Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

September 18, 2017

Complaint for mandamus & civil rights relief from incompetent judges


When judges or officials are incompetent, malicious, or plain mean and violate your civil rights there are two other means that the public usually doesn’t realize by which they can obtain relief even during the case. The judge or official must have a mandatory (non-discretionary) duty under the law or constitution to do a particular act, must have failed to do it, and must be able to do it if ordered to do so in order to use a mandamus complaint. Civil rights law is very complicated.  Both types of complaints should be handled by an attorney, but as a starting place if you are interested in such complaints then this is an example that was filed by me, a non-attorney pro se. Look up the  case law and look up cases regarding mandamus or civil rights in the circuit courts and under your states’ laws.

  1. Mandamus – this is where you ask a court to order an official (including a judge) to perform a task that is mandatory and not discretionary like set a bail when no bail was set in violation of the law – in Illinois no bail is allowed only on murder cases, cases where the sentence may be life, or cases where a due process hearing was held and the defendant is proven to be a danger to the public or himself.
  2. Civil rights complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. Suppose a court refuses to allow you to put any witnesses on the stand, refuses to allow you to subpoena documents or refuses to accommodate your disabilities, even when you discussed them with the disability coordinator and followed the court procedures. Under the federal civil rights act section 1983 you can ask a different court (either state or federal) under federal law to declare the judge’s acts or orders in violation of law or the constitution (declaratory relief) and order the judge to follow the law and allow you compulsory process or force the judge to accommodate your disabilities (injunctive relief).
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May 21, 2016

New Trial Setting Call System replaces Black Line Call in Cook County Courts


Law division cases will now be scheduled for a trial setting date in courtroom 2005 either 15 months or 28 months from the date filed. All litigants will receive postcard notice of such hearings. The new system is explained in the following order from the new Law Division Presiding Judge. This Trial Setting Call system replaces the unconstitutional Black Line Call System.

STATE OF ILLINOIS           )
)  SS
COUNTY OF COOK            )

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS LAW DIVISION

GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 16-2 TRIAL SETTING CALL

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: Effective April  1 , 2016, the Black Line Call currently heard in Courtroom 2006 will be replaced by a Trial Setting Call, that will also be heard in Courtroom 2006.

I.  The following Law Division Black Line Call General Administrative Orders are hereby vacated: 03-1, 04-2, 05-1, 05-2 and 06-1.

II.  Law Division Master Calendar System:

A. Cases included in the Master Calendar System:

  1.   All cases currently assigned to the Motion Calendar Section of the Law Division as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law Division.

B. Cases excluded from the Master Calendar System:

  1.   All cases currently assigned to the Individual General Calendar Section, Individual Commercial Calendar Section, or the Tax and Miscellaneous Remedies Section of the Law Division, unless designated by specific order.

C.  The Master Calendar System consists of the following:

  1.   Motion Calendars as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law
  2.   (Courtroom 2006) Trial Setting
  3.   (Courtroom 2005) Trial Call, Trial Setting Status Call, Prove-up Call and Motion Calls.
  4.   Trial Rooms as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law Division.

Ill.      This General Administrative Order will apply to all cases currently assigned to the Law Divisions Master Calendar System and all cases filed in the future assigned to the Master Calendar System as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law Division.

IV.     Master Calendar Case Designations:

A.  Category 1 Case Type: All cases assigned to the Master Calendar excluding: Medical Malpractice, Legal Malpractice, Product Liability and Construction

  1.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 15 months from the filing date of the
  2.   Trial Setting Date: Electronic or postcard notice will be sent by the Clerk of the Circuit Court to all parties of record or pro se litigants approximately twelve (12)months from the filing date of the
  3.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 90 days from the date electronic or postcard notice is sent out.

