Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not Even the Judges are Inmune! From Judge to Ward of the Court!

Article adopted from Your Life What an Outrage! From judge to ward of the court!

By Christopher Ketcham June 2007 AARP Bulletin

John L. Phillips was once a respected and wealthy Brooklyn, N.Y., judge. But today, the retired jurist, 84, is in an assisted living facility and his $10 million estate is in disarray.

Phillips, who has no direct heirs, lost control of his life in 2000 when the office of Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes requested proceedings in which Phillips was diagnosed with early Alzheimer's and declared incapacitated. The court appointed a guardian to conduct his business.

Hynes, whose seat Phillips sought to challenge in 1997, started guardianship proceedings, saying that the judge "appeared disoriented and uncared for." He denies he or his staff sought to place the judge in a "retirement home." But Phillips' friends and neighbors claim Hynes had ulterior motives: the judge was considering another run against the DA in 2001 and posed a threat to Hynes.

A series of court-appointed guardians have failed to file tax returns for Phillips and sold his property at unpublicized auctions. One guardian wrote checks to herself totaling at least $187,000 from Phillips' accounts and was ordered to repay the money, but hasn't. Phillips' lawyers are still waiting for an official accounting of his assets.

"The court system and his so-called guardians want to sweep this under the rug," says attorney Ezra Glaser.

1 comment:

Caprice said...

Unfortunately there are thousands of stories like the judge's. Guardianships are shaping up to be the organized crime of the 21st century. Our elders are being used and abuse with the permission of the courts their labor and dollars have supported for years. Please consider joining the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse at www.nasga@yahoogroups.com. There you can join in finding a solution to this crime.