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From LB: Marvin Siegel’s estate dips by 5 million within a few years of being in probate court guardianship

One attorney was billing $200k per year to this estate!
This is horrible and has to end!


Warning to Seniors: Rich or Poor, You’re Worth a LOT to Lawyers, Courts, and Service Agencies!

by Lonnie Brennan

It started out simply: a retired Boxford lawyer, Marvin Siegel, got along in years, and as he approached his 83rd year amongst his fellow men, he began to slip a bit, needing some help around the house. His family pitched in, and at one point, a service that provided checkups on the elderly would visit with Mr. Siegel and see to his needs.

As time went on, his needs increased and a family member related that it made sense for his youngest daughter, a lawyer like her dad, to move into the family home with her father. (The eldest daughter lives thousands of miles away, and the middle daughter has some “issues” according to her younger sibling.)

Things appeared fine at first, having one daughter, her husband and two of his grandchildren fill the voids in his previously silent home. Dinners together, helping out with laundry care, just watching TV together and bringing joy to Mr. Siegel…Then one day, the grandkids returned home with their mom, and found their grandfather being taken away in an ambulance.

According to statements from the daughter and court documents (and we’re in the process of obtaining more documents, and scrutinizing hundreds of pages of filings and transcripts and listening to the court recordings), the visiting helper felt that Mr. Siegel was in an ill condition, tired and apparently forgetful. She called for an ambulance and he was transported to Beverly Hospital. From there, he was transported to another facility for evaluation, and that’s where the drugging began.

According to his youngest daughter, Mr. Siegel is medicated against his wishes, isolated from her, has had his cell phone taken away from him by his court-appointed guardian, and has 24/7 “guards” (medical providers) with him at his home in Boxford. She notes that within months of the ambulance ride, and the subsequent involvement of court-appointed personnel, she and her family were kicked out of her dad’s home, and she’s been prohibited from visiting with or having any communication with him.

That was five years ago.

Oh, and his bank accounts have dwindled over the past five years, with his net worth apparently oozed away, going from approximately $9 million to less than $4 million, and shrinking.


Ah, the money. Follow the money.

And where has that money gone?

As an example, various court documents reveal that one local lawyer, Marsha Kazarosian of Haverhill, billed the retired lawyer’s holdings in excess of $200,000 in just one 12-month period. Apparently, other lawyers and groups associated with the Mr. Siegel similarly drew sums of money from the multi-millionaire, against his expressed wishes.

 Kazarosian billed more than $200K in one 12-month period

Ironically, one of the daughters had initially hired Atty. Kazarosian to help ensure her father’s original estate planning would remain intact. The daughter relates and presented to court an argument that despite a filing by Atty. Kazarosian detailing under oath that the multi-millionaire was fully competent of handling his own personal affairs, something changed. Within a short period of time, Atty. Kazarosian switched teams, signed on to work for a court-appointed guardian for Mr. Siegel, and began working against Mr. Siegel’s daughters.

But wait, it gets better.

Mr. Siegel attempted to fire Kazarosian for going against his wishes, but she refused to be fired. Instead, she took his signed, hand-written dismissal letter and consulted with the court-assigned guardian, Attorney Brian Cuffe. Together, the two – in spite of the letter – agreed that he would keep her on the dole, his team, protecting Mr. Siegel’s estate from his daughters and grandchildren.



Yes, you read that right. To date, two of the three daughters have been accused by the various court-appointed parties and those who have drained money from their father’s estate of taking advantage of their father, specifically blaming the daughters for the loss of funds. What? Why? Because, if the daughters would simply shut up and go along and get along, and not object to the guardian’s and the lawyer’s handling of their father’s funds, then no one would have to go to court to fight the daughters. That way the lawyers would not have to bill such large sums, draining his accounts so quickly. What?

At one point, one of the daughters submitted that she was offered a $100K settlement if she would just simply walk away from her father and his millions. She termed it a bribe, and refused.

