|Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Elder abuse and the financial exploitation of the Elderly are the latest form of genocide and deprivation of human rights to affect our planet. While society is reticent in proclaiming its concern for ‘senior citizens’ a new group of predators has arisen to make certain that many elders of our community are a source for the remuneration of the political elite.
The recent Government Accounting Office report is replete with examples, but one case stands out to illustrate the perniciousness of the process. This case has its genesis in Cook County, Illinois. Most recently the Cook County Circuit Court became famous for filling the Federal prisons with judges who demonstrated corruption in the course of the administration of justice (Greylord. The guardian scandal may be another episode in the Chapter. The actions of the guardians in the Sykes case are so bizarre as to be almost unbelievable. In Sykes the Circuit Court (Probate Division) sua sponde appointed two guardian ad litem. Exactly what these GALs were intended to do is a mystery; however, this conduct is demonstrative of textbook perfidy. In particular: one guardian ad litem appears to be intent on fostering the isolation of the elderly victim from even telephone contact with friends and family members, and preventing her from having legal representation while the other guardian ad litem has been concentrating on denying the younger daughter of the victim her liberty and property. The plenary guardian was appointed even though the victim sought a protective order against her to prevent abuse and does not even deny the ‘looting of the estate.’
An honored tradition of Anglo American Jurisprudence is the delegation to the Court system the jurisdiction to protect those among us who cannot protect themselves (Parens Patrie). The primary Court delegated the responsibility to which this mandate relates (the elderly) is the Probate Division of the Circuit Court. A disabled person is, pursuant to statute, to obtain the assistance that he/she requires with a full concern for the civil liberties of the citizen needing assistance. To investigate and assist the Court in its important duties a guardian ad litem is appointed. Except in the Sykes case the guardian ad litem is the ‘eyes and ears of the Court.” In the Sykes case the two guardian ad litem act to protect the Court from the troubling fact of a persistent breach of fiduciary relationship by the plenary guardian as well as its own deficiencies.
To protect the Civil Liberties and prevent ambush or exploitation of the elderly by the appointed plenary guardian it is jurisdictional that the close relatives as well as the alleged disabled person are given 14 days prior notice of any proceeding. (The plenary guardian usurps basic human and civil rights of the alleged disabled person.) This notice is mandated and jurisdictional. In addition various reporting mandates are in place and an agency is delegated the obligation to examine all cases of abuse. Each procedure of the probate act is designed to prevent abuse. To further protect the elderly the Illinois Department of Aging is delegated the task of investigating and addressing abuse and exploitation, and persons who would normally have first-hand contact with abuse or exploitation are mandatory reporters.
Unfortunately, in Illinois, it appears that the process has degenerated to a ‘cover’ to mask serious human rights violation. The plenary guardian is given extra-ordinary power over the ‘ward’ in that a miscreant guardian can imprison and destroy the life of the ward. The Mary Sykes case is so obscene that it warrants an investigation by the International Court of Justice and condemnation by an International Tribunal. Every safeguard has been thwarted and, with the unusual event of two guardian ad litem appointed in a garden variety situation, distortion, deception and outright frugality with the truth is officialdom’s legacy. It is alleged that the plenary guardian has removed from the ward, Mary Sykes, all civil rights, immunities and dignity. Mary Sykes is a prisoner in an American Gulag! Her existence and dignity have been illegally delegated to a person from whom Mary Sykes sought legal protection. This outrage has been accomplished by the conscious denial of due process and concern for Mary’s humanity.
The Sykes case commenced as a financial abuse and elder abuse case. Mary Sykes, who is now 93 years old, was taken by her older daughter to a lawyer in 2008. When Mary and the older daughter emerged from the lawyer’s office the older daughter was the primary beneficiary of her mother’s estate, the successor trustee, and the attorney in fact pursuant to a power of attorney. The documents prepared were disingenuous and designed to deceive. The net was that the older daughter had her mother’s life and property under her sole control. Mary is/was a feisty lady and was a community activist (in a good sense) active in her church, her community, garden club etc., and was not one who took things lightly. Thus, when she discovered that the documents that the lawyer explained to her as providing for her two daughters equally in fact provided her older daughter with complete control she became upset.
The older daughter disclosed the new scenario when she removed $4,000.00 from Mary Sykes account! Mary was furious and became more so when the older daughter told her that the reason that she took the money out was so that she could invest Mary’s money in an IRA account! Mary’s next stop was the Circuit Court to obtain an order of protection. The older daughter engaged counsel and filed a petition for a guardian for a disabled person. Video recordings placed on the ‘net’ by Attorney JoAnne Denison reveal that Mary was indeed competent and well able to address her own affairs when the applications for a guardian were filed in the Court by the elder daughter. Inappropriately, the guardians have taken great care to suppress these videos and recently YouTube unilaterally removed them from the ‘net.’ Previously the guardians were able to quash a CBS interview that was adverse to the guardians.
