HOUSTON (KTRK) - A Texas woman says she’s fighting “tooth and nail” to break free from being held against her will in a memory care facility. Her attorneys allege her confinement is related to her relatives trying to control her multi-million-dollar fortune.
Freedom and nearly $40 million are on the line for Monique Mandell. Her lawyers say a Harris County Probate Court allowed her guardian, an attorney appointed by the court, and three police officers to show up at her home and get her while she was sleeping.
The 54-year-old has been at an assisted living facility for four months now.
“I just want this nightmare to be over,” Mandell said. “They want to fight, I’ll fight them – tooth and nail. I won’t give up. What they are doing is wrong. I don’t know these people from Adam.”
Attorney Randall Kallinen has been working to get Mandell back home.
“There’s no reason for her to have a guardian. The main one is, according to experts, there’s nothing wrong with her. She’s competent,” he said.
However, a court-appointed psychiatrist considered Mandell incompetent shortly after an inheritance case related to the death of her husband, Bill, who died in 2019.
“She’s the golden egg that they’ve been looking for. She has multi-millions available for them to try to exhaust, and the only way they can do that is if they maintain possession of her,” said U.A. Lewis, an attorney for Mandell. “We are challenging this judge to issue an order and stop laying on the request to send her home.”
Judge Jason Cox would not talk specifically about this case but says the court is not motivated by money in any way. He added the sole concern of the court is what’s in the best interest for people like Mandell.