Out-gunned, Out-maneuvered

Two of the daughters filed multiple “complaints for emergency and preliminary injunctive relief” against various parties whom they have accused of having a part in the taking of funds from their father. The accused parties have included, but are not limited to the following:





















DIANE POWELL, SCOTT DAILEY, MICHAEL SPRINGMAN, with Elder Services of Merrimack Valley, Inc., and individually,



MARY ANN REMILLARD, ESQ., in her official capacity as a State actor and individually, NORTHEAST HOSPITAL CORPORATION, d/b/a BEVERLY HOSPITAL,


RICHARD GARMIL, ESQ., in his official capacity with Whittier Pavilion and individually,










BRENDA WOJICK, R.N., in her official capacity with Right At Home and individually,




But the family notes that they are out-gunned, out-financed, and at every turn out-maneuvered. The lawyers they have gone up against, and the corporations, and those (Cuffe and others) who can use their own money as well as their multi-millionaire’s father’s money against them have had a clear advantage. And the courts have not been kind to the daughters.

Indeed, in one rebuke, the daughters were apparently slammed by the courts for excessive filings. “We’ve been hit with judgments because we’re fighting these people and have submitted too much paperwork, can you imagine?” daughter Lisa Siegel Belanger related. “I submit the documentation because I don’t want this to be about our opinion, or who is credible or not credible. I submitted the documents so that anyone who cares can read them and rule on the facts. The facts are there. The documents show what they have done, how they are drugging, isolating, and draining my father’s funds.”

To summarize the case, which has been in and out of probate court, and pending now in new filings, the family wrote the following:

“With well-established circumstances, Attorney Siegel memorialized his own unequivocal intentions and desires in a panoply of executed estate planning, he explicitly designated his youngest daughter, Attorney Lisa Siegel Belanger, as his attorney-in-fact and his eldest daughter, Devora Kaiser, as successor attorney-in-fact. The two outmost important things Attorney Siegel cared about was: 1) his reputation and dignity and 2) his three (3) daughters.

Through a convoluted vortex of circumstances, on August 4, 2011, multi-millionaire Attorney Siegel was thrusted under a court appointed guardianship and conservatorship, unlawfully ending up with judicially deemed ward of the Commonwealth on August 17, 2011.”

With their father’s wishes being ignored, and getting no relief from probate court, the daughters had attempted an appeal to federal court. One portion of the transcript notes a daughter stating: “This initially starts off before that where my father, Attorney Siegel, had his established durable power of attorney and array of estate planning instruments for a long and continuous [time]…we’re here because of the fraudulent ouster and dismantling of that durable power of attorney.”

In English, that means that the daughter is accusing and presenting evidence that those in power – from the doctors to the hospitals to the lawyers entrusted with handling her father’s estate, dismantled years of estate planning instruments, stripped away all powers from the multi-millionaire, began a process of administering various drugs, have aided in isolating him from his family, and have been a party to draining his estate.

On page 31 of 97 of just one filing, the family states that a lawyer, cognizant that Mr. Siegel was being “involuntarily drugged with antipsychotics,” did “surreptitiously, through fraud and deception…” secure a signature from Mr. Siegel which set off a chain reaction, undoing years of his estate planning, while Mr. Siegel was in a psychiatric facility for two days of evaluation. The results of the evaluation showed no psychiatric issues and Mr. Siegel was subsequently released to his home.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While our team continues to acquire, inspect, assess, and evaluate the copious documents related to this case, we have been given two warnings which we have been instructed to relate to our readers:

1.  All parties on both sides are presumed innocent until proven otherwise, through all appeals processes.

2. Seniors who don’t have millions of dollars are similarly at risk. Why? Because they may be worth tens or hundreds of thousands of federal or state dollars in Medicaid or other government programs, and that any assets they may have may similarly be subject to plunder by those who are unscrupulous.

We’ll relate more on this case, and others, in future issues of the Boston Broadside.

From ND ILL Fed Ct–Changes to Rules re: filing of Answers and Motions to dimiss

Apparently a Mandatory Answer with a Motion to Dismiss is no longer required.

The Northern District of Illinois launched a Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot (“MIDP”) on June 1, 2017.  The three-year pilot has now been in effect for 18 months, and the judges of the district have decided to modify it slightly.

During the first 18 months, the MIDP has required parties in civil cases to file answers to complaints even when they file a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss or similar motion.  Answers are not required if motions to dismiss assert jurisdictional or immunity defenses.  As you know, answers trigger the 30-day period for the exchange of MIDP responses.  The MIDP requires these early answers to ensure that MIDP responses are exchanged at the outset of the case.

