CONFIRMED BY ILL. SUPREME COURT– YOU ARE VIEWING THE MOST DANGEROUS BLOG IN ILLINOIS. This blog warranted a 3 year suspension by the ARDC/Jerome Larkin! Mottos: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant". Justice Louis Brandeis ; "If the truth can destroy something, then it deserves to be destroyed" Carl Sagan; "Justice is Truth in Action" Benjamin Disraeli. Illinois uses the ARDC to quash dissenting attorney activist blogs ; "The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic Governments" — (1776-First Amendment preamble adopted by 8 US colonies)
I have received quite a few complaints about the above case. Of course it involves guardianship and probate and a troubled courtroom. Judge Curtis Lane threatened the two elderly Christian defendants with jail no less than three times for no apparent reason found on the transcripts.
Then, the case went to a jury trial and while all the jurors said they had never been arrested, it turned out according to preliminary reports several jurors in fact had been arrested for misdeameanors such as bad checks and theft and deception.
All of the defendant’s discovery was blocked no less than three times by Judge Curtis L Lane. The victim, Fred Stegall, while obviously incompetent and unable to participate in this litigation, was required to take a deposition where it was clear he was incompetent. He could not recognize one attorney who he had just seen a couple months before, he did not know that the office had moved, he started talking about World War II for no reason and how he did not want to be forced to re enlist. He had no idea where he was or what was going on, but abusive attorneys continued the deposition.
The jury only deliberated for 25 minutes before they found for the Plaintiffs, but apparently they spent most of that time laughing and cracking jokes, according to witnesses sitting right outside the jury room.
The result of this (unfair and unjust) litigation is that the Catholic Church for some reason will gain over 200 acres of farmland and timberland. Since when does a church litigate to obtain land in an estate. They were clearly the aggressors and the plaintiffs.
Judge Curtis L Lane always favored them and their co conspirator, the Galesburg Gun Club.
One person has answered my requests for an explanation of all of this, but after showing him how the case was so very one sided and strange, he declined to comment further. Since he has not agreed to the release of his name, I will keep it confidential for now.
Please read on for the letters that I am sending out to find out what actually is going on with this case.
The behavior of Judge Curtis L Lane is especially egregious. He quashed all the defendants discovery, he quashed all their discovery, witnesses were limited, and we are waiting for the transcripts. The cases are up on appeal.
This is a copy of the letter to the Bishop asking why the Catholic Church is doing this to two elderly Christian ladies.
I hope they all come to Jesus and stop this horrible, horrible litigation. We already have too many false judgements against innocent people in probate.
Thank you for your consideration:
JUSTICE 4 EVERY1, NFP
5534 N. Milwaukee Ave JoAnne Denison, Executive Director Chicago, IL 60630 Cell Phone 773-255-7608 ph 312-553-1300 http://www.justice4every1.com fax 773-423-4455 JoAnne@Justice4Every1.com A social Justice Services NFP since 2014
Bishop Louis Tylka 419 NE Madison Ave Peoria,IL 61603
March 10, 2023
RE: Knox County Case No. 22 PR 12 and 21 MR 21 –Estate of Fred Stegall SEEKING INFORMATION ON KNOX COUNTY COURT CORRUPTION
Dear Bishop Louis Tylka ;
I am the Executive Director of Justice 4 Every1, an Illinois Not for Profit. I run and manage blogs (www.justice4every1.com and http://www.marygsykes.com) regarding corrupt and abusive guardianships in Chicago and in Illinois and nationwide. There are more than 1600 posts on those blogs about corruption in the courts and horrific abuse of the elderly in Guardianship and then their Estates are looted by attorneys and others in decedent’s estates and these blogs are extremely popular with over 300 hits per day.
We are currently seeking information on court corruption in Knox County and in particular in the above cases which involves the Fred Stegall Estate. Mr. Stegall unfortunately passed away in January 2022, leaving over 200 acres of farm and timberland, to Tonny and Penny Williamson, two elderly Christian women who cared for Fred Stegall during his final year and spent at least $115,000 to care for him, because his court appointed guardian Curtis Ford and his Guardian ad Litem appointed by Judge Radmussen refused to give Fred Stegall a dime in living expenses for over one year– no money for food, clothing and utilities, despite the fact that Fred Stegall had some $400,000+ in his bank accounts. Instead, over $60,000 went to court appointed lawyers to drain his estate. This, unfortunately is not uncommon in Probate, and in particular, Guardianship cases where the motto is: target, narcotize to guardianize, drain the estate, and when the money runs out, narcotize the elderly person to death and quickly bury the victim to destroy all traces of evidence the person was abused and drugged.
Anyone over age 50 can fall a victim to our nation’s thousands of probate courts. It is estimated that at any time, some 1.5 million elderly and disabled persons are locked into expensive guardianship proceedings where Estates are billed at rates from $300 to $400+ per hour, which typically drains the Estate quickly and the victim is typically left penniless and on medicaid and food stamps. In one guardianship case in Cook County, Lorraine Phillips, she was in a guardianship for 5 years and attorneys Franciszkowicz and David Martin billed her $4 million estate over $1 million in attorney’s fees. The Illinois appellate court apparently thought this was okay, because they never overturned those excessive attorneys fees.
In Mr. Stegall’s case, the Guardian and court appointed Guardian ad Litem (both Illinois licensed attorneys) never told Mr. Stegall’s friends he had been taken to a nursing home. All Mr. Stegall’s friends had to figure out where he was and how he had been taken when they abruptly found him missing one day. Curtis Ford and Patrick Egan would not allow Penny or Tonny to visit Mr. Stegall while he was in the hospital for 10 days prior to Curtis Ford moving him to a nursing home where he lived for about a week. Ford and Egan instructed hospital staff to not give Penny or Tonny Williamson any information about Mr. Stegall and they could not visit with their dear friend. The Williamson’s called St. Mary’s every day. It was Tonny who had called for an ambulance the morning after January 1, 2022 after finding Mr. Stegall laying on the floor beside his bed. She took Fred to the ER and stayed with him until he was admitted to the hospital, but then Mr. Ford and Mr. Egan would not let her see her dear friend or obtain any information regarding his condition.
But with good detective work and assistance of the angels, on January 16, 2022,Penny and Tonny located Fred Stegall in a nursing home in the quad cities. Only Tonny and Penny came to the nursing home to visit with Fred.
The Fred Stegall cases have been rocked with controversy and terrible problems.
And as a reporter for these blogs I personally have a number of questions:
Why is the Diocese of Peoria suing the Williamsons for their dear friend’s farm and timber land? When did churches start suing people to take their land? I personally have been involved with Christian churches for decades and I have never heard of a Christian Church suing an Estate, getting involved in any dispute in an Estate and trying to take farm and timberland from their friends and neighbors.
Why did the court and Judge Curtis Lane block all discovery (three times) as requested by the Williamsons, rush quickly to trial, and why did attorneys Paul Mangieri and John W. Robertson file suit against the Williamsons over this farmland when Fred Stegall made it repeatedly known that he did not want to sue the Williamsons and that James Blake was not his attorney and had never been his attorney?
Why did Father Brokaw take the witness stand and tell the following lies?
a. that Fred attended weekly mass without fail (when Fred did not attend weekly mass all the time, that he depended upon someone driving him since fall of 2020, and b) then his church, Abingdon Church was closed for approximately six months during Covid, and then c) Brokaw was not even the main pastor there at the time in question, so how would he know?) Prior to July, 2020 Brokaw was not the priest for Fred Stegall and rarely if ever saw him. All good questions.
Why is attorney John Robertson standing in the court hallways and telling witnesses that the Williamsons are “crooks and scam artists?” When in fact these are good, kind Christian ladies who took care of 95 year old Fred Stegall for over a year in his final days and spent over $115,000 on his care when the Guardian ad Litem and Guardian of the Person and court would not give him a dime for living expenses and necessaries?
Why did Brokaw provide false testimony to the court that the Williamsons prevented him from giving Fred Stegall last rites when in fact they had no control over that. At the time of his death Fred was in a Guardianship and only his Guardian ad Litem and court appointed Guardian (Curtis Ford and Patrick Egan) who could have done that. The Williamsons actually drove Fred to Catholic Church numerous times when he was too frail to drive himself.
Why was Brokaw shaking his head “no” during witness testimony when he either knew or should have known that no one in the courtroom is allowed to do that as in ever. That was a horrible thing to do. The jury clearly saw his actions. Who told him that can do that or should do that. Brokaw had one of the highest honors of sitting at counsel table during a trial and he abused that honor. He should promptly apologize to the court, the litigants and the jury.
But the bigger question is why is the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Peoria getting involved in Estates to try to take land from citizens via contested and expensive probate proceedings.
If you have any information on this case and why the proceedings are so very strange and troublesome I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. I am a reporter for two popular blogs on court corruption and you may provide me with statements “off record” and I would keep everything in confidence. (Illinois does in fact have a “reporter’s privilege law”)
It’s time to clean up the court system in Illinois, and I and other concerned citizens would greatly appreciate your help in doing so.
Remember that the greatest cure for corruption is always sunshine which is a tremendous cure for corruption.
If you have any information about this case or Judge Lane or Attorneys Paul Mangieri or John Robertson, I would greatly appreciate your bringing this information to my attention so that justice may be done. You are welcome to call, fax or email me with the information and it will be kept in confidence. If you call me, please email or text me first so I know you are a real person and not a robo call or spammer.
And please pray for these dear, kind ladies that justice may be done. Thank you.
Joanne Denison Executive Director, Justice 4 Every1, NFP Blogger and dedicated to accountability in the courts
cc: Senate Committee on the Judiciary; Senate Special Committee on Aging
fn (735 ILCS 5/8-901) § 8-901. Source of information. No court may compel any person to disclose the source of any information obtained by a reporter except as provided in Part 9 of Article VIII of this Act.
Ken Ditkowsky is correct: the ARDC blew a gasket when it found out that 1) I knew Dean Sallas, and possibly Amelia; 2) I showed him how to get an email, log into zoom, watch his wife’s guardianship proceedings and I also told him to fight the corruption; 3) he now successfully files his own pleadings and communications with the court.
He and his wife have been deprived of their savings, their assets and Dean at age 85 or so was evicted from his own home, entirely due to the actions and inactions of certain judges and attorneys on the 18th floor of the Daley Center. Ken writes more about this in detail below.
The FBI and DOJ clearly know of the details of the Sallas case. They know the judges and attorneys in the guardianship of Amelia Sallas are dealing in looting the assets of married parties: Dean and Amelia without Deans consent, authorization and control despite the fact that all their assets are jointly owned and control and it is nothing but pure theft for 1) place Amelia in a facility without her knowledge and control; 2) ban her husband from seeing her there; 3) for years they banned Dean from taking her home so they could live together again; 3) they interfered in the mortgage of their home, failed to pay the mortgage and got Dean evicted and homeless at age 85. I am told he now lives in his car.
Will no one help this couple find justice? No attorney will touch the case because 1) Dean is homeless and penniless; and 2) the attorney can well expect false bar complaints against him or her for interfering with and delaying the looting of the Sallas estate.
The ARDC will go after you if you even mention stopping the money flow to certain judges and lawyers on the 18th floor in probate.
Hence, they spent hours on me when it was determined that I was helping the elderly use a computer, use the internet, create an efiling account and fully participate in preventing the looting of the Sallas estate.
It is my understanding that Dean Sallas continues to this day to fight for his wife, his home and his estate, despite the fact lawyers and judges operating on the 18th floor have how left him destitute and homeless.
He has no intention of ending this fight anytime soon. As long as he walks and breathes and can type and think, he will be filing his protestations of the horrific abuses suffered in Amelia’s guardianship proceeding.
Read on from Ken Ditkowsky:
The distinction between our current Government and that of a totalitarian government is simple. We rail concerning inequity, injustice, and inhumanity – the totalitarian government just does it! Mr Philip’s e=mail and complaint is as American as Apple pie! Sophia Campasano, Dean Sallas and a cast of thousands of elderly victims all have the very same complaint, to wit: a loved one has had his/her life taken over by a predatory guardian aided and abetted by a corrupt judge (or a series of corrupt judges) and all the agencies of government who boast of their compassion, honor and devotion to the 14th Amendment to our Constitution manifest total disinterest. Benign neglect would be a 100% improvement!Unfortunately, this fiasco does not end with rogue goverment or judicial theft – it in fact does not end until every stone has been tossed at the victim and his/her family and every loose dollar has found its way into the miscreants pockets. Anyone who stands in the way of the juggernaut of corruption is threatened or otherwise neutralized. Attorney JoAnn Denison attempted to teach Dean Sallas how to access Zoom. Attorneys for the wrongfully appointed and over-reaching Guardian and for the Byline Bank COMPLAINED THE Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois about Ms. Denison’s interference with the ****** the SALLAS savings and assets.Immediately, the IARDC jumped into action and dispatched a “trial attorney” to Ms. Denison’s abode to make all sorts of absurd and untrue charges against her. To silence the protest of Sallas, they even subpoenaed his “Goggle account.” (Sallas shared a copy of the notice with me!!!). Today, thanks to Ms. Denison’s ethically challenged activity of teaching a senior citizen to use ZOOM, Sallas is even able to access Court matters that concern his interests, speak to reporter Janet Phelan, etc. (the IARDC has written that they have dropped the ethical charges against Ms. Denison arising from the complaints involving teaching Mr. Sallas to use Zoom – however, they have relented on her suspension for exercising her 1st and 14th Amendment Rights in maintaining the MARYGSYKES blog!.Mr.Phillip’s situation is particularly vexing for the Financial elder abusers and their co-conspirators. He is not an attorney and he does not frighten. He just keeps on demanding J U S T I C E for his mother. The local miscreants are further vexed as he is complaining from a sister State and unless the bad guys wish to advertise that they are Grandma’s predators – Mr. Phillips personally is out of reach!THE SERIOUS PROBLEM THAT WE FACE IS THAT MR. PHILLIP’S COMPLAINT IS TRUE AND ACCURATE.like it or not, today when we ignore Mr. Phillip’s complaint we set ourselves up in the very near future to experience his woe very soon and very much in the very near future.
In all seriousness — today it is Mr. Phillip who reaches out for HELP – Tomorrow it may very well be me or thee!
I have followed almost every one of the recommendations. Asked for help from both the State of Washington, the ombudsman group, DHS, state prosecutors office etc and the federal government–DOJ, HHS, etc. The classic answer is that they are sorry but they either don’t have the resources or they don’t have the authority to even investigate.
I even have in writing a note probably drafted by a junior staff assistant and probably an attorney to Kelly Clarkson with the DOJ. She is too busy. I asked for help from HHS involving religious persecution and refusal to allow my mother to attend church–same answer. As if someone is drafting a standard response–I suspect drafted by the American Bar. The response is almost always the same. The Washington state prosecutor even went so far to suggest that if my mother was on the streets they could help but since a hotshot guardian was involved “they really didn’t have the resources.” In writing!
And help from “good” attorney’s doesn’t exist. They are all terrified of being sanctioned and possibly losing their license like the sixteen fine men and women in AZ I contacted to represent my mother when Ohana took her Tucson home. Not a single one would even talk to me as soon as they knew what it was about. Even the fine attorney of a large law firm who helped my mother and father write their first will and trust here in Tucson wouldn’t even respond–his second refusal to help. Nor did he allow anyone in his large firm to respond. I contacted both male and female attorneys, some with licenses in both states–not a single one. Several angrily hung on me. There is a law school with the UofA, I have called for help several times. They have no idea what I am talking about???
And if you complain too loud, the State of Washington will pull you into court again on trumped up accusations of harassment with threats to family.
While courts make efforts to ensure that guardians are trustworthy, some guardians have taken advantage of people in their care. The mistreatment could be financial, physical, emotional/psychological or any other type of abuse of an older person or person with a disability. Guardians also may neglect the people for whom they have a responsibility to provide care. These perpetrators of abuse can be anyone serving as a guardian (family members, trusted others, non-profits, professional guardians, agencies).
There is currently limited information on the number of guardianship cases involving abuse. The US Senate Special Committee on Aging and the US Government Accountability Office have highlighted the problem and cited anecdotal information. The National Center for State Courts has found that most reports on the problem of exploitation by guardians lack empirical data. Reports of fraud or other malfeasance by guardians have most often involved financial exploitation, but other types of mistreatment are also reported. Abusive acts by guardians may meet the definitions for various state and federal crimes, depending on the facts of the case. Guardians might be charged with such crimes as elder abuse, embezzlement, larceny, money laundering, theft, and neglect.
How can the courts with jurisdiction over guardianship cases respond to abuse?
A court with jurisdiction over a guardianship case might uncover evidence of abuse through monitoring, or a person or government agency might need to file a complaint or petition the court to respond to the mistreatment. These courts can take the following types of actions:
Freeze assets and/or restrict accounts – Courts may take these actions to limit a guardian’s access to money and property while investigating a case or preparing to take another protective step.
Investigate allegations of malfeasance– Once allegations of abuse have been made, courts can appoint a guardian ad litem, investigator or visitor to investigate. A court can also audit an individual’s assets or order an accounting by an external entity such as a certified public accountant.
Order repayment for lost assets or property – Such orders might restore lost assets but, in many cases, the only way to recover funds is through a bond that the guardian obtained upon appointment. Sometimes courts do not require bonding when the guardian is appointed, making it more difficult to obtain repayment for losses at the hands of the guardian.
Enforce statutory rights to communication and visitation – When abusive guardians use isolation tactics, family members and others may be able to seek orders enforcing state laws that define the rights of people subject to guardianship to interact with others of their choosing.
Appoint a co-guardian or limit the powers of the guardian – This strategy may help deter or stop mistreatment by a guardian.
Remove the guardian – Removal may be the best way to stop guardian malfeasance, and petitioners might suggest a willing and suitable replacement.
Terminate the guardianship – Less restrictive options or changed circumstances might lead a court to terminate the guardianship entirely.
Besides courts with guardianship jurisdiction, who can address abuse by guardians?
Numerous federal, state, and local government entities and non-profit agencies can respond and provide services when someone suspects that a guardian is mistreating an individual. Although the court has the sole power to impose certain orders such as removing the guardian or surcharging bonds, other entities can get involved and assist victims. These include:
Adult protective services – Anyone suspecting mistreatment by a guardian should report to adult protective services. Find your state or local adult protective services agency through the Eldercare Locator. Most states have laws making certain categories of people mandatory reporters of elder or vulnerable adult abuse.
Protection and advocacy systems – Protection and Advocacy Systems are federally-mandated state-based organizations that work to protect the rights of people with disabilities, including guarding against abuse. Find your protection and advocacy agency here.
Long-term care ombudsmen – If the individual resides in a nursing home (or, in some states, receives home- and community-based services), the long-term care ombudsman can investigate and resolve complaints about abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including complaints about guardians. Anyone can file a complaint, but the resident (or an appropriate representative) must consent in order for the ombudsman to investigate and share information. Learn about the ombudsman program here and find your local ombudsman.
Law enforcement – A guardian’s breach of duty may violate criminal laws and warrant investigation and prosecution. In addition to reporting to Adult Protective Services, individuals suspecting guardian abuse should report it to law enforcement. Contact your local law enforcement agency, your state attorney general, or call 911. Some recent examples of guardianship fraud cases pursued by the United States Department of Justice include cases in Pennsylvania and Florida.
Attorneys – Separate from the guardianship system, there are various civil actions that may apply to abuse by guardians. Depending on state law, civil attorneys might bring cases alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud, undue influence or a private right of action for elder abuse. Remedies might include restitution (repaying money lost), voiding documents including deeds, or other monetary awards of damages.
Professional licensing boards – In some states, professional guardians may be certified, licensed or registered. State boards can investigate and may revoke a license or certification. If the guardian is a lawyer, the state has a committee that takes disciplinary action when a lawyer violates professional responsibilities.
What is power of attorney abuse?
Powers of attorney give a trusted person (the agent) a great deal of authority and access to money and property, without regular oversight. Power of attorney abuse can take many forms. The agent might spend the individual’s money on items for his or her own use rather than for the individual’s needs. The agent might do things that the document doesn’t allow, such as making gifts when that power hasn’t been granted. The power of attorney document itself might be forged or fraudulent in some other way.
State laws may help to prevent or limit power of attorney abuse. For example, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, adopted in over half the states, permits a third party such as a bank to refuse to honor a POA when the abuse is suspected and the third party reports it to an adult protective services agency.
What are the remedies to address power of attorney abuse after it occurs?
Lawyers may help people to stop power of attorney abuse and to get money back that has been improperly taken by the agent. For example, a lawyer could:
Draft a document to revoke (cancel) the POA
Ask a court to require the agent to file an accounting to see how the agent has spent the money
File a civil action to cancel contracts or deeds that the agent should not have made
File a civil action to recoup money
Petition a court to appoint a guardian who can manage the finances if the individual is unable to manage money independently
In addition, agents under a POA may be prosecuted for abusing a power of attorney. Depending on state criminal law, power of attorney abuse might be theft, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, exploitation or another financial crime. Through the criminal court process, a prosecutor could ask the court to freeze the individual assets to prevent further abuse, and could also seek restitution (repayment of money taken).
What do we know about abuse by government fiduciaries?
Reports from the Social Security Advisory Board, the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, the Government Accountability Office, the National Academy of Sciences and other government and quasi-governmental entities over the past fifteen years have documented abuse by both individual and organizational representative payees. These incidents have prompted removal of payees from the program and, in some cases, criminal prosecution. The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs also has investigated and substantiated allegations of abuse by VA fiduciaries.
I dialed up the Committee’s web site and sent the following, to wit:
There is a war going on in Chicago that is not being reported in the media. Certain criminal elements (with great clout) have and are using the Courts to prey on elder citizens. The Guardianship case of AMELIA SALLAS 07 P 5360 is a prime example. Its companion case entitled BYLINE BANK vs. AMELIA SALLAS 2019 CH 13960 , now pending in the Appellate Court of Illinois is a text book example of wrongdoing. (Appellate Court 1=22 -1111).
By e-mail I’ve forwarded to you a draft copy of Dean Sallas’ brief.
Legislation is in place in Illinois and in most States that husband the WAR AGAINST GRANDMA & GRANDPA – the problem is a lack of enforcement.
In Illinois a guardian is appointed pursuant to 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3. Section 3a sets for a procrustean criterion for determining if a person needs a guardian, and section 3b the instruction how CONSISTENT WITH THE 14TH AMENDMENT that authority to appoint a guardian and the severe limitations required by our 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments.
Briefly, a guardian is a fiduciary and as such limited to actions that are 1) reasonable, 2) necessary, and 3) beneficial all judged by the clear light of hindsight. IN PRACTICE, the guardian with the consent and ultra vires conduct of a corrupt judge becomes the alter ego of the victim ward, and the sorry individual is left, homeless, helpless, friendless and segregated i for not only her/his savings but isolated without hope.
Taking the Sallas case as an example, the appointment of a guardian was done without any finding of facts and law by the Judge as to specifics required by statute. No matter, two guardians were appointed. One guardian recognized that its appointment was wrongful and resigned. No problem, a second guardian was appointed. case 07 P 5360. No matter, the beat went on. The 8 million dollars plus in assets saved by Mr. and Mrs. Sallas has all disappeared (even though there was no authority for any guardian to touch marital assets or the assets of Mr. Sallas. Mrs. Sallas is in a nursing home, toothless and with limited mobility. Her husband is homeless, and on charity. Their half million dollar valued home in Skokie, which in 2018 had a mortgage of about $175,000.00 is gone by foreclosure. Thanks to the Byline Bank and the Cook County public guardian without borrowing a dime, the debt grew by about $200,000.00 and was sold at a foreclosure suit.
Remedial legislation designed to protect people like Mr. and Mrs. Sallas were ignored — it seems that this elderly couple – in their 80’s signed commercial loan documents. Mrs. Sallas signature was an overt crime pursuant to 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22.
The actions of the guardian, the supervising judge, and the Byline Bank all (in my opinion) violated 720 ILCS 5/17 -56 – another remedial statute.
Not only has every attorney been intimidated by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court, but no law enforcement agency will enforce the statutes protecting the elderly. As an example, The CFPB is reported as informing Mr. Sallas that as he and his wife signed documents that were “commercial” the agency could not help them!!!!
The Byline Bank’s conduct herein is reprehensible – they and their “assignees” knowing that their conduct was REPREHENSIBLE had Dean Sallas thrown out of his home. Of course, the court and law enforcement are silent! Benign neglect would be a major step forward.THE FOREGOING IS ALL OLD HAT, BUT MR. & MRS. SALLAS ARE STILL CAPTIVES & STILL BEING DEPRIVED OF THEIR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS! It is very frustrating knowing that there are statutory remedies but noting that they are all a facade. If a lawyer can be found who has the courage to assert the human rights of the designated victim of this heinous criminal conduct emanating right from the bench, the ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION of the SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS will accuse the lawyer of lying et al and the lawyer will be granted a kangaroo trial and suspended from the practice of law. LAW ENFORCEMENT finds one excuse after another as to WHY enforcement of the law cannot occur to protect grandma and grandpa from the predators – thus, law enforcement is out to lunch!. The committee has GAO reports reporting this travesty and ignores them. So why did I send anything to the Committee? HOPE SPRING ETERNAL! I cannot believe that the government of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA no longer gives a damn about its citizens and we no longer count! Certainly we do not count in Cook County, Illinois! I wonder why the government of Chicago/Cook County, Illinois even bothers with a vote for the mayor of Chicago?????
Guardianship abuse is about as pervasive and venal as can be imagined. The only thing missing in the Sallas case are JACK BOOTS, and railway freight cares packed with people. Respect for the Rule of Law and the Constitutional protections of the 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments are in stark evidence. Statutory limitations are routinely ignored, and the miscreants are not shy in making it very clear that their object is not to assist the elderly who fall into their custody, but to exploit them.
The cries of Sallas, and Campasano to Judge Boliker are not only ignored but ridiculed. Albert Campasano 2021 P 3717 (Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court) is a veteran – on the one hand they thank for his service, and other the hand they deny him the very friends that he fought for – going so low as to take his sundry possessions and that of his wife. (Of course, they do not recognize his wife, or the limitations of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3 b.) The credo – is Albert and Sophia have a few dollars – the dollars are better served in the pockets of *****,
Relative to Sallas 07 P 5360 (mortgage foreclosure 2019 CH 13960 on appeal as 1 – 22 -111, a draft of Dean Sallas brief to the Appellate Court of Illinois is instructive, to wit:
This is an Appeal from a Summary Judgment Order of foreclosure and Sale in direct derogation of current remedial legislation designed by the Illinois Legislature to abrogate Financial Elder Abuse of vulnerable citizens such as the elderly vulnerable defendants herein, i.e. Dean Sallas (age 85) and Amelia Sallas (approx. age 80) who were married for more than ½ a century. (see 720 ILCS 5/17 -56)
This particular appeal is unique in that.”
1. The complaint C 24 filed herein, and the record in general appears to be devoid of any averment of any assignment of the security agreement sought to be foreclosed to the initial plaintiff Byline Bank. It is therefore respectfully suggested that the Byline Bank has no standing to bring this foreclosure suit.
2. That the Guardian appointed for Mrs. Sallas is a fiduciary who breached his relationship toward Mrs. Sallas in that he did not raise as a defense the Financial Elder Abuse protective statutes 720 ILCS 5/17 -56 and in particular to this foreclosure proceeding, did not raise a defense the fact the 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 voids any attempt by the holder of an agreement signed by such a person as Mrs. Sallas to foreclosure or otherwise collect on an obligation evidenced by a document signed in violation of the said section 22. Mrs. Sallas, is a necessary party to this foreclosure action – however pursuant to the aforesaid 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22
3. That as part of the Motion for Summary Judgment C 485 , the plaintiff presents a Petition presented by the Guardian in case 07 P 5360, entitled in Re: Amelia Sallas C 371 wherein the Guardian for Mrs. Sallas appears to make some serious omission of fact and law. In particular, knowing that 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 as violated by Byline Bank on January 25, 2018 the Guardian makes no mention of said fact. Instead the Guardian requests the Court for permission to enter into the very wrongful and ultra vires contract voided Section 22 and most importantly – a criminal offense for Byline Bank to enter into. (It is respectfully submitted that this action by the Guardian, appearing to be represented by the Byline Bank as attornment to the crime by the Court invokes the Himmel case and 18 USCA 4 reporting to law enforcement requirements.
4. That without a scintilla of proof as to either the Standing of the plaintiff to pursue this foreclosure, or mesne debts appearing to have been long abandoned by 3rd persons, the plaintiff was not only allowed to have such stranger debts added to the judgment, but to do so by a Summary Judgment entered prior to the defendant Sallas having an opportunity to take discovery, or file defenses and counterclaims to the instant foreclosure complaint objected to.
