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Wayne County Caretaker Found in Contempt for Providing Unlicensed Adult Foster Care

LANSING – A woman has been found in contempt for violating a court order and providing unlicensed adult foster care services at a Wayne County facility, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and LARA Director Orlene Hawks announced today.  

Mylaya Hightower appeared in Wayne County Circuit Court before Judge Dana Margaret Hathaway in late January for a show cause hearing. Judge Hathaway found Hightower in contempt for violating an October 2019 permanent injunction, which barred her from providing unlicensed adult foster care. The court also fined Hightower $1,000. 

This case was referred to the Attorney General’s office by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), which discovered Hightower was willfully violating the permanent injunction in a follow-up investigation at her Detroit facility. 

“This defendant not only neglected to abide by the state’s licensing regulations that govern adult foster care, but chose not to follow a specific directive from the court,” Nessel said. “My office will continue to work in tandem with LARA to enforce the laws of this state and pursue legal action when appropriate to ensure compliance.” 

“Michigan’s regulatory structure provides protections for Michigan residents who require adult foster care services,” Hawks said. “When a care provider is not properly licensed by the state or is acting in violation of those professional parameters, there is risk to the people using that service and we must act to protect those individuals.” 

In October 2019, the court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting Hightower from providing adult foster care without a license at any location within the state, as required under the Adult Foster Care Facility Licensing Act. 

Hightower was never licensed by the state to provide adult foster care. In February and December 2017, LARA’s Bureau of Community and Health Systems received complaints that she was providing unlicensed adult foster care. LARA investigated and substantiated both complaints. LARA provided Hightower an opportunity to apply for a license or cease operation, but she did neither. As a result, LARA referred the matter to the Attorney General’s office, which led to the October 2019 permanent injunction.