Effective December 1, 2018, the MIDP will be amended to provide that answers are due under the time periods established by Rule 12(a).  Rule 12(a)(4) provides that answers need not be filed while a Rule 12 motion is pending.  As a result, answers no longer will be required — and the MIDP response period will not be triggered — while a motion is pending under Rule 12(b)(6) or any other provision of Rule 12.  Under Rule 12(a)(4), even if a motion to dismiss is filed, the Court retains authority to order an answer and/or permit the parties to make Rule 26(a)(1) initial disclosures and commence discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The District is making this change in response to comments suggesting that the early-answer requirement of the MIDP imposed unnecessary costs on parties who ultimately succeed on Rule 12 motions.  Making the change midway through the MIDP will also allow the FJC to evaluate both approaches to mandatory disclosures.

The Standing Order Governing Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project and related documents will be amended to reflect this change.

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From JP: Case Law on pro se litigants

this is for when you’re pro se and screw up a bit.

The courts should help you out, at least a bit.

Due process issue unique to pro se litigants is what role the Rules of Civil Procedure should play. The Rules attempt to define a fair method of procedure, but an unrepresented litigant kindly asks for exceptions because when applied the method of procedure needs to be learned. In effect, courts liberally interpret the Rules to the benefit of pro se litigants. As described above, this is supported by Rule 1, which states that courts should consider the goals of fairness, speed, and cost, and Rule 94, which allows the rules to be relaxed or dispensed with when necessary. Since the plaintiff is attempting proper procedure in good faith, I ask the court to grant this leave to file a proper objection found in prior judgment. However, the Rules also place a premium on uniform treatment. The Alaska Supreme Court has noted that the Rules were promulgated for the “specific purpose of giving fair and reasonable notice to all parties of the appropriate procedural standards that should be uniformly applied when any party, including a pro se litigant, seeks relief in [civil litigation].” Reconciling the preference for efficiency and fairness with the preference for uniformity creates problems when applying the Rules to pro se litigants. Another source of difficulty stems from the diverse population of pro se litigants. For the represented litigant, the judge can rely upon a set of expectations of what the attorney will know. With a pro se litigant, on the other hand, the judge is likely unaware of how much legal knowledge any particular pro se litigant has. Thus, it is unclear what degree of leniency is necessary to permit a fair result for a particular unrepresented party. For this reason the court must allow pro se litigant to correct his prior pleadings.

Non lawyers do not have the same know how as lawyers and are left Technically Challenged:

Even though the pro se litigant took on the court procedure by himself, the plaintiff is not to be held to the same standard as a lawyer. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1959); Picking v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 151 Fed 2nd 240; Pucket v. Cox, 456 2nd 233 Pro se pleadings are to be considered without regard to technicality; pro se litigants’ pleadings are not to be held to the same high standards of perfection as lawyers. The plaintiff just would like a fair shake at reaching justice since abused by the court.  Maty v. Grasselli Chemical Co., 303 U.S. 197 (1938)

“Pleadings are intended to serve as a means of arriving at fair and just settlements of controversies between litigants. They should not raise barriers which prevent the achievement of that end. Proper pleading is important, but its importance consists in its effectiveness as a means to accomplish the end of a just judgment.” Since the prior error was not intentional, and no party would be prejudiced, this court should grant the relief requested.  Just because Plaintiff is pro se, no punishment come to the plaintiff for that reason alone. Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F. 2d 946 (1973)

“There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of Constitutional Rights.”

From Joanne;

I hope this helps some pro se litigants.

I have some more articles on pro se leniency on this blog.

From FB: Chicago’s Homan Ave Police station riddled with police violence and torture–demand it be shut down!

Documents disclosed in Guardian lawsuit reveal for first time how Chicago police used punches, baton blows and Tasers at the off-the-books interrogation site

‘I was struck with multiple blows with open and closed fist by two officers ... I felt my face start to swell and deform instantly.’
 ‘I was struck with multiple blows with open and closed fist by two officers … I felt my face start to swell and deform instantly.’ Illustration: Jan Diehm for the Guardian

Internal documents from the Chicago police department show that officers used physical force on at least 14 men already in custody at the warehouse known as Homan Square.

Police used punches, knee strikes, elbow strikes, slaps, wrist twists, baton blows and Tasers at Homan Square, according to documents released to the Guardian in the course of its transparency lawsuit about the warehouse. The new information contradicts an official denial about treatment of prisoners at the facility.