5. That without any indication that the plaintiff made any disclosures required by Federal and States law C 27, the balance due as of the date of the alleged default was set $152,607.00, but the judgment for more than $200,000 in excess. Note: The initial principal balance due when Mr. and Mrs. Signed the loan documents to be $173, 366 (C67) dated January 25, 2018. .
Notwithstanding a continuing objection as to the standing of the Byline Bank to bring this foreclosure action herein, this commercial loan document was signed by both Mr. and Mrs. Sallas on January 25, 2018. And the said agreement appears of record as exhibit H attached to the complaint filed herein (C24) Stripped to its primary issue and concern, this appeal raises the pressing issue of whether or not the Chancery (Equity) Division of the trial court attorns to and countenances the Financial Elder Abuse clearly barred by its own rules, 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22, and 720 ILCS 5/17 – 56.
The casual deceptions of the Byline Bank et al herein, not only as to the initial service of process on Dean Sallas (C201 ), the Petition of February 15, 2018 (C371 ), amounts due and owing C636, omission of assignment by Plaza Bank to Byline Bank , affidavit of Attorney fees C 727, casual characterization of predatory mortgage as a legitimate loan arrangement rather rank FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE of the most predatory nature, cannot be tolerated. The commercial loan aside the efficacy of the Judicial system required pursuant to Article 1 Section 12 of the Illinois Constitution is challenged by disrespect for integrity, decency, and honor by the decisions in this case and the EVICTION from his home of Dean Sallas. Allowing such predation as renders Sallas homeless and vulnerable and denies him his human and vested civil rights.
The instant appeal is distinguishable from most appeals that are brought to this Court as the Appellant, Dean Sallas, is not only pro se, but elderly (age 85) l Mr. Sallas’ wife (and codefendant) has become a victim of a predatory guardianship, wrongful isolation, and worse. Sallas’ Constitutional Rights have been overtly and repeatedly violated, and it is respectfully suggested that Mrs. Sallas’ Court appointed Guardian in these proceedings abdicated the responsibility he claims. (see Petition of Feb 15, 2018 (c ) See also Wambaugh vs. Parson .
Pursuant to the criteria of the Himmel decision, the clear words of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and the statute that provides for appointing a guardian, i.e. 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3, this Court is placed on notice that the plenary Guardian’s appointment and assignment are severely limited solely to the property vested solely of Mrs. Sallas but not to any property of Mr. Sallas, including but not limited to his interest in the marital property of the parties. The Guardian is not appointed to be the alter-ego of Mrs. Sallas and his appointment gives him no jurisdiction concerning either Appellant Dean Sallas or Sallas’ property interests. In fact the Guardian’s “power” is severely limited to acts specifically granted in the statute of those only to the extent that said ‘powers’ are 1) reasonable, 2) necessary and 3 benefit the individual who is designated his ward.
That said, the Guardian is a fiduciary, and he owes to Mrs. Sallas the highest brand of fidelity, integrity, and honesty possible. 755 ILCS 5/11a- 3 and the 1st, 4th,5th, and 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution further embellish define and limit the guardian’s responsibility. In a similar manner, this Court is placed upon notice that the affidavits submitted to the Court by the Attorney’s for the Byline Bank praying for a reimbursement of attorney fees for their client are patently absurd – and this Court on the record substantially reduced the claim for attorney fees.
The Appellant respectfully suggests that he at 85 years of age, and his wife at years of age are classic victims of Financial Elder Abuse perpetrated in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
Issue 1. Do statutory and common law protections against abusive and predatory lending practices have meaning in Foreclosure of Mortgage proceedings.
Issue 2. What are the criteria for the entry of Summary Judgment. In particular can Summary Judgment be entered while there is pending a Motion to Dismiss filed by plaintiff and prior to the defendant being given an opportunity to do discovery, file counterclaims or defenses to the pleadings of the plaintiff.
Issue 3. Does the Court in a home mortgage foreclosure have to protect senior citizens from clear abuse by lenders. In simple terms do the hallowed principles of Equity and Justice apply.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
That essential parties to this case are:
1) Appellant, Dean Sallas. He is the spouse of Amelia Sallas for more than ½ a century. Mr. and Mrs. Sallas are the homeowners of the property subject to the Byline Bank foreclosure action herein.
2) Mrs. Amelia Sallas In the related cases of In re: Amelia Sallas 07 P 5360 the Circuit Court of Cook County on******* entered an order finding the Amelia Sallas as a disabled person and in need of a Guardian of her person and her property. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sallas resided in the “property” under foreclosure until approximately ( C ) .
3) Byline Bank (and is claimed assignees). The plaintiff herein. (NB. Without evidence being submitted the appellant of a proper assignment of the collateral from the initial lender to the Byline Bank, defendant does not concede the Byline Bank has standing to bring this foreclosure).
4) The Cook County Public Guardian. Mr. Golbert was appointed plenary guardian for Mrs. Sallas after a series of mesne transactions and appointments.
On January 25, 2018 the Byline Bank, being fully aware of the prohibitions of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 in derogation of the statutory prohibition demanded and obtained the signature of both Mr. Dean Sallas, and Mrs. Amelia Sallas on a Commercial loan document connoting that the signatories owed the Byline Bank the sum of $$173, 366dollars and was required to repay to the Byline Bank that sum at the rate of dollars per month at an interest rate of %. This loan was secured by the borrower’s home. (C 67) This document is the basic document upon which this collection action is based. A prior security agreement in favor of a stranger to these proceedings is sought to be foreclosed.
On January 25, 2018, all parties knew that amongst the Illinois Statutes was 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22. In words and phrases section 22 states:
(755 ILCS 5/11a-22)(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-22) Sec. 11a-22. Trade and contracts with a person with a disability.
(a) Anyone who by trading with, bartering, gaming or any other device, wrongfully possesses himself of any property of a person known to be a person with a disability commits a Class A misdemeanor. (b) Every note, bill, bond or other contract by any person for whom a plenary guardian has been appointed or who is adjudged to be unable to socontract is void as against that person and his estate, but a person making a contract with the person so adjudged is bound thereby. (Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
On February 15, 2018 it appears of record in the plaintiff/appellee’s MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT and in case 07 P 5360 (C 371) that the Cook County Guardian (the plenary guardian appointed to protect Amy Sallas) appeared before Judge Boliker by petition dated said date to seek to authorization execute commercial loan documents noted supra and appearing as exhibit H attached to the complaint. Dishonestly, the Guardian’s petition to the Court and presentation did not disclose that on January 25, 2018, the Byline Bank had in direct violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 had obtained the signature of his ward. Mrs. Amy Sallas, the wife of the Appellant. [N.B The Guardian, having a duty of disclosure to the Court, and a fiduciary duty to Mrs. Sallas, did not inform the Court that the actions of the Byline Bank were a serious violation of the law prohibited by 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 and the Financial Elder Abuse Statutes. The Petition submitted in words and phrases asked for permission for Guardian to sign the Byline Bank papers. (c371)]
Subsequently, by a series of mesne transactions the Guardian removed from the marital funds of Mr. and Mrs. Sallas approximately $40,000.00 and according to the Summary Judgement documents (c 377 )paid the same over to the Byline Bank apparently reducing the balance due to about approximately $153,000.
The Byline Bank on or about filed this foreclosure suit on or about . On or about a Motion to Quash to false return of summons on Dean Sallas was filed, C . and granted on C . On Dean Sallas filed a MOTION TO DISMISS C .on raising the issues of unclean hands, and pointing out the irregularities in this proceeding. This Motion was denied on .C .
The Counter to the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss was a Motion for Summary Judgment.C . Even though prior to the ability of the defendant to take discovery, asset defenses, answer the complaint, the trial court on . in the Amount of total sum of dollars granted the motion and ordered the foreclosure sale of the subject real estate.C . This Summary Judgment order accepted affidavits from the Byline Bank that were in conflict with the actions and or demeanor of the Byline Bank and in the case of the claim for attorneys overtly absurd. (NB. The full claim for attorney fees of approximately $41,000.00 was rejected by the court but $ of attorney fees was granted for the proceeding not out of the discovery stage.C , C )
On or about , the Byline Bank successfully petitioned to the trial court for leave to the Court for the Court to recognize an assignment of interest to and the change the name of the case eliminating the Byline Bank from the title C .. Sallas protested that such would bar him from asserting any counterclaimsC or affirmative defenses he might have against the Byline Bank. The Court on entered an order that in words and phrases C stated:
A judicial sale was held on , the sum $ was bid, This sale was confirmed on , and on C the defendant Dean Sallas filed his notice of Appeal.
N.B. At all-time relevant the title to the subject real estate is vested (though a land trust arrangement) as the marital property of both Amelia Sallas and Dean Sallas. A search of case 07 P 5360 does not indicate that at any time the Guardian appointed for Mrs. Sallas (Amelia)or any other person or entity was granted a quit claim deed or other conveyance of Mrs. Sallas marital interest in her home. 
The appellant Dean Sallas (age 85) is pro-se and apologizes in advance as to his lack of legal skills and any deficiencies in his presentation or brief.
APPELLANT & HIS SPOUSE AS SENIOR CITIZENS, WHO HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR MORE THAN ½ A CENTURY, AND WHO ARE BOTH AGED 80 PLUS ARE ENTITLED TO NOT ONLY THEIR 14TH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION RIGHTS, BUT THE REMEDIAL PROTECTIONS AFFORED THE TO VULNERABLE SENIOR CITIZENS. AND THE APPLICATION OF THE HISTORICAL PRINCIPLES OF EQUITY
Illinois in Article 1 Section 12 of its CONSTITUTION of 1970 states:
SECTION 12. RIGHT TO REMEDY AND JUSTICE
Every person shall find a certain remedy in the laws for
all injuries and wrongs which he receives to his person,
privacy, property or reputation. He shall obtain justice by
law, freely, completely, and promptly.
A foreclosure action, such as the instant action is an Equity/Chancery action and addresses the issues to the conscience of the sovereign and thus requires parties seeking relief to not only do equity, but to come to the Court with ‘clean hands.’
The Appellee (Byline Bank) demonstrates a callous disregard for these principles in the ‘key document’ required by this foreclosure – the loan document. This loan document was executed by the Byline Bank and Amelia Sallas in direct violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 which in clearly obviates the right to a Foreclosure. The statute stating.
(755 ILCS 5/11a-22) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-22) Sec. 11a-22. Trade and contracts with a person with a disability. (a) Anyone who by trading with, bartering, gaming or any other device, wrongfully possesses himself of any property of a person known to be a person with a disability commits a Class A misdemeanor. (b) Every note, bill, bond or other contract by any person for whom a plenary guardian has been appointed or who is adjudged to be unable to so contract is void as against that person and his estate, but a person making a contract with the person so adjudged is bound thereby. (Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
The total record herein including but not limited thereto the MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT clearly indicates that Mrs. Sallas, a necessary party to any foreclosure action concerning her home, was adjudicated a disabled person, and a Guardian was appointed to protect her personal interests. A clear criminal violation of section 22 occurred on January 25, 2018 that cannot be swept under the rug, or buried with a multitude of copies of documents such as filed herein by the Byline Bank.
The record is devoid of any mitigating circumstances that might obviate the enforcement of State and Federal financial elder abuse legislative protections or justify the Circuit Court in ignoring its own heritage and core principles.
Indeed, the case of In re: Neprozatis , makes it very clear that in Illinois Equity Courts if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, has feathers like a duck it is indeed a duck. Indeed, 720 ILCS 5/17- 56 similarly decrees that entities that have the ability to subject an individual to Financial Elder Abuse are not under Illinois law free to use the facilities of Illinois Courts to do so. That statute renders such persons not only subject to triple damages and attorney’s fees, but the burden of proof is reduced from clear and convincing to preponderance of the evidence.
The case Wambaugh vs. Parsons , addresses the fiduciary duty of a guardian. The case is relevant along with Struck vs. Cook County Public Guardian , tolay emphasis upon the fact that the Court (i.e. the Circuit Court of Cook County, and the judicial establishment recognizes that a guardianship is a ‘thin ice’ situation as in a parens patrie matter requires strict integrity, decency, and statutory compliance so as to not infringe of the basic protections of the Federal Constitution, the Illinois Constitution and most importantly the 14th Amendment. A Guardian’s power is thus severely limited solely to his specifically published grant (published in the order of appointment and the findings of fact and conclusions of law required by 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3) and actions that are 1) reasonable, 2) necessary, and 3) benefit the word. It is respectfully suggested that the record herein and in case 07 P 5360 suggest that all the protective criteria were vitiated and ignored. (Judicial notice of this Court’s records and case 07 P 5360 is requested in the interest of justice).
The Summary Judgment order entered herein is particularly offensive to not only the origins, and principles, of Equity, but Article 1, Section 12 of the Illinois Constitution, but Amendment 14 of the United States Constitution. A litigant seeking the equitable relief of a foreclosure cannot engage in FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE or deal inappropriately with senior citizens. Indeed, the grant of Summary Judgment not only ignores statutory prohibitions, but even basic concepts that even lay litigants are aware.
In particular, how is the Byline Bank even before this Court to file a foreclosure action. An examination of the documents filed by the Byline Bank does not include an assignment, quit claim deed, or other evidence of a conveyance of the Security Interest from the original holder of the Mortgage (Plaza Bank) to Byline Bank). Byline Bank may have some relationship with other creditors of Mr. Sallas, but proxy litigation is not appropriate for a court of equity.
Indeed, the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the Byline Bank/appellee is replete with documents that connote AND emphasize the plaintiff’s ‘lack of doing equity, unclean hands, criminal conduct’ and serious conduct that raises serious concerns. The clear unequivocal violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22), and 720 ILCS 5/17 -56 cannot be ignored or swept under the Rug. Both statutes are remedial and intended to address the very concerns that are raised in these proceedings.
Further, even though the HIMMEL decision is ignored in these FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE cases the totality of the legislation enacted at both the State and Federal level manifests a demand that the elderly’s 14th Amendment protections not be trampled on by institutions such are noted herein.
The disclosure rules and ordinances enacted both at the Federal and State level that address loans to senior citizens and other vulnerable people are more than words on paper. They are intended to be strictly enforced, even if a Byline Bank, or a Court Appointed Guardian would be embarrassed or lose money. The spectacle created by the calculation of the alleged balance due illustrated the point. As the Guardian (Mr. Golbert) has never been specifically authorized to address any asset of Appellant Dean Sallas (including his marital property interests) serious questions of ultra vires conduct (as well as criminal contempt of court questions) are raised by the February 15, 2018 petition. These questions and the comments made by the Byline Bank in support of its MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT suggest some serious conspiratorial action.
On January 25, 2018 the contract that violated 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 was signed. This contract was attached to the complaint as the first 3 pages of exhibit H. It is respectfully submitted that the claimed balance due to the Byline Bank was approximately $175,000.00. There was no mention of any sundry secret judgments outstanding etc. In fact the Guardian’s February 15, 2018 petition to Judge Boliker similarly made no mention of such a judgment. Protection of Debtors under law require such items to be disclosed when the documents are signed.
Thus, the Byline Bank /Cook County Public Guardian pattern continues unabated in the lower Court. Mr. and Mrs. Sallas are elderly and vulnerable – ergo, being a bit disrespectful, it is the position of the defendant/appellant that the trial court ruled that if remedial legislation designed to protect against FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE interferes with the whim and caprice of the Byline Bank & Guardian the said legislation not only can be ignored, but the objecting elderly are silenced!
Without discovery, the appellant/defendant has not had the ability to make inquiry as to what if any attunements, special dispensations et al may have been facing him in these proceedings. It is apparent now that the appellant pursuant to the provision of 720 ILCS 5/17 – 56, the appellant might have a serious counterclaim against not only the Byline Bank, but others involved in the trial court proceedings. Section 56 may not come with the hype of a RIC0 action, but not only does this remedial legislation connote a legislative intent that the FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSERS face criminal charges, but on the Civil side the award to be assessed is Triple Damages, plus Attorney fees. So serious was the Illinois Legislature that this remedial legislation be readily available, that it also lowered the Standard of Proof to preponderance of the Evidence.
The appellee is not paranoid in suggesting some sort of attornment or special dispensation by Judge Boliker in approving the Guardian obfuscating a criminal action perpetrated against its ward. He cannot understand Judge Boliker and/or Judge Robles did not forward to Law enforcement a referral in this instant case. It is respectfully suggested that the totality of the facts memorialized in the record herein are a cogent example of FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE barred by Illinois Statutes, and so corrosive to the core values of America that not only must the Summary Judgment be reversed, but a referral to Law enforcement must be made. 18 USCA 4 demands the same.
The demand of the appellant for a referral is not taken lightly. Indeed, it is respectfully submitted that no making such a request would a measure of disrespect by the appellant for himself, but the Justice system. The calculation of loan balances demands the same. No Court can, in my opinion, garner the respect that is demanded to do its job and accept the calculation of a creditor that commences with a initial loan balance on January 25, 2018 and ends two years later after the payment of approximately $20,000 with a new balance of approximately $200,000 more than the initial debt
With all due respect, the Appellant suggests that the concept of EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW as defined by centuries of English and America Equity law cannot tolerate the conduct disclosed by the Byline Bank in this foreclosure suit toward an elderly couple i.e., Dean Sallas and Amelia Sallas. The Summary Judgment of foreclosure and the subsequent orders of Court approving the “sale” of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sallas must be reversed and rendered for nought.
WHEN A PARTY FILES A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, THAT PARTY TO SUCEED IN HIS MOTION MUST MEET THE CRITERION OF TAKING THE FACTS IN THE LIGHT MOST FAVORABLE TO THE NON=MOVING PARTY THERE IS NOT A CHANCE IN HELL THAT THE NON-MOVING PARTY CAN PREVAIL.
The Judicial system of the State Court is the ‘escape value’ of society and thus the Court system must not only be held to the standard of “Caesar’s wife” but, in fact be free of bias, favoritism, and even the appearance of corruption. Thus, if a citizen is to be denied his right to a trial on the merits by a ‘short cut’ procedure of Summary Judgment the proof of liability cannot be tinged by obvious exaggerated claims for attorney fees, obvious breaches of fiduciary relationship, misleading petitions such as the February 15, 201
It is always interesting to see what entities accept a particular e-mail on a particular subject and where the e-mail does not reach the entity to which it is sent.
Indeed, some of the addresses are old, some are copied wrong etc — On Government e-mail addresses I usually go with the flow and send the -e mails to the address that I was given or that pops up on the computer.
Apparently, a nerve has been hit – I was a little more careless than usual on my last e-mail to you – a bunch of what I thought to be dead e=mail addresses actually appear to have received the e-mail.
The last time this happened was just before the Britney Spears case exploded. (That was the guardian case where this young woman was given a plenary guardian even though she negotiated and performed multi=million dollar contracts! Her obvious incompetency was in NOT protesting more vigorously that her 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendment Rights were violated by The California Courts.
Using the criteria of Spears, anyone at random can be Guardianized. Indeed, in your parents situation that is exactly what has happened.
Methinks that the overt violence in our cities across America may be bringing BIG GOVERNMENT to the realization that our Courts are THE EXCEPT VALUE OF OUR SOCIETY and the lesson that they are teaching is that Anarchy is the wave of the future. DEMONIZATION of your enemies (or perceived enemies) is the norm — GRANDMA is no longer is a favored person in the Little Red Riding Hood story – it is the wolf!
The guardian is doing a public service in today’s “world” He according to current narrative – he is eliminating the elderly so as to make more room for the next crop of oldsters. He is also sharing the wealth!! (Especially with the courthouse criminals! – Judge **** has at least one child to support, and a Byline Bank loan her husband was given to pay off!! – Judge ***** Amy and Dean Sallas are old! The Guardian and judge arranging for burial of Amy Sallas are doing a public service!!! That public service may violate both the Federal and the State Constitution – but – what the H*** – those are outdated documents anyhow. The credo is printed on the back of the dollar bill, to wit: IN JUdge **** we trust!!! (God is also old!)
RE: Knox County Case No. 22 PR 12 and 21 MR 21 –Estate of Fred Stegall SEEKING INFORMATION ON KNOX COUNTY COURT CORRUPTION
Dear Sacred Heart Church
I am the Executive Director of Justice 4 Every1, Not for Profit. I run and manage blogs (www.justice4every1.com and http://www.marygsykes.com) regarding corrupt and abusive guardianships in Chicago and in Illinois and nationwide. There are more than 1600 posts on those blogs about corruption in the courts and horrific abuse of the elderly in Guardianship and then their Estates are looted by attorneys and others in decedent’s estates and these blogs are extremely popular with over 300 hits per day. We are currently seeking information on court corruption in Knox County and in particular in the above case which involves the Fred Stegall Estate. Mr. Stegall unfortunately passed away in January 2022, leaving over 150 acres of farm and timberland, to Tonny and Penny Williamson, two elderly Christian women who cared for Fred Stegall in his final days and spent at least $115,000 to care for him, because his court appointed guardian Curtis Ford and his Guardian ad Litem appointed by Judge Radmussen refused to give Fred Stegall a dime in living expenses for over one year– food, clothing and utilities, despite the fact that Fred Stegall had some $500,000+ in his bank accounts. Instead, over $50,000 went to court appointed lawyers to drain his estate. This, unfortunately is not uncommon in Probate, and in particular, Guardianship cases where the motto is: target, narcotize to guardianize, drain the estate, and when the money runs out, narcotize the elderly person to death and quickly bury the victim to destroy all traces of evidence the person was abused and drugged. Anyone over age 50 can fall a victim to our nation’s thousands of probate courts. It is estimated that at any time, some 1.5 million elderly and disabled persons are locked into expensive guardianship proceedings where Estates are billed at rates from $300 to $400+ per hour, which typically drains the Estate quickly and the victim is typically left penniless and on medicaid and food stamps. In one guardianship case in Cook County, Lorraine Phillips, she was in a guardianship for 5 years and attorneys Franciszkowicz and Martin billed her $4 million estate $1 million in attorney’s fees. The Illinois appellate court apparently thought this was okay, because they never overturned those excessive attorneys fees. In Mr. Stegall’s case, he was left to die in a nursing home and if his friends had not diligently searched and found him, he would have died alone. The Guardian and court appointede Guardian ad Litem (both Illinois licensed attorneys) never told Mr. Stegall’s friends he had been taken by ambulance to a hospital and then a nursing home. All Mr. Stegall’s friends had to figure out where he was and how he had been taken when they abruptly found him missing one day. The Fred Stegall cases have been rocked with controversy and terrible problems. And as a reporter for these blogs I personally have a number of questions: 1. Why is the Diocese of Peoria suing the Williamsons for their dear friend’s farm and timber land? When did churches start suing people to take their land? I personally have been involved with Christian churches for decades and I have never heard of a Christian Church suing an Estate, getting involved in any dispute in an Estate and trying to take farm and timberland from their friends and neighbors. 2. Why did the court and Judge Curtis Lane block all discovery requested by the Williamsons, rush quickly to trial, and why did attorneys Paul Mangieri and John W. Robertson file suit against the Williamsons over this farmland when Fred Stegall made it repeatedly known that he did not want to sue the Williamsons and that James Blake was not his attorney and had never been his attorney? 3. Why did Father Lee Brokaw take the witness stand a few days ago and tell the following lies? a. that Fred attended weekly mass without fail (when Fred did not attend weekly mass all the time, that he depended upon someone driving him since fall of 2020, and b) then his church, Abingdon Church was closed for over a year during Covid, and then c) Brokaw was not even the pastor there, so how would he know?) Father Brokaw was not the priest for Fred Stegall and rarely if ever saw him. All good questions. 4. Why is attorney John Robertson standing in the court hallways and telling witnesses that the Williamsons are “crooks and scam artists?” When in fact these are good, kind Christian ladies who took care of 95 year old Fred Stegall for over a year in his final days and spent over $115,000 on his care when the Guardian ad Litem and Guardian of the Person and court would not give him a dime for living expenses and necessaries? 5. Why did Father Lee Brokaw provide false testimony to the court that the Williamsons prevented him from giving Fred Stegall last rites when in fact they had no control over that. At the time of his death he was in a Guardianship and only his Guardian ad Litem and court appointed Guardian (Curtis Ford and Patrick Egan) who could have done that. The Williamsons actually drove Fred to Catholic Church numerous times when he was too frail to drive himself. But the bigger question is why is the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Peoria getting involved in Estates to try to take land from citizens via contested and expensive probate proceedings. If you have any information on this case and why the proceedings are so very strange and troublesome I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. I am a reporter for two popular blogs on court corruption and you may provide me with statements “off record” and I would keep everything in confidence. (Illinois does in fact have a “reporter’s privilege law”) It’s time to clean up the court system in Illinois, and I and other concerned citizens would greatly appreciate your help in doing so. Remember that the greatest cure for corruption is always sunshine which is a tremendous cure for corruption. If you have any information about this case or Judge Lane or Attorneys Paul Mangieri or John Robertson, I would greatly appreciate your bringing this information to my attention so that justice may be done. You are welcome to call, fax or email me with the information and it will be kept in confidence. If you call me, please email or text me first so I know you are a real person and not a robo call or spammer. And please pray for these dear, kind ladies that justice may be done. Thank you. Sincerely, Joanne Denison Executive Director, Justice 4 Every1, NFP Blogger and dedicated to accountability in the courts
Ms. Clair is formerly of Des Plaines, Illinois. She lived in a trailer park. She was wrongfully evicted from a trailer park there while she was in a nursing home for 2 years. She is currently in the hospital in ICU and is not expected to live throughout the night.
Her attorney has been handling her affairs but is now looking for friends and family who would like to attend Ms. Clair’s funeral and pay their last respects. We know of zero friends and family right now, but we do want to get the word out and give her a nice funeral.
Please contact me at email@example.com if you or someone you know may be interested in attending her funeral. It will be at Concord Funeral Home in Chicago, IL on Cicero avenue most likely next weekend. Light a candle and say a prayer for her. She was homeless, but the homeless deserve friends and love too.
ALBANY — State Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday sued the Fulton Commons Care Center nursing home in East Meadow, accusing its operators of a “toxic culture of deceit” that used public money to pad the payroll for relatives and a “heinous record of resident abuse.”
The lawsuit also accuses the facility of knowingly underreporting deaths from the COVID-19 virus by as much as 45% while avoiding scrutiny by making robocalls to family members that said the facility “was free from COVID-19.”
The attorney general’s office filed the lawsuit Tuesday to force changes in the operation of the nursing home, but to keep the facility open, a spokeswoman said.
“Fulton Commons failed its residents and denied them the basic right of receiving comfortable, competent, and respectful care at the facility entrusted to serve them,” James said. “Rather than honor their legal duty to ensure the highest possible quality of life for the residents in their care, the Fulton Commons owners cut funding for staffing so they could take more money for their own personal gain. These actions led to a devastating pattern of resident abuse, neglect, and mistreatment.”
The nursing home referred a request for comment to Cathie Doyle, who had been the nursing home administrator. The attorney general’s office said Doyle left the job Nov. 16.
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The lawsuit accuses the owner, Moshe Kalter, and several relatives and operators of related companies of “a fraudulent scheme that led to insufficient staffing levels, significant resident neglect, mistreatment, and abuse.”
The lawsuit’s accusations of financial fraud include:
Using $34.4 million to pay “inflated” rent to one its shell companies.
Inappropriately paying $14.9 million to the operators from Medicare and Meidcaid funds and failing to disclose it to the state Health Department.
Paying more than $1 million from 2018 through 2021 to the owner’s eight adult children, who were 1% owners of Fulton Commons. In 2018 alone, the adult children were paid $410,875 in salaries on no-show jobs that James contends would equal the cost of 10,000 additional hours of direct care to residents.
Accusations of resident abuse and neglect include:
Repeatedly losing track of residents because they weren’t supervised.
Unanswered bells and cries for help.
Unexplained bruising, cuts and other injuries.
Missed medical treatments.
Unchanged underwear and missed trips to restrooms.
Illegal restraint of residents in beds or wheelchairs and by drugs.
The subjects of the accusations named in the lawsuit include principal owner Kalter, his wife, Frady Kalter; her brother, Aaron Fogel, and his wife, Esther Fogel. Also named in the lawsuit are the Kalter’s eight adult children: Mindy Steger, Sheindy Saffer, Chana Kanarek, Dovid Kalter, Yitzchok Kalter, Aryeh Kalter, Sheva Treff, and Chaya “Sara” Lieberman; Kalter’s nephew Steven Weiss, Fulton Commons’ comptroller; and Doyle.
The lawsuit seeks to replace the nursing home’s medical director, prohibit admission of more residents until staffing meets appropriate standards, install financial and health care monitors at the owner’s expense, force the owner and others who benefited from the alleged scheme to repay the money, and require them to reimburse the state for cost of the investigation.