B.  Category 2 Case Type: Medical Malpractice, Legal Malpractice, Product Liability  and Construction Injury

  1.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 28 months from the filing date of the lawsuit.
  2.   Trial Setting Date: Electronic or postcard notice will be sent by the Clerk of the Circuit Court to all parties of record or pro se litigants approximately twenty-four {24) months from the filing date of the Lawsuit.
  3.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 120 days from the date electronic or postcard notice is sent out.

V.  All cases appearing on the Trial Setting Call will receive Trial All parties should discuss, prior to appearing for Trial Setting, reasonable Trial Dates to suggest to the Court on the Trial Setting Date.

VI.  Motion Procedure for Master Calendar Cases:

A. The assigned Motion Judge will address all discovery issues and hear all motions excluding motions to continue a trial, motions to vacate, alter, modify, or reconsider orders entered in Courtroom 2005 or 2006 and those motions that must be presented to the Presiding Judge of the Law Division by Circuit Court General Order. These excluded motions should be presented on the appropriate Courtroom 2005 Motion Call.

B.  All motions to continue trial on a case assigned to the Master Calendar Section must be presented to the Presiding Judge of the Law Division or his or her designee on the appropriate Courtroom 2005 motion call. Motion Judges may not set or continue a case for trial.

C.  If all discovery is complete and pending motions ruled upon, the assigned Motion Judge shall enter a Trial Certification This order shall be entered prior to any assigned trial date. If the certified case has no assigned trial date, the case shall be placed on the Trial Setting Status Call in Court room 2005, fourteen (l 4) days from the entry date, for the attorneys to appear and receive a trial date. Failure to have a trial certification order entered will not serve as a basis to continue the trial date.

D.  If at any time All Parties Agree that their case is ready for trial they may present a motion in Courtroom 2005 for Immediate Trial Assignment and the case will be assigned by random computer assignment for the trial to begin

VII. The Transition from the Black Line Trial Call to the Trial Setting Call:

A.  Commencing April I , 2016, Master Calendar Cases will no longer enter the Black Line Pool of

B.  Cases will no longer be categorized or re-categorized, removed from the Black Line Pool or re-sequences within the Black Line

C.  The Black Line Call will continue in Courtroom 2006, until all cases currently in the Black Line Pool have been assigned a trial

D. Cases not currently in the Black Line Pool will be identified as Transition

  1.  The Transition Trial Setting Call shall be conducted from May l, 2016 through July 31, 2016, in Courtroom 2006, with the oldest cases appearing first.
  2. The cases identified for transition will begin appearing in Courtroom 2006 at a rate approximately 60 per day for Trial
  3. Electronic or postcard notice will be sent out to attorneys and all pro se litigants to appear in Courtroom 2006 on the Transition Trial Setting Call, at least thirty (30) days prior to the court
  4. Parties shall be assigned a trial date on the Transition Trial Setting Call, and should discuss an agreed upon trial date, prior to their appearance on the Transition Trial Setting
  5. Effective July 31, 2016, the transition process shall be

VIII. Trial Setting Call

A. Effective August 1, 2016, the Trial Setting Call will commence in Courtroom 2006 with up to thirty (30) cases appearing per day, based on case type and filing

IX.  Nothing in this order will limit the inherent power and discretion of any Judge to enter an order the Judge feels is

It is further ordered that this Order be spread upon the records of this Court.

Dated at Chicago, Illinois this 23rd day of March, 20 1 6.

Honorable James P. Flannery Jr.

Presiding Judge Law Division

November 28, 2014

Why grand juries and trials so easily fixed and manipulated by attorneys


What is a grand jury, how does it work, and what is it’s purpose?

A grand jury is a group of citizens brought together to consider evidence in order to determine only one thing – Is there probable cause to charge a person with a crime? It is supposed to be a safeguard against the state bringing outrageous charges against innocent people for the purpose of harassment, but it has turned into a joke as the jurors don’t understand what they are doing, what they can do, the purpose of the grand jury, and how grand juries are manipulated which is clearly and in great detail explained in the link to an article available on line in this post.