The injured men are among at least 7,351 people – more than 6,000 of them black – who, police documents show, have been detained and interrogated at Homan Square without a public notice of their whereabouts or access to an attorney.

None of the men identified in these newest documents had fled custody or were injured in the course of a lawful arrest. All were subject to force by Chicago police officers after they were already in custody at Homan Square. According to depositions with officers and more than two dozen first-hand accounts, handcuffing is standard. Police applied force to some arrestees sufficient enough to warrant hospitalization.

Some of those injured by police inside Homan Square told the Guardian they had experienced chronic pain or impairment years later. One said he was instructed by police to lie about his strangulation, which police claimed on an official form resulted from the already handcuffed man “manag[ing] to put another flex cuff around his neck”.

The Chicago police department, now under federal investigation after suppressing video evidence of its lethal shooting of 17-year old Laquan MacDonald, last year took exception to the Guardian’s reporting about the Homan Square warehouse.

While the department conceded that it uses the warehouse headquarters for the organized-crime bureau as a site for conducting “interviews”, it “unequivocally” denied using violence on detained men and women.

“The allegation that physical violence is a part of interviews with suspects is unequivocally false, it is offensive, and it is not supported by any facts whatsoever,” the CPD insisted on 1 March 2015.

Yet facts supporting the claim for at least 14 men were contained in police files at Homan Square itself. They were released after the Guardian sued under Illinois’ freedom of information law for extensive documentation about the detentions and interrogation practices of the warehouse.

 ‘The business going on at Homan Square is like nothing else’ – video

Documents released to the Guardian include the account of a man who died in police custody under questionable circumstances. His family and friends, supported by an independent autopsy that materially differs from the one Cook County performed, believe the police killed him and covered it up. The Guardian will tell his story tomorrow.

The documents include hospitalization records and a standard form documenting the use of physical force called a Tactical Response Report. The form includes a follow-up review conducted by a superior officer. In all cases obtained by the Guardian, the reviews found the use of force to be justified, even when the officers did not interview the victims.

One case described in the documents reveals that a man was Tasered in Homan Square and had to be treated at Mount Sinai hospital.

According to two Tactical Response Reports, the man represented an “imminent threat of battery” and performed an “attack without weapon”. Police listed that attack as “swinging arms” and “kicking legs”. One of the forms details that police “restrained the offender legs”.

A lieutenant who reviewed the case “concluded that the member’s actions were in compliance with department procedures and directives”.

One week later, police hit another prisoner who was listed as an “assailant” launching an “attack without weapon”, namely “spitting blood”. His subsequent hospitalization was described as “for injury that occurred at the Homan Square police facility and not as a result” of his actual arrest. A reviewing officer wrote that the “arrestee stated he was not fighting with arresting officer. Arrestee stated he did not assault anyone.”

Another Homan arrestee who “had to be carried and again spit on and struck and kicked officers” was punched, “placed in an armbar” hold, and subjected to a “take down/emergency handcuffing”, a procedure to force someone to the floor.

A fourth man, arrested for marijuana possession, was punched in custody at Homan Square, to the point where the officer conceded on the form that the man was injured. It was said he “grabbed the officer’s leg”.

A Tactical Response Report from the Chicago police department.
 A Tactical Response Report from the Chicago police department. Photograph: Chicago Police Department

A fifth man, taken to Homan Square on 4 July 2014, was struck in the knee after he “flail[ed] arms and body”, according to the documents. An interview with the review officer recorded the man saying “he was tired of the streets and started crying … he was tired of letting his family down and he was selling drugs because he was homeless. Subject stated he was sorry for resisting the Officer and is just tired of jail.” The review officer concluded the knee strike was “in compliance with department procedures and directives”.

In a statement to the Guardian, the Chicago police department said: “The Chicago Police Department takes allegations of excessive force very seriously. In Chicago, all use-of-force cases require extensive documentation using the tactical response report. These cases are then vigorously investigated by an external, civilian-led agency known as the Chicago Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA). We stand behind our initial statement and our unwavering commitment to the highest levels of accountability and professional standards for our officers.”

Other incidents described in the newly released documents raise questions about the veracity of the police accounts.

A hospitalization case report from the Chicago police department.
 A hospitalization case report from the Chicago police department. Photograph: Chicago Police Department

On 27 December 2001, Mark Rideaux, then 40 years old, took “someone from the block to pick up some drugs”, he remembers. Unbeknownst to Rideaux, an undercover officer was standing in line to buy drugs, and on his way back, police stopped the car he was driving. It was stolen. Police took him to Homan Square.