Long Islanders whose loved ones were patients at Fulton Commons, both during and prior to the pandemic, recalled a facility that they said was wholly understaffed and failed to provide the most basic care to residents.
“It was a house of horrors for older people,” said Mary McKenna of Bellmore. Her aunt, Eileen Turansky, died at Fulton Commons in 2014 after months of alleged abuse and mistreatment at the facility.
“They failed in every level of responsibility,” said Meri Danenza of East Meadow. She unsuccessfully had tried to get her mother, Edith Kessler, moved out of Fulton Commons early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kessler died at Fulton Commons on April 2, 2020, and Danenza said doctors at the facility told the family her mother had COVID-19. “They didn’t call us when she was getting worse,” Danenza said. ” … They didn’t do anything.”
In 2020, family members whose loved ones lived and died at Fulton Commons formed a Facebook group to share their stories. The group has more than 250 members.
Last week, the attorney general’s office announced the indictment of a former licensed practical nurse at the nursing home who was accused of sexual abuse of a resident in 2020 and a former director of nursing was indicted on charges of failing to report the abuse.
A film called “Crook County,” about a real-life corruption sting in Chicago, was announced with some fanfare in 2017 but never actually got made. On Monday, its executive producer explained why.
“We weren’t able to get financing for it. We tried and tried,” said Adam McKay, the former Chicagoan who directed “The Big Short” and “Vice.”
“Crook County” was to have detailed a 1980s sting that put Cook County judges and other public officials behind bars. “Operation Greylord” was named after a racehorse agents found while flipping through the Sun-Times sports section, according to “Operation Greylord,” a book co-authored by FBI mole Terrence Hake.
“Operation Greylord” resulted in the indictment of 48 lawyers, eight police officers, 17 judges (15 convicted), 10 deputy sheriffs, and a state senator.
Actor Emory Cohen (“Brooklyn”) was scheduled to star as Hake, who posed first as a dishonest prosecutor and later as an unethical defense attorney in the investigation.
The husband-wife team of Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly wrote the film and were set to direct. “They had a wonderful script that was ready to go — we just couldn’t quite get the dough for it,” McKay said.
McKay holds out hope that Gaudet and Pullapilly will find the funding necessary to make the film a reality.
“But you know the way it works with these movies, they’re never done,” says McKay. “It doesn’t mean we’re never going to make it, but at that time it was very hard to get it made. … But, man, I love that story — it’s so incredible. This is still a project that I just love and love.”
In the meantime, the Second City alumnus and Academy Award-winning screenwriter and producer stays busy as the host and producer of “Death at the Wing,” a narrative podcast detailing the nuances surrounding the tragic deaths of hoops phenoms.
McKay is also is the executive producer of several HBO projects, including the series “Succession,” the documentary “Q: Into the Storm” and an upcoming limited series detailing the 1980s “Showtime” era of the Lakers.
He directed the upcoming “Don’t Look Up,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio as astronomers trying to convince the world that an asteroid is about to destroy the planet.
A woman who was put into a facility by a government agency was given monthly injections of anti-psychotics and suffered shocking neglect over seven years but received just one visit from the agency during that time, the disability royal commission has heard.
A man told the commission he was shocked by his mother’s condition while under care
About 50,000 Australians are under the control of the state guardians and trustees because they have been deemed to be lacking capacity
The disability royal commission will spend the rest of the week hearing evidence from across the country
The First Nations woman, who cannot be named because of strict gag laws in Western Australia, was part of the Stolen Generations and later told her son the facility reminded her of the institutions she had grown up in.
Her son, who was given the pseudonym Anthony, told the commission on Tuesday he was shocked by his mother’s physical and mental condition while under the care of the Office of the Public Advocate in Western Australia and that she and the other residents appeared in a catatonic state.
In a statement, he said he remembered going to visit her and finding her in her pyjamas “and often they were dirty with faeces, urine and menstrual blood”.
“Her eyes would be quite open and she looked like she was on drugs,” he said.
Five years later when her son managed to take back control of her medical decisions and she was weaned off the medication, she told him she had suffered verbal, physical and sexual assaults at the facility.
“I can confidently say that my mother was in a worse state at the end of the Public’s Advocate’s control over her than when she first came to be subject of orders,” his statement said.
“She has not been afforded basic human dignity.
“Her cultural needs were not met”.
When he took his mother, who was in her late 40s at the time, to a dentist, he said her teeth were black and they had to be extracted and replaced with dentures.
In her entire time at the hostel, she had never been taken to a dentist.
She also had hepatitis and developed diabetes but neither condition was treated.
In a statement, Anthony said he and his mother rang the guardian at the Office of the Public Advocate, and asked for her to be moved elsewhere but he said she did not have enough money.
He said he saw the guardian hang up on his mother and she told him “that he hangs up on her often”.
Anthony believed the guardian had never visited his mother.
“I said to her, ‘Do you know what he looks like? He controls your life,’ and she’s like, ‘No, I don’t.’ How culturally insensitive is that?”
WA’s Public Advocate Pauline Bagdonvicius said someone from her office did visit his mother once during the seven-year period.
She told the royal commission “the lack of contact and engagement in the appropriate way … by our office is regrettable”.
There are an estimated 50,000 Australians under the control of the state guardians and trustees because they’ve been deemed to be lacking capacity due to cognitive issues like dementia, intellectual disabilities, and mental illness.
This happens when applications by family, social workers or doctors are made to civil and administrative tribunals in each state and territory.
They can appoint public guardians and trustees who make decisions about where the person lives, what medical treatment they receive and how much of their own money they are allocated.
The woman, who has a cognitive impairment, was living with her son when he took her to get a disability pension in 2015.
She was assessed by a psychiatrist and months later she was told she had to attend the State Administrative Tribunal after an application by a social worker.
The tribunal appointed the Public Advocate to look after her accommodation and health needs and she was moved from her son’s home to a hostel chosen by the Public Advocate’s office.
Meanwhile, the Public Trustee was appointed to look after her finances.
From her own pension, Anthony said his mother received just $10 a week as spending money.
“I was told that my mother would be looked after. I feel like this is the opposite of what has happened,” he said in his statement.
“I can confidently say that my mother was in a worse state at the end of the Public Advocate’s control over her than when she first came to be subject to orders. She has not been afforded basic human dignity.”
The royal commission heard that in Western Australia, First Nations people made up 17 per cent of all those “under orders” despite making up only 3.3 per cent of the population.
Ms Bagdonvicius said it was an over-representation. She agreed that her staff had no training in Indigenous culture or trauma and had no First Nations staff members.
The WA Public Advocate office was the subject of a critical report last year when the West Australian Ombudsman found that relatives were left uninformed when loved ones under state care died.
The office responded by saying it “does not believe it has a statutory function” to do so. The Public Advocate apologised and said it would change practices.
In other evidence, Queensland’s Public Guardian, Shayna Smith, said only 43 per cent of people under the care of the office had been visited face to face in the past 12 months.
The Queensland Public Trustee, Samay Zhouand, came under heavy questioning about perceived conflicts of interest and high fees for people on the disability support pension, with some paying 37 per cent of their income in fees.
“If they have high levels of assets it does have a factor on their disability support pension,” Mr Zhouand said.
It is a criminal offence in virtually every state in Australia for the media to identify anyone under the public guardian and trustee punishable by jail and fines.
The disability royal commission will spend the rest of the week hearing evidence from other states in virtually every state and territory.
The increasing complexities of duty to defend issues in Illinois have led us to take a careful look and provide our clients with what we hope is a useful overview on Illinois law.
A. GENERAL NATURE OF THE DUTY TO DEFEND
The insuring agreement of most standard form liability policies grants the insurer the right and duty to defend its insured in any suit seeking damages allegedly within the scope of coverage. Despite this relatively simple directive, there are many conditions and obligations inherent in the duty to defend that are important to understand, particularly if the insurance contract will be governed by Illinois law. Under Illinois law, the scope of the duty to defend is broad and the consequences for improperly ignoring it are dire. We discuss below some of the considerations for an insurer in determining the scope of its potential duty under Illinois law.
1. The duty to defend is a distinct obligation from the duty to indemnify
It is important to understand that the duty to defend is not simply a part or subset of the promise to indemnify; it is an independent obligation to the insured. In an insurance policy, the duty to defend and the duty to indemnify are separate and distinct obligations covered by different policy language. Conway v. Country Cas. Ins. Co., 442 N.E.2d 245 (Ill. 1982). The duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify. Outboard Marine Corp. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 607 N.E.2d 1204 (Ill. 1992). It is the potential liability that gives rise to the insurer’s duty to defend, even though there may not be a high probability of recovery under the terms of the contract. Hertz Corp. v. Garrott, 566 N.E.2d 337 (Ill. App. 1990).
Unlike the duty to defend, the duty to indemnify is determined based on whether the claim actually came within the policy and arises only when the insured becomes legally obligated to pay damages. La Grange Memorial Hosp. v. St. Paul Ins. Co., 740 N.E.2d 21 (Ill. App. 2000). In fact, an insurer may have a duty to defend its insured even when it ultimately has no duty to indemnify the insured for the damages which are the subject of the lawsuit. Zurich Ins. Co. v. Raymark Indus. Inc., 514 N.E.2d 150 (Ill. 1987).
The breadth of the duty to defend is notable upon the conclusion of a lawsuit, where, if there is a determination that there is no coverage for the claim under the policy, the insurer will not be obligated to indemnify its insured. However, in contrast with many other states, under Illinois law, the insurer is not entitled to recover its defense costs. The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that insurers have no right to recoup defense costs after the fact, notwithstanding any rights the insurer asserts to do so in its reservation of rights letter. General Agents Ins. Co. of America v. Midwest Sporting Goods, Inc., 828 N.E.2d 1092 (Ill. 2005). In General Agents, the court stated that “as a matter of public policy, we cannot condone an arrangement where an insurer can unilaterally modify its contract, through a reservation of rights, to allow for reimbursement of defense costs” in the event of a later finding. Id. at 1102. Moreover, the court reasoned that in undertaking the defense of its insured, an insurer is protecting itself as least as much as it is protecting its insured and, thus, the insured is not unjustly enriched when it receives a defense, even if some or all of those claims are later revealed to be outside of coverage. Id.
2. The duty to defend is based on the allegations of the complaint
Whether an insurer has a duty to defend its insured in a lawsuit depends on the allegations of the complaint and the scope of the insurance policy. Cincinnati Cos. v. West American Ins. Co., 701 N.E.2d 499 (Ill. 1998). It is well established in Illinois that the allegations of the complaint determine the duty to defend. When faced with a complaint against its insured, the insurer must determine whether it has a duty by comparing the allegations of the complaint with the terms of the policy. Adman Products Co. v. Federal Ins. Co., 543 N.E.2d 219 (Ill. App. 1989). If the complaint alleges facts within the coverage of the policy or potentially within the coverage of the policy, the duty to defend is established. Crum and Forster Managers Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 620 N.E.2d 1073 (Ill. 1993); Outboard Marine Corp., 607 N.E.2d at 699; Maryland Cas. Co. v. Peppers, 335 N.E.2d 24 (Ill. 1976). In fact, an insurer must defend its insured if the complaint alleges facts within the policy coverage even if the allegations are groundless, false or fraudulent. Dixon Distributing Co. v. Hanover Ins. Co., 641 N.E.2d 395 (Ill. 1994).
3. An insurer must defend if it knows of facts that bring a claim within coverage
When evaluating potential coverage for purposes of the duty to defend, the insurer cannot read the allegations of the complaint too strictly. For example, the legal labels used by a plaintiff in a complaint to define its causes of action are not dispositive as to whether a duty to defend exists.
U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Co. v. Wilkin Insulation Co., 578 N.E.2d 926 (Ill. 1991). Moreover, if the insurer has knowledge of facts not alleged in the complaint that bring the cause of action potentially within coverage, that knowledge can create a duty to defend even if the bald allegations of the complaint do not. Associated Indem. Co. v. Insurance Co. of North America, 386 N.E.2d 529 (Ill. App. 1979). In Associated, the court reasoned that “if the insurer has knowledge of true but unpleaded facts, which, when taken together with the complaint’s allegations, indicate that the claim is within or potentially within the policy’s coverage,” the insurer must defend. Id. at 536. The Associated court reasoned that it could not allow an insurer to “construct a formal fortress of the party’s pleadings and to retreat behind its walls.” Id. However, the court in Associated did not affirmatively impose an obligation on the insurer to investigate facts, but merely required that the insurer rely on facts it knows to be correct, even if they are not properly alleged in the complaint. Id. at 537.
Conversely, when an insurer has independent knowledge that the allegations of a complaint against its insured are untrue, it must still defend if the allegations on their face fall within coverage. Sims v. Illinois National Cas. Co., 193 N.E.2d 123 (Ill. App. 1963). Sims involved a policy which excluded coverage for employees injured while engaged in their employment. The personal injury lawsuit filed against the insured by a former employee did not allege that the plaintiff was an employee of the insured at the time of his injury. Although the insurer knew the plaintiff was an employee, it was still obligated to defend based on the allegations of the complaint. Id. at 125. Similarly, in Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Coronet Ins. Co., 358 N.E.2d 914 (Ill. App. 1976), the insurance company improperly refused to defend the driver of a vehicle based on the fact that the driver did not have the owner’s permission and, therefore, was not an “insured” under the terms of the policy. However, because the complaint against the driver did not raise that issue, the court found the claim potentially within coverage and the insurer obligated to defend. Id. at 917.
B. DETERMINING THE APPLICATION AND SCOPE OF THE DUTY TO DEFEND
1.The threshold for determining whether a duty to defend exists is low
The standard to determine whether a claim falls potentially within coverage is extremely low. West Bend. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sundance Homes, Inc., 606 N.E.2d 326 (Ill. App. 1992).
An example of how the duty to defend is established when the complaint falls “potentially” within coverage is seen in Clemmons v. Travelers Ins. Co., 430 N.E.2d 1104 (Ill. 1981). In Clemmons, the underlying complaint alleged that the driver of a car owned by the Red Cross caused an accident. The insurer refused to defend the driver because the driver did not have permission from the Red Cross to drive the car. However, the court found that the complaint did not need to allege permission in order to trigger the duty to defend, noting that the possibility the driver had permission was enough to bring the complaint potentially within coverage. Id. at 1108.
In making the determination whether the claims fall within coverage, the allegations of the lawsuit must be read liberally in favor of coverage. United States Fidelity & Guar. Co. v. Wilkin Insulation Co., 578 N.E.2d 926 (Ill. 1991). The insurer can only refuse to defend when the allegations of the lawsuit “cannot possibly cover the liability arising from the facts alleged.” Illinois Emasco Ins. Co. v. Northwestern Nat’l Co., 785 N.E.2d 905 (Ill. App. 2003). In considering the duty to defend, “any ambiguous or equivocal expressions in the policy will be strictly construed against the insurer.” Solo Cup Co. v. Federal Ins. Co., 619 F.2d 1178 (7th Cir. 1980). For example, the Illinois Appellate Court reviewed a complaint based on fumes emitted from a refuse dump owned by the insured. LaRotunda v. Royal Globe Ins. Co., 408 N.E.2d 928 (Ill. App. 1980). The complaint did not assert that the dump was operated as a business, a fact which would exclude it from coverage. The court declared the insurer had a duty to defend because the complaint “left open the possibilities that the refuse dump was not a business or that the smoke came from a fire on part of the vacant premises that was not devoted to a business use” and it was therefore not clear from the allegations of the complaint that there was no coverage. Id. at 934.
2. When provisions of the policy are relied on to refuse a defense, their application must be clear
In order for an insurer to refuse to defend a complaint filed against its insured, it must show that there is no possibility of coverage for any claim alleged. An insurer may not refuse to defend unless it is clear from the face of the underlying complaint that the allegations fail to state facts which bring the case potentially within the policy’s coverage. Maryland Casualty Co. v. Peppers, 355 N.E.2d 24 (Ill. 1976).
Illinois court decisions which have allowed insurers to refuse to defend have done so by ruling that the complaint contained allegations which excluded coverage under the policy. Sheppard, Morgan & Schwabb, Inc. v. U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Co., 358 N.E.2d 305 (Ill. App. 1976). In Sheppard, the liability insurance policy of the insured engineering firm clearly excluded liability arising out of professional services. Id. at 308. Since the complaint alleged only damages due to the negligent performance of professional services, the insurer had no duty to defend. Id. The decision rendered by an Illinois appellate court in Dorre v. Country Mut. Ins. Co., 363 N.E.2d 464 (Ill. App. 1977), also illustrates the rule. The Dorre complaint alleged that the insured “owned, operated, maintained, controlled and was possessed of premises” where the plaintiff was injured. Id. at 465. The policy excluded coverage for premises owned, rented, or controlled by the insured unless they were listed in the policy. Id. at 467. The premises where the injury occurred were not listed, and thus the court found no duty to defend. Id.
Despite the two cases cited above, we caution that if the insurer intends to rely on an exclusion in the policy’s coverage, that exclusion must be “clear and free from doubt” that it excludes coverage for the facts alleged. Bituminous Cas. Corp. v. Fulkerson, 571 N.E.2d 256 (Ill. App. 1991).
3. Only one cause of action or theory for recovery need fall within coverage to trigger the duty to defend
If the underlying complaint alleges several theories of recovery against an insured, the duty to defend arises even if only one theory is within the potential coverage of the policy. Wilkin, 578 N.E.2d at 930. In this matter, the plaintiffs pled several alternate causes of action and legal theories, and the court found that the insurer “has a duty to defend its insured if any theory of recovery alleges potential coverage” (emphasis in original). Id.
In Management Support Assoc. v. Union Indem. Ins. Co., 473 N.E.2d 405 (Ill. App. 1984), an architectural and engineering partnership was sued by the owner of a hotel, who alleged that the partnership failed to properly maintain and repair the hotel property. The partnership’s insurer refused to defend on the grounds that the policy contained an exclusion for certain types of conduct. However, the court ruled that the allegations did not indicate whether the alleged failure was a result of negligent conduct or an intentional disregard of its duties and, if one was covered, the insurer was obligated to defend the insured in the litigation. Id. at 412.
4. If there is a duty to defend, the insurer must defend the entire action
Once the duty to defend arises and the insurer agrees to assume the defense of the lawsuit, that defense includes all of the claims within the complaint. Maryland v. Peppers, 355 N.E.2d at 28. As described above, if the underlying complaint alleges several theories of recovery, only one need fall within coverage to impose a duty to defend. Wilkin, 578 N.E.2d at 930. In Wilkin, the plaintiffs pled several alternate causes of action and legal theories, some of which were clearly outside of coverage, yet the court required the insured to defend the entire action. Id.
This somewhat strict rule means that the insurer cannot selectively defend only the counts of the complaint that fall within its coverage. Bedoya v. Illinois Founders Ins. Co., 688 N.E.2d 757 (Ill. App. 1997). In Bedoya, a bar owner tendered its defense under a dram shop policy for a shooting which occurred in the bar. The insurer refused to defend claims alleged in the complaint for negligence and punitive damages, which fell outside of the dram shop policy. Although it acknowledged that several other states divide the duty to defend between the insurer and the insured, the Bedoya court followed Maryland v. Peppers in ruling that the insurer was obligated to defend all counts in the complaint regardless of the relevance to its policy coverage. Id. at 763.
In certain situations, insurers also argue that they should be entitled to allocate the costs of a defense to the insured during periods of self-insurance or among multiple insurers involved in a program of coverage. This question of allocation of defense expenses generally arises in progressive or “long tail” claims, frequently seen in the asbestos or environmental context. When the alleged injury occurs over a period of many years, triggering numerous insurance policies, some Illinois courts have permitted the pro-ration of indemnity costs between the policies under various allocation scenarios. However, no reported decisions have permitted the pro-rating of defense costs between multiple insurance policies.
In fact, a recent Illinois appellate court ruled that this type of pro-rata allocation is inappropriate for defense costs based on the “joint and several” liability imposed by commercial general liability policy language. Caterpillar, Inc. v. Century Indemnity Co., No. 04-L-119 (Ill. App. 2007). In Caterpillar, the insurer challenged the allocation of the insured’s asbestos defense costs, arguing that it was unclear whether some of the costs appropriately fell within the insurer’s policy and that the defense costs should be apportioned between various insurers and the insured. The court denied the insurer’s request, reasoning that the insurer had a duty to defend all lawsuits in which the allegations potentially result in recovery from the insured, including those that did not allege dates of injury to demonstrate the losses were within the policy coverage. The Caterpillar court further reasoned that the policy language dictates an “all sums” allocation of defense costs.
5. When defending litigation, an insurer must protect the interests of its insured
An insurer which assumes the defense of litigation has an obligation to the insured to properly defend and properly settle claims. Generally, providing a vigorous defense of the insured presents little problem, as it is in the interest of the insurer to minimize any liability to its insured. With the exception of specific conflicts which arise between the interests of the insurer and its insured based on the pursuit of claims which impact the insured’s coverage, as described in a separate section of this paper, the interests of the insurer and the insured are generally aligned in the goal of obtaining a verdict in favor of the insured. However, potential problems between the insurer and the insured frequently arise during the course of settlement negotiations with the plaintiff.
The insurer who controls the defense of its insured also controls the settlement negotiations. Of course, the insurer’s obligation to protect the interests of its insured applies to any negotiations. Krutsinger v. Illinois Cas. Co., 141 N.E.2d 16 (Ill. 1957). However, conflicts between the insurer and its insured can often arise in the handling of settlement negotiations. For example, when a plaintiff issues a settlement demand approaching the policy limits, an insurer may decide to try the case with the hope of a lower verdict. However, if the potential exposure in the case exceeds the policy limits, the insurer is making a decision which impacts the insured’s finances. To protect the insured from the risk that its insurer will irresponsibly gamble with the insured’s money, courts imply a duty on the insurer to act on the insured’s behalf and enter into reasonable settlements. As a result, when a claim against the insured presents a reasonable probability of a finding in excess of policy limits, an insurer that fails to settle within the policy limits may be liable for any verdict in excess of the policy limits. Haddick v. Valor Ins., 763 N.E.2d 299 (Ill. 2001).
C. THE INSURER MAY DEFEND THE LAWSUIT UNDER A RESERVATION OF RIGHTS
1. An insurer must reserve its rights to disclaim coverage
When an insurer assumes the defense of an action, it must advise its insured of the potential defenses it maintains with respect to its obligation to indemnify the insured. This advice to the insured commonly takes the form of a “reservation of rights” letter.
If the insurer fails to advise the insured of the potential defenses, the insurer will reasonably expect coverage for any liability. As a result of the expectation it created, the insurer will often be estopped from raising defenses to coverage at the conclusion of the lawsuit. Doe v. Illinois State Medical Inter-Insurance Exchange, 599 N.E.2d 983 (Ill. App. 1992). Courts reason that an insurer who elects to assume the defense of an insured notwithstanding its doubts as to the duty to defend or indemnify the insured may be estopped from denying liability because it has prejudiced the insured’s right to control his own defense by inducing the insured to rely on the insurer. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s v. Professional Underwriters Agency, Inc., 848 N.E.2d 597 (Ill. App. 2006) (citing Apex Mut. Ins. Co. v. Chistner, 240 N.E.2d 742 (Ill. App. 1968)). Thus, Illinois courts require the insurer to notify its insured of potential policy defenses in a timely manner, through a reservation of rights or the filing of a declaratory judgment action to determine coverage. If the insurer fails to take one of those steps, the insurer risks waiving its policy defenses to coverage. Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Ehlco Liquidating Trust, 708 N.E.2d 1122 (Ill. 1999).
There have been cases in which Illinois courts have refused to impose the harsh penalty of estoppel on an insurer that did not reserve its rights. In Crum and Forster Managers Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 620 N.E.2d 1073 (Ill. 1993), the court found that the allegations of unfair business practices and intentional business torts did not fall even potentially within the error-and-omissions policies and, thus, did not trigger a duty to defend. However, the insured claimed that the insurer waived its right to deny coverage under the policy because the insurer raised noncoverage in a related action and then failed to pursue it in that action. Id. at 1080. The court found that argument meritless, stating that the insurer had not intentionally relinquished a known right, and therefore could still deny coverage under the policy. Id. Similarly, in West Bend Mutual Ins. Co. v. Sundance Homes, Inc., 606 N.E.2d 326 (Ill. App. 1992), the insurer was not estopped from asserting coverage defenses because of its initial agreement to handle the claim without a reservation of its rights. In West Bend, the insurer’s initial response to the insured’s tender was made without the benefit of the complaint and therefore cannot be considered an intentional relinquishment of known rights. Id. at 337. Moreover, the court concluded that the insured did not prejudicially rely on the insurer’s agreement to defend and, thus, estoppel was inappropriate. Id.
2. Conflicts may arise between the interests of the insurer and the insured
During the defense of litigation, conflicts of interest often arise between the insurer and its insured. For example, if the question of whether damages will ultimately be covered under the policies turns on factual issues to be decided in the litigation, the insurer has an interest adverse to its insured. The test for whether a conflict exists is if, in comparing the allegations of the complaint to the terms of the policy, the insurer’s interests would be furthered by providing a less than vigorous defense to the allegations. Williams v. American Country Ins. Co., 833 N.E.2d 971 (Ill. App. 2005). An insurer’s general interest in negating policy coverage does not, alone, create a sufficient conflict to preclude the insurer from assuming the defense of the insured. Nandorf, Inc. v. CNA Ins. Co., 479 N.E.2d 988 (Ill. App. 1985). Rather, a conflict exists when the underlying action asserts claims that are covered by the insurance policy along with other causes which the insurer is required to defend, but asserts are not covered by the policy. Id. at 992.
A review of the case law in Illinois illustrates the types of situations courts believe raise conflicts between an insurer and its insured:
Complaint alleged negligent acts occurring both during and after policy period. Illinois Masonic Med. Ctr. v. Turegum Ins. Co., 522 N.E.2d 611 (Ill. App. 1988).
Complaint alleged battery and negligence, but insurer would not indemnify insured if found guilty of battery. Thornton v. Paul, 384 N.E.2d 335 (Ill. 1978).
Complaint alleged negligence and intentional acts, but intentional acts were excluded from coverage. Maryland Cas. Co. v. Peppers, 335 N.E.2d 24 (Ill. 1976).
Conflicts may also arise when an insurer is obligated to provide defenses for two or more insureds with adverse interests, either to each other or to the insurer:
Insured’s employee entitled to independent counsel to defend claims of negligence. Willams v. American Country Ins., 833 N.E.2d 971 (Ill. App. 2005).
Additional insured entitled to own defense counsel because its interests conflicted with that of named insured. Murphy v. Urso, 430 N.E.2d 1079 (Ill. 1981).
In each of the above-cited cases, the insurer was obligated to cede control of the defense to the insured and to reimburse the insured for its defense expenses.
Unlike some other jurisdictions, Illinois courts also view cases involving allegations of punitive damages to be the subject of potential conflict. In Nandorf, the complaint sought punitive damages, which were not covered under the policy, based on a claim that the insured’s employees acted in bad faith. Nandorf, 479 N.E.2d at 992. The Nandorf court found that the insurer would have little interest in seeking a finding of good faith on the insured’s behalf, as that finding would only impact the claim for punitive damages and not the claim for liability. Id. The court ruled that this divergence of interests created an actual conflict which rendered it improper for the insurer to retain control of the litigation. Id. Similarly, in Illinois Municipal League Risk Mgmt. Ass’n v. Seibert, 585 N.E.2d 1130 (Ill. App. 1992), the court found a conflict existed when the plaintiff sought both compensatory and punitive damages, which were excluded from coverage, and again forced the insurer to cede control of the defense. In Illinois Municipal, the court reasoned that although the potential conflict did not involve mutually exclusive claims which would shift liability from the insurer to the insured, there was a conflict between the parties’ interests in the way the punitive damages claim might be defended. Id. at 1139.
3. In the event of a conflict, the insured has the right to control the defense
When an insurer assumes the defense of its insured, the counsel selected owes fiduciary duties to two clients, the insured and the insurer. Illinois courts have recognized that the attorneys hired to defend the matter may have a stronger relationship with the insurer and a “more compelling interest in protecting the insurer’s position, whether or not it coincides with what is best for the insured.” Nandorf, 479 N.E.2d at 991. When there is a conflict of interest between the insurer and the insured, Illinois courts are concerned that the insurer will further its own interests in the development of issues in the case or will provide “less than a vigorous defense” for its insured. Insurance Co. of Illinois v. Markogiannakis, 544 N.E.2d 1082 (Ill. App. 1989).
