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We’ve brought you a lot of stories in the past couple months about how CPS is used to rip apart and destroy families. But you literally don’t even have to have children for social services to swoop in and ruin your life. There’s an entire vast underbelly of our legal system, which most people know nothing about, that can be manipulated and abused to completely ruin any person without warning.

Seven years ago, Karen Federighi was living a totally normal live as a registered nurse, working at a Florida hospital. But then, her father passed away and left her a large sum of money. And that’s when the state came in to destroy Karen’s life.

One day in January 2016, Karen heard a knock at her door, and when she answered it she was met by state police who informed her that she was now a ward of the state. Even though Karen lived on her own, had a job, and was supporting herself, a jealous family member got a three-person panel to declare that, in fact, Karen was mentally incompetent and unable to handle her own affairs. Nobody on that panel even bothered to check if Karen was employed.

On the basis of zero evidence, Karen was essentially kidnapped by state police. Her car, her pets, and her personal possessions were confiscated. She lost control of all her finances, making it basically impossible for her to travel because she couldn’t buy anything. For a two year period, Karen had to live in a motel and wash her clothes in the bathtub. She had to beg her appointed guardian, who she says was a convicted felon, to give her even a small amount of money to buy food. When Karen tried to escape by fleeing the state, police chased her down and put her into an assisted-living home against her will. Eventually, Karen was only able to escape because a Good Samaritan heard about her plight online, and wired her additional money to help her get out of Florida and resettle in Los Angeles.

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Even after all that, though, Karen’s troubles were far from over. The legal struggle to regain control of her life drained all her money. She lost her home, her job, basically everything.

The courts have told her that the only way she can have access to her inheritance is if she signs a legal form stating she will not use any of the funds to sue the people who did this to her.

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Thanks to what happened to her, Karen is now one of the leaders at the USA Citizens Guardianship Task Force, which is fighting to change America’s guardianship laws and procedures to make sure government-backed kidnappings like hers can never happen again.

Karen Federighi joins us.

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