Rideaux was secured by his left wrist to the wall of a second-floor cell. What Rideaux said happened next directly contradicts a highly unusual account that police at Homan Square placed on an official report.

Mark Rideaux.
 Mark Rideaux. Photograph: Illinois Department of Corrections

According to the hospitalization case report, disclosed to the Guardian as part of its lawsuit, a desk officer “heard a scream” coming from the cell and found Rideaux “unconscious” from a “self-inflicted” injury.

“While in custody, victim, having one hand (left) cuffed to wall with a flex cuff, managed to put another flex cuff around his neck,” an unspecified officer’s report states. Police cut off the cuff and sent him to Mount Sinai hospital for treatment.

Rideaux tells a far different story.

Letter from Mark Rideaux.
 Letter from Mark Rideaux. Photograph: Mark Rideaux

In his Homan Square cell, an officer aggressively questioned him about guns and drugs until things got “out of hand”, he remembered.

“I did not recall what I said that made him so up-set, but thats when he [put] the Flex-Cuff around my neck,” Rideaux wrote to the Guardian from prison, where he is serving a narcotics sentence.

“All I remember is waking up on the floor of the cell. and them saying that I try to kill myself. I was taken to the hospital and was told it would be in my best interest to go along with the story! So being afraid, I did what I was told.”

Officers took Rideaux from his Mount Sinai hospital bed to the notoriously violent Cook County jail. Despite the jail’s reputation, Homan Square hung over Rideaux’s head.

“I was told that I would have to go back to Homan Square if I [didn’t] keep my mouth shut!! So I did, and that’s the story.”

More than 12 years later, as police were arresting 22-year-old Dwand Ivery on a drug-distribution charge, one officer suspected Ivery had swallowed the illicit evidence. His response was to choke Ivery into spitting out “whatever it was he believed I ingested”, Ivery recalled in a letter to the Guardian from prison, with the officer’s partner, the driver of their vehicle, urging him to stop, “telling him ‘not outside’”.

CPD’s Tactical Response Report on Dwand Ivery
 CPD’s Tactical Response Report on Dwand Ivery (A/OS: arresting officers; Unit 189: Homan Square-based narcotics unit). Photograph: Chicago Police Department

As they drove to Homan Square, the officer, still convinced he could get Ivery to spit out drugs, used a metal object “in the shape of a short ink pen” as a tongue depressor “while applying pressure to my stomach with his left elbow”. He pressed down on the back of Ivery’s neck, effectively folding him over. “He held my head in that position until we reached the garage of Homan Square police station,” Ivery wrote, and despite his vomiting, “no drugs was never recovered”.

Ivery has asthma issues, he said, and the pressure on his stomach, neck and throat had caused him to continue vomiting. He was having trouble breathing. As the car pulled into Homan’s garage, he refused to get out and demanded the officers take him to the hospital. Additional officers rushed over – not to aid Ivery, but to restrain his legs. “I was cuffed around my ankles and [dragged] upstairs and placed in a cage,” he recalled.

The police version describes the incident somewhat differently: “Ivery was aggressive in the transport vehicle, yelling, attempting to kick A/Os [arresting officers] and headbutted A/O [redacted] in the backseat. Ivery spit on all A/Os in the vehicle. At Unit 189 [the Homan Square-based narcotics unit] Ivery had to be carried and again spit on and struck and kicked officers.”

From his “cage”, Ivery was moved into an interrogation room and cuffed to a metal bench. When the officers told him to stretch his legs straight out so they could remove his shoes, Ivery again refused and demanded medical attention. According to Ivery’s account, the police turned violent.

Letter from Dwand Ivery
 Letter from Dwand Ivery. Photograph: Dwand Ivery letter

“I was struck with multiple blows with open and closed fist by two officers. My shoes was eventually removed and they began to strike me in my head and face area with those as well. I felt my face start to swell and deform instantly. This lasted for multiple minutes,” he wrote, until a plainclothes officer, hearing the commotion, went over to the interrogation room and told the cops Ivery had had enough.

Ivery recalled being left alone for the the next three to four hours before the plainclothes officer returned, asking if Ivery wanted “to help myself out”. Ivery requested a phone call and an asthma pump.

