The following is an email that Atty Ken Ditkowsky agreed to post with some explanation of the facts to new readers:
Background (by JMD):
In 2005, Mary was taken by her daughter Carolyn to an attorney to change her Will and Power of Attorney which a Power of Attorney for Health Care and Property was granted to Carolyn. The other younger daughter, Gloria, did not know about this until after she and her mother returned from a vacation trip in 2010 and noticed that keys to their safe deposit box were missing, and the staff at the local bank informed them that Carolyn had the box drilled out, without permission, while both of them were gone. Now, since Gloria’s name was on the safe deposit box, the bank should have required written permission from Gloria, but that was never done. Carolyn knew Gloria’s name was on the safe deposit box. A trust document was created which purportedly transferred title from Mary Sykes to a Trust wherein Mary Sykes was the trustor, trustee AND beneficiary. There was an approximate $150,000 mortgage on Mary’s home.
Let us go over the facts. The house owned by Mary had a mortgage on it that had a due on sale cause in the Chain of title. Carolyn to obtain a benefit for herself, induced her mother to sign a Deed in Trust that violated the due on sale clause. This document was intended to be deceptive in that in the early pages of the document that Mr. Stern provided, the Deed in Trust purports to divide the subject real estate equally, yet later on it attempts to portray the entire property being given to Carolyn.
Now add up the facts: 1) Mary with the aid of Court personnel prepared a petition for a protective order against Carolyn. 2) Carolyn obtained a power of attorney, but never filed the appropriate accountings even though she raided the Safety Deposit Box. 3) Carolyn took without authorization $4000.00 that she claimed that she was using to allegedly “create an IRA account” – this precipitated Mary going to the Courthouse.
4) The petition for an order of protection was sidetracked by the agreed order promulgated by the two guardian ad litem and the attorney for the plenary guardian. (I believe that at that point in time Schmiedel had replaced Waller). The document that Stern provided does not have a document number or time stamp. When did Carolyn file the Deed in Trust?
It is my opinion that the Deed in Trust violates the Statute of Uses and therefore transfers the property right back to Mary. The net is that Carolyn has no authority to institute the forcible entry and detainer action against Gloria. The net also is that this document (furnished by Stern) is strong evidence of misconduct on the part of the plenary guardian.
Stern’s furnishing the document and correcting Schmiedel’s misstatment as to the disposition of the petition for an order of protection is a positive. I understand he arranged one of the rare Christmas contacts for Mary’s siblings. His complains about your blog however are a negative. There has been so little reported that is positive concerning Stern, it is a pleasure to be able to say something nice. It is possible by highly improbable that he is going to surprise us by revealing to the Court the fact that Carolyn has not been candid with the Court as to the assets of the disabled person’s estate and she has a real conflict of interest – i.e. does she foster her own interests or that of the estate. The expectation the either Farenga or Stern would do anything that was not in the best interests of Carolyn is ‘slim and none.’ As a lawyer, Stern is supposed to be familiar with the Statute of Uses.
I copied Stern on this e-mail because I do not want him to suggest at some later date that it never occurred to him that the Statute of Uses would apply and that ****.
Additional note from JMD: At the time the $4,000 was removed from Mary’s account without permission, Carolyn claimed it was for an “IRA” or retirement fund for Mary. This is despite the fact that in 2009 Mary was 90 and ineligible for any retirement fund with any tax or other benefits.
Further, at the very last hearing, Gloria brought up the fact with Judge Stuart that Carolyn should not be guardian because she was the Respondent to an Order for Protection and that was against Illinois state law. Judge Stuart responded, “wasn’t that heard earlier in this case” to which Mr. Stern admitted, “no it wasn’t.” Judge Stuart then indicated she would not entertain and was interested or concerned about the fact that Carolyn Toerpe was, and still is, the respondent to a Motion for a Protective Order! Certainly the court personnel helping Mary would not have filed the Petition if they felt Mary was incompetent or suffered from dementia, they would have brought it to the attention of the court.http://vimeo.com/user10893323/videos