Attorney Stewart Freeman, the court appointed guardian for state wards at the Murray Center in Centralia filed a response in Clinton County court today, in which he says he does not give consent for any of his 23 wards to be transferred out of the Centralia facility and calls for the wards who have already been moved to be returned to Murray immediately.
In his response to a state motion to dismiss claims for his appointment and to dismiss a petition for a permanent injunction prohibiting the transfer or discharge of any state wards out of the Murray center, freeman says based upon his investigations, the residential facilities to which the state proposes the residents move would be physically and psychologically disruptive to his wards.
Freeman says such facilities are not able to consistently provide appropriate levels of medically necessary services to his wards, who while adults qualify under state and federal laws as deemed unable to care and provide for themselves, or to live independently due to severe and profound mental and/or physical disabilities.
He notes that he was originally appointed to represent 24 wards, but one with the initials of B.B. is now deceased. In September, Barbie Brown, a former resident for decades at Murray died at Fox Developmental Center, where she had been moved to in July.
Freeman’s objection comes one day after plaintiffs in a federal case seeking to halt the closure of Murray filed their own reply in response to a different state motion.
In that case, the state had requested that a deposition from Freeman regarding the results of his investigations into community residential facilities be barred, as well as letters and depositions from others, saying they are not relevant to the case and that they show no evidence of draconian conduct.
The state then asks for the evidence to be barred because the attorneys for the state cannot cross-examine witnesses.
The plaintiffs however, note that cross-examination of witnesses is possible, and that the evidence submitted is directly material to the case. They then note that the state’s motion to exclude practically everything at trial and to silence the individual stories of Murray residents should be rejected by the court.