“He told me if I give him a address of a house that I knew had drugs and or guns in there he could turn the info over to the state prosecuter and they would release me. I didn’t have that type of information,” Ivery wrote.

Left by himself at Homan Square for what he estimates was another “2-3 hours”, Ivery recalled that he “constantly screamed” for medical attention and a phone call. Like hundreds of others, he instead was taken to the nearby formal police district station at West Harrison Street and South Kedzie Avenue for booking. But the booking officers there “refused to accept me [due] to my condition and the deformation of my face”, he wrote, and insisted they couldn’t book Ivery until he received medical attention.

The police report on Ivery acquired by the Guardian bears that out: “Subject is currently being treated at St. Anthony’s hospital,” it reads.

Checked boxes on the Tactical Response Report describe the police’s repertoire of force. The boxes checked for Ivery’s behavior are: “Did Not Follow Verbal Direction”, “Stiffened (Dead Weight)”, “Pulled Away” and – regarding a man restrained at the wrists and ankles – “Imminent Threat of Battery” and “Attack Without Weapon”. Other boxes are checked to indicate that an officer out of uniform suffered an injury.

The police officers’ responses are described through checked boxes as well: “Member Presence”, “Verbal Commands”, “Escort Holds”, “Wristlock”, “Armbar”, “Open Hand Strike”, “Take Down/Emergency Handcuffing”, “Closed Hand Strike/Punch”.

The form also includes a review by a senior officer into the incident. While the name of the officer is redacted, he or she concluded “the officers used reasonable force to effect the lawful arrest of the assailant/suspect” and the force used was “in compliance with department procedures and directives”. The reviewing officer did not interview Ivery.

The beating “leaves me with a deformed face, lack of vision in my left eye and multiple mental health problems that I now have to be medicated for, including anxiety and depression”, Ivery wrote to the Guardian. “That situation changed my life in a number of different ways.”

Zach Stafford in Chicago contributed reporting.

From NL: how do I write a summary judgment motion and what is that?

I have to tell you, most law school grads don’t know how to write one either, so if you are pro se, don’t fret this.

The stages of litigation, for your background info are this 1) file and prepare complaint; 2) draft up written discovery to your opponent(s) which will be interrogatories (fancy word for questions), requests for documents and requests to admit; 3) get back answers (if you don’t, you have to file a motion to compel and maybe a rule to show cause); 4)  depositions of fact witnesses (you will likely need a lawyer for this, get one cheap and limit his or her representation to just your depns); 5) experts.  hire a expert if needed or helpful.  they will produce a report.  your opponent will likely then get an expert.  if there are depositions, get a lawyer, just for those, you will likely not know how to make objections and preserve testimony for trial, plus lawyers know how to ask the really incisive (annoying) questions; then you have to do your trial prep and 6) hire a lawyer for trial.

This will keep things cheap unless you can find a contingency fee lawyer.  But due to corruption in the courts, your chances of getting that are slim to none. This is because you will need an honest lawyer that can’t be paid off.  Many lawyers can be paid off (sad to say).  And your lawyer must be honest enuf they won’t every bribe anyone. So that means your opponent in the current environment will be at a disadvantage because in our current system, we don’t test for psychopaths with a PET brain scan, so your opponent will bribe, but you and your lawyer will not.  So you will often be pro se fighting a difficult system.  But we have to do it to clean up the current system. Take everything to a jury trial. Do not settle or you are just a hypocrite too.

At the first stage of the trial, and after depositions and discovery is all returned, you may wish to file a Summary Judgment Motion and/or Judgment on the Pleadings.  You can really file both, and they’re pretty much the same.  That’s two bites at the apple.  Many lawyers do not do this, but you can.

What you are saying is that your opponent found no credible evidence of anything and you are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

How to write  Summary Judgment Motion:

