A lawyer weighed in Friday on the case of an 85-year-old North Texas man who said he couldn't get out of a local hospital on Wednesday. Instead of going home, Charlie Fink ended up in a nursing home after he was detained against his will by the state under an emergency protective order.
Fink called FOX 4 for help.
While FOX 4 hasn't seen the court documents in Fink's case, we do know the state believes that not only is Fink potentially a threat to himself and others, but that he can no longer handle his responsibilities at home.
Fink allowed FOX 4 to enter what he called his crowded home on Friday, where neighbors Kenny and Debra McIntosh were cleaning.
Trash and treasure fill Fink and his wife Edith's home.
"They're getting older, so it's hard for them to move everything where they need to be, and dust high and stuff like that, which I can understand," said Debra.
Fink and 87-year-old Edith are now together in a nursing home.
Edith was removed by the state Feb. 5, and Charlie was removed this week after driving himself to Richardson Methodist Hospital for hernia surgery.
A hearing was held Wednesday for the state to temporarily take custody of Fink after he was placed in the hospital's psychiatric ward.
"One thing that troubled me about that protective hearing you're talking about is, he wasn't present," said attorney Geoff Henley, unrelated to Fink's case. "He was not present, according to your story, and he was entitled to be."
Next week, the state goes back to court to keep fink in its care for another thirty days.
"You have to prove one of three things: that a person is likely to cause serious harm to himself or is likely to cause serious harm to another," said Henley.
Henley says they must also show that a person will substantially deteriorate without state intervention.
"What they mean by that is, can this person feed himself, clothe himself, make decisions about his medical treatment, make decisions about his housing? Things of that nature," said Henley.
Adult Protective Services became involved with the Finks after an anonymous referral, which is part of state law to prevent abuse and neglect of elderly.
The Finks have no family, but the McIntoshes say they are like family to them.
"Give him one more chance," said Kenny McIntosh. "That's all I'm asking. Give him one more chance and bring him home and let us take care of him."
FOX 4 expects the state will testify next week that Fink is somewhat frail, his house is a mess, and that he is not making reasonable decisions because he wanted to go home rather than to rehab after hernia surgery.
KDFW FOX 4
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