In some situations, a potential conflict between the insured and the insurer can be resolved by full disclosure of the conflict and consent from the insured to the defense. Nandorf, 479 N.E.2d at 991 (citing Maryland Casualty, 335 N.E.2d at 198). However, if the insured chooses not to accept the defense in the face of a potential conflict, the insured is entitled to control its own defense and retain counsel of its choosing, to be paid by the insurer. If that occurs, the insurer will satisfy its duty to defend by reimbursing the insured for the costs of defense counsel the insured has retained. Thornton, 384 N.E.2d at 343.
When the insured declines representation by the insurer and demands control of its own defense, the insurer is no longer permitted to participate in the defense. Once the insurer cedes control of the defense of the litigation, the insurer is said to have “renounced control of the litigation and thereby thrust the responsibility for the litigation wholly upon the insured and its counsel.” Markogiannakis, 544 N.E.2d. at 567. Similarly, if the insured controls the defense, it will also have the right to control its own settlement negotiations. In those negotiations, the insurer will not participate, nor will it have a right to prevent a settlement. Commonwealth Edison Co. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 752 N.E.2d 555 (Ill. App. 2001).
D. REFUSAL TO DEFEND
Despite the strict eye with which Illinois courts view the duty to defend, complaints are filed that simply do not fall within the scope of coverage, or contain allegations triggering valid coverage defenses. An insurer has no duty to defend where it is clear from the face of the underlying complaint that the allegations fail to state facts that bring the case within, or potentially within, coverage. Connecticut Indem. Co. v. DER Travel Service, Inc., 328 F.3d 347 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing Lapham-Hickey Steel Corp. v. Protection Mut. Ins. Co., 655 N.E.2d 842 (Ill. 1995)).
When the insurer believes it has no obligation under the policy, it has three options: (1) defend under a reservation of rights; (2) file a declaratory judgment action seeking a ruling from the court as to the issues of coverage; or (3) deny coverage. Courts have stated that an insurer which chooses to deny coverage without other action does so at its peril, because if it is later found to have wrongfully refused to provide a defense, it will have breached the insurance contract. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s v. Professional Underwriters Agency, Inc., 848 N.E.2d 597 (Ill. App. 2006).
An insurer that seeks a declaration of its coverage protects itself from certain penalties associated with a blanket refusal to defend, including waiver of its coverage defenses. However, filing a declaratory judgment action against the insured, of course, forces the insurer to incur the costs of an additional litigation. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, 848 N.E.2d at 605. When denying coverage, Illinois courts do not require that the insurer first receive a declaration that the lawsuit is not covered, but they do require that the insurer immediately file its lawsuit to determine the question of coverage. See State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Martin, 710 N.E.2d 1228 (Ill. 1999).
1. Consequences for refusing to defend
Insurers evaluating whether to defend an insured that has been sued in Illinois must consider the consequences carefully before refusing to defend. The sanctions for wrongfully refusing to defend can be quite severe, making the duty to defend extremely difficult to avoid. If a court later determines that the insurer should have defended its insured, the insurer can be liable for: (1) the amount of a judgment against the insured or a settlement made by the insured; (2) expenses and fees incurred by the insured in defending the lawsuit; and (3) any additional damages attributable to the refusal to defend. Sims v. Illinois Nat’l Cas. Co., 193 N.E.2d 123 (Ill. App. 1963). The additional damages could include interest and fees payable on the defense costs and possibly the costs associated with recovery from the insurer. Conway v. Country Cas. Ins. Co., 442 N.E.2d 245 (Ill. 1982). In more severe cases, insurers could be liable for the full amount of the judgment or settlement, even if it exceeds the policy limits. Reis v. Aetna Cas. & Surety Co. of Illinois, 387 N.E.2d 700 (Ill. App. 1978). A remedy in excess of policy limits generally limited to situations in which the insurer’s refusal to defend was made in bad faith. See Conway, 442 N.E.2d 245.
Perhaps most important, if an insurer fails to defend the insured without justification, the insurer will be estopped from raising policy defenses to coverage and in extreme situations may be exposed to claims of bad faith. Courts impose the penalty of estoppel under the rationale that, by wrongfully refusing to defend its insured, the insurer has breached its contract. This breach estops the insurer from asserting any defense based on non coverage, because “the insurer has no right to insist that the insured be bound by the provisions of the insurance contract inuring to its benefit when it has already breached the contract by violating the provisions inuring to the benefit of the insured.” Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, 848 N.E.2d at 604 (citing Sims, 193 N.E.2d at 134.)
2. An insurer cannot discharge its duty to defend by tendering the policy limits
It is not uncommon for the litigation expenses associated with defending an insured in protracted litigation to exceed the indemnity limits of the insured’s policy. Yet, under many insurance policies, the defense costs are “in addition to” the policy limits. In these situations, the insurer must pay for the defense costs in addition to any indemnity obligation it will incur through settlement or judgment. As a result, some insurers have attempted to discharge their more costly defense obligations by simply tendering the policy limits. Illinois courts do not allow this without the insured’s consent. Douglas v. Allied American Ins., 727 N.E.2d 376 (2000). Despite the sometimes disproportionate costs of litigation, the insurer must continue to defend until it has exhausted the indemnity limits of its policy. Conway, 442 N.E.2d at 249.
E. RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE INSURED
Generally, once an insured is sued, it provides notice to its liability insurer and requests that the insurer provide a defense in the lawsuit. We discuss below some issues raised by situations in which the insured does not provide notice of a lawsuit to its insurer.
1. An insured’s failure to give notice may waive its right to a defense
Contracts for insurance generally impose an obligation on the insured to notify the insurer in the event of both an “occurrence,” as defined by the policy, and a claim against the insured. Generally, notice is required “as soon as practicable,” which Illinois courts have interpreted to mean within a “reasonable” period of time. Barrington Consol. High School v. American Ins. Co., 319 N.E.2d 25 (Ill. 1974).
There is a line of cases in Illinois holding that breaching a policy’s notice provisions by failing to give reasonable notice will defeat the right of the insured party to recover under the policy. See e.g., Simmon v. Iowa Mut. Cas. Co., 121 N.E.2d 509 (Ill. 1954). Many of the cases that have followed Simmon have denied coverage for an insured who fails to provide notice to its insurer of an “occurrence” under the policy, rather than a lawsuit potentially covered by the policy. Other cases have required that the insurer demonstrate prejudice in order to deny coverage based on a failure of the insured to notify its insurer of a lawsuit. Rice v. AAA Aerostar, Inc., 690 N.E.2d 1067 (Ill. App. 1998). However, the Illinois Supreme Court recently applied the Simmon line of case law to an insured who failed to provide timely notice of the lawsuit filed against it. Country Mutual Ins. Co. v. Livorsi Marine, Inc., 856 N.E.2d 338 (Ill. 2006). In Country Mutual, the court ruled that because the insurer did not receive reasonable notice of the lawsuit, the insured could not recover under the policy, regardless of whether the lack of notice prejudiced the insurer. Id. at 346. The court reasoned that in determining whether an insured unreasonably failed to provide notice of a lawsuit, sufficient to forego its rights to policy coverage, courts should consider the specific language of the policy’s notice provision, the insured’s sophistication in insurance matters, the insured’s awareness of an event which could trigger insurance coverage, the insured’s diligence in ascertaining whether policy coverage was available, and any prejudice to the insurer. Id. at 344.
2. An insurer’s independent knowledge of a lawsuit can trigger a duty to defend
Occasionally, an insured fails to give notice to an insurer of a lawsuit potentially falling within coverage, but the insurer becomes aware of the lawsuit through some other source. Illinois courts have held that an insurer has “actual notice” of a lawsuit against its insured when it is has “notice sufficient to permit the insurer to locate and defend the lawsuit.” Cincinnati Cos. v. West American Ins. Co., 701 N.E.2d 499 (Ill. 1998). Actual notice therefore requires that the insurer know that a cause of action has been filed and that the complaint falls within or potentially within the scope of its coverage. Id. at 505.
Once the insurer has actual notice of the lawsuit against its insured, its duty to defend is potentially triggered. At this point, the obligation falls on the insurer to inquire as to whether the insured desires a defense in the litigation. Cincinnati, 701 N.E.2d at 504. Interestingly, the level of sophistication of the insured is not a factor in determining whether actual notice will trigger the duty to defend. Despite arguments that a sophisticated insured should be held to a higher standard in advising its insurer of lawsuits filed against it, in Illinois, even an insured who is well-versed in business and insurance matters will be excused from tendering the defense to its insurer if the insurer has actual notice of the suit. Id.
3. The insured has the right to elect whether it seeks a defense
Despite an insurer’s actual notice of a lawsuit, the duty to defend is still not triggered until the defense is accepted by the insured. Once the insurer discovers the lawsuit, it can discharge its duty to defend by inquiring whether the insured does, in fact, seek a defense to the lawsuit. In Cincinnati, the court reasoned that the “insurer is not required to actually defend every claim against its insured of which it has actual notice.” Cincinnati, 701 N.E.2d at 504. More importantly, an insurer is not required to interpret its insured’s silence as desire for a defense. Id. Therefore, if an insured does not respond to an insurer’s offer of defense or refuses to cooperate with the insurer, the insurer’s duty to defend will be discharged. Id.
It is important to remember that an insured is not required to accept a defense from its insurer. In fact, there may be legitimate commercial reasons for an insured to decline the insurer’s offer to defend the action or to pay for the defense. Similarly, if more than one insurer is potentially obligated to defend a lawsuit, an insured has the right to select exclusive coverage and defense from one of its insurers. See, e.g., John Burns Const. Co. v. Indiana Ins. Co., 727 N.E.2d 211 (Ill. 2000); Cincinnati, 701 N.E.2d at 503; Institute of London Underwriters v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 599 N.E.2d 1311 (Ill. App. 1992). Under this line of cases, an insured may knowingly forgo an insurer’s assistance by instructing the insurer not to involve itself in the defense in favor of a defense from another insurer. Cincinnati, 701 N.E.2d at 503. This instruction is commonly referred to as a targeted tender or selective tender. In Cincinnati, the court reasoned that the selective tender rule is intended to protect the rights of the insured to forgo coverage. Id. at 503.
Courts also allow an insured who has tendered the defense to one insurer to withdraw the tender or deactivate coverage with that insurer, even mid-way through litigation, in favor of assistance from another insurer. Alcan United, Inc. v. West Bend Mut. Ins. Co., 707 N.E.2d 687 (Ill. App. 1999). The extent of this principle has not yet been tested by Illinois courts, as the Alcan case involved a situation where the insured selected the new insurer once it became aware of the coverage afforded under that policy. We note that if the Illinois courts continue down this path of allowing insureds to deactivate coverage, it could open the door to permit insureds to manipulate coverage in potentially harmful ways during the course of litigation in order to maximize coverage or to minimize the impact of potential policy exclusions in certain policies.
4. An insurer is not liable for claims of contribution where the insured has knowingly foregone coverage
Targeted or selective tender arises most frequently in lawsuits involving multiple policy periods or when the insured has its own general liability policy and is named as an additional insured on another policy. The reasons an insured may wish to elect a defense from the insurer of another party, rather than its own insurer, seem obvious and courts appear to endorse that right. In these circumstances, Illinois courts have reasoned that the insured has the right to choose or knowingly forgo an insurer’s assistance in the defense. John Burns, 727 N.E.2d at 211.
Moreover, when the insured makes a targeted or selective tender, the duty to defend falls solely on the selected insurer and that insurer may not seek equitable contribution from the non-designated insurers. See, Legion Ins. v. Empire Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 822 N.E.2d 1 (Ill. App. 2004); John Burns, 727 N.E.2d 211, Institute of London, 599 N.E.2d at 1311. In each of these cases, the insured deliberately chose to tender its defense to an insurer who provided it coverage under a policy issued to another party (an employer or a subcontractor), rather than seeking a defense from its own commercial general liability insurer. At the conclusion of the lawsuits, each of these courts found that the insured had the right to select which insurer would defend the lawsuit and refused to allow the defending insurer to recover costs associated with the defense from the insured’s own liability insurer. The Legion court reasoned that when an insured has knowingly chosen to forego an insurer’s assistance by instructing an insurer not to involve itself in the litigation, that insurer is relieved of all obligations to defend. In that situation, the targeted insurer has sole responsibility to defend the lawsuit and it may not seek equitable contribution from other insurers. Legion, 882 N.E.2d at 6.
In reaching its decision on the question of contribution between insurers, the John Burns court directly addressed the “other insurance” clause, contained in many insurance policies, which would appear to be an insurer’s strongest basis for a claim of contribution. The “other insurance” clause generally prioritizes coverage among “other valid and collectible insurance” available to the insured for the same loss. Although the argument for contribution between multiple insurers seems compelling when faced with an “other insurance” clause, the John Burns court ruled that the non-tendered policy was simply not “available” insurance under the terms of the clause and found the clause inapplicable when an insurer who is covered by multiple policies makes a knowing designation. John Burns, 727 N.E.2d at 217. The court reasoned that an “other insurance” clause in a policy will not reach into coverages provided under other policies merely because such policies are in existence. Id.
Insurers should be aware of the stern approach Illinois courts take in considering the obligations imposed by the duty to defend. Specifically, a few points distinguish Illinois from many states in its pro-insured approach to the defense of potentially covered claims. First, under Illinois law, it is extremely difficult to deny coverage without undertaking the costs associated with filing a declaratory judgment action. Second, and perhaps even more unusual, Illinois law permits an insured to select whether and which of its insurers will provide a defense. With relatively free reign, an insured can, for reasons of strategy or cost, selectively tender its defense to one insurer to the exclusion of another. In this situation, the selected insurer may not seek equitable contribution from other insurers. Finally, although several other states grant an insurer the right to reimbursement of non-covered defense costs, Illinois does not. Under a recent decision from the Illinois Supreme Court, underscoring the distinct nature of the duty to defend from the duty to indemnify, insurers will not be able to recover defense costs, even if they have expressly asserted that option in a reservation of rights letter.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday kicked longtime Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr off the bench and temporarily stripped her of her law license for committing a level of misconductthe majority of justices called “unprecedented.”
The justices voted 5-2 to indefinitely suspend the law license of Carr, the vivacious former assistant county prosecutor who ascended to judgeship in 2012 after helping send serial killer Anthony Sowell to death row.
Carr will be suspended from judicial office without pay. The state’s high court also on Tuesday ordered Carr to immediately “cease and desist” practicing law.
“Carr’s unprecedented misconduct involved more than 100 stipulated incidents that occurred over a period of approximately two years and encompassed repeated acts of dishonesty; the blatant and systematic disregard of due process, the law, court orders, and local rules; the disrespectful treatment of court staff and litigants; and the abuse of capias warrants and the court’s contempt power,” the Supreme Court opinion said. “That misconduct warrants an indefinite suspension from the practice of law.”
The sanction is the most severe punishment the court can hand down short of disbarment.
Carr can apply to have the court reinstate her law license after two years, but she must first convince the justices that she has sufficiently addressed the issues that led the court to take her license.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and justices Patrick Fischer and Jennifer Brunner joined the court’s per curium opinion. First Ohio District Court of Appeals Judge Beth Myers and 10th Ohio District Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Sadler, who sat in place of justices Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart, also joined the majority. Donnelly and Stewart, who are both from Cuyahoga County, recused themselves from hearing the case.
Justice Sharon Kennedy agreed with the findings of misconduct, but she wrote in a dissenting opinion that she would not have exceeded the conduct board’s recommendation of a two-year suspension. Justice Patrick DeWine joined Kennedy’s dissent.
The majority wrote in Tuesday’s opinion that the court has previously suspended sitting judges who committed a single act of misconduct. Carr’s misdeeds spanned two years and led to multiple people being wrongly arrested and deprived of their liberty, the majority of the justices wrote.
Carr, who had previously sought to explain her misconduct as the result of a mood disorder brought on by mistreated sleep apnea and menopause, asked the court to suspend her for two years with 18 months stayed.
Carr could not be reached for comment.
“We’re disappointed with the severity of the sanction,” Richard Koblentz, the attorney who represented her in her disciplinary case, told cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer.
Koblentz said that Carr apologized for her conduct and admitted to all of the misconduct she was accused of committing during the disciplinary process.
He said he did not know what Carr planned to do in the future.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will appoint someone to take Carr’s seat until voters elect her replacement at a future election.
Carr’s legal troubles do not end there. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office confirmed to cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer that it has been appointed as a special prosecutor to review whether enough evidence exists to charge Carr with a crime.
It’s unclear how long that review might take.
Carr becomes the first practicing judge in Cleveland to be removed from her seat since 2014, when the Ohio Supreme Court temporarily suspended Angela Stokes while her disciplinary case was pending. Stokes later resigned and agreed to not run for judge again, and the court reinstated her law license in 2016.
Carr’s courtroom was empty shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. Her name was removed from the bench.
The investigation into Carr began at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, when she held in-person hearings on March 16 and 17, despite an order from the court’s Administrative Judge Michelle Earley declaring that all such hearings would be postponed.
Carr, who mocked an attorney who admitted to being nervous about being in the courtroom, issued arrest warrants for more than a dozen people who didn’t show up.
After cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer reported about the hearings, Carr told Earley that she did not issue the warrants, according to authorities. She repeated that in an interview with WJW Channel 8.
Carr said she held the hearings for those defendants who showed up and were unaware that their hearings had been postponed. For those who didn’t show up, she said, she simply checked a box on court filings that indicated that they did not show up.
“As far as issuing warrants for their arrest? Absolutely untrue,” Carr told the TV station.
The Supreme Court’s office of disciplinary counsel investigates allegations of misconduct against lawyers and judges. It opened an investigation into Carr that later expanded to her conduct over several years.
The examination found that Carr was jailing people in an effort to compel them to pay fines to make more money for the court. It also revealed that Carr once ordered a woman to spend 15 days in jail because the woman rolled her eyes and made disparaging remarks about Carr’s courtroom during a hearing. Carr berated the woman, held a contempt hearing, which she failed to recuse herself from, and mischaracterized her actions as a basis to send her to jail, the court found.
She negotiated plea deals with defendants on behalf of city prosecutors who were not present and then falsified journal entries that said prosecutors were involved — an act that the court’s majority said in its opinion could amount to the crime of falsification.
“The severity and scope of [Carr’s] judicial misconduct are unprecedented in Ohio,” the disciplinary counsel’s filing said.
Carr also initially misled her character witnesses and her psychiatrist by telling them that she was facing discipline because she did not check the correct box on a form that then triggered the warrants to be issued. After the disciplinary counsel filed an amended complaint, Carr acknowledged committing the misconduct.
Carr also entered the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program, a treatment program for attorneys with substance abuse or mental health issues and began a mentorship program with Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Joan Synenberg. Carr sat in Synenberg’s courtroom and watched her demeanor.
Tuesday’s opinion noted that Carr’s attorneys had asked the court to find that negative stories in the press about Carr’s misconduct amounted to a sanction and counted as mitigating evidence.
The majority of the justices wrote that they “decline to find that truthful media reports of Judge Carr’s flagrant disregard of the administrative order suspending most courthouse activity in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic constitute” mitigating evidence.
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The double standard is alive and well in Illinois and in particular in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois cases of 1) In re: Amelia Sallas 07 P 5360, and 2) BYLINE BANK vs. Amelia Sallas 2019 CH 13960.
The Himmel case 125 Ill 2d 531 because it is a Supreme Court of Illinois decision, is the gold standard and pursuant to the 14th Amendment to the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION the actions of all lawyers are subject to its dictates.
Unfortunately, it appears affirmatively that corruption has raised its ugly head and in direct violation of the core values of both Illinois and the United States of America the regulators of the legal profession selectively apply not only the ethical considerations of the legal profession in a discriminatory manner, but also the RULE OF LAW.
Most prevalent in this corruption is the scandal involving FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE and in particular the cases of IN RE: AMELIA SALLAS 07 P 5360, and BYLINE BANK vs. AMELIA SALLAS 2019 CH 13960 pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
As the Supreme Court of Illinois has laid out the RULE OF LAW eloquently and in simple terms, I have copied the decision in full for you all to read. Important parts are given emphasis to wit:
In Re Himmel
125 Ill. 2d 531 (1988)
533 N.E.2d 790
In re JAMES H. HIMMEL, Attorney, Respondent.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Opinion filed September 22, 1988.
Rehearing denied January 30, 1989.
*532 *533 *534 William F. Moran III, of Springfield, for the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
James H. Himmel, of Palos Heights, respondent pro se.
George B. Collins, of Collins & Bargione, of Chicago, for respondent.
JUSTICE STAMOS delivered the opinion of the court:
This is a disciplinary proceeding against respondent, James H. Himmel. On January 22, 1986, the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (the Commission) filed a complaint with the Hearing Board, alleging that respondent violated Rule 1-103(a) of the Code of Professional Responsibility (the Code) (107 Ill.2d R. 1-103(a)) by failing to disclose to the Commission information concerning attorney misconduct. On October 15, 1986, the Hearing Board found that respondent had violated the rule and recommended that respondent be reprimanded. The Administrator filed exceptions with the Review Board. The Review Board issued *535 its report on July 9, 1987, finding that respondent had not violated a disciplinary rule and recommending dismissal of the complaint. We granted the Administrator’s petition for leave to file exceptions to the Review Board’s report and recommendation. 107 Ill.2d R. 753(e)(6).
We will briefly review the facts, which essentially involve three individuals: respondent, James H. Himmel, licensed to practice law in Illinois on November 6, 1975; his client, Tammy Forsberg, formerly known as Tammy McEathron; and her former attorney, John R. Casey.
The complaint alleges that respondent had knowledge of John Casey’s conversion of Forsberg’s funds and respondent failed to inform the Commission of this misconduct. The facts are as follows.
In October 1978, Tammy Forsberg was injured in a motorcycle accident. In June 1980, she retained John R. Casey to represent her in any personal injury or property damage claim resulting from the accident. Sometime in 1981, Casey negotiated a settlement of $35,000 on Forsberg’s behalf. Pursuant to an agreement between Forsberg and Casey, one-third of any monies received would be paid to Casey as his attorney fee.
In March 1981, Casey received the $35,000 settlement check, endorsed it, and deposited the check into his client trust fund account. Subsequently, Casey converted the funds.
Between 1981 and 1983, Forsberg unsuccessfully attempted to collect her $23,233.34 share of the settlement proceeds. In March 1983, Forsberg retained respondent to collect her money and agreed to pay him one-third of any funds recovered above $23,233.34.
Respondent investigated the matter and discovered that Casey had misappropriated the settlement funds. In April 1983, respondent drafted an agreement in which Casey would pay Forsberg $75,000 in settlement of any *536 claim she might have against him for the misappropriated funds. By the terms of the agreement, Forsberg agreed not to initiate any criminal, civil, or attorney disciplinary action against Casey. This agreement was executed on April 11, 1983. Respondent stood to gain $17,000 or more if Casey honored the agreement. In February 1985, respondent filed suit against Casey for breaching the agreement, and a $100,000 judgment was entered against Casey. If Casey had satisfied the judgment, respondent’s share would have been approximately $25,588.
The complaint stated that at no time did respondent inform the Commission of Casey’s misconduct. According to the Administrator, respondent’s first contact with the Commission was in response to the Commission’s inquiry regarding the lawsuit against Casey.
In April 1985, the Administrator filed a petition to have Casey suspended from practicing law because of his conversion of client funds and his conduct involving moral turpitude in matters unrelated to Forsberg’s claim. Casey was subsequently disbarred on consent on November 5, 1985.
A hearing on the complaint against the present respondent was held before the Hearing Board of the Commission on June 3, 1986. In its report, the Hearing Board noted that the evidence was not in dispute. The evidence supported the allegations in the complaint and provided additional facts as follows.
Before retaining respondent, Forsberg collected $5,000 from Casey. After being retained, respondent made inquiries regarding Casey’s conversion, contacting the insurance company that issued the settlement check, its attorney, Forsberg, her mother, her fiancé, and Casey. Forsberg told respondent that she simply wanted her money back and specifically instructed respondent to take no other action. Because of respondent’s efforts, *537 Forsberg collected another $10,400 from Casey. Respondent received no fee in this case.
The Hearing Board found that respondent received unprivileged information that Casey converted Forsberg’s funds, and that respondent failed to relate the information to the Commission in violation of Rule 1-103(a) of the Code. The Hearing Board noted, however, that respondent had been practicing law for 11 years, had no prior record of any complaints, obtained as good a result as could be expected in the case, and requested no fee for recovering the $23,233.34. Accordingly, the Hearing Board recommended a private reprimand.
Upon the Administrator’s exceptions to the Hearing Board’s recommendation, the Review Board reviewed the matter. The Review Board’s report stated that the client had contacted the Commission prior to retaining respondent and, therefore, the Commission did have knowledge of the alleged misconduct. Further, the Review Board noted that respondent respected the client’s wishes regarding not pursuing a claim with the Commission. Accordingly, the Review Board recommended that the complaint be dismissed.
The Administrator now raises three issues for review: (1) whether the Review Board erred in concluding that respondent’s client had informed the Commission of misconduct by her former attorney; (2) whether the Review Board erred in concluding that respondent had not violated Rule 1-103(a); and (3) whether the proven misconduct warrants at least a censure.
As to the first issue, the Administrator contends that the Review Board erred in finding that Forsberg informed the Commission of Casey’s misconduct prior to retaining respondent. In support of this contention, the Administrator cites to testimony in the record showing that while Forsberg contacted the Commission and received a complaint form, she did not fill out the form, return *538 it, advise the Commission of the facts, or name whom she wished to complain about. The Administrator further contends that even if Forsberg had reported Casey’s misconduct to the Commission, such an action would not have relieved respondent of his duty to report under Rule 1-103(a). Additionally, the Administrator argues that no evidence exists to prove that respondent failed to report because he assumed that Forsberg had already reported the matter.
Respondent argues that the record shows that Forsberg did contact the Commission and was forwarded a complaint form, and that the record is not clear that Forsberg failed to disclose Casey’s name to the Commission. Respondent also argues that Forsberg directed respondent not to pursue the claim against Casey, a claim she had already begun to pursue.
We begin our analysis by examining whether a client’s complaint of attorney misconduct to the Commission can be a defense to an attorney’s failure to report the same misconduct. Respondent offers no authority for such a defense and our research has disclosed none. Common sense would dictate that if a lawyer has a duty under the Code, the actions of a client would not relieve the attorney of his own duty. Accordingly, while the parties dispute whether or not respondent’s client informed the Commission, that question is irrelevant to our inquiry in this case. We have held that the canons of ethics in the Code constitute a safe guide for professional conduct, and attorneys may be disciplined for not observing them. (In re Yamaguchi (1987), 118 Ill. 2d 417, 427, citing In re Taylor (1977), 66 Ill. 2d 567.) The question is, then, whether or not respondent violated the Code, not whether Forsberg informed the Commission of Casey’s misconduct.
As to respondent’s argument that he did not report Casey’s misconduct because his client directed him not *539 to do so, we again note respondent’s failure to suggest any legal support for such a defense. A lawyer, as an officer of the court, is duty-bound to uphold the rules in the Code. The title of Canon 1 (107 Ill.2d Canon 1) reflects this obligation: “A lawyer should assist in maintaining the integrity and competence of the legal profession.” A lawyer may not choose to circumvent the rules by simply asserting that his client asked him to do so.
As to the second issue, the Administrator argues that the Review Board erred in concluding that respondent did not violate Rule 1-103(a). The Administrator urges acceptance of the Hearing Board’s finding that respondent had unprivileged knowledge of Casey’s conversion of client funds, and that respondent failed to disclose that information to the Commission. The Administrator states that respondent’s knowledge of Casey’s conversion of client funds was knowledge of illegal conduct involving moral turpitude under In re Stillo (1977), 68 Ill. 2d 49, 54. Further, the Administrator argues that the information respondent received was not privileged under the definition of privileged information articulated by this court in People v. Adam (1972), 51 Ill. 2d 46, 48, cert. denied (1972), 409 U.S. 948, 34 L. Ed. 2d 218, 93 S. Ct. 289. Therefore, the Administrator concludes, respondent violated his ethical duty to report misconduct under Rule 1-103(a). According to the Administrator, failure to disclose the information deprived the Commission of evidence of serious misconduct, evidence that would have assisted in the Commission’s investigation of Casey.
Respondent contends that the information was privileged information received from his client, Forsberg, and therefore he was under no obligation to disclose the matter to the Commission. Respondent argues that his failure to report Casey’s misconduct was motivated by his respect for his client’s wishes, not by his desire for financial *540 gain. To support this assertion, respondent notes that his fee agreement with Forsberg was contingent upon her first receiving all the money Casey originally owed her. Further, respondent states that he has received no fee for his representation of Forsberg.
Our analysis of this issue begins with a reading of the applicable disciplinary rules. Rule 1-103(a) of the Code states:
“(a) A lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge of a violation of Rule 1-102(a)(3) or (4) shall report such knowledge to a tribunal or other authority empowered to investigate or act upon such violation.” 107 Ill.2d R. 1-103(a).
