly persons who are so easily victimized, there is always $ feeding the system.

  • Channel One

    HOW DARE THEY TREAT THIS MAN LIKE AN ORPHANED CHILD. I find it absolutely unbelievable that Texans are allowing this to go on. And that Marissa Gonzalez needs to go home, take a bath, wash her greasy head, and grow up.

  • fire lion

    I thought Texas was a conservative heaven.

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    Ultimately, it is knowledge that is power: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • landofaahs

    When the arrogance of power effects people’s lives, it’s time to give these politicians the boot. The guy must have been doing something right if he’s made it to 85.

  • Greg Davidson

    I had something similar happen to me in 2006.Of course it was of my own free will and with my families consent.I have a chloracne problem from my exposure to agent orange and other defoliants.It if you don’t know what chloracne is.Are these little blisters,pimples that come up.Then get hard then burst.They hurt like the devil and you really have to take care of them or they go south quick (infections) In 2006 one of those infections got so bad I faced surgery.And it had to be done or lose my life.I am ready to go see Jesus but not in a big hurry.I either faced an extended stay in the hospital.And with my families help I was able to go home.But it was hard having to care you couldn’t take care of your self.But if my wife and children hadn’t been ready,willing and able I would have lost my ability to care for myself.And there isn’t much left when you lose your own free will.

  • Janet T

    Everyone in your family extended or immediate has to have a power of attorney for medical above the age of 18. If you do not do this before the fact of incompetency you will pay; like us around $6.000; instead if you are competent it costs around $75.00. A living will means practically nothing today. Once the state steps in you don’t stand a chance. We have been there and I have the directives I need in place for my son and I. Take heed

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