Terri Schiavo Foundation Fined by Florida Over Missing Paperwork

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo Foundation Fined by Florida Over Missing Paperwork

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 8, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — With their daughter potentially days away from having her feeding tube removed for a third time, the last thing Terri Schiavo’s parents need is a paperwork mishap drawing them negative attention and taking away from their fight to prevent her starvation death.

However, that’s what they have for failing to have their foundation registered with the state to raise funds to pay for the legal battle to save Terri’s life.

The state of Florida fined the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation $1,000 on Tuesday for not properly filing registration papers with the state.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services filed an administrative complaint Monday and gave the foundation the option of paying the fine and filing the paperwork or paying the fine and closing up shop. The foundation could also request a hearing on the matter.

For three years the foundation has helped Bob and Mary Schindler raise money to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills they have accumulated in the more than a decade they have been trying to save Terri.

The foundation also runs the family’s web site at https://www.TerrisFight.org.

Barbara Weller told LifeNews.com that the proper paperwork will be filed soon and explained that the delay in doing so was because the Schindlers were looking at obtaining nonprofit status.

"The paperwork will be filed, the fine will be paid and the foundation will continue," Weller said.

Weller told LifeNews.com that the most important function of the foundation will be providing medical care and rehabilitative treatment for Terri should her parents win their ongoing lawsuit and be allowed to care for her.

Money will be needed then since "Michael has already spent the million dollars he received for Terri’s rehab on other things (including a half million at least for his attorneys)," Weller added.

Weller said the news stories about the paperwork problems could create a wrong perception that the Schindlers are not aboveboard.

"While the story floating about is attempting to ‘catch’ them in a ‘gottcha’ moment, their really is nothing to catch," Weller told LifeNews.com.

In addition to money raised by the foundation, the Life Legal Defense Fund, a pro-life law firm, has spent considerable amounts to defray the cost of the Schindlers’ legal bills. Dana Cody, the firm’s director, says it has spent at least $300,000 helping the Schindlers.

Pat Anderson, a former attorney for the Schindlers, told LifeNews.com that she isn’t familiar with the inner workings of the foundation, but failing to file the necessary papers is "not exactly a capital offense, unlike what is happening to the Schindlers’ daughter."

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s family – https://www.TerrisFight.org