Anna Nicole Smith Supreme Court Decision May Aid Disabled Petitioner

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Former Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith may help rescue a 35-year-old autistic woman, Nancy K. Golin, from confinement in a California facility.

Anna Nicole Smith Supreme Court

Decision May Aid Disabled Petitioner

Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 13, 2006 -- Former Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith may help rescue a 35-year-old autistic woman, Nancy K. Golin, from confinement in a California facility.

Smith's case, Marshall v. Marshall (No. 04-1544), was argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on February 28, 2006, and seems headed for a win over oil-billionaire Howard Marshall II's son E. Pierce Marshall. Smith, aka Vickie Lynn Marshall, seeks to overcome E. Pierce Marshall's attempt to block her from receiving millions of dollars gifted to her by her late elderly husband during their brief marriage.

Golin also has a case before the Supreme Court. Her parents filed a civil rights suit seeking to address California's alleged illegal removal and confinement of her, as well as alleged state perpetuated physical and mental abuse.

While the two persons seem world's apart, their case aren't. And what happens in Anna Nicole's case will probably dictate the outcome in Nancy's.

Smith is a centerfold model, fitness promoter, celebrity and former exotic dancer, bitterly at odds with her husband's family over the deceased billionaire's fortune, and well supported by a battalion of high-profile attorneys. Golin is autistic and epileptic, and a virtual prisoner in a state residential care facility, unable to see her family who raised her from birth, except under restrictive conditions. Ms. Golin's health is declining under the state's regimen, despite the efforts of state Senator Jeff Denham to help. She has suffered lifethreatening brain, bone and esophageal damage from illegal psychiatric drugging, untreated fractures, denial of emergency medical care, and emotional, physical and sexual abuse while her terrified parents have been forced to just stand by and watch.

Golin's family is neither wealthy nor famous, but the united parents have advocated tirelessly for four years for their daughter to be released back home. Nancy and her family's civil rights lawsuit (No. 05-791) ascended from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Anna Nicole's was denied on similar grounds. Their legal arguments are almost identical. Both are appeals of probate court proceedings. The Texas court stripped Nicole's husband, and the California court stripped Nancy, of their civil rights, including the right of to be represented by their chosen family members.

Nancy's father, a 65-year old retired MIT-trained physicist and engineer with no prior legal education, represented himself, his wife, and Nancy over a four year losing battle against a battery of state lawyers. Just now, he has the assistance of New York family rights advocate, attorney Gerard Wallace. They are awaiting the Court's decision on whether the Court will hear the case. Like thousands of other hopeful petitioners, the odds are against them. But Anna Nicole Smith has led the way. If the Court decides in her favor, almost certainly the Golins will be heard.

At stake is federal jurisdiction over state guardianship abuses. In other words, is there a so-called "probate exception" that immunizes state guardianship from congressional enactments? As recent federal appellate decisions have declared.

According to Wallace, even more could be at stake. "The Golins provided for Nancy from her birth. They never ceased acting as her parental caregivers and as her natural guardians. Now they want to use Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act to address the significant harms perpetuated by the state. But their rights as parents have gone unrecognized. The Supreme Court has never ruled on whether parents who have cared for disabled children since birth have the same rights as parents of minor children. Even though both sets of parents have never ceased to exercise care, control, and decision making." If Anna Nicole wins, the Court could use Golin to decide whether the Golins have a constitutionally protected liberty interest in the continuing association and companionship with their disabled adult daughter Nancy.

On Saturday, March 11, the Golins submitted a Supplemental Brief, suggesting that the Court reach its final opinion in Marshall before deciding their case. A decision on the Golins’ brief is expected on March 24. More information and photos can be found at http://www.freenancy.com, Contact Jeffrey Golin, (650) 814-6284, or Gerard Wallace, at (845) 679-4410.

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Jeff Golin

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