This blog is dedicated to Mary G Sykes, a 92 year old woman who has lost her liberty and justice in the probate court of Cook County. She is now living in a miserable situation with relatives that never cared for her until one of those relatives filed papers against Mary alleging Mary was incompetent. Mary was then ripped from the only home and neighborhood she had known for decades. Mary’s daughter Gloria Sykes cared for her lovingly for 10+ years. Gloria has continuously fought a protracted battle in Probate since July of 2009 and has all her property taken away (without due process and having never been served with any Complaint or Summons) and her life has been taken away also, but her greatest loss she considers to be her mother.
Most important though, is the fact that the Cook County Probate Court has been acting without apparent jurisdiction for three years! That’s right. Under the In Re Sodini case, the Petitioner MUST serve notice of the hearing date, time and place to all adult parents, children and siblings. This, the Petitioner did not do. On this website are declarations filed by each of: 1) the older daughter and 2) two adult siblings that they never received notice of the time, date and place of hearing at least 14 days in advance as required by the Probate code. Without jursidiction, the probate court has acted ultra vires for three years now.
But wait, there’s more jurisdictional issues. As most people know, in every case, the Plaintiff must serve the Defendant with a summons and complaint and the complaint must direct the sheriff where to serve the defendant (in this case, Respondent). At the time the Petition was prepared, Mary was living with Carolyn in Naperville and not at her home. Twice the sheriff was directed to serve Mary at her home on Avondale in Chicago, and twice he failed. So what did CT do? She had Mary bench served! And there is no affidavit of the process server in the file. The court never checked it before conducting hearings and appointing Carolyn.
Carolyn, the “guardian”, has isolated Mary from the rest of her entire family, her own elderly sister rare sees or can call her because Carolyn controls everything. Mary almost never sees her own daughter Gloria any longer.
But when Mary was with her other daughter Gloria 10+ years, Gloria took her mom everywhere with her, Mary walked freely throughout the neighborhood, at least once per day, and often several times per day. She was well known at the Norwood Pk Fire Station where everyone loved seeing her. She was active in the Garden Club–even at 90! Gloria had frequent parties and gatherings and her mom was always a main part of those. Gloria made sure her mom had daily phone contact with everyone and especially her other family members. Mary was never isolated when with Gloria, and Gloria always bought her the freshest, healthiest foods. Mary went to restaurants frequently and even several vacation trips a year with Gloria. She was never neglected or isolated when she was with Gloria, and best of all, she lived in her home. Mary wanted to say in court that she wanted to live at her home for the rest of her life with Gloria caring for her. But the judge refused to listen. Mary wanted to say in court she wanted a lawyer to represent her so she could get home and live there, but the Judge would not allow her a lawyer.
Mary had given her daughter Gloria the most recent Power of Attorney saying she wanted Gloria to care for her and she wanted to live in her own home for the rest of her life. The Judge would not allow that.
In the meantime, Carolyn had taken $4,000 from Mary’s bank account, without her permission and knowledge. Mary went to court and asked for a protective order that Carolyn not move any of Mary’s assets. The Probate court never heard that petition. The Probate court did not inquire into where the $4,000 went. Carolyn said it went into an IRA or 401k, but what would a 90 year old woman do with an IRA or 401k and besides, she wouldn’t even be eligible! The Probate court appointed Carolyn as “plenary guardian” with complete powers over Mary without investigation allegations that Carolyn was secreting away Mary’s assets.
Mary had a safe deposit box with gold coins, items of great value–probably more than $1 million. Some of it was inherited. The Guardians ad Litem Farenga and Stern, Illinois licensed attorneys, never made sure a witness was present when Carolyn gained control of that and opened it. Mary also had substantial cash in her bedroom which turned up missing soon as Carolyn was appointed guardian and gained control over her apartment. Again the GAL’s never made sure when Carolyn entered the house she was supervised.
The Probate court continues to turn a blind eye to these allegations.