Mary Sykes, to her detriment, had a million dollar estate and this made her a prime target for certain members of the corrupt fraternity of the political elite. In a manner that has yet to be disclosed, the abuser was able to circumvent the laws of the State of Illinois that provided protection for senior citizens and ram through first a temporary guardianship and then a plenary guardianship. The plenary guardianship was accomplished without a hearing upon the attornment of two guardian ad litem and the abuser. A judge ‘rubber stamped’ the abuser’s appointment as plenary guardian.
Every one of the protections built into Illinois Law was thwarted. The 14 day prior notice of a competency (guardianship) hearing was ignored. Legal representation was thwarted by the simple expedient of a guardian ad litem telling the judge that Mary Sykes did not desire legal representation. Ignored were written demands by Mary Sykes for legal representation. Indeed, one of the guardian ad litem knowing that Mary had made written and oral demands for legal representation blatantly represented to the Court that Mary did not want a lawyer. The Court also having this knowledge ignored the legal, civil and human rights of the victim.
When family members and in particular Mary’s younger daughter sought to intervene and prevent Mary from being forcibly and involuntarily taken hostage and being deprived of her civil rights the Court acted (at the request of the second guardian ad litem) to seize her (the daughter’s property) and impoverish her.
The dehumanizing of Mary Sykes began in earnest in August 2009. Even though Mary’s treating physician refused to certify her as incompetent, a judge of the Circuit Court directed the ‘abuser’ to go out and find a doctor who would prostitute his profession and certify Mary to be a disabled person. Forthwith, the deed was accomplished. Thereupon with the legal authorities and the Court, blindly ignoring Mary’s protests and the protests of family and friends, the abuser (now the plenary guardian was able to deny Mary Sykes the totality of her civil rights and human rights.
In summary, the older daughter (the abuser – now the plenary guardian) was able to thwart any attempt to derail her personal dominance of her mother and her mother’s estate and was by a series of Court orders allowed to isolate Mary from her friends, her family, and even her younger daughter. Two guardian ad litem were appointed who spearheaded the assault on anyone who had the temerity to contest the dominance of the older daughter. Mary was cut off from even telephone contact with everything in her prior life. Mary was placed in a ‘day care facility’ that denied her access to her church, her garden club, her friends, her neighbors, and intelligent and/or active social intercourse with persons able to communicate.
So blatant was the action and arrogance of the older daughter that she ‘assaulted Mary’s younger sister’ and then made claims that resulted in Mary’s sibling essentially being barred from contact with the Mary. Mary was totally isolated and a Judge of the Circuit Court and two guardian ad litem enforced the ban. Hardened violent criminals in State and Federal Penal Institutions are afforded more consideration and contact with family and friends than Mary Sykes. Mary’s assets contemporaneously were being dissipated by the abuser (now plenary guardian) under the cover and attornment of the two guardian ad litem!
One guardian ad litem visited the Naperville home of the plenary guardian. During the visit he observed a scenario that a reasonable person would have required an immediate report to the Court. The GAL did not report to the Court or the State Agency that the ‘plenary guardian’ in the height of the recession was engaged in exhibiting her new found wealth by doing extensive remodeling and her husband, who previously was unemployed, had now retired and was luxuriating. Systematically the GALs in their official capacity ignored and ‘covered up’ overt evidence of the ‘looting’ of Mary Sykes’ estate and the denial of human rights.
The torture to which the victim was subject was and is open and notorious. A family friend, who had previously been employed by a Federal Agency, investigated the conditions under which Mary was domiciled and reported that she spent her days in a day care center surrounded by non-stimulation. Her companions were people who could not or would not function. He was appalled and reported his observations. His findings were ignored; however, the attorney for the plenary guardian did report to the Court that Mary was making wonderful progress. He did not define what he meant.
The Estate of Mary Sykes, prior to the guardianship, was quite substantial. Mary’s husband, a former decorated Sgt. of police and a habitual saver, collected gold and silver coins, and was ‘old school’ frugal. In addition Mary and her younger daughter inherited a gold coin collection from a relative. It is estimated that the Estate was on the ‘west side’ of a million dollars. Having survived the great depression of the 1930’s Mary like many of her generation also had a substantial horde of cash in her mattress. In January 2012 the attorney for the plenary guardian reported that Mary’s estate was now less than $4,000.00.
Thus, a citizen of the United States of America, who by State and Federal Constitution is entitled to due process and equal protection of the law, has been stripped of all human and civil rights. The State of Illinois – and particularly the Circuit Court of Cook County ignored and continues to ignore her plight. If the deprivation of human rights and civil rights mentioned supra were the totality of the problem Mary’s situation would be the ‘garden variety’ deprivation that is reported in the press to be the norm in third world dictatorships. However, the family and friends of Mary Sykes have also been subjected to the wrath of the politically elite miscreants.
Mary’s younger daughter attempted to exercise her civil rights guaranteed by the Federal and State Constitution and her civil liberties were summarily stripped from her. An insurance claim that was awarded to her was literally confiscated without notice and hearing by a Circuit Court. A guardian ad litem demanded that insurance renovation cease on the younger daughter’s home. Without hearing or the legal protections the Court ordered it ceased and the funds impounded. The attorney for the plenary guardian ordered payments on her (the daughter’s) mortgage be escrowed. They were and the mortgagor was declared in default by the lender Federal and State law being ignored. The plenary guardian ordered utilities to the dwelling that the daughter resided in to be cut off – and they were. All contact with Mary was cut off, and the Court demanded that to visit with her mother the younger daughter would have to engage a supervisor at her expense.