  1.  Write an introductory paragraph.  This will say what litigant is filing it (name and if you are plaintiff or defendant or a cross claimant, etc.) and your best reasons (use 3 to 5) of why you are entitled to Summary Judgment as a matter of Law.
  2.  Next is your “Statement of Facts”.  You do this in the following format:  “1. on X date, this happened.  2. on Y date this happened.”  You might want to include the procedure in the portion of your Motion, or you might want to do a separate “Statement of Procedure” to bring your judge up to date.  Remember you write these pleadings for an appellate judge or a new judge.  Don’t skip over facts because you think “the judge knows my case, s/he knows me”. Forget that nonsense.  The judge has 20 other cases per day, they are elderly and likely have short term memory loss and bad eyes.  Tell your story. Don’t skip this important part.  Your judge can be diagnosed with cancer or heart disease any day. Write like you are writing for the appellate court or a new judge every time you file a Motion.
  3. Motions are supposed to be in short, concise numbered paragraphs. They are short (3 to 5 pages).  Put your details and case law in a Brief to accompany the motion.  If the judge or court has a page limit, be sure to stick to that.  But most judges get tired of reading after 15 pages, so 15 pages of great concise writing is a laudable goal.
  4. Tell the court why you are entitled to Summary Judgment as a matter of law. Look at the complaint.  Do they have all the required elements of each cause of action to go to trial.  Look at your case law.  They should have pulled 2 to 3 cases at the time you prepared your complaint to find the elements for each tort.  Find cases that say they are missing one or more elements.
  5. MOST IMPORTANT.  A clear list of undisputed facts that will entitled you to summary judgment.  You can put this as an exhibit.  Make your opponent dispute this.  All you need is just ONE disputed material fact to get before your jury.  So look at the depositions and affidavits filed. Come up with your own affidavits to dispute some facts.

I have seen some really terrible SJM motions.  You have to be clear about what is undisputed. SJM’s are not favored; jury trials are.  Or at least in theory.

If you are defending a SJM, come up with disputed facts and put them in an affidavit or declaration.

Whatever court you are in (federal, state, etc.) read the rules before submitting any pleading. There are generally specific rules for Summary Judgment Motions. Read them carefully before filing your pleading.  Law is all about following rules.  Someone with a weak argument can easily win over good case law with no compliance with rules.  No compliance with rules can easily tick off a judge into oblivion and win your case.  Remember, judges are often perfectionist entities who went to law school with tons of reading and tons of deadlines and case law. they want you to be conservative about this and perfect in your pleadings.

In Illinois, always file verified pleadings.  Once one pleading is verified, your opponent must also verify pleadings.  If they don’t, ask to strike or dismiss the pleading.

Always do a Notice of Filing, a Certificate of Service and Verification at the end of your pleadings.

Good Luck

Email me if you have questions and I will be glad to do a general blog post in response.





From JB: what about criminal complaints for Probate perps?

One common question I get, is why won’t the states attorneys, police, FBI, etc. do anything about the fact that the probate court system is a large criminal enterprise where the elderly or disabled are targeted for a paid up home, cars, bank accounts, etc.  Then they are guardianized, often without notice, service, they want to fight the gship, but they either get no attorney, or the attorney is tied into the system. Then the house is sold and everything is sold, and the elderly person is forced into a nursing home, drugged with psych drugs (which are illegal and not FDA approved for the elderly) and massive attorney’s fees, courtroom vendor fees (case managers, etc.) are charged against the estate.  When that is quickly depleted, then food and water is with held and the senior quickly perishes. The body is quickly cremated to destroy all trace of chemicals and lack of food in the stomach for days.

Many ask, why aren’t these crimes prosecuted?

The reality is, that’s up to the prosecutor. Prosecutor’s have “prosecutorial discretion” which means that they are the only ones to bring criminal charges and they do this based up the evidence, how the judges respond to these types of cases with this type of evidence and how juries respond.  They have to have a criminal deft found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very, very high standard.  One reasonable doubt and the defendant must be acquitted.

In addition, if the prosecutor loses, then the defendant can sue for 42 USC 1983 deprivation of civil rights under color of authority, false arrest, false imprisonment, abuse of process, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and damages can be substantial, especially if someone was harmed during the arrest.

And taxpayers pay for those cases.

Many people want to reinstitute the grand jury system or people’s grand juries where 12 or more persons decide what and whom to charge.  If they do that, the people should be trained to minimize the risk of suit against the state or US.

Finally, your prosecutor is elected.  Campaign against these prosecutors who let this happen.  Force them out of office by convincing the voters he or she is not doing their job.

You could sue the prosecutor for misfeasance or malfeasance in office if they are not doing their job and going after all criminals too.

But this basically explains the problem with criminal charges in probate in a nutshell.

From DK; this Guardian is so abusive she took away an abused ward’s library card and bicycle!