Gloria petitioned for guardianship but was railroaded when the court asked her to name the names of Mary’s medicines and dosages, and Gloria had not memorized them. Gloria said she kept them on her cell phone, but the court said that was not good enough! In the meanwhile, the court helped Carolyn with a care plan, and further never asked Carolyn any questions about Mary’s medications. Gloria’s petition was dismissed on those grounds. Railroaded! Gloria knew far more about her mother’s medical conditions and history than Carolyn ever knew, but the court engineered it so that was not determined.
Next, Gloria tried to hire a very experienced attorney to represent her–Joanne Denison,and the GAL’s fought like crazy to disqualify Ms. Denison (merely because Ms. Denison notarized one document for Mary)– and the court threatened Ms. Denison with loss of her license to practice law (ridiculous) on several occasions. Why did the court and the GAL’s work so hard to disqualify one attorney to represent Gloira who wanted to take her mom home and care for her? What possible reason could there be for all that? Where was the conflict of interest in that? None, that’s what there was. That is, unless the GAL’s were trying to cover up a guardian that wanted to steal from and then isolate and shut up an elderly woman.
Sooo many questions over the Probate court procedure and the actions of the GAL’s.
If you have any sightings of Mary G Sykes or her dog Hannah, please report them here. Thank you. The first post will be from an attorney currently working on the case.
My mother is one of the most giving, caring and loving people I know. She has dreams of living strong and healthy and celebrating her 100th b-day but Carolyn Toerpe has different plans for her: to take all mothers assets and valuable property as well as all my assets ant property and then murder mother! Please help save my moms life! Toerpe works as an academic counselor at Bollingbrook HS in Illinois. Imagine a named respondent to a petition for a protective order working with young minds!!!!
Mary wanted to spend her days in her home. This kidnapping of Mary is a horrible unjust and unlawful abuse of an elderly person.
everyone AFFLICTED via these no due process KANGAROOOOO courts MUST FILE COMPLAINT ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL against these ad litems,and ALL INVOLVED with the seizure of property WITHOUT DUE PROCESS.
TAKE THE HINT from exactly HOW parents are successfully SUING all CPS agencies on both a personal and agency level DUE to outright lies etc leading to SEIZURE and REMOVAL without DUE PROCESS.
I learned about the actions of parents suing CPS DUE TO tjhe actions of the court appointee in a simple guardianship case apprently GROWING a set of JUDICIAL gonads as HER recommendations WERE TREATED AS COURT ORDER on and on leading to MORE MISERY FOR MY HANDICAPPED KID held against his will—SHE prolonged IT FOR MORE THAN AN ADDITIONAL 5 WEEKS
I AM GOING IT ALONE AS NOT ONE CIVIL LIBERTY BUNCH GIVES A DAMN about a handicapped AMERICAN adult held against his will THEN what I WENT THROUGH at this bs hearing-OUTRIGHT LIBEL as this POS thinks SHE HAS JUDICIAL IMMUNITY
it MUST GET DONE—sue these alleged “courts” and their ad litems OUTTA EXISTENCEprose.
THERE are good cases available freely on line to use as a “template” and simply SUE THEM for violations against the Constitution which ARE OBVIOUS starting from no due process,this woman held against her will WITHOUT due processetc etc
the political whores KNOW all about it and do nothing–make sure to vote them outta existence as well.
SOMEONE MUST GET THESE CASES BEFORE A FEDERAL COURT and these cases MUST BE WITNESSED by judicial watch groups the same.
the same as having a “listed” number,i am free to give this email
firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone cares to contact me as i journey through the hallowed halls of the federal court–i have wet to file but will GLADLY SHARE WHAT I HAVE inre to cases setting precedent and lend support
The kidnapping of Mary is groteseque and Gestapo like. When will it end? Only united grass roots support will change this corrupt system. American justice is a myth.
I think you summed it up perfectly, “kidnapping”. On June 30th, 2009 Mary Sykes was forced to leave the courthouse (where she had come with her daughter Gloria Sykes and her (Mary’s ) sister, Yolanda Bakken, by her oldest daughter Carolyn Toerpe. Carolyn did NOT notify either Gloria or Yolanda that she was taking Mary, which sent Gloria and Yolanda both on a wild search looking for Mary. If you read the very first transcript, Carolyn “implies” in her statements to Judge Connors that this was an agreed upon and planned action. Of course, no mention is ever made of how Mary left the courthouse w/o even being given the courtesy of packing for this “vacation”.