Rule 1-102 of the Code states:
“(a) A lawyer shall not (1) violate a disciplinary rule; (2) circumvent a disciplinary rule through actions of another; (3) engage in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude; (4) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; or (5) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.” 107 Ill.2d R. 1-102.
These rules essentially track the language of the American Bar Association Model Code of Professional Responsibility, upon which the Illinois Code was modeled. (See 107 Ill.2d Rules art. VIII, Committee Commentary, at 604.) Therefore, we find instructive the opinion of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility that discusses the Model Code’s Disciplinary Rule 1-103 (Model Code of Professional Responsibility DR 1-103 (1979)). Informal Opinion 1210 states that under DR 1-103(a) it is the duty of a lawyer to report to the proper tribunal or authority any unprivileged knowledge of a lawyer’s perpetration of any misconduct listed in Disciplinary Rule 1-102. *541 (ABA Committee on Ethics & Professional Responsibility, Informal Op. 1210 (1972) (hereinafter Informal Op. 1210).) The opinion states that “the Code of Professional Responsibility through its Disciplinary Rules necessarily deals directly with reporting of lawyer misconduct or misconduct of others directly observed in the legal practice or the administration of justice.” Informal Op. 1210, at 447.
This court has also emphasized the importance of a lawyer’s duty to report misconduct. In the case In re Anglin (1988), 122 Ill. 2d 531, because of the petitioner’s refusal to answer questions regarding his knowledge of other persons’ misconduct, we denied a petition for reinstatement to the roll of attorneys licensed to practice in Illinois. We stated, “Under Disciplinary Rule 1-103 a lawyer has the duty to report the misconduct of other lawyers. (107 Ill.2d Rules 1-103, 1-102(a)(3), (a)(4).) Petitioner’s belief in a code of silence indicates to us that he is not at present fully rehabilitated or fit to practice law.” (Anglin, 122 Ill. 2d at 539.) Thus, if the present respondent’s conduct did violate the rule on reporting misconduct, imposition of discipline for such a breach of duty is mandated.
The question whether the information that respondent possessed was protected by the attorney-client privilege, and thus exempt from the reporting rule, requires application of this court’s definition of the privilege. We have stated that “`(1) [w]here legal advice of any kind is sought (2) from a professional legal adviser in his capacity as such, (3) the communications relating to that purpose, (4) made in confidence (5) by the client, (6) are at his instance permanently protected (7) from disclosure by himself or by the legal adviser, (8) except the protection be waived.'” (People v. Adam (1972), 51 Ill. 2d 46, 48 (quoting 8 J. Wigmore, Evidence § 2292 (McNaughton rev. ed. 1961)), cert. denied (1972), 409 U.S. 948, 34 L. *542 Ed.2d 218, 93 S. Ct. 289.) We agree with the Administrator’s argument that the communication regarding Casey’s conduct does not meet this definition. The record does not suggest that this information was communicated by Forsberg to the respondent in confidence. We have held that information voluntarily disclosed by a client to an attorney, in the presence of third parties who are not agents of the client or attorney, is not privileged information. (People v. Williams (1983), 97 Ill. 2d 252, 295, cert. denied (1984), 466 U.S. 981, 80 L. Ed. 2d 836, 104 S. Ct. 2364.) In this case, Forsberg discussed the matter with respondent at various times while her mother and her fiancé were present. Consequently, unless the mother and fiancé were agents of respondent’s client, the information communicated was not privileged. Moreover, we have also stated that matters intended by a client for disclosure by the client’s attorney to third parties, who are not agents of either the client or the attorney, are not privileged. (People v. Werhollick (1970), 45 Ill. 2d 459, 462.) The record shows that respondent, with Forsberg’s consent, discussed Casey’s conversion of her funds with the insurance company involved, the insurance company’s lawyer, and with Casey himself. Thus, under Werhollick and probably Williams, the information was not privileged.
Though respondent repeatedly asserts that his failure to report was motivated not by financial gain but by the request of his client, we do not deem such an argument relevant in this case.This court has stated that discipline may be appropriate even if no dishonest motive for the misconduct exists. (In re Weinberg (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 309, 315; In re Clayter (1980), 78 Ill. 2d 276, 283.) In addition, we have held that client approval of an attorney’s action does not immunize an attorney from disciplinary action. (In re Thompson (1963), 30 Ill. 2d 560, 569; People ex rel. Scholes v. Keithley (1906), 225 Ill. 30, 41.) We *543 have already dealt with, and dismissed, respondent’s assertion that his conduct is acceptable because he was acting pursuant to his client’s directions.
Respondent does not argue that Casey’s conversion of Forsberg’s funds was not illegal conduct involving moral turpitude under Rule 1-102(a)(3) or conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation under Rule 1-102(a)(4). (107 Ill.2d Rules 1-102(a)(3), (a)(4).) It is clear that conversion of client funds is, indeed, conduct involving moral turpitude. (In re Levin (1987), 118 Ill. 2d 77, 88; In re Stillo (1977), 68 Ill. 2d 49, 54.) We conclude, then, that respondent possessed unprivileged knowledge of Casey’s conversion of client funds, which is illegal conduct involving moral turpitude, and that respondent failed in his duty to report such misconduct to the Commission. Because no defense exists, we agree with the Hearing Board’s finding that respondent has violated Rule 1-103(a) and must be disciplined.
The third issue concerns the appropriate quantum of discipline to be imposed in this case. The Administrator contends that respondent’s misconduct warrants at least a censure, although the Hearing Board recommended a private reprimand and the Review Board recommended dismissal of the matter entirely. In support of the request for a greater quantum of discipline, the Administrator cites to the purposes of attorney discipline, which include maintaining the integrity of the legal profession and safeguarding the administration of justice. The Administrator argues that these purposes will not be served unless respondent is publicly disciplined so that the profession will be on notice that a violation of Rule 1-103(a) will not be tolerated. The Administrator argues that a more severe sanction is necessary because respondent deprived the Commission of evidence of another attorney’s conversion and thereby interfered with *544 the Commission’s investigative function under Supreme Court Rule 752 (107 Ill.2d R. 752). Citing to the Rule 774 petition (107 Ill.2d R. 774) filed against Casey, the Administrator notes that Casey converted many clients’ funds after respondent’s duty to report Casey arose. The Administrator also argues that both respondent and his client behaved in contravention of the Criminal Code’s prohibition against compounding a crime by agreeing with Casey not to report him, in exchange for settlement funds.
In his defense, respondent reiterates his arguments that he was not motivated by desire for financial gain. He also states that Forsberg was pleased with his performance on her behalf. According to respondent, his failure to report was a “judgment call” which resulted positively in Forsberg’s regaining some of her funds from Casey.
In evaluating the proper quantum of discipline to impose, we note that it is this court’s responsibility to determine appropriate sanctions in attorney disciplinary cases. (In re Levin (1987), 118 Ill. 77, 87, citing In re Hopper (1981), 85 Ill. 2d 318, 323.) We have stated that while recommendations of the Boards are to be considered, this court ultimately bears responsibility for deciding an appropriate sanction. (In re Weinberg (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 309, 314, citing In re Winn (1984), 103 Ill. 2d 334, 337.) We reiterate our statement that “`[w]hen determining the nature and extent of discipline to be imposed, the respondent’s actions must be viewed in relationship “to the underlying purposes of our disciplinary process, which purposes are to maintain the integrity of the legal profession, to protect the administration of justice from reproach, and to safeguard the public.” (In re LaPinska (1978), 72 Ill. 2d 461, 473.)'” In re Levin (1987), 118 Ill. 2d 77, 87, quoting In re Crisel (1984), 101 Ill. 2d 332, 343.
*545 Bearing these principles in mind, we agree with the Administrator that public discipline is necessary in this case to carry out the purposes of attorney discipline. While we have considered the Boards’ recommendations in this matter, we cannot agree with the Review Board that respondent’s conduct served to rectify a wrong and did not injure the bar, the public, or the administration of justice. Though we agree with the Hearing Board’s assessment that respondent violated Rule 1-103 of the Code, we do not agree that the facts warrant only a private reprimand. As previously stated, the evidence proved that respondent possessed unprivileged knowledge of Casey’s conversion of client funds, yet respondent did not report Casey’s misconduct.
This failure to report resulted in interference with the Commission’s investigation of Casey, and thus with the administration of justice. Perhaps some members of the public would have been spared from Casey’s misconduct had respondent reported the information as soon as he knew of Casey’s conversions of client funds. We are particularly disturbed by the fact that respondent chose to draft a settlement agreement with Casey rather than report his misconduct. As the Administrator has stated, by this conduct, both respondent and his client ran afoul of the Criminal Code’s prohibition against compounding a crime, which states in section 32-1:
“(a) A person compounds a crime when he receives or offers to another any consideration for a promise not to prosecute or aid in the prosecution of an offender. (b) Sentence. Compounding a crime is a petty offense.” (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 32-1.)
Both respondent and his client stood to gain financially by agreeing not to prosecute or report Casey for conversion. According to the settlement agreement, respondent would have received $17,000 or more as his fee. If Casey had satisfied the judgment entered against him for failure *546 to honor the settlement agreement, respondent would have collected approximately $25,588.
We have held that fairness dictates consideration of mitigating factors in disciplinary cases. (In re Yamaguchi (1987), 118 Ill. 2d 417, 428, citing In re Neff (1980), 83 Ill. 2d 20.) Therefore, we do consider the fact that Forsberg recovered $10,400 through respondent’s services, that respondent has practiced law for 11 years with no record of complaints, and that he requested no fee for minimum collection of Forsberg’s funds. However, these considerations do not outweigh the serious nature of respondent’s failure to report Casey, the resulting interference with the Commission’s investigation of Casey, and respondent’s ill-advised choice to settle with Casey rather than report his misconduct.
Accordingly, it is ordered that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for one year.
The foregoing decision is the LAW OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. Unfortunately, like so much of the enforcement of the RULE OF LAW the law applies to only those who have no clout (i.e., influence – especially political or judicial influence). Thus, when Lanre Amu reports that Judge X has a conflict of interest and is on the Board of Directors of the defendant, and her brother is the defendant’s attorney, even though CRAINS CHICAGO BUSINESS independently makes the identical averment, Amu is declared a danger to the public and is disciplined.
In the Sallas cases cited supra the Guardianship scandal is highlighted! The all-out full court press to facilitate the HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN GRANDMA is exposed. The mandate of Himmel is ostentatiously ignored. Let me provide you with an example.
Amongst the Laws of the State of Illinois are two major statutes that address Guardianship, and the relationship of the world with a person allegedly protected by Guardianship. 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b provides the Court with the authority and the criteria for appointing a guardian, to wit:
(b) Guardianship shall be utilized only as is necessary to promote the well-being of the person with a disability, to protect him from neglect, exploitation, or abuse, and to encourage development of his maximum self-reliance and independence. Guardianship shall be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the individual's actual mental, physical, and adaptive limitations. The order shall conform with Sections 11a-12 and 11a-14. (Source: P.A. 102-72, eff. 1-1-22.)
The words: “only to the extent necessitated by the individual's actual mental, physical, and adaptive limitations “are consistent with the 14th Amendment limitations on Guardianship and assure society unequivocally that Guardianship will not be human trafficking. Unfortunately, such is exactly what has occurred because Himmel and the authorizing statute have been ignored. In fact, what has happened is the Court and Mr. Sallas (in the Sallas cases) have been and are being held hostage.
On January 25, 2018 according to the sworn pleadings filed in the Circuit Court by the Byline Bank in case 2019 CH 13960 the Byline Bank in direct violation of the provisions of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 had Mrs. Sallas, a person for whom a Guardian had been appointed due to the court order finding her to be disabled, sign COMMERCIAL LOAN documents connoting an approximately $175,000.00 loan balance secured by her home in Skokie, Illinois.
Amongst the Laws of the State of Illinois was 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 which in words and phrases stated:
(755 ILCS 5/11a-22)(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-22) Sec. 11a-22. Trade and contracts with a person with a disability. (a) Anyone who by trading with, bartering, gaming or any other device, wrongfully possesses himself of any property of a person known to be a person with a disability commits a Class A misdemeanor. (b) Every note, bill, bond or other contract by any person for whom a plenary guardian has been appointed or who is adjudged to be unable to so contract is void as against that person and his estate, but a person making a contract with the person so adjudged is bound thereby. (Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
On February 15, 2018 the record in case 2007 P 536o reveals that attorneys for Charles P. Golbert appeared before the Honorable S. Boliker, one the judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois and by Petition informed the Court that their ward had a loan with the Byline Bank in the amount of approximately $175,000.00 and they had negotiated an extension on the loan that was beneficial to their ward.
The representation was a bold-faced prevarication! The Guardian knew of should have known that 3 weeks earlier, in direct violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 the Byline Bank had secured the signature of Mrs. Sallas well knowing of the criminality of said act. There was no current negotiation at said time – in fact, the criminal act had been completed! The Guardian, its attorneys, the Guardian ad Litem, and the hanger on attorneys who for some reason appear and participate in this Guardianship proceeding in direct contravention of the marital and other rights of Mrs. Sallas’ spouse of more than 50 years ALL HAD KNOWLEDGE that at some relevant time of the CRIMINAL ACTS of the Byline Bank and the morally reprehensible concealment of them by Mr. Charles P. Golbert, It is suggested that each of attorneys participated in the 'cover up' and violation of FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE LAWS including section 22.
It is suggested that the actions of Byline Bank in addition to violating 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 the very same actions may have violated other Federal and State Criminal acts including but not limited to Mail and Wire fraud. OF COURSE, the disciplinary process did not and apparently does not apply to any of these special judicial souls! Even the verified complaint filed by the BYLINE BANK in case 2019 CH 13960 did not induce any of the high moral criteria mandated by the guardian, the Judges involved, or any of the other attorneys hanging around the FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE proceedings going on in the Cook County Circuit Court.
The outrageous domestic terrorism of record in case 07 P 5360 and 2019 CH 13960 continued unabated augmenting itself as Mr. and Mrs. Sallas refused to attorn to their fates! Cries for H E L P were and are ignored, and today, Mrs. Sallas, who prior to being victimized by the violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 had all her teeth, was mobile, and had the companionship, love, and marriage relationship with her husband of more than ½ a century, today is monitored so that she cannot talk to her husband, and unvetted people who desire to talk with her (such a Journalist JP). Vivacious Amy Sallas no longer is mobile and has had her teeth removed. Indeed, in case 07 P 5360 the Guardian stands guard to make certain that no reasonable, necessary, or beneficial activity should befall Mrs. Sallas. (Judge Boliker, has been heard to proclaim that Mrs. Sallas has not been deprived of her liberty and her family can visit at will – Mr. Sallas apparently even after half a century is not included in the definition of family, even though 100% of the family savings and family assets are MARITAL PROPERTY and earned by the joint efforts of both parties to the marriage.)
Very troubling is tomorrow’s MOTION filed by the Guardian. To be candid – it has all the same attributes as the MOTION brought before Judge Boliker on February 15, 2018.
Pursuant to Himmel, and as a compliance by all the individuals who manifest a desire for the RULE OF LAW to prevail in the Courthouse we submit to LAW ENFORCEMENT, and the disciplinary commissions the following facts, to wit:
In 2018 as part of the unwanted, un=necessary, unauthorized ex=parte, ultra vires, effective only in the limited jurisdiction of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois secret dissolution of marriage of Sallas, the guardian filed a claim that a vehicle (marital property) was stolen. A claim was made and approximately $4000.00 was recovered the guardian.
As the vehicle was not stolen and the Guardian was so informed, it was inevitable that at some point in time the vehicle would be noticed by local law enforcement. Indeed, it was and was - even though not missing or stolen – was towed and sits now drawing storage charges. It appears that even though the vehicle is clearly marital property and the Guardian’s authority could not and was not extended to marital property the motion seeks to address the vehicle’s future without addressing the clear ULTRA VIRES conduct of the guardian and the fact that falsely reporting marital property stolen was neither reasonable, necessary, or beneficial to Mrs. Sallas. In fact, the action of the Guardian is an infringement on the property rights of Mr. Sallas. The vehicle (as the 8 million plus in savings that has disappeared as the result of this guardianship) is in fact marital property that the parties earned over the past 50 plus years by their joint efforts.
The Guardian, in my estimation appears to be appearing before Judge Boliker to exert undue influence on her to retro=actively obtain her signature on a Court order that can be used to exonerate the knowing and wrongful filing of a false insurance claim, fraudulent claiming that marital property (over which the guardian could not and was not given authority) had been stolen.
Pursuant to the requirement of 18 USCA 4 and the Illinois Supreme Court decision of HIMMEL (the opinion being reproduced supra) the actions of Guardian and co-conspirators is reported to LAW ENFORCEMENT and to the disciplinary authorities. If HIMMEL has meaning and is not just patently deceptive cake dressing the gambit of the Guardian will be investigated and dealt with.
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT even though it appears that the Guardian acts as if it were the alter-ego of the ward, it is not. It is limited by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and the words of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b.
Guardianship shall be utilized only as is necessary to promote the well-being of the person with a disability, to protect him from neglect, exploitation, or abuse, and to encourage development of his maximum self-reliance and independence. Guardianship shall be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the individual's actual mental, physical, and adaptive limitations.
It is axiomatic that the guardian even within the parameters of section 3b is still limited to actions that are: 1) reasonable, 2) necessary, and 3) beneficial to the ward. Filing false insurance claims or the cover-up of wrongful actions in my humble opinion does not meet that criterion.
 When a guardian is appointed, the ward does not forfeit all her rights, privileges and immunities. The word may be adjudicated to have certain disabilities. Under the 14th Amendment to the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION only as in regard to these specific disabilities (if any) does the guardian obtain any jurisdiction. The free will of the ward (as well as all rights, privileges and immunities) are retained. No forfeiture can occur because of disability as disability is NOT A CRIME.
Thus, the appointment of a guardian is limited strictly to assisting the ward on as is 1) necessary, 2) reasonable, and 3) actually beneficial to the ward. The guardian does not become the alter-ego of the ward, nor is the guardian given carte blanc to run roughshod over the savings and assets of the ward. Certainly, the guardian has no authority whatsoever to in any way exercise any dominion or control over the assets of the ward’s spouse. Property remains intact and marital property remains out of reach of the Guardian, unless special circumstances exist that are adjudicated in accordance with due process protections before the Domestic Relations division upon property, complaint, notice and hearing. IN SIMPLE WORDS – the guardian is not the alter-ego of his ward and does not become the reincarnation of the ward. The guardian’s authority is strictly limited.
In Estate of Christo v. Law Offices of Thomas Leahy, 2021 IL App (1st) 200575-U, the Appellate Court reversed the entry of judgment in favor of a law firm in a legal malpractice case filed by the Public Guardian. The Leahy Firm had represented Barbara Rose Christo, Peter Christo and Fay Christo in a wrongful death action arising out of the death of their father, Thomas Christo.
The case settled and each plaintiff received approximately $550,000. The complaint alleged that Peter Christo misappropriated the funds belonging to his sister, Barbara, who was disabled. The legal malpractice complaint alleged that the Law Firm was aware that Barbara had significant intellectual disabilities but it failed to seek a guardianship for Barbara or otherwise protect her interest in her share of the settlement funds.
After a bench trial the trial court ruled in favor of the Law Firm on all claims holding that the Law Firm met the duty of care and that Barbara could not prove proximate causation. Barbara appealed on several grounds. The Appellate Court reversed the judgment on the ground that the trial court had misstated the evidence, in particular the testimony of a Doctor who testified that Barbara was disabled.
The court held that there was sufficient evidence introduced in the record that Barbara was disabled, the Law Firm should have known she was disabled and that the Law Firm had a duty to inform the trial court of Barbara’s disability.
Comment: this case is significant as it makes it clear that a law firm has a duty to inform the court if its client has an intellectual disability.
Should you have a question about a legal malpractice case, do not hesitate to contact us.
ALLEGED MISCONDUCT The Administrator charged Respondent with the following misconduct: (1) in representing a client, engaging in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal; (2) making a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge; and (3) engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rules 3.5(d), 8.2(a), and 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010). EVIDENCE The Administrator presented testimony from Respondent as an adverse witness. The Administrator’s Exhibits 1-13 were admitted into evidence. (Tr. 16). Respondent testified on her own behalf and presented Michael Fields as a character witness. Respondent’s Exhibits 1.1-1.3, 2.1-2.3, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 5.9, 5.10, 5.28, 5.30, 5.31, 5.33-5.38, 6.1-6.3, 9.23, 10.1-10.5, 11.3, 11.5, 11.7, and 11.8 were admitted into evidence. (Tr. 487-521).1 FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW The Administrator bears the burden of proving the charges of misconduct by clear and convincing evidence. In re Thomas, 2012 IL 113035, ¶ 56. Clear and convincing evidence constitutes a high level of certainty, which is greater than a preponderance of the evidence but less stringent than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. People v. Williams, 143 Ill. 2d 477, 577 N.E.2d 762 (1991). The Hearing Board assesses witness credibility, resolves conflicting testimony, makes factual findings, and determines whether the Administrator met the burden of proof. In re Winthrop, 219 Ill. 2d 526, 542-43, 848 N.E.2d 961 (2006). Respondent is charged with making false or reckless statements impugning Magistrate Judge Finnegan’s integrity, engaging in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal, and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rules 3.5(d), 8.2(a) and 8.4(d). A. Summary The Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent sent three emails to Magistrate Judge Finnegan’s email account containing statements about Magistrate Judge Finnegan’s integrity that were false or made with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity. By sending the inappropriate emails, particularly after being instructed not to do so, Respondent engaged in conduct that disrupted the tribunal and prejudiced the administration of justice. B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered Respondent has been licensed to practice in Illinois since 2006. She is also licensed in Texas and Michigan. (Tr. 54-55). Barry Epstein hired Respondent in 2012 to represent him in a dissolution proceeding filed by Paula Epstein. In 2014, Respondent filed a complaint on Barry’s behalf in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that Paula and her attorney, Jay Frank, violated federal law by accessing Barry’s private emails without his authorization. (Tr. 55). Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan (Judge Finnegan) supervised discovery in the federal proceeding. Judge Finnegan maintained an email account known as the “proposed order account”. The charges before us arise from three email messages Respondent sent to the proposed order account and others involved in the Epstein proceedings. (Tr. 56). Respondent sent the first email at issue on April 18, 2017, after Judge Finnegan denied her emergency motion for an extension of time to take Paula’s deposition. Respondent sent the email to the proposed order account, opposing counsel Scott Schaefers, and Scott White, the courtroom deputy. It stated as follows in relevant part: Today in court, no matter what I said to you, you had already made up your mind, and even questioned my sincerity with regard to my preparation for upcoming trial.
. . . since the beginning, you never seem to doubt anything he [Schaefers] says, as you appear to doubt me. Still, I stated to you in open court that “I don’t want to be hated” for doing my job, but it sure seems that way, as I never get a break. Scott is the lucky guy who senses same as he can just pick up the phone to call you knowing he will get his way…or for so-called the Posner Defense2.
It’s not fair that my client (and I) is [sic] being treated badly for suing his wife/ex wife, and everyone is protecting Paula – why? Since when does “two” wrongs make a “right”? [sic] How am I to prove my case if I am not given a fair chance to do my work, properly. (Adm. Ex. 1). The following day, Judge Finnegan instructed Respondent that the parties were not to use the proposed order account to argue the merits of a motion, share their feelings about a ruling, or talk generally about the case with her. She told Respondent her email was improper and directed her not to send any such emails in the future. (Adm. Ex. 1). Respondent received and understood Judge Finnegan’s instructions. (Tr. 69-70). On June 15, 2017, Respondent filed a motion to extend discovery and for leave to depose Jay Frank. Judge Finnegan denied the motion. Allison Engel, Judge Finnegan’s law clerk, emailed a copy of Judge Finnegan’s order to Respondent and Schaefers at 6:37 p.m. on June 23, 2017. Two hours later, Respondent sent an email to Engel, Schaefers, and the proposed order account which stated as follows, in relevant part: I’m very upset, I do not agree with Judge Finnegan’s order and I will depose the former co-defendant, Jay Frank, despite the fact this court is protecting him and his co-conspirer! Scott Schaefers had no standing to challenge my subpoena to depose Jay Frank! I’m entitled to depose him! And I will call him to testy [sic] at trial to show the world what a corrupt lawyer he is! And the judges who protect this criminal by squeezing the discovery deadlines!!! No no no! This is outrageous order of Judge Finnegan and it will be addressed accordingly! Judges are helping the criminal to escape punishment by forcing to shorten all deadlines!!! This Judge is violating my client’s rights first by the truncated discovery deadlines and now helping Plaintiff to escape punishment for wrongs she committed! I’m outraged by the miscarriage of justice and judges are in this to delay and deny justice for my client! I’m sickened by this Order!!! (Adm. Ex. 2). On June 26, 2017, Respondent sent another email to Engel, Schaefers, and the proposed order account, which stated as follows in relevant part: Plaintiff’s motion is not late just because this court decided not to extend discovery deadlines, to protect the Defendant! I have asked this court numerous times for an extension of all cutoff deadlines, without avail. Take this into account when drafting your flawed order.
For anyone to insult me in this degree calls questions [sic] this court’s sincerity and veracity. How dare you accuse me of not having looked at the SC docket regularly.
How do you know I did not see the SC order???? Where do you get this information? Exparte communications with Defendant’s attorney, Scott? – smearing dirt behind my back? The more I read this order, again and again, I am sick to my stomach, and I get filled with anger and disgust over this ‘fraudulent’ order by this court!
You both, Allison and J. Finnegan, have done me wrong, and depicted me very poorly in your public order. How dare you do that to me?! What goes around comes around, justice will be done at the end! I wonder how you people sleep at night? Including Scott! (Adm. Ex. 3). On June 27, 2017, Judge Finnegan entered an order admonishing Respondent for violating her directives related to the proposed order account and making highly inappropriate statements. Judge Finnegan directed Respondent to immediately cease all email communication with her and her staff. (Adm. Ex. 4).
End pertinent portions
I just don’t understand why the judge had to file a disciplinary complaint over 3 emails which simply pointed out that Attorney Lane believed that the Judge was favoring opposing counsel over her client. It is not uncommon for judges to take a husband’s side over the wife’s side or vice versa, but that should not happen. And in reality, the discovery period was in fact uncommonly short. That should not happen either.
We all know what to do when someone emails you and you don’t like the person, their email, their opinions and even the horse they rode in on. You block them. It takes only two key strikes, click on block and confirm and you’re done. Even children as young as 5 know how to do this. But this judge can’t do tht and just move on? Obivously she has an ego problem, is in fact biased and a goddess complex where she can’t ever be criticized but she will wait and listen for criticism and then file a bar complaint against the attorney that is merely pointing out flaws in what the judge is doing.
Judges cannot and should not be immune from criticism. They are not supposed to read books or watch the news, so who will them them when they are clearly out of bounds and no one is noticing it.
And in addition, they were all lawyers, and you cannot insult a lawyer, no matter how hard you try. They got the no criticism vaccine soon as they took their judicial oath.
If this judge does not like an attorney’s emails, she has the right to block her. No judge has to listen to anything from an attorney that is not in a pleading.
As for routine scheduling matters, the judges shouldn’t be getting into that either. They all have assistants.
Three emails criticizing a judge over bias should also be a constitutional right.
The first amendment grants the right to criticize your government, with almost no exceptions.
Free speech is subject to the standard of “strict scrutiny” which requires:
a compelling govt interest (and exactly what is compelling about controlling anyone’s right to criticize a judge regarding bias?)
That there is no lesser restrictive means to controlling the speech (assuming that there is a compelling reason in the first place). Certainly there is an easy, simple means for judges to control speech they don’t like, it’s called blocking an email.
That the action taken will be effective and will work.
Attorneys do not lose their ability to criticize a judge just because they have a law license.
The 9 month discipline is insane in light of the fact the judge could have easily blocked the attorney and let the judge’s assistant deal with the attorney. These emails were directed to the judge’s assistant regardless. The assistant’s job clearly is not to relay complaints to the judge, she should direct the attorney instead to the (worthless) JIB or Judicial Inquiry Board. And then they will contact the Judge about the complaints, but isn’t this the same thing? Does it really matter that one step was skipped in all of this.
In any case, this whole matter is ridiculous and should have never happened in the first place. Attorney Lane apologized to the Judge but the Judge never apologized to Lane about reporting her over 3 emails that she didn’t have to read or see, that was her choice. Bad choice.
