Blogging in probate court today and for Gloria

Dear Readers;

Today was a very sad day.  First of all, Gloria lost her $202k or whatever she had left over from her Lumberman’s suit to fix her home and for her medical care for her cancer–which is what the money was to be used for.  No one mentioned that Gloria is a cancer survivor from her mold in her home or she needs money. She does need money.  She is now penniless.  You will see my blogging below.  Next we still have the recurring issue of the bailiffs in probate court interfering with my constitutional right to blog and  be part of a free press in an open and democratic society. Worse of all, there is no written rule on prohibiting blogging.  I have a blogging client.  She has asked me to court watch and to blog.  I see nothing wrong with that.  Today, in court, even Judge Stuart agreed with that!  Hurrah and kudos to Judge Stuart for doing the right thing.  If you have someone blogging and posting then people that can’t be there or people too old or infirm to be there (Kathie and Yolanda) can get the low down right away.  I think they deserve that, don’t you?

Alas and alak, the deputies argued with me and even the judge.  A sad day for the US constitution and free speech and a free press.

Without that–our US constitution is lost.

Read on and please send your comments and requests for blogging and free speech to Presiding Judge Timothy Evans and Sherif Dart.

Joanne

Judge Stuart not here yet.  It is 2 pm.

PS is asked by the clerk for any paperwork.  They are getting the judge.  PS says it’s been done, he was handing something up.  I’ll get a copy.  It is on judge stuart’s chair.  Clerk says she does not have the file.  Has not seen it in a while and it is down in files room.   She has a smaller, thinner file for court.

Sykes is only one at 2 pm.  No bailiffs to tell me to shut off the computer.

Judge Stuart appears and sits at bench.

Cynthia Farenga, Adam Stern and Peter Schmeidel enter their appearances.  Ms. Susan Overby says she is there on behalf of Chase.  (I wonder if with the $202k they decide to take 6016 out of foreclosure?)

PS says he is now seeking a ruling on motion to obtain ruling on apportionment.

PS received an email that Gloria Sykes cannot be here today and she was never told about Mar 18, 2014 being to apportion the remaining funds. PS  I told her a few days ago that’s not true GS was never informed of the date for the apportionment of Gloria’s funds, and PS shows JS that he has a copy of email from January and a copy of an order set for today.  Judge reads the order into the record and also the email.

JS notes for the record it is the same as the official copy and the order reads reset to Jan 16, then Mar 18.  All matters schedule for jan 16 to be done on mar 18, including a decision on the apportionment of funds and a copy to….gloria sykes.

AS notes:
Joanne Denison is present.  And typing on her computer.  It will not take place of official reecord, and making a note of it.  (They did not take my computer away, THANK YOU JUDGE STUART)

PS – begins to note for the record orders that have been entered.  An appeal of some order gloria filed– she did make an appeal of it and that was dismissed. This appeal dismissed last week by the court of appeals involved her motion to oppose the apportionment of her funds.  One appeal where they found this court had jurisdiction, appeal 131493–was denied.  The appeal of an order re the apportionment agreement– to set it aside was also denied by the Court of Appeals.  Another Motion for Clarification was set aside.

PS notes that It looks as if Judge Epstein did the last appeal and he has been on all of the dismissals that have occurred.  Appeal was dismissed with prejudice on jurisdiction.  Based upon law of case June 27 2013.  To your knowledge, is there anything else pending.  It’s interesting the order says “law of the case” because no one seems to know or mention what that means.  Law of the case is where a matter is not mentioned on appeal and then it is waived and becomes “law of the case.”  no one discusses that little omission.

There is another appeal.  The appeal has also been dismissed.  That is another appeal by Gloria Sykes and we have already filed a motion to dismiss this new appeal.  It again is challenging the court’s jurisdiction when that question has already bee decided on appeal.

PS then hands Judge Stuart an appellate brief by Gloria

On page 1 it indicates it is a table of contents. Under argument, a preliminary statement.  The TC exceeded its lawful jurisdiction. The brief says the TC is without jurisdiction. Under paragraph II it says that the TC lacks subject matter jurisdiction (I don’t agree.)