In the course of a few sentences, Carolyn does so much backpeddling, I’m surprised Judge Connor’s didn’t start laughing out loud. The GAL’s who doth protest too much need to take a long hard look at this transcript and realize things were not right from the beginning.
Mary’s “visiting” at Carolyn’s in Naperville, she’s “going home” that weekend, “staying in Naperville until Gloria returned from her travels” … Hmm, why try and have Mary notified at her address in Chicago, when her daughter and her daughter’s attorney both know she’s in Naperville? Where they trying to avoid her being notified of their plans?
No mention is made of the fact that Mary repeatedly asked to go home, while Gloria was still in Chicago in July. No mention how Mary was sequestered from her own sisters with Carolyn threatening that her youngest sister would never see Mary again.
Try and read with an open mind, and understand that those who have opposed this guardianship, have done so at the bequest of Mary. There’s nothing for us to gain, other than having Mary’s wishes granted.
So please, this is an open invitation to both Mr. Stern and Ms. Farenga, take another look at what’s really going on here. In a few short weeks, it will be three YEARS since I have see my Aunt. Why? As Carolyn has said, it’s because I opposed her in the guardianship. As a loving niece, I had no choice.
I love my sister.
I miss my sister.
I hope she is well.
I pray she does not think that I have abandoned her.
Please,try and find an atty and file for the constitutional violations–I have to do the same for my hadicapped adult aged son who was TAKEN without any crimes commited,no court,no due process etc etc and most likely did think “”mommie”” had abandoned him-Mary wants to return home and CAN VERBALIZE THIS,so please TRY and find an atty or get a skilled paralegal to assist YOU in filing.
WE have to SUE THEM and keep SUING THEM so they will NOT BE SO QUICK to simply “remove” our precious elders or impaired adult aged children.
Gloria, the younger daughter has been fighting this for years. The reality is, it is all tied in and many estates with a lot of $$$ are pretty much a done deal in Cook County, sorry to say.
But keep on praying for Mary and Gloria–Gloria is not giving up anytime soon.
thanks for your kind comments
It’s painful to even begin to consider what my Aunt thinks.
She asked us for help.
We have been ignored and brushed off by all of the state agencies whose responsibilities include protecting the elderly from just what has happened.
If you think that this can NOT happen to you, you are wrong.
As long as people can turn a blind eye, it can happen to anyone.
Mom knows we’re fighting for her, Aunt Yo. She knows we love her. Mom knows we would NEVER abandone her. I love and miss her as much, but I gotta beleive that MOM KNOWS THE TRUTH and she’s staying strong and healthy until we can free her from the hostage and abuse perpetrated by Carolyn Toerpe.
Please help us bring my Mother home for the Holidays (2011). Give her the gift of liberty, life and happiness that I thought was guaranteed under the Constitutions of Illinois and the United States. This is what was just posted on the petition “To Return Mary G. Sykes Home and to Remove Carolyn Toerpe as Plenary Guardian”……
“AS an attorney I am distressed to know that this injustice can continue with no accountability and no remedy. It is shocking that Mary Sykes can be denied the love of family and friends by a court of law in the USA. It is incomprehensible that this nigtmare is allowed to continue, and I find it unconscionable that people who are perhaps quite deranged and evil have the power to ruin lives in this way.”
again and again—YOU have to present this case PRO SE on the federal level as these agencies andeven these civil rights grouPs DO NOT CARE-
and cite the agencies the same for NOT doing their jobs after you reported the crimes.
I will pray for a change. While doing so, I will see if there is anything else I can do to help. God bless you.ra
Uggggh! So many similarities in our stories. Keep it up Mary!
Keep it up Gloria!!