But the real upshot in all of this is that attorneys routinely steal thousands of dollars from the public, do nothing and then client complains to the ARDC and the ARDC does absolutely nothing. Cases in point: Anthony Phillips paid attorney Joanne Bruzgul some $22k for a probate case. She filed a fee petition for $60,000 and got paid in full. Anthony Phillips should have been refunded $22k by Bruzgul and he sent a complaint and a demand for an accounting from the ARDC. ARDC does bupkis; 2) In the estate of Alice Gore attorney Miriam Solo wants to be paid $60k, but the estate has already been looted and down to zero. So she gets the probate court to rubber stamp a false judgment (alleging daughter stole $60k from the accounts, but the accountings do not show any theft), so what does the ARDC do about the fake $60k judgement? again nada and zilch; 3) in the infamous Mary Sykes case, the estate is looted, but attorney Peter Schmeidel has a legal bill for $260k, so what does he do? Another fake judgment against daughter Gloria Sykes alleging she stole $260k from the estate, but she didn’t steal anything, these were insurance proceeds from a policy she paid for, on a house that was hers for mold damage and breast cancer she got from the mold.
Attorneys steal all over the place, but go complain to the ARDC and what will you get? zilch and zero.
Make a federal district court judge shed a tear over 3 emails complaining of bias and improper conduct by a judge, what do you get? 9 months of discipline.
And the way the ARDC goes on and on about how the statements were false (no, they were not, the ARDC wasn’t there) and impugned the integrity of the court (which likely had no integrity in the first place) and “disrupted” a tribunal (really? two keystrokes to hit the block feature? really?) is beyond the pale.
Everyone should have the free and open right to criticize a judge when she wanders into the territory of patent bias and corruption.
Now that should be protected speech.
And the ARDC should get off it’s duff and stop attorneys from openly stealing thousands from clients and the public.
We all know what’s going on. Neither judges nor the ARDC can hide their currying favor with judges, hiding obvious crimes and gross failure to protect the public.
Please email me or Sonya if you can help her with her laundry. Her employer has told her she must wear freshly laundered clothing to work and she has no car or laundry facilities that are near and/or she can afford and walk to. She has lower hip and back pain when she walks. If anyone can reach out to her and help her, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. thank you for reading this and thinking about helping her
Prob a t e Cou rt Vict im Support Group It is true that there is trauma when you are a petitioner, respondent, defendant and/or plaintiff in Court. Your trauma is NOT unique, and you are NOT alone. We are here with you in the dark, on the phone, in your closet crying, in your bed unable to get out, we are here. Do you have proof that your lawyer lied court appointed attorney lied to the Court, no matter how big or small? You are not alone. Do you feel your rights have been violated? You are not alone. Attorneys appointed to your case work for the ward. When the appointed attorney misrepresents to the Court that is punishable by the law. Report the attorney to the authorities as an upstanding citizen. Soon enough the authorities will investigate the lawless as they should. Did you know that you have a right to have a fair and unbiased investigation in your case by the attorney appointed in your case? Did you know that according to this law you have a right to due process? 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Right to Family – Due Process) Did you know according to this law you have a right to parent your children. Glucksberg, 521 U.S.702 (1997), Prob. Code, §§ 1510, subd. (a), 1514, subds. (a), (b). In Vaughan: The trial court denied the [grandparents’] petition because the mother had not intended to abandon the children. [Vaughan, supra, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1055 at 1056, emphasis added] Did you know according to this law you have a right to be a family? 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Right to Family – Equal Protection) Prob. Code, §§ 1510, subd. (a), 1514, subds. (a), (b). In Vaughan: The trial court denied the [grandparents’] petition because the mother had not intended to abandon the children. [Vaughan, supra, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1055 at 1056, emphasis added] this also covers elderly parent with an adult child Petitioning to be their caregiver. Did you know the higher court has decided that state court has no authority to separate siblings without a medical professional opinion documenting the effects of that separation. [Williams supra, 88 Cal. App. 4th 808 at 809] In re Marriage of Williams, 88 Cal. App. 4th 808, 105 Cal. Rptr. 2d 923, 924 (2001) (“Williams”) and Guardianship of Vaughan, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1055, 1056, 144 Cal. Rptr. 3d 216, 217 (2012) (“Vaughan”). Let us begin with Williams, a case in which: [A]ppellant father appealed an order of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court (California) permitting two of four children to move out of the state with respondent mother. [Williams, supra, 88 Cal. App. 4th 808 at 809] In Williams: The lower court ordered that the oldest child and the youngest child could move to Utah with appellant, while the middle children were to remain in California with respondent. Appellant argued that the lower court abused its discretion because it separated siblings from each other. Respondent argued that the lower court abused its discretion with respect to the middle children because there was no basis for distinguishing between them and their siblings. The instant court concluded that the lower court abused its discretion because the record did not show compelling circumstances warranting the separation of the siblings, as there was no evidence in the record of the impact that separation would have on these children. In the absence of such evidence, the instant court could not affirm the lower court’s order even on the deferential abuse of discretion standard. [Williams, supra, 88 Cal. App. 4th 808 at 809, emphasis added] Williams reversed thus refusing to separate the children. The matter was remanded for reconsideration in light of the new rule the court announced, i.e., that in the absence of evidence regarding the effect of separation on the children, it is an abuse of discretion to separate them. Turning to Vaughan, that case too is easily distinguishable from this case. In Vaughan, Appellants, two minor children, sought review of a judgment from the Superior Court of Trinity County (California), which denied a petition by respondent grandparents for a probate guardianship over the children pursuant to Prob. Code, §§ 1510, subd. (a), 1514, subds. (a), (b). In Vaughan: The trial court denied the [grandparents’] petition because the mother had not intended to abandon the children. [Vaughan, supra, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1055 at 1056, emphasis added] In Vaughan, the Court had to balance between parental rights versus the children’s apparent preference to live with their grandparents. While the Court presumably considered the children’s wishes, it was parental rights that carried the day, as was appropriate. A parent’s right to the care and companionship of his or her child is a fundamental constitutional right. See e.g., Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000). :
If you need someone to talk to and you feel alone. Text Donecia Augustus (310) 663-9527 – we have a group of parents and victims of Probate Court Abuse, if we can help you or support you, we will. The Justice Channel – http://www.tjcla.com The Ugly Judge – http://www.uglyjudge.com Court Victims National Data Base – http://www.courtvictim.com This flyer is not intended to be legal advice. We strongly recommend consulting with an attorney licensed in your state or area.
If you have a Samsung Refrigerator and the ice maker and/or the cooling tower is freezing over repeatedly, call 1-800-SAMSUNG and demand a full refund. You may have to talk to 2 or 3 agents to get a promise of a refund, but keep on calling them back. Mention to the agent on the phone that these problems with their refrigerators are all over the internet, they are common and you want your money back. Buy something else. If you don’t receive a full refund in 4 to 6 weeks, go ahead and sue them in small claims court. These refrigerators are a defective product in a defective condition. You will want to mention your state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and/or Consumer Fraud Act in your complaint. You can sue the store, the distributor and the manufacturer (Samsung). If you have any repair bills, food spoilage receipts or drug spoilage receipts, bring these to court and the judges will typically reimburse you for these damages. Most states allow you to collect extra damages and attorneys fees, if the conduct is contemptuous, and this certainly is. You might have the right to a jury trial. You can sue for breach of contract, consumer fraud, etc. Ask for punitive damages and attorneys fees in the complaint because the defects are well know and Samsung has not solved the problem in years. If you have problems drafting a complaint, let me know and I will draft a general one for and publish it on this blog so you can see a sample complaint for your state( in the US court system only). These refrigerators cost $3,000 to $5,000 out of the box, and there is no reason they should not function perfectly well for 8 to 10 years minimum.
If you want to try to fix your refrigerators yourself, there are plenty of good videos on youtube.com on how to correct problems such as: cooling tower freezing over, ice maker freezing over, drain clogged, etc. Bens-appliances.com has repair kits for these problems now. Call them and watch their youtube videos.
Fierle ruined the lives of so many, yet the media is silent on her coverage. She had over 450 wards, and many, many complaints–complaints that were generally left untouched and uninvestigated by the Florida authorities.
It wasn’t until she directly caused the death of one man, by insisting his feeding tube be capped, that the authorities finally stepped in.
So where is the media coverage of this trial and the outrage by the families?
For those of you following the Sallas case, the judge has issed some sort of special invitation to have Dean Sallas appear before her, together with all attorneys at 9 am.
No, I don’t think it will be to congratulate him or give him sympathy.
An investigative reporter has been following this case and publishing about it, because it is soooo egregious all over the internet. Maybe the Suntimes, Tribune or Crain’s Chicago Business will pick it up for further local investigation.
As you will recall, Mr. Sallas is married to Amelia. Amelia suffered a stroke about 12 years ago while a work. She was a teacher of the highest caliber teaching in an affluent school district. Her retirement income is a tasty $7k+ for the hungry probate court crowd of vultures, liars and thieves. With proper treatment and medicines, which Dean saw to, Mrs. Sallas became fully functional again about 14 months later. She resumed fully her household duties of shopping, cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping. No matter to the probate court, like the hungry snakes in the grass they were, they struck at the couple hard and would not let go. The coils around them continued to tighten and squeeze every penny out of them, like a boa constrictor.
Mr. Sallas amassed a sizeable rental income property collection of $9 million. The probate court ruined that. All of that is gone now. Then they went after Mrs. Sallas and put her in a lock down facility. I believe they removed all her teeth and implanted a feeding tube and they also keep her wheelchair bound. All she does is cry out for her husband, whom she loves and adores.
Next they went after the condo and filed a fake eviction proceeding against the tenant and obtained an exparte judgment for eviction without notice to Dean or his attorney. Opposing counsel claimed Dean’s attorney “often did not show up” (because of course they were not serving her” and would tell the judge “Diana never filed an appearance (although she did and opposing counsel knew it and it was in the court records” and the court had the records sealed so we still don’t know anything about the docket sheet or what really happened or what the documents were or the court dates that were held secretly. Secret hearings and secret orders then issued from the condo case.
Finally, the OPG or office of public guardian renewed the mortgage on the Sallas’ marital residence and 1) made it a commercial loan with none of the safeguards of a residential mortgage; 2) had Amelia sign the renewal documents despite the fact she was adjudicated a disabled adult; 3) the OPG attorney Cassanova appeared at that proceeding and did nothing except bill the estate while Dean valiently fought the proceedings on his own; 4) likely violated the elder finanacial abuse law which would make all of this a class D felony because in essence, it is a conspiracy to defraud the couple of a highly valuable $500k+ home in Skokie, Illinois.
Now they have the Village of Skokie going after Dean by giving him grass cutting tickets for the grass being too long or too short, parking 1″ over the sidewalk, etc. In fact, last Friday while there was an important status call on the condo case, he had been called to the VOS for some paltry ticket that was dismissed in the end.
Judge Mescall apparently has “something important” to talk to Dean about on Monday. Most likely it is the internet attention that the case has garndered.
The case should be dismissed. Dean has tendered 8 checks to the HOA marked “payment in full” and under the law of waiver, if those checks were cashed, then the case must be tossed.
Now from Kenneth Ditkowsky and his take on the case:
There are few cases that stand out as being examples of *******. This Sallas
proceeding is amazing and appears to parallel the cases that you and your group are fighting nationwide.
In this case, a senior citizen and his wife (own a condominium) in a Chicago downtown building. For reasons unknown, the association engaged in unsolicited harassment of Mr. and Mrs. Sallas and in particular Mr. Sallas. Mr. and Mrs. Sallas have a tenant in the condominium who has been living in the unit as a tenant for about 34 years. Suddenly, the association started a campaign of harassment. They complained that they did not have a copy of the tenant’s lease and started to fine Sallas. The fact that after 34 years and the upheaval of the FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE rendered him unable to file his papers did apparently bother whomever was promulgating the harassment.
Suddenly, the association filed a totally inappropriate Forcible Entry and Detainer action. (Let me be clear – I am biased as I dealt with obnoxious condominium associations who act in a discriminatory manner – This association apparently had a change of heart part way through and accepted settlement.)
Dean filed a Jury Demand, AND ran into the usual problem of finding a lawyer to represent his interests. Dean continued to pay the monthly assessment and the same was accepted by the association.
From time to time Dean talked with the management company and 8 checks were negotiated by the Condominium Association that bear and endorsement acknowledging the acceptance of those check in FULL SETTLEMENT OF THE DISPUTE. Dean continues as he had for 34years, collected his rent and paid the assessment.
The Condominium accepted 8 checks acknowledging a settlement in full and the same have been filed with the Circuit Court. That should end this summary FED case and dismiss it — HOWEVER, WE ARE IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS!
It now appears from the information given to me that the attorneys for the CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION countered the filed of the 8 negotiated checks acknowledging that this matter has been settled and the case should be dismissed — THE APPEARED EX=PARTE without notice to either Dean or his attorney and obtained a judgement, a judgment for possession, and attorney fees.
Exactly how this was done with notification and with a jury demand on record is interesting but we are in the CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS! It has been alleged that as to particular law firms certain judges are on retainer and ******. I have no personal knowledge as to any relationship between the plaintiff’s law firm and any judge. I also rely upon Mr. Sallas for the factual information. I do give Sallas particular credibility as I dealt with him, his father and their business for more than 1/2 a century and they have always been square with me.
When Dean learned of this travesty he filed a Motion to vacate the ex=parte orders and dismiss the proceedings. Apparently the attorneys worked out an order continuing the Motion to Vacate to Oct 27, 2022; however, Judge Mescall apparently has scheduled something for MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2022 AT 9:00 AM. The judge has indicated that she wants to speak to Mr. Sallas. As all Court proceedings are supposed to be open, I think it is important for all citizens to see Justice first hand in Cook County, Illinois.
I further understand that Journalist Janet Phelan is particularly invited to attend the Zoom hearing.
If anyone has any information on what this is going on, please contact me, email@example.com or 773.255.7608. I would love to hear about it.
I just don’t understand how the Catholic Church can sue 2 elderly Christian ladies to take farmland from them. Who does this? Why is this happening?
Here is one such case going on now in Abingdon, Illinois, Knox County Courthouse, Judge Curtis Lane, who threatened the defendants, two elderly women with jail THREE TIMES, and was not recused, and the transcripts do not show any good reason why.
Here is the Motion to Recuse the Judge for Cause because he threatened two elderly women with jail in the courtroom:
Here is the Motion to Substitute Judge Curtis Lane for Cause for yelling at the elderly Williamson sisters he will send them to jail. Can anyone read the transcript and tell me for what? It is not at all clear from the transcript. I understand Judge Curtis Lane in Knox county is appointed, not elected, so that might explain it.
Now if anyone can tell me why 1) Judge Lane keeps on yelling at the Williamsons and he’s always harsh and demanding on them, but he treats attorneys Robertson and Mangeri like landed princely gentry and 2) why is the Catholic Church suing the Williamsons over a farm and timeberland dispute. The Williamsons want to keep the land as it is. If the Catholic Church gets ahold of it, they will likely log it and remove thousands of beautiful old trees. I do not understand this case, but people are complaining to me about it.
Today’s hearing is significant in allowing Law enforcement to know the alignment of the players.
The hearing transcripts and petition filed by the Guardian on February 15, 2018 were not only intentional attempts to mislead Judge Boliker, but it appears that she was part and parcel of it. THUS, WE HAVE THE FOLOWING events which cannot be tolerated.1) We have a Bank engaged in a criminal enterprise – i.e. the FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE OF A SENIOR CITIZEN in direct violation of 720 ILCS 5/17 – 56.2) That Bank in pursuance of its criminal conduct on January 25 has Mrs. Sallas sign a document -i.e. a commercial loan document that is predatory and abusive. Documents that would be beneficial to the elders were avoided. The Bank does not comport with any of the requirement of Federal and State Disclosure Law.3) On Feb 15, 2018, to ‘cover up the criminal activity in violation of 18 USCA 1341 the Guardian appears before Judge Boliker and makes statements that are misleading, untrue and deceptive. Judge Boliker accepts the statements and gives the Guardian the permission to attempt to cover-up the criminal act of January 25,2018. They do!4) That from 2018 to 2019 the Guardian raids the assets of his ward and her husband to pay to the Byline Bank some $40,000.00. In addition it appears that the Guardian conducts some sniping — he reports a vehicle owned by Mr. and Mrs. Sallas titled in the name of Mrs. Sallas stolen and collects 4000.00 dollars for it. The5) The Byline Bank then files a foreclosure. That foreclosure is rubber stamped by Judge Robles who ignores not only 720 ILCS 5/17 – 56, and 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 but the equitable principles of fairless, honesty integrity and grants SUMMARY JUDGE OF FORECLOSURE IN AN AMOUNT of approximately 375,000.00. The original balance due when the illegal note was signed was $175,000.00. Thus penalty interest of approx $240,000 was allowed – well in excess of the criminal interest rate of 36%.
The integrity of the Rule of Law of the State of Illinois is at stake in these proceedings. It appears that the State of Illinois has given out a franchise to certain judges to appoint guardians and delegate them UNPRECEDENTED AUTHORITY to violate the 14th Amendment and all the elder protection statutes. Not only are they delegated the right to do this openly and overtly, but the RULE OF LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO THEM. Judge Boliker today ruled that any crime against an elderly person is acceptable conduct!! THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY IS NOT INTERESTED IN THE 14TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF THE ELDERLY!!!THE QUESTION TO GOVERNOR PRITZKER, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE STATES ATTORNEY, AND THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS — IS THAT ALSO YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND ARE YOU ATTORNING TO IT?The question to the Federal authorities is also quite simple – is it the policy of the United States of America to allow Illinois to be a haven for crimes against the elderly?
And here is additional argument Dean put together that he did not have time to make:
Argument for hearing July 12, 2022
In re Amelia Sallas
Mrs. Sallas has been in a guardianship in Cook County. While at one time she might have needed a guardianship, the guardianship was establish on a fraudulent basis which I will go into in much detail later.
In summary, the couple, Dean Sallas and Amelia Sallas have been forced into a de facto divorce, without their authorization or consent. They cannot freely see one another. This is a marriage of over 4 decades, with a couple very much in love and very dependent upon one another. Together they raised 2 children, Paulette and Thomas.
Their lives, prior to the guardianship, had been completely intertwined. They lived together happily for decades. Maybe their marriage was not perfect, but they never separated, legally or otherwise–until the guardianship.
During this guardianship there have been very serious gross violations of the US Constitution and the Illinois Constitution on a continuing basis, including the 1st, 4th,5th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution.
Several Guardians have been appointed in this case, most from the OPG or Office of Public Guardian. None it appears has taken his or her duty seriously as a fiduciary to Amelia Sallas, and by proxy to her cherished husband Dean Sallas. The conduct has been serious, continuing and the motion by Dean Sallas to dismiss the Guardianship should be granted immediately by this honorable court.
Most serious is the continued separation of the couple. After that is the FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE 720 ILCS 5/17-56 which has been perpretrated upon Mrs. Sallas by Charles P Golbert, his attorneys and a “Greek chorus” of lawyers, the GAL and a myriad of guardians.
Factual statement made previously by Dean Sallas have not been denied. The over reach by these actors has been serious and continuing.
The question is, has this guardianship been 1) at all beneficial to Amy Sallas who only wants to go home and live with her husband in peace; 2) has the conduct of the court and the lawyers involved been reasonable; and 3) has it been necessary.
The answer to all these questions is no.
Prior to the guardianship, the couple lived together and took care of one another. It is admitted that the couple own both a nice home in Skokie and a nice condo (which is leased on a month to month basis) at 1555 N. Dearborn Pkwy in Chicago.
Either residence would be suited for the couple to use as a marital home.
But instead, and without the consent of either husband and wife, Amelia Sallas has been forced to live in an ALF to the tune of $7,000 per month, as admitted in the pleadings of the OPG.
The Sallas’ could be living at home. They could be caring for each other there. Instead the court and the OPG has forced the couple apart and into an unnecessary and undesired living situation at $7,000 per month. A situation which is unnecessary and expensive when they could be living in one of their own homes.
A Guardian is not an alter ego of the ward. He should at all times follow the direction of the Ward and her desires–not the desires of the court and the lawyers and the GAL and the OPG. This couple wants to live together in one of their own homes. The fact that this has never been accomplished or even considered is a serious breach of rights under the Illinois Probate Act. It is further a breach of Amy’s Constitutional rights.
The Illinois Probate Act spells this out nicely for all Disabled Persons living in the State of Illinois:
(b) Guardianship shall be utilized only as is necessary to promote the well-being of the disabled person, to protect him from neglect, exploitation, or abuse, and to encourage development of his maximum self-reliance and independence. Guardianship shall be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the individual’s actual mental, physical and adaptive limitations. (Source: P.A. 93-435, eff. 1-1-04.)
It it patently obvious that Charles Golbert, as guardian, has consistently overstepped his statutory authority and does so in defiance of his attorney oath.
The guardianship was initiated without actual finding of facts and conclusions of law by this honorable court as to Amy’s disabilities Amy Sallas was rubber stamped as “fully disabled” by conclusion and continues to be conclusorily rubber stamped as such, without any proper statutory analysis of exactly what her disabilities are and how a guardian may actually alleviate those disabilities.
Dumping a ward into an ALF without her consent is not a “necessary solution”. Amy wants to live at home and the Guardian, for about 1.5 years has not lifted a single finger to get Amy back home with her husband. The action is so egregious that it warrants immediate dismissal of the guardianship for such a gross and continuing violation of Amy’s needs, wants and desires and under the US and Illinois constitutions
The Illinois legislature in enacting section (b) clearly intended to limit the actions of Guardians and provide Disabled Persons with as many rights and abilities as is possible. The words “as is necessary to promote the well being…of the disabled person” are clearly the operative words.
In addition, the OPG does not seriously contend any where in their Response that there were actual findings of fact and conclusions of law for exactly how to limit the rights of Amy. In ¶ 19 in rubber stamp fashion they declare Amy to fully disabled and unable to care for her person and finances. And yet, from 2008 to approximately 2019, Amy was in fact caring for the couple’s home, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and even grocery shopping. These actual facts are in direct opposition to ¶ 19 of the OPG Response that Amy was fully disabled and that a limited guardian would not suffice.
In addition, it would appear that during those years, prior to forcing Amy into an ALF, a place where she does not want to be, she was also signing forms at the doctor’s offices and signing herself in and out of the hospital when she required some minor procedures.
Again, the facts fly in the face of the OPG’s ¶ 22 which states “this court carefully considers and weighs Amelia’sneed for a guardian during each appointment hearing” This statement is so far from the truth, it’s as if the two had never even met.
Again, the operative words in the Illinois Probate Act are “actual mental, physical and adaptive limitations”. Amy apparently was doing well on her own with her husband for 10 years and yet no one from that OPG dismissed the guardianship.
A guardian is not the “slave owner” of the elderly person targeted and human trafficked into a Cook County Guardianship. The Guardian does not have the right to vote for the ward, nor can he terminate family relationships at will. Every single action of a guardian must yield the ward a benefit and be necessary and reasonable.
The record in this case reveal that the OPG’s overreach and custodial confinement of Amelia are not beneficial, necessary or reasonable. Amelia wants to go home and live with her husband of 50 some years.
The Byline Bank transactions appear to be text book examples of wrongful foreclosures, financial elder abuse,mail fraud, wire fraud and a violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a-22 (trade and contracts with a person with a disability).
The transactions appear to be nothing but an exercise in self enrichment and self dealing with a known predatory lender. A lender that arranged with the OPG to contract for a commercial loan so the couple’s marital home would have none of the consumer safe guards afforded to consumer mortgage loans such as lower interest rates, MAFA and TILA and even Covid relief. The Sallas’ were trapped into a commercial loan by the OPG so that the home could later be sold at a discount and to nefarious miscreants at a later date.
If Amy Sallas had been deemed a disabled person, what did it matter to the OPG to have her sign the loan renewal documents?
The court is respectfully requested to take judicial notice of it own proceedings orders and petitions in the case of 07 P 5360, 2019 CH 13960 (Byline Bank v. Sallas, et al.) And Constellation Condo v. Sallas where representatives of the OPG sat by and watched a wrongful foreclosure, a grossly inflated Judgment and a wrongful Eviction order issue without comment or objection from the OPG lawyers. And yet they bill for being a fly on the wall. They bill to watch predatory lenders and HOAs steal from their Wards and take advantage of them. In the Byline wrongful foreclosure the judgment was inflated by hundreds of thousands of dollars and the OPG said and did nothing. In the Constellation Condo case, Dean and his attorney were never served, yet the OPG attorneys watched the court enter an inflated judgment for $20,000+ and never said a word, and made no objections.
With respect to the Byline loan documents, the contract was so procrustean that upon signing the contract the ward appears to be in instant default.
In addition, it must be noted that:
1) the loan was a commercial loan, not subject to consumer mortgage loan safeguards. 2) other financial institutions at the time were offering much lower interest rates 3) that the Guardian could have considered a reverse mortgage, but those generally do not involve the added benefit of a finder’s fee.
To recap, the OPG sent in an attorney on all of the cases, who did nothing and said nothing, but billed the estate. They pointed out no obvious errors in the drafting and execution of these documents. In fact, they pretty much said to the predatory plaintiffs, go ahead and take it all, and then some. The defendant is a a ward which is not human and a subspecies.
The losses incurred during the Byline wrongful foreclosure are estimated at a half million.
The loses incurred during the wrongful Constellation Condo HOA eviction are approximtely $22,000 while OPG attorneys said nothing and did nothing.
Obviously the system of OPG attorneys seriously is not working. They bill and bill and bill and make no objections, file no motions to dismiss and grossly underrepresent wards on a regular basis.
All of this is a serious breach of their fiduciary duties to the wards and by proxy to their loved ones. Not all the wards are vegetables. Many are keenly aware that he OPG has deftly and swiftly eliminated entire family fortunes in the blink of an eye, such as in the Sallas case.
There is simply no doubt that in the Byline Bank case the OPG via Mr. Goldbert, obtained a predatory commercial loan from a predatory lender.
In the case of the HOA, a predatory HOA hired a predatory law firm to wrongfully, and without notice or service, obtain a wrongful court ordered eviction of the Sallas’ tenants.
It really must be noted for the record, that the reason why the OPG and the court has not sold the Dearborn Parkway unit is because Dean smartly 1) granted the tenants a never ending option to renew their lease at below market prices; 2) the rent does not cover the HOA fees and taxes which means the OPG makes no profit; and 3) the assets is preserved free from the grips of the predatory OPG. They can’t sell it, they can’t kick the tenants out, and they make no profit. Perhaps the OPG went behind the backs of the Sallas’ to provoke a wrongful eviction from a predatory law firm, but that is a question for another day and time.
In summary, the Sallas case is the quintessential case of how the OPG system does not work and has never worked. Attorneys are hired at a flat rate to engage in nefarious dealings with sleezy lenders, HOAs and law firms. This HOA and Bank have shown themselves to be openly sleezy. The law firms associated with HOAs and foreclosures are well known to be sleezy and no further discussion is necessary. This court can readily take judicial notice of all the online articles from the AP and UPI news sources regarding HOA law firms and predatory lender law firms. They are in fact notorious and operate freely without impunity in the Cook County Court system.
However the real question is why is the OPG charging estates $250 to $300 per hour when the salaries of all attorneys are paid by the taxpayers of Illinois and the over head and expenses of the OPG are paid by the taxpayers of Illinois while private attorney can only fee petition for the same rates, but they have to pay their own overhead and expenses, typically 1/3 of that rate. OPG attorneys get free office space courtesy of the taxpayers of Illinois.
In summary, the over reaching, the lack of findings of fact and conclusions of law as to what, if any disability Amelia actually had for years, while she was doing all the household cooking, cleaning and laundry for herself and her husband daily readily comes into question. The OPG’s ¶ 19 is preposterous, especially in light of the fact that she was signing herself in and out of hospitals really reaches deeply into the very core of the desperately flawed Illinois Probate guardianship system. And in the end, this only amounts to serious violations of Amy’s 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th amendment rights.
This clearly necessitates the dismissal of this guardianship case on an immediate basis.
And if the court does not dismiss the guardianship case, then Dean is respectfully requesting in person visits for as long as he desires for each day Amy is wrongfully incarcerated in an ALF against her will, authorization and consent. He wants cameras install in the ALF facility to ensure his wife is not being abused.
He also wants a plan in place to bring her home. Even if the court (wrongfully) requires 24/7 care, it still will be cheaper than a $7,000 per month ALF
log in on zoom at 10 am tomorrow and watch Judge Boliker and the OPG put on a real show, better than any reality show. How to kidnap an elderly woman, give her a de facto divorce, steal all the marital assets from her approx. 85 year old husband.
You could not hope for more drama and squirming.
Why the OPG has not been indicated en masse as a criminal organization under RICO is beyond me.
