Sonoma County Defends Against Lawsuit

Sonoma_County_ca_sealAn attorney for Sonoma County says workers separated two senior men who lived together for  20 years because of domestic violence.

Greg Spaulding, an attorney representing Sonoma County, said case workers placed 88 year old Harold Scull in a county senior facility because he accused partner Clay Greene of domestic abuse.

But a civil lawsuit filed by Mr. Greene tells a very different story.  According to the suit, Mr. Scull fell one evening at the home they’ve shared for more than 20 years.   Greene called 911, and when Scull was taken to the hospital, county workers refused to allow him to see his longtime partner.

According to the suit, Greene and Scull had legal paperwork including a power of attorney, wills, and medical directives naming each other as primary decision makers.

However, according to the allegations in the lawsuit, county workers placed the two men in separate facilities, and did not allow Mr. Green to have any word on the care of his partner.

The suit also alleges that Sonoma County workers illegally sold the contents of their home and property.   And finally, that Mr. Scull eventually died, without Mr. Greene being allowed to be at his side.

This is a case that has been taken up by the National Center For Lesbian Rights Elder Law Project in San Francisco.

NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell calls this case tragic.

“Not only were their relationships and legal documents ignored, Clay and Harold literally lost everything,” Kendell said in a prepared statement.

But Sonoma County legal counsel Spaulding says workers stepped in to try and protect Mr. Scull.   The property was sold in a legal effort to pay for the care he was provided at a senior facility.

The initial court date for the case is set for July 16th, 2010.


  1. MandT says:

    We are seniors who live outside of Sebastopol. Here’s our take on Greene vs Sonoma County:

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