This is an injustice. Why are the judges turning a blind eye when it comes to children taking their parents to change wills and trust documents then deem them incompetent, control the parent, and isolate the parent from those who want to help the parent? GAL’s are a big part of the problem as well. This problem will only become more rampant with the aging population of baby boomers. This type of elder abuse needs to stop. How can a this happen in this country? As long as a child knows how to work the system and solicits the help of “professionals” they can basically get away with anything! A very similar situation happened with my mother – if you think it cannot happen to you or your parent, think again!
I understand what is happening to Mary Sykes, very well. I am an attorney, licensed in Illinois & Michigan (since 2005) when a elderly lady and her son came to see me to help them with a messy tort litigation. She swore that it was Richard Daley who was after her assets and one day he will strip her off of her assets (she was being interviewed for one of the local channels). I was asked if I worked for any agency in the City of Chicago prior being hired in 2009. I took over a case that was 2 years old, 6 or 7 attorneys’ before me nearly destroyed my client’s cases. I took over because no other attorney wanted to mess with these complex litigation without asking for tons of money. Although I was practicing 4-5 years at that time I knew how to research and win my cases. I knew I could win this ladies cases. After being on the case 3 plus years, I was able to bring other liable defendants to pay for my client’s damages, only, during the end of 3rd year my client started showing of symptoms of old age, I guess, and I advised her son to go to probate court and become her guardian so that we could proceed to trial. Meanwhile, I was paid little or nothing to bring client’s cases to finish line. I hired and paid for experts, depositions, transcripts etc. (to this date probate judge Cesario has put me at the end of the list, while making sure her appointed GAL and other attorneys within minutes of their petitions without any scrutinies granted every penny they asked for). Judge Cesario and her team of appointed attorney’s made sure I was removed as this ladies attorney. The reason, I was not experienced enough to handle her litigation, or was it that I was about to get several millions of settlements for the estate. New counsels were appointed by the judge Cesario and I was booted out. My retainer agreement from 2009 was declared void and I was told to bring my fees for everything past 3 and half year in form of quantum meruit, basically pennies for dollars, and new counsels who were on the case only 5-6 months asking for 1/3rd of the settlement amount. Judge Cesario meanwhile made sure that the son, co-guardian, was placed in the back burner. He was denied transcripts of proceeding and he was under oath and had to swear that he could not talk to me, his mother’s former attorney for three-and-half years, he could not hire me for anything etc. I told the judge that she can’t make him swear not talk to me or hire me, as he could hire any attorney of his choice, especially me, as I knew his mother’s case along with him inside out. Not in this court room. They rule the probate department. I feel sorry for my former client, because judge has currently 3 or 4 lawyers that have already received judgments and put liens against my former client’s estate (on all her properties). each of these (judges favorites) attorneys got away without scrutiny with their claims against the estate – saw liens against the estate approx. $61,000 for one attorney for 10 months work, $68,000 for GAL, $40K for the other attorney who already had received $21,000. I was told these attorneys coming before court again for additional attorneys’ fees since that last time about 6 months ago. They will all get these “un-scrutinized” fees from my former client’s estate. The former client will be bankrupt very soon and won’t have anything to live on for the rest of her lives, maybe will end up in a nursing home, just because this judge mishandled this elderly lady’s estate and this Judge should be removed as a judge from the probate court division. But there are so many other judges in this division they are all alike. Dead man can’t complain, nor does the disabled! Lie, cheat and steal is the motto. This Judge lacks sound judgment and favors attorneys’ of her choice. They have their own little clique there. Currently, in less than 2 years, these attorneys will receive in excess of $100,000 each, with liens against her estate. I am still waiting to be paid for my three-four years legal fees – my service fees – along with my my out of pocket expenses/costs. (2011 P 1044). Who can you run to ? who will listen? moneys are going and the judge says on the record: I have attorneys’ to pay, really with whose money? the disabled person’s funds? Yes there is more to this case. My former client can’t speak for herself and Judge won’t listen to her son … sad very sad…..
you need to copy and paste your affirmation OF TRUTH all around this internet and SPEAK OUT on any radio /tv having “probate’ as their topic
The Almighty WILL BLESS YOU for attempting to ensure JUSTICE..