Judge Boliker and her henchmen and women pretend this is not going on. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil–a tried and true motto of gship.
Amelia Sallas wants to see and live with and hold her husband and cherish him, as Dean Sallas wants for her. They want to be together. And since the probate court and their criminal organization have stolen $9 million in real estate and about $100k in marital assets per year with impunity, the crimes against the elderly and humanity continue.
See the show tomorrow 10 am EST.
If you liked the movie I care a lot, now you can see it in action, full color zoom action. Don’t miss it.
Here is the response of the OPG–complete fiction on their part.
FILED 6/7/2022 1:39 PM IRIS Y. MARTINEZ CIRCUIT CLERK COOK COUNTY, IL 2007P005360 Calendar, 15 18192744 FILED DATE: 6/7/2022 1:39 PM 2007P005360 Hearing Date: No hearing scheduled Location: <> Judge: Calendar, 15 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT, PROBATE DIVISION File No: 2007 P 5360 Estate of Amelia Sallas A Person with a Disabili PUBLIC GUARDIAN’S RESPONSE TO DEAN SALLAS’ APRIL 30, 2022 PLEADING AND MOTION TO STRIKE Charles P. Golbert, Cook County Public Guardian, as successor plenary guardian of the Estate and Person of Amelia Sallas, by and through one of his attorneys, Lisa Casanova, presents this Response to Dean Sallas’ April 30, 2022, pleading, stating in support thereof as follows: Introduction
Charles P. Golbert, Cook County Public Guardian, serves as successor plenary guardian of Amelia’s estate and successor plenary guardian of Amelia’s person.
Amelia Sallas is 80 years old and resides at Belmont Village assisted living in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Amelia moved to her residence at Belmont Village in April2019 after living with her daughter and daughter’s family for several months. Prior to that, she lived in her single-family home in Skokie, Illinois.
Amelia is doing well at Belmont Village. She participates in daily activities and socializes with friends of her choosing, clergy members and daughter, Paulette.
Amelia’s current diagnoses include dementia, arteriosclerotic heart disease, hyperlipidemia, dysphagia and congestive heart failure.
Amelia’s monthly income is approximately $7,400, which covers the cost of her care at Belmont Village, medical expenses and personal items.
Amelia and her husband, Dean Sallas, hold the beneficial interest in two pieces of real property, 4110 Suffield Court, in Skokie, Illinois, and 1555 N. Dearborn Parkway, Unit 19E in Chicago, Illinois, both of which are held in land trusts. FILED DATE: 6/7/2022 1:39 PM 2007P005360
On April 7, 2022, the Public Guardian filed his Twelfth Current Account for Amelia Sallas’ Estate.
On April 30, 2022, Dean Sallas filed a document titled “Dean Sallas’ objection [sic] to all accountings of the Guardian’s appointed herein and in particular the 12th annual account of the Guardian Charles P. Golbert”, hereinafter to be called “Objections”. I. The appointment of plenary guardians, of the estate and person, for Amelia Sallas was proper
In August 2006, Amelia Sallas suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm causing cognitive and memory deficits.
On August 7, 2007, Thomas Sallas, Amelia’s son, filed the original petition for guardianship of Amelia.
Subsequently, Dean Sallas and Paulette Andrews (Amelia’s daughter) filed separate cross-petitions seeking to become Amelia’s guardian.
On October 5, 2009, after more than two years of protracted litigation and over 30 court hearings and status dates, including mediation, the Court adjudicated Amelia Sallas a disabled person in need of a plenary guardian.
On October 7, 2009, Advocacy Guardianship Services was appointed the plenary guardian of Amelia Sallas’ person and American Bank and Trust was appointed plenary guardian of her estate.
Approximately three months later, American Bank and Trust petitioned the court to resign and nominated the Cook County Public Guardian.
On February 3, 2010, the Cook County Public Guardian was appointed the successor plenary guardian of the Estate of Amelia Sallas.
On July 29,2020, Advocacy Guardianship Services resigned, and the Cook County Public Guardian was appointed the temporary guardian of Amelia Sallas’ person.
On December 1, 2020, the Cook County Public Guardian was appointed the successor plenary guardian of the person of Amelia Sallas. 2 FILED DATE: 6/7/2022 1:39 PM 2007P005360
The Court’s appointment orders dated October 7, 2009, February 3, 2010, and December 1, 2020, are based solely on the facts and documents presented and the findings made pursuant to 755 ILCS 5/11a- 3 and 5/11a-12.
The Court made findings in its appointment orders including: (a) that Amelia is a disabled person and is totally without understanding to communicate decisions regarding her person; (b) that Amelia is totally unable to manage her estate or financial affairs; ( c) that a limited guardian would not provide sufficient protection for Amelia and her estate; (d) that the factual basis for the guardian was “the reports of Dr. Shaw dated 11107 and 1119 and 1123/09 and the Reports of the Guardian ad litem, Sherry Fox and Petition of Respondent and testimony of all trial witnesses.”
In his “Objections” Dean Sallas provides no basis to support his assertion that this Court “at no time made any findings of fact and conclusions of law that disclosed any mental, physical or adaptive limitations of Amy Sallas.” Objections, p.2
This Court made specific findings that Amelia Sallas was a person with a disability and needed a plenary guardian.
Not only did this Court carefully consider and weigh Amelia’s need for a guardian during each appointment hearing, but also it continuously reviews the appropriateness of guardianship when considering the guardian’s annual report on Amelia Sallas, and on an ongoing basis.
Furthermore, the Court conducted a thorough review of the appropriateness of guardianship for Amelia Sallas when it held a several day trial on October 3, 2018, October 26,2018 and November 29, 2019 on Dean Sallas’ Petition for Restoration of Amelia Sallas. This Court denied Dean’s petition for restoration on December 18,2018.
Based on the foregoing, Dean’s “Objections” should be dismissed. 3 FILED DATE: 6/7/2022 1:39 PM 2007P005360 II. The Public Guardian’s Twelfth Current Account is proper and should be approved.
Dean Sallas’ objections to the Public Guardian’s 12th current account are not properly pled, are legally insufficient in law and fact, and must be stricken.
Dean Sallas requests that the Public Guardian’s annual account be “denied” and requests that the Public Guardian pay any sums “wrongfully taken” from Dean and Amelia,Sallas. Objections, p. 6-7.
Dean fails to reference any specific expenditure from the Public Guardian’s Account that he finds objectionable.
The Public Guardian’s Twelfth Current details each expenditure made on behalf of Amelia and reflects that her income and assets were used solely for her care and benefit.
The Court approved the Public Guardian’s last eleven accounts and those accounts are on file with the Cook County Clerk and are publicly available for anyone to reVIew.
Dean Sallas was noticed on, and received, the prior annual accountings. The Court granted him the authority to file his objections and Dean has, at times, done so.
Dean fails to object to any specific expense, and also fails to provide any basis, in law or in fact, to demonstrate how the guardian purportedly violated his or Amelia’s “constitutional rights.”
For all the reasons set forth above, the Public Guardian requests that this Court find that Dean Sallas’ Objections are legally and factually insufficient, lack specificity and are replete with mischaracterizations. Accordingly, Dean’s objections to the 12th Current Account must be dismissed. III. Dean’s objections contain gross mischaracterizations, are not supported by law or in fact and must be stricken.
Dean’s “Objections” are replete with unsubstantiated claims that must be stricken. 4 FILED DATE: 6/7/2022 1:39 PM 2007P005360
. Dean offers unsupported claims about the guardian engaging in “financial elder abuse” and “felony theft”. Objections p.2, 8, 11. These statements are merely used to inflame and harass and have no basis, whatsoever, in fact and must be stricken with prejudice.
On page 9, Dean references the signing of mortgage documents with Byline Bank but does not provide details as to the supposed serious criminal conduct or the relevance to the proceedings at hand.
As the record in this case demonstrates, the guardian petitioned the eourt for the authority to execute mortgage documents and this court properly approved the petition. Dean’s statements.about criminal conduct have no basis in fact and the Public Guardian requests they be stricken . . 37. Dean makes further baseless claims about the “wrongful imprisonment” of Amelia Sallas. Objections, p. 7.
He makes unsupported, undocumented and disrespectful claims about the guardian “trafficking the elderly” and engaging in a criminal cover up, and thus, these must be stricken. Objections p. 7-10.
Similarly, no evidence has been produced or even referenced to support Dean’s baseless and appalling claims ofthat the Public Guardian’s staff has threatened him and Amelia Sallas and thus these must also be stricken. Objections p. 8. AO. Dean provides no evidence or documentation to support any of his offensive claims and the Public Guardian requests they be stricken. WHEREFORE, Charles P. Golbert, Cook County Public Guardian and successor plenary guardian of the Estate and Person of Amelia Sallas respectfully requests this Court enter an order:
Dismiss, in its entirety, “Dean Sallas’ Obj ection to all accountings of the Guardian’s appointed herein and in particular the 12th annual account ofthe Guardian Charles P. Golbert” as it is improperly pled and legally insufficient; and 5 FILED DATE: 6/7/2022 1:39 PM 2007P005360
Approving the Public Guardian’s Twelfth Current Account; and
Striking Dean Sallas’ unsubstantiated claims of: a. Financial elder abuse, felony theft, serious criminal conduct and claims the guardian is engaged in a criminal cover up as having no basis in fact; b. Wrongful imprisonment and trafficking the elderly as having no basis in fact; c. Alleged threats made by the Public Guardian’s staff to Dean and Amelia Sallas as having no basis in fact;
Granting any such further relief as this Court deems to be in the best interest of Amelia Sallas. Respectfully submitted, Lisac~or Charles P. Golbert, Cook County Public Guardian and Successor Plenary Guardian of the Estate and Person of Amelia Sallas VERIFICATION BY CERTIFICATON Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to Section 1-109 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the undersigned, an attorney, certifies that the statements set forth in this instrument are true and correct,except as matters therein stated to be on information and belief and as to such matters the undersigned certifies as aforesaid that she verify believes the same to be true, f)fi” ~ Listanova,~ Charles P. Golbert, Cook County Public Guardian Lisa Casanova, Attorney Office of the Public Guardian 69 W. Washington St. #700 Chicago IL 60602 312-603 -0800 Attorney No 70500 Elizabeth. Casanova(qlcoo kcountvil. gOY 6
Kathy Cooper has been fighting for some time to release her husband from an abusive guardianship and get her husband back. The couple has been split up and a de facto divorce was imposed upon this couple by the State of Minnesota Court System.
Husband Irvin Cooper wants to see his wife and she wants to see him and live with him again.
Irvin has escaped his ALF and allegedly gone to another state or country so he is free of his abusive guardianship he does not want and does not need.
The couple was married last October 2021 and the gship court continues to split this couple up and threaten Wife Kathy with jail if she has any contact with her husband, even though he has told the court repeatedly that Kathy has done nothing wrong and he does not want a Protective Order issued against her.
Why is the court doing this? $7,000 per month in income and a substantial inventory and a paid up home and vehicles, that the court wants to sell and use for their crony nursing home fees and attorneys’ fees, of course.
Be sure to link to zoom as a court watcher. Kathy needs court watchers right now and if can help her with her transcript fees, that would be great. Her case is now up on appeal.
Irvin Cooper’s 6/21/22 at 1:30 pm Zoom Hearing Login Instructions
And if you have heard or seen from Irvin, please leave updates on his condition. Please do not reveal to anyone where he is, but you can leave anonymous messages on this blog, facebook probate pages and on other probate victim pages for Wife Kathy to read publicly.
Wife Kathy has been posting public messages for Irvin to read and the Probate court cannot shut that down. Free Speech. See my other posts on probate gag orders which are illegal under Citizens United and other US Supreme Court cases. The standard for gage orders and sealing of cases is “strict scrutiny” which means 1) there must be a compelling reason to regulate speech; 2) there must be no other way to prevent the alleged harm and the harm is compelling; and 3) the means must be effective to prevent any alleged harm.
In this case, there is no harm invovled. Irvin wants to see his wife Kathy and she wants to see him and live with him. Both profess publicly they are deeply in love and want to be together. But if you are taking lots of money from estates, that might interfere with your crony plans.
Wonderful video on why you should never talk to the police without your attorney present.
When the police inform you of your right to an attorney, accept it and stop talking. Call your attorney as soon as you are able. Object to anything for the record and do it politely. The police cannot make you do anything and I mean anything. Make you walk a line, touch your toes, dance or whatever. Be polite but firm. Take out your cell phone and record everything. Keep your car on and your dash cam running at all times. Anyone nearby or in your car, ask them to record on their cell phones
Kathleen is 69 years old and does not do drugs or alcohol. She has 2 adult children that live out of state who are not interested in caring for her for whatever reason. She says they have their own lives and are very busy. I spent an hour with her and she seemed very intelligent (was a teacher for years), very kind, quiet, but talkative and she seems to be a good Christian and she is very introspective. She is from Ireland originally and still has a cute little accent. For some reason she is homeless. She does have social security, but a very small amount because she worked many jobs that did not pay into social security. She also has well care for insurance. She does not currently have food stamps because she moved back to California to be with her son for awhile. Let me know if you have a room for her or if you know a place where she can stay while she signs up for senior/disabled housing in the Chicago area. Sometimes she in pain due to fibromyalgia. She would lie to make some money by tutoring. Bless all of you for looking for housing for this kind lady. If you have something call me at 773.255.7608
As you know, for over a decade, the OPG and Probate court and various probate guardianship judges have terrorized Amelia and Dean Sallas. Dean Sallas is 84 years old and physically disabled. The OPG/Probate court have split up this couple and Amy Sallas has been isolated from her beloved husband of over a half century through various nefarious court orders. Amy has long recovered from her stroke of over a decade ago. She soon returned home from the hospital and after a few months of rest, resumed her household duties of caring for her husband and doing the household cooking, cleaning and laundry, yet her guardianship continued on even though her husband repeatedly protested she did not need a guardianship. A few years ago, Amy was put in a locked down ALF.
The story has been made public on social media and see how the OPG/judges/lawyers complain that, heaven forbid, the public has become aware of the case and is protesting this case, much the same as the “free Brittney” case but on a much lesser scale.
The lawyers and judges in this case have repeatedly stolen from Dean Sallas and deprived him of the loss of care and comfort of his wife for years now.
Please continue to write Judge Boliker at Cook County Court, 50 W. Washington St, Chicago, IL 60601 and the Office of Public Guardian, 69 W. Washington St, Chicago IL 60602 and continue to object to the handling of this couple.
They know the public is watching their criminal activity. The Sallas’ deserve to live their life in peace without the guardianship court making repeated statements that Dean “has no rights” and he cannot interfere with their dasterdly schemes.
Dean Sallas has recently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and this is all the fault of the OPG, the guardianship court and a foreclosure judge that would rubber stamp the foreclosure of a banana.
RECENT COURT TRANSCRIPT
1 STATE OF ILLINOIS ) ) SS: 2 COUNTY OF COO K ) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT, PROBATE DIVISION IN THE ESTATE OF: AMEL IA SALLAS, a disabled person.) ) No. 07 P 5360 REPORT OF RECORDED VIDEO CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS had at the matter of the above-entitled cause, before the HONORABLE SHAUNA BOLIKER, Judge of said Court, on the 8th day of February, A.D., 2022. APPEARANCES: MS DAWN LAWKOWSKI-KELLER and MS. LISA CASANOVA, appeared on behalf of Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, guardian of the Estate and Person; MS. AMY GESDAHL, appeared on behalf of Advocate Guardianship Services; MS EVE EPSTEIN, appeared as Court-appointed Guardian ad Litem; MR. DEAN SALLAS appeared pro se. 23 Sharon M. Rodrigo, CSR # 084-002233 Official Court Reporter 24 Circuit Court of Cook County County Department, Probate Division this is going to be 1 , r 1 THE COURT: This is Amelia Sallas, 07 P 5360. 2 MS CASANOVA: Good morning, Judge. Lisa Casanova 3 from 4 the Public Guardian’s Office. The public guardian is 5 successor plenary guardian of the estate and person. 6 MS LAWKOWSKI-KELLER: Dawn Lawkowsi-Keller, also 7 from the Cook Counby Public Defender’s Office. 8 MS EPSTEIN: Eve Epstein, E-p-s-t-e-i-n. I’m the 9 court-appointed guardian ad litem. 10 MS GJESDAHL: Good morning, Amy Gjesdale, 11 G-j-e-s-d-a-l-e. I formerly represented Josh Mitzen as 12 guardian of the person. I have a petition for 13 memorandum of judgment pending this morning. 14 15 MR SALLAS: THE COURT: Dean Sallas, husband to Amy Sallas. Is there somebody there also with you, 16 Mr Sallas? 17 MR SALLAS: I don’t see anybody, no. 18 THE COURT: Okay. Thank you. Okay. 19 MS CASANOVA: Judge, we also have a petition 20 regarding disbursement. Maybe we should take 21 Ms Gjesdale’s matter first. 22 THE COURT: Okay. I have both petitions before me 23 if you want to go ahead, Ms Gjesdale. 24 MS GJESDAHL: Yes, your Honor. I filed this 2 I • ,f 1 petition for memorandum of judgment regarding two 2 outstanding fee orders that were entered granting fees 3 from the estate of Amelia Sallas to Dutton Casey & 4 Mesoloras. 5 The Public Guardian’s Office did make two 6 payments totalling $2,000 towards those fee orders, but 7 there’s an outstanding balance of $8,810.50. We are 8 asking that a memorandum of judgment be entered against 9 the estate related to the Skokie, Illinois property of 10 4110 Suffield Court, Skokie, Illinois. 11 12 THE COURT: MS CASANOVA: Counsel? I don’t have an objection. That 13 property, it’s in foreclosure. But sure, that’s fine. 14 THE COURT: 15 judgment will be 16 17 18 MR SALLAS: THE COURT: MR SALLAS: 19 And they can’t All right. So the memorandum of I object, your Honor. Go ahead, Mr Sallas. I don’t owe these people any money. I’m not under the jurisdiction of 20 this Court. And you cannot order them to pay funds to 21 them that I don’t owe. 22 23 MS GJESDAHL: MR SALLAS: 24 tear-down title. Your Honor, if I may — To put a lien on my house would be a That’s a fact. You might as well be 3 • ,I 1 asking the local gardener to pay Josh Mitzen’s legal 2 fees. 3 Why is the guardian not paying it? And why is 4 Mr Mitzen What are you looking to embellish me and 5 harm me? That’s illegal. 6 You have no rights under the statute, 7 especially 755 ILCS 5/11 (a) (iii) (b) This Court has no authority to grant such a motion. THE COURT: Thank you, Mr Sallas. Ms Gjesdale. MS GJESDAHL: Thank you. 8 9 10 11 This property is held in a land trust. The 12 Albany Bank and Trust Company is trustee under a trust 13 agreement dated 9/15/73. Amelia Sallas has a 14 beneficial interest, a one-half beneficial interest in 15 this land trust. 16 Therefore, we are not trying to attach any of 17 these fees to Mr Sallas’ interest; only Amelia Sallas’ 18 interest. And the order reflects as such. It’s only 19 against the estate of Amelia Sallas. 20 MR SALLAS: Excuse me, your Honor. 21 just speaking is not aware of the law. Whoever was Illinois is a 22 marital state, and that’s a joint tenancy. 23 There is no 50/50 division. If you touch a 24 penny of her money, you touch my money. If you touch 4 1 my money, you are touching her money. 2 Obviously, whoever just spoke is not aware of 3 the laws in Illinois. Are they even an attorney or a 4 lawyer or have a law license? 5 THE COURT: They do. 6 MS GJESDAHL: Your Honor, I also don’t believe 7 Mr Sallas has any standing to object to my memorandum 8 of judgment. His standing is only related to very 9 limited issues in this matter. 10 THE COURT: We discussed that on many occasions 11 here in regards to Mr Sallas’ standing. I do believe
that the memorandum of judgment is appropriate. So the 13 memorandum of judgment will be entered at this point. 14 MS GJESDAHL: Thank you. 15 MR SALLAS: It seems, your Honor, that you have 16 just become a co-conspirator to a theft. 17 18 19 THE COURT: MR SALLAS: THE COURT: 20 your petition? 21 MS CASANOVA: Thank you, Mr- Sallas. You’re welcome. Ms Casanova, did you want to present Yes, Judge. And before I do so, I 22 did want to make you aware, just verbally give you a 23 report about something that occurred last week. 24 THE COURT: Sure. 5 1 MS CASANOVA: I did speak to an inspector from the 2 Illinois Department of Public Health. There was a 3 report made by Ms Phalen who has appeared in this court 4 as an observer before and I guess a Mr Kitkowski about 5 the care that Amelia was receiving was or is 6 receiving at Belmont Village. 7 The allegations concerned confinement, her 8 mobility, some dental issues, issues with COVID at the 9 facility. I did speak to the inspector. She did go 10 see Amelia. She thought she was quite comfortable •• 11 there. She seemed to be well adjusted. She was 12 confused, but pleasant, interact’ing with her peers. 13 So she did not note any concerns on that ./ 14 visit. But I just wanted you to be aware of that 15 report. 16 THE COURT: Thank you. 17 I know that that was always — that has 18 always been an issue, the dental issue and things like 19 that, you know. But I thought that that has at 20 least I know that she has been taken to a dentist 21 often and that has been followed up on. So in terms of 22 that, though, there were no issues with that either, 23 correct? 24 MS CASANOVA: There were no issues. I believe it 6 • 1 related to whether she was using the dentures she had 2 or not 3 lower. or actually, was using both the upper and I don’t think she likes the lower ones. 4 I honestly would need to check on the exact 5 specifics. But that’s what she was investigating, one 6 of the issues. 7 8 THE COURT: MR SALLAS: 9 appropriate? 10 11 THE COURT: MR SALLAS: Thank you. Can I ask a question when it’s You can ask a question, Mr Sallas. I questioned whether Amy was alive. 12 And who is this inspector who supposedly inspected? I 13 would like that person identified. 14 MS CASANOVA: She is alive, yes. I’m not sure if I 15 brought this up that one of the allegations was abou~ 16 confinement. 17 They didn’t find her confined at all. The 18 inspector was assigned through the Illinois Department 19 of Public Health. Ybu know, when they receive a 20 report, I’m not sure how specifically they assign an 21 inspector, but it’s part of their process, you know, to 22 ensure that residents are safe. 23 24 MR SALLAS: I would like — MS LAWKOWSKI-KELLER: And Judge, we would certainly 7 t oro 1 take issue with any accusation by Mr Sallas that we 2 would not inform him immediately of the passing of his 3 wife. 4 It is ridiculous that we are getting phone 5 calls and emails from people from other states; 6 conspiracy theorists, bloggers, whatever, leaving us 7 messages ,and emails saying, you know, “Is Amelia Sallas 8 indeed alive?” 9 I think that’s insulting. I think it’s a 10 horrible thing to say. She is very much alive. The 11 inspector, based on Mr Sallas’ and the blogger’s call 12 to the Illinois Department, went out there. And she’s 13 fine and doing well. 14 So I think, Mr Sallas, we are just going to 15 admonish you that of course you would be notified if 16 anything happened to Mrs Sallas. So I just wanted to 17 put that to rest on the record. 18 MR SALLAS: Who is speaking? 19 MS LAWKOWSKI-KELLER: It’s Dawn. 20 THE COURT: It’s Ms Lawkowski-Keller. 21 And Mr Sallas, this was initiated, sir, by the 22 individuals that come on line that speak about all of 23 us that are here, that are here in the best interest of 24 Ms Sallas that, from what I’m understanding from
, ,J 1 Ms Casanova, was initiated by the individuals that have 2 been supporting you. And that’s why the Illinois 3 Department of Public Health would have gone out, 4 because they heard of the allegations. 5 6 7 8 MR SALLAS: I would like a copy of that THE COURT: Because the public guardian does, of course, check monthly on Amy and how she is doing. And I also — There’s no way that the individuals on this 9 call, sir, if anything had ever happened to Amy, 10 something occurred with Amy, would not make this Court 11 aware of it and we would not also make people aware of 12 it, sir. 13 MR SALLAS: Well, no one has been able to confirm 14 her condition, including the Buffalo Grove Police. 15 They were not able to confirm a wellness check on her. 16 And what you reported is not what I found. 17 MS LAWKOWSKI-KELLER: Judge, I will just say, you 18 know, we’~l put this to rest and move on. 19 an investigator. But there is 20 What Mr Sallas is saying is patently false. 21 She’s fine. She’s doing well. And the investigator 22 was able to meet with her and see her. We are able to 23 meet with her. The police certainly are well aware 24 that Ms Sallas is fine. So these false outcries are 9 … 1 certainly problematic. 2 And you know, if people continue to make false 3 outcries to the police. That could also be a problem. 4 So people really need to consider what they are saying 5 to the police in this case. 6 MR SALLAS: I have personally visited with my wife, 7 and I have observed the conditions different from what 8 you are observing. 9 And you have not visited her. I have. 10 THE COURT: Thank you, Mr Sallas. 11 MS CASANOVA: Judge, the other matter is a petition 12 for disbursement in regards to beginning to make a 13 pre-need funeral plan for Ms Sallas. 14 She does not have anything underway in that 15 regard. So to the extent that we can — We would like 16 to take care of that issue as we can. 17 MR SALLAS: I object, your Honor, right here and 18 now. You do not have the right to make funeral 19 arrangements for me or my wife. 20 MS CASANOVA: This would not have anything to do — 21 THE COURT: With the actual arrangements. 22 MS CASANOVA: It would be the actual arrangements. 23 It’s pretty commonplace for the guardian to make 24 arrangements. .10 .’ .. 1 MR SALLAS: You do not have that right. 2 THE COURT: Mr Sallas– 3 MR SALLAS: You do not have the right. 4 THE COURT: As the guardian of Ms Sallas, yes, they 5 do have that right, sir. And I am going to allow — 6 MR SALLAS: No, they don’t. According to the law, 7 they do not. 8 She is my wife, and you are violating my 9 consortium rights with her. 10 MS CASANOVA: Thank you, Judge. That’s all. We 11 have a date next month for accounting and related 12 matters . 13 THE COURT: Okay. So I’ll see you all next month. 14 Thank you all very much. 15 MS CASANOVA: Thank you, your Honor. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 (Which were all the proceedings had in the above-entitled cause on said date. ) 11 “ • , 1 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS 2 COUNTY DEPARTMENT – PROBATE DIVISION 3 4 5 I, Sharon Rodrigo, an Official Court Reporter for 6 the Circuit Court of Cook County, County 7 Department/Prob~te Division, do h~reby certify that I 8 reported in shorthand the RECORDED proceedings had at 9 the hearing .in the above-enti·tled cause; that I 10 thereafter caused the foregoing to be transcribed into 11 typewriting, which I hereby certify to be a true and 12 accurate transcript of the proceedings had before the 13 HONORABLE SHAUNA BOLIKER, Judge of said court. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Dated this 14th day 24 of February, 2022. Official Court Reporter C.S.R. No. 84-2233 12
As I stated, it is time for the ‘good guys’ to rise up and address the clear and present danger that corrupt predators present. It is time for the Court appointed guardians who have ravaged the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Sallas account.
On the streets of the major cities the frontier approach is becoming more and more evident, and victims more and more diverse. Respect for the rule of law is virtually identical to that exhibited a week ago Tuesday in Judge Boliker’s courtroom and in Judge Robles courtroom as he issued a secret order (holding it in secret from Dean Sallas for about 11 days). The distinction was that the elderly victims of the breach of the public trust did not and could not physically react in a violent manner. Indeed, while the miscreant guardian and his co-conspirators were physically safe, the elderly couple had to deal with impending official violence directed to them.
At all time relevant every Judge, every lawyer, every social worker, every claimed worker for social justice and everyone associated with the political system knew that the guardian’s authority was limited and the statute made it very clear that in Illinois the Rule of Law was consistent with the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, to wit:
(b) Guardianship shall be utilized only as is necessary to promote the well-being of the person with a disability, to protect him from neglect, exploitation, or abuse, and to encourage development of his maximum self-reliance and independence. Guardianship shall be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the individual's actual mental, physical, and adaptive limitations. (Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
How does isolating, medicating, and otherwise abusing an 80 year old widow promote her well-being. How does isolating her from her spouse of more than 50 years not exploit or abuse her? How does pulling all her teeth and render her immobile encourage development of her maximum self-reliance and independence? How does making her and her husband’s marital property interests disappear comport with the statute? It should be noted that in spite of the clear words of section 22 the Guardian did not even raise a defense to the Byline Bank’s wrongfully trading, bartering with the 80 year old widow to gain control over her home. The statute is absolutely clear, i.e.