I’m not going to read all of it (JS) I want the record to reflect that is what indeed is here and then there is a listing of void orders and judgments.  We filed on mar 14 to dismiss and to refuse the appeals court to allow the appellate court to make further appeals.

PS wants to move forward.  He notes all issues on jurisdiction have been decided,5 dismissals and appeals, including jun 2013 and that was dismissed with prejudice.    I am asking the clerk of court that money needs to be disbursed to Carolyn for the care of Mary and to take care of the costs of litigation which has drained our resources.  The entire portion may be apportioned to Mary and to release the funds to Ms. Toerpe and to put it into a guardianship order that will be subject to the orders of this court.  (It is 2:20 and this only took 10 min. to get $202k)

CF: there is probably no end to this litigation.  Mary is 94 or 95 and the appellate court ruled favorably in dismissing Gloria’s many appeals attempts.  If Mary is to get any benefit from these funds it should be sooner than later.  AS says they were frozen in 2009 and Mary has not seen any benefit from those funds and Mary should get them all. (Except that no one talks about what to do with Gloria’s house which has been laid to waste).

Gloria has received a large percentage of the original funds.  The funds remaining have been frozen and were not available to care for Mary.

They are asking to get all the funds.

I only have PS pleadings before me, and the order was entered in January, and continued to today, and it’s at least 2 months. I have received nothing on this matter from Gloria.  (Gloria claims otherwise and will get us copies of what she filed)

Stuart will enter this order.  May 8, 2013, the property at 6016 n avondale, it was held in joint tenancy.  Information indicates Gloria might have paid for the home or not, it does not matter.  It does not matter what Mary put into the property.  It was in joint tenancy.  Each will share.  Lumberman’s suit concerned the 6016 n avondale home and denial of insurance.  At the end of that hearing the finding was in the favor of the plaintiffs and there was a $1.3 million settlement of which $707k was made available.  Gloria Sykes retained $505k. $272k is the remaining.  Only $202,719 remains (thought it was $272k).

2:25, 2 deputies come and say I cannot take notes on my laptop.  I told them the judge at the outset said it was okay.  They say there is an order and they have to tell me “no laptops.”  They say it does not matter what the judge said.  someone later tells me if i am blogging on a laptop and the supervisor comes by he will tell the deputies that they are not doing their jobs.  I’m wondering how all of these people passed the constitution test in 6th grade.  It’s not looking good for CPS.  I hope they were all catholic school kids and creationism was being taught that day or something.

I went out in the hall to get their names-Bowdry and Barnes. They said to go to 2600 to get a copy of the order.  Strangely enough, there is another guy in the hallway, vaguely familiar who does not identify himself, but agrees with the lady deputies.

I hurry to get back in the courtroom and start to take notes by hand.

Not more than 2 minutes later, I have the same ladies back telling me I cannot take notes.  I have to sit there and do nothing.  I ask if I can stay and observe, that the courtrooms are public.  They relent.  They are not happy I am there.  They ask if I am involved in the case (does that matter?) And I say no and they reply “why are you here” and I explain that I am an attorney with a client that is an interested party and she has requested that I blog and I run a blog.  They say I cannot blog.  Then they argue with me that I am not really representing a client if she is just a blogging client, like that and the US constitution is not important, well I am, and what I am doing is very important.

So, I’m trying to memorize everything.

Next thing that Carolyn says is that she has a neighbor take care of Mary 7 hours per day for 4 days.  She says that Mary has dementia and she is losing cognitive abilities and if you tell her to get dressed, put on clothing she does not do it.

I can’t recall much else.  I know at some point there was a discussion that Gloria should be banned from filing appeals, and should be banned from filing motions in the trial court. That makes sense now that they have her money.  However, it does seem she would have an argument that the court has exhausted her state remedies, there is no jurisdiction and now she can get into federal court and claim misconduct.  Looks like misconduct to me and a federal court judge might not take it all so leniently.

