Dec 9, 2016

Attorney fees and Magney widow to receive costs, after HumCo already chewed out on appeal, thanks DHHS and County Counsel Blair Angus

Just received this notification:

Humboldt County Adult Protective Services v. Magney
Case: A145981, 1st District, Division 1

Disposition date (YYYY-MM-DD):          2016-10-24
Disposition description:                        Reversed & remanded to trial court w/directions
Disposition status as of 2016-12-09:    Final

The order denying attorney fees is reversed and the matter remanded to determine and award Mrs. Magney reasonable attorney fees.  Mrs. Magney shall also recover costs on appeal.

In October, I did this post, the first and the only one locally to report on this case:

Excerpt from previous post:

"In sum, Humboldt was not merely negligent in preparing its petition and request for an order compelling medical treatment under the Health Care Decisions Law; it knowingly and deliberately misrepresented both the law and the facts to the trial court. "

Today, Allison Jackson, one of the partners in the Harland Law Firm, won a major appeal and case against Humboldt County Adult Protective Services.

An elderly man, on his death bed was denied his right to die according to his own wishes and he and his elderly wife spent the little time they had together fighting Humboldt County Adult Protective Services and County Counsel.


  1. I hope others take note of the lawsuit and the verdict and take appropriate care when dealing with the HC Adult Protective Services.
    Such indiscriminate, illegal use of authority deserves more than just settling the lawsuit. The person responsible should not have this kind of authority over peoples lives in the future. This seems to be a case where the EGO exceeded the conscience and knowledge of right, wrong and the law. Such a person is completely unentitled to any respect. I hope she's not working for the County anymore and if she is, what steps the County took to properly discipline her for this egregious abuse of authority. Shame!

    1. Gabriele, Deputy County Counsel Blair Angus is still around. As for the employee of Adult Protective Services, it seems she is no longer with that department, whether she is still with DHHS, even if I could confirm she is gone, personnel matters would not reveal the reason.

  2. personnel matters being confidential.

  3. Hi John,
    In rereading the judgment of the court it sounds like they found the actions of the Public Health Nurse to have been initiated by her office and she may have been acting under orders rather than on her own initiative. Since the legal actions taken against the Magney family were done by the county department it sounds more like upper management who caused the problem. Were I Ms Ringwald I would seek employment elsewhere (or in another department) myself.
    The link to the case no longer works (they're good for only 90 days) but I found another source and reread the judgment.
    It's still a cautionary story about how government agencies can involve themselves where they are not needed and then force those who suffer from those actions to go to court for recourse. I'm glad Allison Jackson was so successful, showing both compassion and diligence.

  4. Gabriele, thank you as always for your diligence and research. As you well know, what the court rules on is not always the complete story. Ultimately, yes Ms. Ringwald's superiors and County Counsel's office are accountable. I am aware of the details in this case, and sources and the complete details. Mrs. Magney deserves the peace to move on with her life and so that is all I will say in a public response. Court evidence and rulings do not tell the whole story. Ms Ringwald submitted documents to a court and provided information that was misleading. If there is information she wishes to share, she can contact me or any other media source. She did not.