Sheriff Refuses to Evict Mentally Ill Elderly Woman

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
September 29, 2018US News

A Georgia sheriff is torn between his duty to uphold the law and his duty to protect citizens who cannot protect themselves.

Sheriff Joe Chapman, from Walton County, Georgia, is bound by law to serve and enforce legal writs, such as orders of eviction. Normally such actions are straightforward, but in this particular case, what is legal seems to be at odds with what is right.

A 68-year-old woman, currently at the Willow Ridge Residential Care facility in Loganville, has proved to be more of a challenge than the facility’s management wants to deal with.

 the Willow Ridge Residential Care facility
The 68-year-old woman lives at the Willow Ridge Residential Care facility in Loganville. (Fox screenshot)

This woman refuses to take the medication she needs to maintain a balanced mental state—and when she is off her medication, she is aggressive towards other residents and staff.

Therefore, Willow Ridge management filed an order of eviction against the patient—and the County Magistrate granted it on Sept. 10.

And for more than a week, Sheriff Chapman has refused to carry out the eviction.

Sheriff Joe Chapman won’t evict an elderly woman
Sheriff Joe Chapman, from Walton County, Georgia, refuses to put an elderly woman on the street. (Fox screenshot)

“I’ve been calling the state since I got this order,” Sheriff Chapman told Fox News.

“I’m told that the lady is combative, she doesn’t take her mental health medication and she’s abusive and uncontrollable,” said Sheriff Chapman.

He added that the lady is not mentally competent—she is not fully aware of her situation, or fully in control of her behavior. If she was simply put out, she might end up living—or dying—on the street.

The patient has sufficient funds to pay for rent at the residential care center—but she has no family to help her find a new place to live. All her relatives are older than she is and unable to provide help.

Georgia’s Adult Protective Services made this statement.
The Willow Ridge Residential Care facility wants to evict the woman because she is difficult to manage. (Fox screenshot)

Sheriff Chapman said that he will do what he is required to by law. He will serve the papers and remove the woman from the facility.

His plan was to take her straight to a local hospital.

Sheriff Chapman hopes that he can get a doctor’s diagnosis of mental incompetence, which would give the state the power and the responsibility to take care of the woman’s future.

“If those doctors that conduct that evaluation see for to send her to a mental health facility—we hope that is the outcome,” said Chapman.

If that doesn’t work, the sheriff said that he would house the woman in the country jail.

Georgia’s Adult Protective Services made this statement
Georgia’s Adult Protective Services made this statement. (Fox screenshot)

Fox News called Georgia’s Adult Protective Services to see if the agency was aware of the woman’s predicament.

A representative told Fox that she couldn’t comment on the specific case but said generally speaking “Adult Protective Services works to locate placement—if such a need is identified—for clients who we currently have an APS case on, and who live in a community setting and do not reside in a long-term care facility.”

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