A judge said Monday he wants a psychiatrist to evaluate Eagles co-founder Randy Meisner before ruling on a bid by the musician’s longtime friend to have a conservator appointed to look after the bassist’s personal needs as well as his finances and business affairs.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cunningham said that while some of the information provided by James Newton and his lawyers concerned him, it still fell short of showing any immediate threat of harm to the 69-year-old Meisner if the appointment is not made immediately.
Cunningham named Dr. David Trader to prepare a mental capacity report on Meisner and delayed until July 1 a decision on whether to appoint a temporary conservator. Newton has recommended that Frumeh Labow, who has a lengthy background in social work, be named to fill the role.
Meisner objected to the appointment of a temporary conservator.
“I just want all this nonsense to stop,” he said.
Cunningham said he was being careful to make sure he made the right decision.
“I just want to make sure people like you are protected,” Cunningham told Meisner.
Newton and his lawyers allege that Meisner’s wife, Lana Rae Meisner, has done little to help her spouse of nearly two decades battle addiction issues, primarily involving alcohol, but also including cocaine.
Newton’s lawyer, Troy Martin, included in his court papers a declaration from a nurse, Marla Dodd, who said she has known Meisner for about a year and that she and her husband, Bobby, are longtime fans of the Eagles.
Dodd stated that on April 14, Lana Meisner left a voice message in which she said in a slurred voice that she used cocaine and worried that Dodd’s husband, a police officer, might arrest her for doing so.
“You know, I do it, but I’m a functioning person,” Lana Meisner said, according to Dodd.
Lana Meisner also said her neighbors were spying on her and that the night before, there were two children in her back yard, one of whom was wearing a clown suit, according to Dodd.
Cunningham said that while the information Dodd presented about Lana Meisner concerned him, her alleged behavior did not pass the threshold of presenting an immediate threat to the musician.
“It’s borderline,” the judge said. “Plus, you have the husband-wife issue.”
Meisner’s court-appointed attorney, John Rogers, and his private lawyer, Bruce Fuller, both said they have talked to their client and found him to be lucid. They said he does not need anyone to look after his personal and financial needs.
Rogers also said Meisner has had success in fighting his addictions.
“He’s in a very stable environment when he is at home and my client is in absolutely no danger whatsoever,” Rogers said.
Meisner said he is not worried about his spouse abusing him.
“I love my wife,” he said.
Lana Meisner was present in the audience, but did not speak during the hearing.
But Dana Scott Meisner said in a separate declaration that he, too, is concerned about his father’s health and says his stepmother is “providing (his father) with the alcohol that is slowly killing him.”
Lana Meisner believes she can more easily “influence and manipulate” her husband when he drinks, Dana Meisner says.
He also accused his stepmother of trying to isolate the musician from his family members since the two married in the mid-1990s.
“This is a pattern with Lana,” according to Dana Meisner. “Ever since she has been married to my father, she has thrived on conflict and has attempted to create conflict within the family.”
Martin, who favored going forward today with appointing the temporary conservator, said addictions “are not something you switch off like a light switch. Our concern is Mr. Meisner’s health.”
Martin said after the hearing that he was disappointed the judge did not give Meisner immediate protection, but added he looked forward to the July 1 hearing.
The Eagles were founded in 1971 by Meisner, Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Bernie Leadon. Meisner co-wrote and sang the hit, “Take it to the Limit.”
— City News Service