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.