CATHERINE FALK, the daughter of beloved actor Peter Falk aka Columbo, is waging a state-by-state campaign to grant children access to an elderly or incapacitated parent who is under someone else's care, & her visiting-rights bills are advancing in New York and California. If the bills go into effect, it could provide a useful model for legislation in other states.
Despite a long & varied career, Peter Falk gained fame for his portrayal of the dishevelled but crafty Los Angeles Lieutenant. Columbo always wore a grubby raincoat & smoked cigars, & usually made a false exit before uttering his catchphrase: ‘Just one more thing.’ The original series ran for seven years from 1971, but was constantly re-commissioned throughout the 1980s and 1990s due to its popularity. When Peter was diagnosed with dementia in 2008, Catherine found it difficult to get information about his well being.
"The visitation bill basically is a protection, a law that protects adult children and ailing elderly parents when your parent is being isolated or secluded away from family, friends and loved ones," Catherine Falk said. As divorce and remarriage become more prevalent in today’s society, there is a greater possibility of conflicts between a second spouse and children from a first marriage. These conflicts can become very contentious when a parent is incapacitated, enters into a conservatorship, & the current spouse cuts off access between the parent & a child from a previous marriage.
The Peter Falk bill is close to passing in 10 states through bipartisan support. In the State of New York, the Peter Falk Bill – Bill #3461 – is in the Assembly & ready to be passed and approved. The Catherine Falk Organization offers a support center for those who need assistance for getting visitation rights to see an ailing parent.