Gov. Haslam signs Campbell/Falk Act protecting rights of elderly - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gov. Haslam signs Campbell/Falk Act protecting rights of elderly

(SOURCE: NBC) (SOURCE: NBC)
NASHVILLE, TN (WMC) -

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the Campbell/Falk Act this week, marking a large win for rock and country music singer Glenn Campbell's oldest children.

The children have been in a continuous fight with their stepmother over the right to visit and communicate with their ailing father. 

The bill protects communication rights for individuals who have become wards of the state, as well as those who have conservators over their financial and living situations. 

The new law prevents the interaction of loved ones from being blocked with the individual, whether it be in person or by phone, email, or mail. In the case of Campbell, who is in the final stages of Alzheimers, if a person is unable to communicate and provide consent to communication, the person's prior relationship with the visiting individual presumes consent.

The bill is named after Campbell and country music legend/Emmy-winning actor Peter Falk. 

Campbell's children, Debby (oldest daughter) and Travis, partnered with Falk's daughter Catherine to lobby the government and advocate for more protection for loved ones. The lobbying efforts of the families paid off this week when Haslam signed the bill into law. 

Catherine Falk said her stepmother tried to stop her from seeing her father, who suffered from dementia and died in 2011. She said she was not informed of her father's death, or of his funeral arrangements. 

Haslam was joined in Nashville by Debbie Campbell Cloyd, Travis Campbell and his wife Trudy, Marcia Southwick with Boomers Against Elder Abuse, and Joseph Roubicheck of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse. 

In addition, Campbell's former girlfriend and long time family friend, country legend Tanya Tucker joined the family and Governor Haslam for the signing of the bill.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City).

With the Governor's signature, Debby and Travis can now freely visit their father unless specifically prevented by a court order. 

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