I believe that when GJS has had time and an opportunity, besides dismissing the probate case 09 P 4585 at the Illinois Court of Appeals which will invalidate the Indiana proceeding freezing her assets, if not before that, in Indiana she can attack the Illinois Probate court order there by alleging the following:
1. The Circuit Court of Cook County decision freezing the assets of GJS has in fact no force and effect outside the boundaries of the State of Illinois, unless ‘registered’ in the appropriate manner as provided for in the State of Indiana.
2. That Carolyn Toerpe was improperly appointed via a series of serious missteps on her part, rendering the probate proceeding without jurisdiction, namely:
a) in particular pursuant to 755 ILCS 11a – 3, it appears that at the time that Carolyn Toerpe filed her petition to have Mary Sykes declared incompetent Mary Sykes was not a resident of Cook County, Illinois as she was residing in DuPage Court. Section 11a-3 uses the word ‘shall’ as to venue.
b) It also appears that Mary Sykes had a petition for a Protective order pending at the time of the filing. This Domestic Violence protection act was never heard by the Circuit Court. While this petition was consolidated into the Probate Proceeding it was then never heard, which is improper. Judge Connors should have heard the petition on the Protective Order first and then proceeded. They were pressed for time and the GAL’s conveniently forgot to do it. If the GAL’s have been involved in the case for 22 mos, it is their duty to bring this motion. Neither one of two GAL’s appointed in the case has brought this to the attention of Judge Stuart or Judge Connors, while it is their duty to do so.
c) That in particular 11a-8 requires that the Petition contain certain facts. In particular, the petitioner must disclose ‘powers of attorney’ and the close (near) relatives of the respondent, i.e. spouse, children, and siblings. (Mary’s spouse predeceased her). Mary’s siblings were not disclosed and a power of attorney claimed by the Petitioner Carolyn Toerpe was not disclosed. Further, Carolyn knew Gloria had a current POA because she was with her all the time and resided with her and Carolyn filed a clearly deficient Petition failing to name Gloria as the POA holder and all the adult siblings and their addresses. Carolyn either knew, or should have known, or should have made due inquiry. She did not do any of these.
d) That in particular 11a – 10 and 11a -12 requires that the respondent be informed of her rights and that 14 days prior to the date of the hearing on respondent’s competency her near relatives be provided actual notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. This was not done, and I have made a careful search of the record and found no evidence that this was done or waived. (I did find that the parties were ‘lured’ into court upon a pretext) Mr. Stern (the GAL) disclosed in an e-mail that the determination of incompetency was made by an agreement. There is currently no provision in the Illinois Probate Act to permit a guardian to be appointed “by agreement” of the parties. It becomes a futile act when it is considered that one party is or may be incompetent. Currently the Illinois Probate Act requires a need for guardianship to be proved by “clear and convincing evidence.”
e) That the clear words of Sodini provide that if the near relatives of the respondent (i.e. her siblings and her children) do not receive 14 days’ notice of the hearing on the petition to declare the respondent in need of a guardian the Circuit Court lacks jurisdiction. The Tiffany case makes it very clear that strict compliance is necessary as the respondent’s liberty and property rights may be forfeit.
f) That the record indicates that the order entered by the Circuit Court freezing the alleged assets of Gloria Sykes in Indiana (which appear to be titled in a name other than Mary Sykes) besides being on its face void as to Indiana property was not a final order in that there has been no adjudication that Mary Sykes is entitled to one dime of those funds. Of a serious nature is the fact that the proceedings in the Circuit Cook County upon which the order was promulgated appear to be suspect in that the said funds were awarded to GJS by the final order of Circuit Court entered on _________________, and not challenged by either a post-trial motion during term time or a 735 ILCS 5/2 – 1401 motion within 2 years of entry. Elementary Law and the Constitution dictates that the final order of a Circuit Court judge is entitled to ‘full faith and credit’ and cannot be collaterally attacked in a foreign jurisdiction or before another Circuit Court Judge of equal jurisdiction. Judge Stuart does not enjoy Appellate Court jurisdiction over Judge Mullhern.
g) That further examination of the file and interview of witnesses brings to light numerous other irregularities in the Estate of Sykes. While these irregularities may not be directly relevant to these Indiana Proceedings, they do show a concerted and continuing pattern to evade and obfuscate justice in this case. In particular, the attempt by an Illinois Court to engage enforce its orders extra-territorial against Indiana citizens not before it is indeed unique and more that a little outrageous.
i.) That the decisions of Sodini, Tiffany and the applicable Illinois statutes make it clear that jurisdiction is a crucial element of any Probate proceeding because these directly involve an attack on the Respondent’s liberty, property, civil and human rights. As the Court record in the Sykes case contains no evidence of service of the required Sodini notices they cannot be produced, nor can any written waivers of the notices. Trickery and legerdemain are not appropriate when a citizen’s liberty rights are at stake.
I believe is only a matter of months now before the entire house of cards in Probate crumbles and blows away.
Joanne, crumble and blow away probate. i bet it wont but great idea; rena
Thanks! But let’s qualify that. Probate has got to be a lot more fair and reasonably priced. So far, attys are allowed to get in there, stir up trouble and the bill and walk away with impunity.
There are fair attys and fair judges who really care about the families and the wards, but they are not strong enough to carry the day — yet.
I would like legislation that says the GAL initial interview is taped where the ward 1) requests an atty or not; 2) objects to the guardianship or not; 3) indicates in some manner they cannot manage her own personal or financial affairs.
I also see no reason why if the ward says they want to live with a close relative in their home or the relative’s home, that the close relative has her POA and accounts to the court once per year, that should be the end of court involvement–and attys fees and a GAL. If the ward is doing fine, there is an annual accounting, there should be no need for probate court involvement. Those should be “POA guardianships” where the court does not get involved–unless there is concern for the ward’s well being.
The ward should also be allowed in their POA to specify which close relatives are always allowed to see them without interference.
Currently, it’s a circus. Sheesh.
seriously, i went all the way thru system.and wondered where did i go. no one talked to me, but i felt i was probably better off. the shorter session means slightly less billimg.
and i firmly beleive billing is the main concern. also one basic competancy test and you would have some knowledge first hand about the person whose rights, money, real estate and mail your soo concerned for. rena