(755 ILCS 5/11a-22)(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-22) Sec. 11a-22. Trade and contracts with a person with a disability. (a) Anyone who by trading with, bartering, gaming or any other device, wrongfully possesses himself of any property of a person known to be a person with a disability commits a Class A misdemeanor. (b) Every note, bill, bond or other contract by any person for whom a plenary guardian has been appointed or who is adjudged to be unable to so contract is void as against that person and his estate, but a person making a contract with the person so adjudged is bound thereby. (Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
Indeed, Illinois and many other states have enacted legislation to address the actions of the guardian, the judges, the lawyers, and all others who are vested with the public trust, to wit:
· Criminal Elder Abuse 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-56
· (a) A person commits financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability when he or she stands in a position of trust or confidence with the elderly person or a person with a disability and he or she knowingly and by deception or intimidation obtains control over the property of an elderly person or a person with a disability or illegally uses the assets or resources of an elderly person or a person with a disability. (b) Sentence. Financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability is: (1) a Class 4 felony if the value of the property is $300 or less, (2) a Class 3 felony if the value of the property is more than $300 but less than $5,000, (3) a Class 2 felony if the value of the property is $5,000 or more but less than $50,000, and (4) a Class 1 felony if the value of the property is $50,000 or more or if the elderly person is over 70 years of age and the value of the property is $15,000 or more or if the elderly person is 80 years of age or older and the value of the property is $5,000 or more. (c) For purposes of this Section: (1) “Elderly person” means a person 60 years of age
or older. (2) “Person with a disability” means a person who
suffers from a physical or mental impairment resulting from disease, injury, functional disorder or congenital condition that impairs the individual’s mental or physical ability to independently manage his or her property or financial resources, or both. (3) “Intimidation” means the communication to an
elderly person or a person with a disability that he or she shall be deprived of food and nutrition, shelter, prescribed medication or medical care and treatment or conduct as provided in Section 12-6 of this Code. (4) “Deception” means, in addition to its meaning as
defined in Section 15-4 of this Code, a misrepresentation or concealment of material fact relating to the terms of a contract or agreement entered into with the elderly person or person with a disability or to the existing or pre-existing condition of any of the property involved in such contract or agreement; or the use or employment of any misrepresentation, false pretense or false promise in order to induce, encourage or solicit the elderly person or person with a disability to enter into a contract or agreement. The illegal use of the assets or resources of an elderly person or a person with a disability includes, but is not limited to, the misappropriation of those assets or resources by undue influence, breach of a fiduciary relationship, fraud, deception, extortion, or use of the assets or resources contrary to law. A person stands in a position of trust and confidence with an elderly person or person with a disability when he (i) is a parent, spouse, adult child or other relative by blood or marriage of the elderly person or person with a disability, (ii) is a joint tenant or tenant in common with the elderly person or person with a disability, (iii) has a legal or fiduciary relationship with the elderly person or person with a disability, (iv) is a financial planning or investment professional, or (v) is a paid or unpaid caregiver for the elderly person or person with a disability. (d) Limitations. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to limit the remedies available to the victim under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. (e) Good faith efforts. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to impose criminal liability on a person who has made a good faith effort to assist the elderly person or person with a disability in the management of his or her property, but through no fault of his or her own has been unable to provide such assistance. (f) Not a defense. It shall not be a defense to financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability that the accused reasonably believed that the victim was not an elderly person or person with a disability. (g) Civil Liability. A civil cause of action exists for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability as described in subsection (a) of this Section. A person against whom a civil judgment has been entered for financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability shall be liable to the victim or to the estate of the victim in damages of treble the amount of the value of the property obtained, plus reasonable attorney fees and court costs. In a civil action under this subsection, the burden of proof that the defendant committed financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability as described in subsection (a) of this Section shall be by a preponderance of the evidence. This subsection shall be operative whether or not the defendant has been charged or convicted of the criminal offense as described in subsection (a) of this Section. This subsection (g) shall not limit or affect the right of any person to bring any cause of action or seek any remedy available under the common law, or other applicable law, arising out of the financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability. (h) If a person is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability that involves the taking or loss of property valued at more than $5,000, a prosecuting attorney may file a petition with the circuit court of the county in which the defendant has been charged to freeze the assets of the defendant in an amount equal to but not greater than the alleged value of lost or stolen property in the defendant’s pending criminal proceeding for purposes of restitution to the victim. The burden of proof required to freeze the defendant’s assets shall be by a preponderance of the evidence. (Source: P.A. 99-272, eff. 1-1-16.)
Dean Sallas’ Bankruptcy is not a casual affair to gain time or to prevent the Byline Bank from completing it illegal sale of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sallas. It is not a counter to the expected approval of just about anything that Byline or its nominee do by Judge Robles.
Congress enacted the Bankruptcy law and gave wide powers to the Bankruptcy Court to address exactly the type of predation that has occurred in case 07 P 5360 and 2019 CH 13960. An Adversary proceeding should be filed to recover from the miscreants the marital property interests stolen from this elderly couple and to recover damages for the serious breach of trust demonstrated by the judges who abandoned their public trust and became co-conspirators with the guardian and the Financial institution that did the dirty work.
By the Bankruptcy filing, the UNITED STATES TRUSTEE now owns the multi=million dollar claim for Dean Sallas’ marital property interests stolen from he and his wife by the ultra vires actions of persons guilty of financial elder abuse. The fact that the crimes were committed in the Courthouse, but acts acting in direct derogation of the 14th Amendment and the limitations of their authority does not give immunity or exculpation.
Dean Sallas is not going out and car jacking Mr. Golbert’s vehicle, nor is he going out and purchasing a gun. The Bankruptcy code and the Trustee in Bankruptcy give him a nuclear option. In fact it provides all the helpless elderly victims of America’s modern Holocaust a remedy. The Bankruptcy Judge is not running mortgage foreclosure mill weighed heavily toward ethically challenged creditors, nor is he providing jobs and income to his special friends – appointing them guardians, GAL’s, attorney for ****. The United States Trustee’s office is interested in providing a level playing field for all who it services and in particular protecting the rights of the less affluent litigant cannot claim that the Byline Bank’s attorney fees for a case still in the pleading stage generated $41,000 dollars of attorney fees. (Even Judge Robles could not purchase that averment – he reduced the fee to $25,000)
To those who are possessed with the public trust, the elderly are not a considered to be very important. The Felonies of elder cleansing, financial elder abuse, human trafficking in the elderly etc are not high priority – just a pain.
Unfortunately it is not long and we all look in the mirror and an image looks back at us that we do not recognize – in my case it was an old man with white hair dressed in a sweat shirt that looked like a handmedown and a a pair of basketball shorts that obviously was a handmedown. The face is what was scary – that old man looked like me!!!! As I was contemplating the image a middle aged woman obviously in her late 50’s or early 60’s accosted me and started her utterance with the word “DAD!”
To my shock – I was being told that it was too cold for me to take my bicycle out!
It happens to everyone! It happened to Mr. and Mrs. Dean Sallas. In their situation they were ambushed by the propaganda that America is a democracy, the home of the free and the brave, etc, etc. Indeed, it is IF YOU KEEP YOUR GUARD UP! Amy Sallas had some problems, and retired from her employment. Dean who was a bit older also was retired and together that put together a nest egg of investments that had a net value of more than 8 million dollars.
Mr. and Mrs. Sallas were seduced and infected by the bug – IT CANNOT HAPPEN TO ME. They like so many vulnerable elderly actually believed the political people who sold snake oil, to wit: America has a caring government and we respect the elderly. They had not met Judge Stuart, Judge Boliker, the Cook County Public Guardian or that cast of characters. Sallas actually believed that the Rule of Law meant something and 755 ILCS 5/11a -10 and its due process provision was more than words. The old man and woman thought that 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3 providing for CLEAR & CONVINCING EVIDENCE of disability meant that at least a scintilla of evidence was equated to the words Clear and Convincing! As I said, they did not know Judge Stuart or the her appointed guardian. They saw the dollar signs and Mr. and Mrs. Sallas were off on the fast track to isolation, medication, and deprivation of rights, privileges and immunities. The protection and limitations of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b were ignored.
Seize the money was the credo and even before a hearing could be held the victims were sized, seized and diced! Everyone who co-operated with the miscreants got a piece of the pie. Lawyers who thought that the oath of an attorney meant something soon learned that there was a penalty of suspension of your license if you protested. To Hell with decisions such as Himmel
the object of Guardianship was not to protect – it was to pillage and destroy – AND most importantly get those savings accumulated by Mr. and Mrs. Sallas into ‘hands’ that would appreciate them! All Sallas would do with those funds would be to spoil his/her grandchildren.
Today, with Mr. Sallas’ Bankruptcy the miscreants are able to pat themselves on the back and cry out!
Indeed, the Corrupt judges, the guardians, and the various hangeron lawyers have over the past approximately 15 years undone well over 50 years of blood sweat and tears. Amy Sallas has lost her teeth, her mobility, but she has a Grave! Dean Sallas has filed for Bankruptcy – or the goal of making him homeless and penniless would have been accomplished! Good people across America have protested this American holocaust, but rest assured [ no one cares and the poor bastards are satisfied by pols who enact more and more legislation that it ignored, or better yet write GAO reports to Congress that are never read. As I said at word one – those old folks are a pain -0- until I become one of them. The Sallas case is particularly obnoxious as it embodies for all to observe the full extent of the perfidy and avarice of our judicial system and too many of the people tied to it. It embodies the ‘don’t see, don’t hear, don’t tell, and do not make waves attitude of our those members of our political system who characterize themselves as the ‘best and the brightest.’ It embodies the thin blue line of our law enforcement and it impotence. And finally it informs all of us, rich, poor, old, young, et al that never trust a politician or a guy (or gal) in a suit who promises you something. Indeed, it tells everyone why our streets are a war zone and why so many of us are purchasing guns! Let me be candid – when Dean Sallas told me that his wife was at a nursing home, had been exposed to covid and the ‘guardian’ told him that he could not give him a report on his wife’s condition because of HIPPA, had someone said that to me instead of Judge Boliker approving the Guardian’s death and burial plan for Amy Sallas, the actual event targeting the guardian might be taking place. I am not known for being so docile! (My wife and my children also are not so *****) The Sallas case is replete with the Court, the guardian and all their co-conspirators running rampant over the human and civil rights of Mr. and Mrs. Sallas. Today is the first day of the rest of the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Sallas and I’m assured that that *****. Talk is cheap!
To: JoAnne M Denison <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Brian Thompson <email@example.com>, Sharon E Corse <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent from my iPhoneBegin forwarded message:From: “Brown, Amy” <email@example.com> Date: February 15, 2022 at 5:27:17 PM CST To: Michael Rivas <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com Cc: “Lowery, Mary” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject:RE: Joanne Denison – ARDC LIEN – Closing: 2/16Good evening: I was not at my computer today. I will be in the office all day tomorrow. We are in the process of calculating the interest on the $17,554.58 judgment. I should have an answer to you by tomorrow (Wednesday). Sorry for the delay. Amy Amy G. BrownSenior Litigation ParalegalAttorney Registration & Disciplinary Commissionof the Supreme Court of Illinois130 East Randolph, St. 1500Chicago, Illinois 60601312-565-2600 (main)312-565-2320 (fax)312-540-5248 (direct)ABrown@IARDC.orgFrom: Michael Rivas <email@example.com> Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2022 8:44 AM To:firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: Brown, Amy <email@example.com> Subject: Joanne Denison – ARDC LIEN – Closing: 2/16 Brian: I have still have not received an invoice from the ARDC concerning the above. If nothing is received by the end of business day, I would suggest setting aside $30K in escrow – Mike Rivas
JoAnne M Denison <JoAnne@denisonlaw.com>
Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 9:30 AM
To: MICHAEL RIVAS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am objecting to paying off that lien. It’s a false judgment in the court reporter was unlicensed and it should have been taken care of months ago[Quoted text hidden]
JoAnne M Denison <JoAnne@denisonlaw.com>
Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 9:45 AM
To: MICHAEL RIVAS <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kenneth Ditkowsky <email@example.com>Cc: Brian Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sharon E Corse <email@example.com>
Dear Amy;I am objecting to any payout on the ARDC loan. It fully is false and fraudulent lien. If there is a payout instead of a full release, I will sue everyone involved at the ARDC, including you, personally and I will drag the ARDC through the mud again for their perfidy and mendacity.The amount is based upon transcripts prepared for an unlicensed court reporter. You can look that up, you can call the IDPFR and get the documents. She was unlicensed for 10 years and had to voluntarily surrender her license. If the court reporter is unlicensed, there is no judgment in the case.I have warned Sharon Opryszek that the lien is false and fraudulent and she said nothing. She did nothing about it. I have no intention of ever becoming licensed again through the IARDC, because it is a criminal organization.I am herewith demanding the IARDC send my attorney, Michael Rivas, a full release of this loan instead.Thank you for your cooperation.The pleadings for my case are published on my blog and are in the IARDC files.You have been forewarned. Govern yourself accordingly, Do the right thing.Joanne Denisoncc: www.marygsykes.com[Quoted text hidden]– JoAnne Denison, Justice 4 Every1, NFP, 5534 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60634. work phone 312;553-1300 efax 773-423-4455; cell phone 773-255-7608. NOTE: Joanne Denison is not a licensed attorney and does not provide any legal opinions or advice. She is an expert consultant in political/court corruption only.website www.denisonlaw.com; follow my blog at www.marygsykes.com to promote judicial integrity and accountability. make an appointment at https://joanne-denison.youcanbook.me/ and bring a donationour work can only continue via your generous donations. we are a 501 c 3 not for profit corp and donations may be tax deductible with a receipt.donate at www.paypal.me/joannedenison or on patreon at www.patreon.com/joannedenison
I will be filing a police report on this attempted fraud and theft
1 IN THE United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana IN THE MATTER OF ) Case No.: 1:17-mc-00005 ANDREW STRAW, ) An Attorney. ) PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT
I, plaintiff, Andrew U. D. Straw, PETITION for reinstatement under the Local Rule 83.6-11(c):
I paid in full the discipline fees of the Indiana Supreme Court in March 2021 with my Biden Stimulus Payment.
I have been suspended both by the Indiana Supreme Court and this Court, though this Court’s reciprocal suspension at Dkt. 4 (3/21/2017) was entered on the record with two federal lawsuits pending to stop the Indiana suspension.
I include a copy of the Indiana suspension and the VSB ORDER exonerating me and finding that I had violated no ethical rule by “clear and convincing” evidence. Exhibits 1 & 2.
This Court has never given me the right to a proper hearing so I could explain why the Indiana Supreme Court discipline is wholly without substance and void. 2
The same question of whether to impose a suspension was before the Virginia State Bar and after due process before a 3-judge panel, I was 100% exonerated, found not to have violated any ethical rule, and that the Indiana Supreme Court’s attack using its ADA coordinator, “had all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting.”
The problem for Indiana is that my suspension was still being appealed two different ways when Virginia’s ORDER became final and was not appealed because the Bar Counsel in Virginia actually agreed with me that I did nothing unethical in filing 4 federal lawsuits for disability rights as a disabled person.
Thus, the Virginia State Bar ORDER finding by clear and convincing evidence is first in time final on June 20, 2017. The summary dismissal ORDER was entered on May 24, 2017.
The 16-1346 direct appeal of my suspension to the U.S. Supreme Court via petition for writ of cert. was not decided until June 26,
This was too late to create first in time final effect.
Note that this is 6 days after the VSB ORDER was entered. 3
I also had another federal lawsuit to stop the discipline under the ADA Title II, which does apply to state courts. Tennessee v. Lane, 541 U.S. 509, 525, 531 (2004).
That lawsuit was not decided on appeal at the 7th Circuit until July 6, 2017, meaning the case to stop what Indiana did was not final at the 7th Circuit until 16 days after the VSB ORDER was first in time final.
Straw v. Indiana Supreme Court, et. al., 17-1338, 692 F. App’x 291 (7th Cir. 7/6/2017).
I appealed this 7th Circuit decision to the U.S. Supreme Court and the denial of certiorari did not take place in that 17-6812 docket until January 8, 2018, 202 days after the VSB ORDER was first in time final.
Please never forget that this is between me and my former employer when I became disabled driving there to work, a reckless driver breaking my legs, pelvis, and skull as I drove to serve the Chief Justice of Indiana and every court in the State of Indiana, over 400 of them I served. 4
I made a complaint about the ADA violations of my former employer and it ended up on the desk of the Indiana Supreme Court ADA coordinator, who was eager to cause me injury and discredit me. She attacked 4 federal lawsuits I had filed in 2014 that were not final when she attacked them. She also attacked my mental disability and blamed it for my filing these cases.
In every one of the cases she attacked that ended up in the suspension ORDER, I was not accused of anything unethical, did not receive any FRCP Rule 11(c) due process, and was not issued any sanction, and this is obvious because the due process was wholly lacking to justify any sanction.
Judges don’t just get to point at people, grunt angrily, and end their careers. While that is apparently how it works at the Indiana Supreme Court, federal courts are bound by due process under the 5th Amendment. 5
Thus, while Indiana says it was enforcing Rule 3.1, it was not. There was no evidence of a Rule 3.1 violation given no due process was provided to reach that conclusion.
This Court in particular in the Rutherford and Dixon cases did not give me due process under Rule 11(c) for any sanction, and did not impose a sanction under Rule 11.
The Northern District of Illinois was even more dubious. The ABA case was dismissed, but the word frivolous did not even appear in any order of the Court, but Indiana just stepped in and interfered.
Even the Kloecker case dismissal only mentioned the word frivolous one time, and it was done not in the ethical sense, but to say my legal interpretation of evidence was wrong. Wrong is not an ethical violation. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 320 (1989).
Moreover, even the 7th Circuit that has been so hostile to me has said there is a First Amendment right to file lawsuits and petition courts with viewpoints. Domanus v. Locke Lord LLP, 847 F.3d 469, 483 (7th Cir. 2017). 6
The 7th Circuit has punished me and restricted my ability to file across its area in all courts because I expressed the viewpoint that the 7th Circuit hiring my appellee to be a federal judge and favoring him in my appeal was illegitimate and wrong. Straw v. Indiana Supreme Court, et. al., 692 F. App’x 291 (7th Cir. 2017) (Dkts. 79 & 80). It is a due process violation for the 7th Circuit to continue violating my rights to use the courts while making my opponents into federal judges. There is no shame, but this Court does not have to collude and violate the 5th Amendment.
The Indiana Supreme Court was simply out to get me after I made a legitimate and true ADA complaint about it. It cannot then turn around and do a DARVO against me, claiming its victim is really at fault.
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken 2 cases from this District Court and imposed a reciprocal suspension based on them when this Court, the Northern District of Indiana, imposed no discipline at all, and I was and still am an attorney of this Court.
I am a federal attorney, associated with the bar of this Court, and I have been abused by a lower state court without any good 7 reason, only discrimination and retaliation. It should shock the conscience that a state court would abuse me that way.
Indiana imposed a reciprocal suspension when there was no suspension (either in Indiana or Illinois) against me, and then this District Court imposed a reciprocal suspension based on that meritless and baseless Indiana reciprocal suspension.
Bootstrapping retaliation based on NOTHING by a state supreme court UNDER this Court should not be allowed.
I committed no crime, felony or misdemeanor.
I committed no dishonest act.
I had a clean disciplinary history as a lawyer from 1999 (my first bar exam passage in Virginia) to 2017, when this fake reciprocal suspension was imposed to get revenge and ruin my reputation.
Not one of my 10+ mitigating facts, brimming over in my selfdefense in that fake Indiana process, was considered or made part of the final Indiana suspension ORDER. I may as well have been gagged and thrown in the basement while they did this to me.
It is below the dignity of this Court to continue this fake reciprocal discipline that the Virginia State Bar found in its ORDER to be wholly without merit.
That Virginia State Bar ORDER must be obeyed and its findings of fact and law are FIRST IN TIME FINAL.
Thus there is res judicata impact and collateral preclusion of any contrary finding. 28 U.S.C. § 1738 (cl. 3).
Reinstatement here should happen under N.D. Ind. L.R. 83- 6.11(c).
I petition here under (c)(1) and provide the Indiana and Virginia ORDERs as attached Exhibits 1 & 2.
(c)(2)(A) provides that the Chief Judge must promptly decide whether I am fit to practice law again. In this case, it was never established that I was not fit and that is why the FIRST IN TIME FINAL ORDER in Virginia should determine this decision. I was exonerated by clear and convincing evidence. (Ex. 2)
Under (c)(2)(B) the Chief Judge, finding absolutely no sanctions justifying Indiana’s reciprocal attack, should recommend reinstatement without fees, given this was never my fault. I 9 presented over 1500 pages of evidence to show VSB that I did not deserve this, ever.
I ask the Court’s District Judges (not any bankruptcy judge) to find under (c)(3)(A) that given the VSB ORDER, its first in time final findings of fact and law, there is no reason to keep me from being the fully admitted federal attorney here that started when I passed the Indiana Bar Exam in 2002 while working for the Chief Justice of Indiana and serving every court in the state.
Help me celebrate my 20 years of bar membership here by removing this 5 years of bogus and unfair discipline that violates my constitutional and statutory rights.
My efiling privileges should be reinstated.
Given I have not filed an explicit N.D. Ind. L.R. 83-6.11(c) petition up to this point, this petition should be allowed now.
Out of respect for the Court’s recent COVID ORDERs (e.g., General Order No. 2021-33), I ask that the admonition to file by US Mail be set aside and this document and the exhibits be allowed by email. 10 WHEREFORE, I petition the Court to reinstate me as an active in good standing attorney of this Court, and make this nunc pro tunc due to the circumstances of the fake reciprocal suspension. I, plaintiff Andrew U. D. Straw, verify that to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances, that the above statements and factual representations are true and correct under penalty of perjury. February 13, 2022 Respectfully submitted, s/ ANDREW U. D. STRAW 700 12th ST NW STE 700 PMB 92403 Washington, DC 20005 Telephone: (847) 807-5237 firstname.lastname@example.org
11 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I, Andrew U. D. Straw, certify that I filed the above PETITION and EXHIBITS and ORDER proposed below with the Clerk of Court via email on February 13, 2022. Respectfully submitted, s/ ANDREW U. D. STRAW 700 12th ST NW STE 700 PMB 92403 Washington, DC 20005 Telephone: (847) 807-5237 email@example.com Pro Se 12 IN THE United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana IN THE MATTER OF ) Case No.: 1:17-mc-00005 ANDREW STRAW, ) An Attorney. ) ORDER
The Court, having considered the matter in the facts and law and premises, hereby find that Andrew U. D. Straw did not merit any reciprocal suspension here and his sanctions are hereby obliterated as though never imposed. His efiling privileges are hereby reinstated. Given Attorney Straw did not merit these sanctions at all, no fees will be imposed on him. The Court wishes Attorney Straw well on his 20th Anniversary of being admitted to the Bar of this Court. It is so ORDERED.
89 year old woman lives in a nursing home for a short time, falls twice, says “she never wants to come back here”
Why do we have so many elderly in nursing homes? Why do the courts, GALs and attorneys routinely place them there without any study of the falls, diseases, injuries, wrong medications?
In this documentary, the patient gets fed 120 mg of morphine in apple sauce! She got the wrong medications.
There was 40 patients to one nurse.
In many nursing homes, if the family isn’t there to feed the patient, and the patient needs feeding assistant, they do not eat (Jay Brochmesch, report by Joyce Ketelhut, the daughter, nursing home in Chicago).
They routinely fail to check vitals on a regular basis, and no one is monitoring this.
In a lawsuit, filed by the woman in the video, the suit accuses the nursing home of intentionally decreasing staff in order to increase profits (Life Care of America) which operates over 200 facilities across the US.
On third of all medicare beneficiaries suffer some sort of harm within the first two weeks of arrival at a nursing facility (8:33)
Over 90,000 patients experience bed sores each year (8:39) Bed sores are per se negligence. 380,000 patients die from infections in care facilities. (8:43)
The industry gets almost all of its money from taxpayers at $80 billion per year.
They always tell lawmakers they need more.
The books shown to the public always show little, if no profits.
But is this true? The report claims nursing home owners game the system
(9:56) Forest Preston is the owner of Life Care and is one of the richest persons in the US. Most people do not know who this guy is.
Next to nothing is known about Preston or Life Care. (11:20)
Nursing homes in the past have laundered their profits via friends and family, while neglecting patients.
Nursing homes use shell corporations to move around money (15:34). A shell corporation holds no assets, conducts no real business other than holding and hiding money and moving it around. A shell corporation is typically used by dark (criminal) corporations to hide dark money or criminal profits.
(21:00) Elderly man delivered from nursing home to hospital found dehydrated and malnourished and with 28 bed sores. All toes had to be amputated. His should was scraped out the size of a nursing home.
Nursing Home Care Act mandates state inspections and regulations for patient care. (23:47) however, patients continue to receive grossly inadequate and even harmful care. Nursing home inspectors have been found to consistently overlook dangerous conditions and wrongfully labeling them as “not harmful to patients” even after involving actual harm to patients.
(24:28) It is noted that if this happens to child care facilities there is always immediate shut down and immediate arrest. This never happens in the nursing home business. When children are injured, there is outcry and arrests. When it involves elderly patients, injuries are hidden and nothing is ever done. Facilities are not shut down and no arrests are made.
(28.41) Over 50% of staff at Life Care who filed complaints with the state were later fired by Life Care.
When I and another probate victim asked the state inspectors why they hadn’t moved on the Carol Wyman injury/rape report for over 9 months, we were told, they only had a few inspectors in Chicago, about 3.
In Illinois they do have a state law that family can set up cameras to watch over their loved ones in nursing homes.
Remember this as your loved ones languish on in a nursing home that claims it is nearly bankrupt, needs more federal $$$$, but is closely associated with a fleet of shell corporations to transfer money to.
Washington, D.C. – In a continuation of their efforts to protect seniors and people with disabilities from abusive guardians, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the former and current Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, introduced the Guardianship Accountability Act. The legislation addresses many of the recommendations in the Aging Committee’s report, “Ensuring Trust: Strengthening State Efforts to Overhaul the Guardianship Process and Protect Older Americans,” that was released at a November 2018 hearing they led following their year-long investigation.
“Guardians are entrusted to take care of those who are unable to make important decisions about their finances and well-being. In some heartbreaking cases, however, Americans have been ruthlessly exploited by caretakers who have taken advantage of the guardianship system,” said Senator Collins. “Preventing guardianship abuse requires law enforcement and social service agencies at all levels of government to work together, and the Guardianship Accountability Act promotes this kind of collaboration. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation to help hold criminals accountable and protect seniors and others who receive care under guardianships.”
“The high profile case of Britney Spears shined a spotlight on an issue impacting millions of older adults and people with disabilities living under guardianships or conservatorships. While many people under guardianships may need help managing certain aspects of their lives, lacking oversight and support make it hard for those experiencing abuse to speak out and seek help. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about how many guardianships are occurring, how they’re managed or how much fraud or abuse is happening. This bill would help provide accountability and oversight into guardianships, promote best practices and provide funding and training to spot abuse,” said Senator Casey.
Guardians are supposed to provide support for individuals, ensuring a full life directed, wherever possible, by the person’s own choices and preferences. Without proper oversight, however, unscrupulous guardians can abuse these legal relationships and exploit the individuals they are supposed to protect. State courts are tasked with monitoring guardianships in order to protect individuals subject to guardianship from abuse, neglect and exploitation. Despite this responsibility, few states are able to provide courts with adequate resources to monitor guardianships effectively and hold guardians accountable.
Numerous reported instances of fraud and abuse underscore the vulnerabilities created by guardianships and the need for diligent oversight. Recent examples of exploitation include a professional guardian and her colleagues in Nevada who were indicted on more than 200 felony counts after they allegedly used the guardianship process to take advantage of and financially exploit over 150 individuals. In another case, two individuals from North Carolina lost hundreds of thousands of dollars through exploitation by a family member who served as their guardians. Pop star Britney Spears’ high-profile fight to end her years-long, court-ordered conservatorship has heightened the attention on guardianships.
The Guardianship Accountability Act would help ensure individuals under the care of guardians are not at risk of abuse or neglect by expanding the availability of federal demonstration grants to be used for developing state guardianship databases to assist with the collection of information on guardians, training of court visitors, and sharing of background check and other information with appropriate entities. It would also establish a National Resource Center on Guardianship, which would be tasked with:
· Collecting and publishing information relevant to guardianship for use by guardians, individuals subject to guardianship, as well as courts, states, local governments, and community organizations;
· Publishing model legislation and best practices developed pursuant to the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act;
· Compiling and publishing training materials for guardians;
· Promoting the use of less restrictive alternatives such as supported decision-making
· Sharing research related to guardianship; and
· Maintaining a database on state laws regarding guardianship, the use of less restrictive alternatives, and the restoration of rights.