I next go to 2600 to talk to Timothy Evans’ staff.  He is the presiding judge.  Mr. Lou at the desk, starts out with this is a sheriff problem go to the sheriff.  I explain the deputies tell me there is an order from Judge Evans and if I want a copy of the order go there.  Ms. Maria, a staffer appears and starts to argue that there is no way the deputies argued with the judge over my blogging in court.  If the judge said it was okay, they were to respect her decision in the matter.  She finally gives me a copy of the order, attached hereto but sticks to her assertion that it must be me being frugal with the truth and not them.  You go, Ms. Maria!  I somehow can’t believe it’s the policy of Judge Evans to have his staff call the public liars, but you never know.  I can’t believe it’s good for votes or for when the bar calls about his behavior and the behavior of his staff.  Live and learn.

I then go to the 7th floor, I believe room 704 and talk to a nice lady there.  I explain the situation and ask her if she has any orders from Sheriff Dart regarding laptops and blogging. She says there is, but it’s in her handbook at home and she’s not supposed to give any one copies of that or what it says.  I ask for information for the public regarding alleged rules and she says there is nothing, but she thinks it’s up to the judge too.  At least she does not automatically call a member of the public a liar.

I think the matter is even.  Judge Evans has a copy of an order to hand to someone, but the staff automatically denies behavior they have not witnessed and calls the public a liar.  Sheriff Dart’s staff doesn’t call me a liar, but has nothing in writing regarding blogging in the court.

here is a link to the Order regarding electronic devices.  It says nothing about blogging.

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/Manage/DivisionOrders/ViewDivisionOrder/tabid/298/ArticleId/2200/GENERAL-ADMINISTRATIVE-ORDER-NO-2013-05-CELL-PHONES-AND-OTHER-ELECTRONIC-DEVICES.aspx

Both have nothing in their orders regarding “blogging”.  Obsedian v. Cox in the 9th circuit has said bloggers have the same right as professional medial.

I personally believe I have a first amendment right to blog and so does the public.  I believe every time those deputies come over and tell me not to blog and screw up my blogging it hurts my writing and blogging endeavors which are my first amendment rights, and most of all, it hurts the probate victims.

I don’t go to court for no reason, I do it for the victims.  I have blogging clients and yes, those are real clients who need my services.

I will write to Judge Evans and Sheriff Dart again and ask them to please allow attorneys and the public to blog in court, it is indeed a constitutional violation and I hope they will issue clear orders to the public so that the deputies can have appropriate respect for the US Bill of Rights.  I really don’t understand the “General Administrative Order No. 2013-5″.  What ARE they afraid of?  A democratic society needs a free press and freedom speech, the right to petition and redress our government.

Justice McBride on the Sup. Ct. Of Illinois wonders why the average person, the common person does not use the court system.  First of all, the service fees are way too high.  Service should be done like the Federal Courts with an email or registered letter. If that is not responded to, then the defendant should have to pay the cost of personal service.  Second, the filing fees are way too high.  Third, the court reporters charge too much ($4 or more per page) and then there may be a sitting fee.

The courts have to have easy and open access.  The files must be made electronic.  I was shocked the other day to find you can only get a copy of e files in Cook county at $1 for the first page and 25 cents per page after that.  Federal Pacer is 8 cents per page.

Given all the troubles and issues currently reported on this page and the serious lack of justice in crucial cases, it would seem that the filing fees should be waived in these cases or even refunded, Appearance fees waived or refunded, and Pacer should be employed at huge discounts.

But that’s just my opinion.  Court just costs too darned much.

JoAnne

3 thoughts on “Blogging in probate court today and for Gloria

    • As far as I know, AARP does nothing in Illinois but sell insurance, and it really irks Ken, but that would be a good question to ask them.
      There is a movement and push to allow the average joe to record because transcripts are so darned expensive no one can afford them and they take so long, and recording devices are cheap and reliable. I know several social justice agencies want to do a federal court lawsuit over the draconian rules and regs I posted. Check them out, in a free and open and democratic society they’re fairly obscene.

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