My name is ***********.I take care of my sister “Janie”. i quite my job as a preschool teacher to take car of my dad and my sister-both having dementia. My dad died in march of 2011 and my sister was put in court after I stopped my brother from abusing her and my dad and taking her money. I found out about a scheme to secretly become her guardian and put her money in his account without me knowing it. i have no money for a lawyer and he is a fireman who is married to someone who is part a group -Stroger- and all of the attorneys are connected to the judge. the GAL only talks to my brother and all the attorneys that Janie hired went to the GAL side against me. This case has be going on since 2009. They, the lawyers have all taken my sister’s money with the judge’s ok. I have been harassed by the GAL to drop out or he will destroy me. He brags in the hallway to “his” attorney friends, that he controls the judge and he tell them what to say and write against me. The judge seens intimidated by the GAL. She told me that I can not speak except through the GAL, but my brother can speak. I HAVE NO LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN COURT. The judge, after screaming at me to help the GAL, said,’AREN’T YOU TRIED OF COMING TO COURT’? She even sent the court reporter home with three of the lawyers that the GAL controls, still there, and made fun of me while they laughed. My sister has had three nervous breakdowns since they made her come to court. This court is set up to disqualify most caregivers and to take the disabled, my sister’s money and distribute it among the lawyers. I am told by a probate lawyer that this case was deliberately “milked” once they knew my sister had money and that they are going to take “ALL” of her money and there is nothing I can do about it. We need to start a group and go to Springfield about the illegal practices in this court. There is something wrong when lawyers can get $20,000.00 from a disable person and a caregiver is charged for using small amounts of the estate to take care of the love one.
ALL COURT APPOINTEES CAN BE SUED on the federal level and the Second Circuit Court DEFINED THEIR ROLE in 2012 and it REMAINS that the role of the court appointee IS TO fight for their client.
we have to,to STOP THE ABUSE.
this is elder abuse at it’s worst-
Can you take this to a higher court?
Thank you for your kind words and information. As I do not believe in providing information on blogs, in order to protect my mother, all I can say is that we’ve been to the US District Court as “next friends’ under the ADA Title II. Toerpe and Company got the complaint, which was against Toerpe, two GAL’s Adam Stern, Cynthia Farenga, the Probate Division and the administrative Judge Jane Louise Stuart, as well as the State of Illinois for not protecting my mother! We ultimately appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals where it was said that “these next friends” could not bring the complaint. The 7th Circuit dismissed it for lack of subject matter jurisdiction — as Toerpe and Company argued Struck v. Cook County Public Guardian (which does not apply). Nonetheless, on the 5th of January 2014, my mother will turn 94 years old. Had it not been for my mother having contact with me on June 22, 2013, when I found her locked away at an assistant living facility (Sunrise Senior Living LLC in Naperville, IL) — and she told me, and family and friends all that had happened to her — I would not have seen or talked to Mother since March 2011. This will be the 4th birthday, 4 holidays, 4 Mother’s Days, 4 years of not being able to speak, talk to or associate with my Mother per Toerpe’s demands.
FYI CArolyn Toerpe was found in civil contempt of court for non compliance of a FED Court order: she is now about to be found in contempt of court for non compliance of a contempt order where she overtly did not purge herself of the Court’s contempt order (that is, if the Judge has taken the RTSC bench trial and evidence under advisement). Toerpe as the alleged successor trustee of the Mary G. Sykes trust, the court appointed guardian and Toerpe as Toerpe (are/is) also the defendant in a Declaratory Judgement complaint, also under advisement of Toerpe’s Motion to Dismiss under Section 619 (although Toerpe did not file an affidavit or, certify the intelogotory orders she bases her cause to have the DJ dismissed: this too is under advisement in another Court.
The Illinois Appellate Court has dismissed the last two appeals claiming there is a “law of the case”, however, even the Appellate Court who would issue the law of the case, cannot produce any such memorandum order and opinion, or order. When it comes to the Sykes case, there apparently is some ‘clout’ pulling the strings of these Judges, who, as we all know are on the benches because of the political elite. But now I’m on a rant — as my only goal is to save my mother’s life and give her some time on earth living in peace, love and with the people she loves and trusts.