Such activities are generally prohibited by Illinois and Federal Statutes – however, it appears that the Constitution was suspended to accommodate the political elite’s needs in the Sykes case. Indeed, it is axiomatic that America prides itself on its First Amendment. In 735 ILCS 110/5 the State of Illinois announced its policy. I‘ve attached a copy of the public policy for your consideration. The undersigned, on or about April 22, 2010, was engaged by several members of the community to investigate the Mary Sykes affair. I did. I wrote a letter to the two guardian ad litem and requested a copy of their report. This report is mandatory and must be presented to the Court as one of the protections afforded to citizens so that they will not be deprived of their civil rights. Having been informed that the treating physician would not sign the certificate of incompetency, I made inquiry of the doctor. The consequences were immediate. I received threatening calls from the guardian ad litem and the attorney for the plenary guardian, warning me of dire consequences if I did not cease and desist my inquiry. As I have been practicing law in the United States of America for half a century and have argued before the Supreme Court of the United States of America, I am a bit arrogant and laughed off the threats.
To my shock I was met with a barrage of harassment and intimidation. The two guardian ad litem and the plenary guardian filed disciplinary charges against me in both the Circuit Court of Cook County and before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. The Circuit Court proceeding sought sanctions against me. I was illegally fined approximately $5,000.00. The ARDC demanded my records in connection with the Sykes matter. I voluntarily turned over the requested records – as I had nothing to hide – and more importantly in the few days that I had been able to investigate I discovered that serious criminal action had taken place. My complaints were ignored and continue to be ignored. A safety deposit box in the name of the younger daughter and Mary Sykes had been drilled and the contents containing ‘gold coins’ and other valuables had been ‘looted.’ Valuable antiques had disappeared, and most seriously, all the safeguards that were built into the law were honored in the breach.
The ARDC investigation of me has been quiet, but, it has not been dismissed. Cross requests for investigation of the alleged conspiracy to deprive Mary Sykes and Gloria Sykes (the younger daughter) appear to have been ignored. Requests for law enforcement to investigate what is alleged to be ‘felony theft’ and theft by fiduciaries has been ignored as have been the legal requirements for an accurate accounting and inventory of the Estate’s assets. Mandatory reporting of abuse has not been made, and numerous trips by Mary Sykes to the emergency room for injuries and neglect have either not been made or ignored. The daughter’s application to the Courts for supervision of the plenary guardian, relief from the illegal takings of her property etc. has virtually fallen on deaf ears. The Courts, even though the record before them is replete with red flags and evidence of the systematic denial of human and civil rights of both Gloria Sykes and Mary Sykes, ignores them.
I was not intimidated by the plenary guardian, the Court, or the guardian ad litem and filed a successful appeal of my ‘fine.’ The Appellate Court of Illinois found that the Circuit Court lacked jurisdiction and vacated the fine vindicating the age old principle of Judeo Christian law. However, with Mary’s million dollars estate apparently distributed to the various conspirators Mary’s life is in serious danger. In December 2010 it was discovered by our investigation that Mary Sykes had been taken to the emergency room and had lost 10% of her body weight due to the admitted neglect of the plenary guardian. (The plenary guardian admitted that Mary had a swallowing problem and could not eat. For more than a week Mary was denied treatment.) We have requested ‘wellness checks,’ as Mary has had numerous trips to the emergency room (one of the signs of abuse), but have had no reports back. At this point in time there is no incentive for the miscreants to keep Mary alive.
Another cause for concern is the fact that recently the undersigned discovered that a number of videos had been recorded contemporaneously with the events described supra. These have been suppressed. A key video had been provided to a guardian ad litem and when its return was sought the video was examined and found to have been altered. All the videos were then placed (at my request) on the internet by an attorney who had been engaged prior to the undersigned. The attorney had been disqualified from representing the younger daughter because she acted as a notary on a document that Mary had signed. The guardians filed ARDC complaints against the posting attorney. It appears that these charges are being investigated even though on their face they are frivolous and clearly contrary to the published public policy of the State of Illinois, 735 ILCS 110/5. (The act of witnessing the signing of a document is not such an act as would disqualify an attorney in a case such as this. A guardianship case is supposed to be non-adversarial.)
Unfortunately senior citizens are the new third class citizens in the United States. In particular, any senior who might run afoul of a member of the privileged court appointed guardians is apt to be deprived of his/her civil rights and human rights. The insidious financial exploitation and abuse as illustrated by the Sykes case constitutes 2012 genocide – after the estate is looted, the victim is disposed of! As the Government Accounting Office in its report discloses a lack of interest on the part of the American Government to address these issues in a practical and effective manner, we make this appeal to the United Nations and the International Court of Justice to protect the human rights of senior citizens.
Thank you for your courtesy and cooperation.