Please feel free to write or call this woman and tell her to stop her abuse of poor Douglas Keegan who is now fighting for his rights to be free of an abusive guardianship in Orange County Florida…. more to come.

5330 W. Devon Ave. #6 JoAnne Denison, Executive Director*
Chicago, IL 60646 Cell Phone 773-255-7608
ph 312-553-1300
fax 312-553-1307

November 7, 2018

Via Email heather.ramos@gray-robinson.Com

Heather Ramos
301 East Pine Street, Suite 1400
Post Office Box 3068 ( 328 0 2-3068 )
Orlando, Florida 32801
Tel 407-843-8880
Fax 407 -244 -5690

RE: In re Guardianship of Douglas Keegan 20 I 4-CP-002772-0.

Dear Ms. Ramos;

I am in receipt of a letter dated 4/24/18 which you sent to the putative “guardian” of Mr. Doug Keegan in which you 1) asserted cooperation in wrongfully terminating his library card; and 2) offered cooperation in a highly abusive guardianship case.

As you are aware, under the Rules of Professional Conduct for Florida you should be taking no such action against a person who 1) is clearly competent, knows the time, date, place who the President is, etc.; 2) had complained reasonably about his guardianship being a ruse and the guardianship has been extremely physically and emotionally abusive to Mr. Keegan. All these documents are of public record.

From the Rules of Prof. Conduct, preamble:

A lawyer’s conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer’s business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others.

This is to advise you that Mr. Keegan is under an abusive guardianship. Your taking action against an alleged Ward of the State of Florida who only wants to use a computer to contest his court case and read books is amazingly unethical, immoral and utterly reprehensible.

I am demanding at this time that you fully restore the rights of Mr. Keegan to full library access and treat him as the highly respected individual that he truly is.

Very Truly Yours,


JoAnne Denison
Executive Director
Justice 4 Every1, NFP

Request for aide to Ward in abusive guardianship–Man in Fla. in immediate need of bicycle

Please contact me if you can get a man in an abusive gship a bicycle. He is in Orlando.  The Guardian keeps on stealing his bicycle and selling it, so if you have a good lock, that would be great.

This man is completely competent, was working as an engineer, is extremely intelligent, and got caught up in an abusive guardianship when some attorney relative got mad at him and sucked him into the Florida gship system, which we all know is very, very corrupt.

They have sold his homes for lawyer fees, his cars and anything they could get their hands on. He is always on the run.


from JK on Facebook: Star Chambers mean no representation and self representation was banned

From James Kelly

A quote from In Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 821 – 23 (1975). The Supreme Court:

“ In the long history of the British jurisprudence there was only one tribunal that ever adopted a practice of forcing counsel upon an unwilling defendant in a criminal proceeding. The tribunal was the Star Chamber, that curious institution which flourished in the late 16th and 17th centuries, was of mixed executive and judicial character, and characteristically departed from common law traditions. For those reasons and because it specialized in trying “political” defenses, the Star Chamber has for centuries symbolized disregard for basic, individual rights. The Star Chamber not merely allowed, but required defendants to have counsel. The defendants answer to an indictment was not accepted unless it was signed by counsel. When counsel refused to sign the answer, for whatever reason, the defendant was considered to have confessed (See, J.Stephen, “A history of the criminal law in England”, 341-42 (1883) As Stephen commented on this procedure, “There is something especially repugnant to justice in using rules of practice in such a manner as to debar a prisoner from defending himself, especially when the object of the rules so used is to provide for his defense” (end quote)

and now rewritten:

“ In the long history of the American jurisprudence there was only one tribunal that ever adopted a practice of forcing counsel upon an unwilling person in a quasi-criminal proceeding. The tribunal was the Family Courts, that curious institution which flourished in the 20th and 21st centuries, was of mixed executive and judicial character, and characteristically departed from common law traditions. For those reasons and because it specialized in trying “psychological” defenses, the Family Courts have for decades symbolized disregard for basic, individual rights of children. The Family Courts not merely allowed, but required children to have counsel. The children’s answer to a motion was not accepted unless it was signed by counsel. When counsel refused to sign the answer, for whatever reason, the child was considered to have supported it (See, the millions of families that have gone through the process of a custody proceeding. As they regularly comment on this procedure, “There is something especially repugnant to justice in using rules of practice in such a manner as to debar a child from their Constitutionally protected rights, especially when the object of the rules so used is to provide for the child’s best interests” (end quote).