Probable cause is not proof of innocence or guilt. It is just evidence that may be hearsay or untrue, suggesting a person committed a crime. It has to include all the elements of a crime. (For example: Elements of trespass to state supported land are that a person was told to leave and did not and that their actions interrupted a citizen’s use of services in the state owned building.)

Probable cause evidence is presented to the grand jury solely by the prosecutor in a closed secret hearing. Usually the defendant is not called as a witness nor is he or she aware that a grand jury has been called in their  case and only the most minimal amount of evidence, including hearsay allegations without proof, are presented to the grand jury.

The grand jury has the right to call witnesses and question witnesses, but they never do, as they are urged to work quickly, usually hearing a case in a minute or two at the most and their instructions are rarely explained to them in a clear unhurried fashion.

The defense has no rights in a grand jury, except that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the prosecutor may not strike foul blows by giving knowingly false information or exluding such overwhelming exculpatory evidence that there is no way a grand jury would find probable cause. (Like excluding the video in the Garner case).

There is no double jeopardy with a grand jury.  That means the prosecutor may call a new grand jury and try to get an indictment again, as long as it is within the statute of limitations for the crime.

This article explains in great detail why confirmatory bias taints particularly one-sided presentations like the Brown case to the grand jury, as well as trials if they are not extremely fair, and even if they are “fair.” One of the most striking findings in emotional cases is that the jury remembers what is said first no matter what else is said and may blank out all other testimony. There are psychological reasons for this fact.

This is why grand juries must be given evidence only by special prosecutors when the defendants are people who the state’s attorney interacts with daily – like police & judges. This is why police are almost never successfully indicted. Read it carefully. Think of laws that must be changed in order to firmly control this bias. 

Click here to read article: Memo of Law – Confirmatory Bias

SUMMARY OF ARTICLE

Confirmation bias, also called myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, or prioritize information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations)

August 1, 2014

Federal Petiton proving corrupt judges, sheriff, & state’s attorney in Cook County


SIC color_edited-1

PLEASE come to court and show support for Shelton at the next court date on Jan 13, 2016, 10am, 2600 S California, Chicago IL, courtroom 506. Write letters to the U.S. Attorney, Sen. Durbin, Sen. Kirk, your senator, Rep. Lipinsky or your representative, and the press. Some addresses are at end of post. Spread the word through social media that Shelton needs public support to continue these blogs and fight unlawful attacks against her in retaliation for them and for helping so many with pro se litigation and defense.

This is a petition for writ of habeas corpus to the federal district court in Chicago. The Cook County Sheriff in retaliation for Shelton filing civil rights suits has been falsely arresting Shelton repeatedly and maliciously prosecuting her for battery to officers. Of NOTE: She is never charged with battering anyone else and has a lifelong history of non-violent pacifism.  For more information go here.  Also read Shelton’s other blogs: http://cookcountyjudges.wordpress.com  http://chicagofbi.wordpress.com   http://cookcountysheriffdeputies.wordpress.com   http://illinoiscorruption.blogspot.com and search them for posts about Madigan in particular. They have beaten her so many times and so viciously that she now has post-traumatic-stress disorder and when aggressively approached by officers goes into a flashback where she cries, screams, tries to protect herself from imagined blows swinging her arms randomly (as she is reliving attacks) and cowers. If she is pushed, carried, or dragged, due to disabilities and severe balance problems she grabs at things to steady herself – all the while being out of touch with reality during these brief PTSD flashbacks. She has been arrested and charged with FELONY battery to an officer with a possible sentence of 3-14 years for “touching an officers ear and pulling her hair until her hand slipped off”. She has been held in jail one year on no bail and only recently released on $300,000 bail. This is unconstitutional excessive bail She has been denied notice, counsel of choice, discovery of evidence, and has been fraudulently accussed of being psychotic and unfit for trial, illegally without notice or jury trial, without any professional saying she was psychotic or unfit, sent to a secure mental health facility who after a few months said in court she was never unfit and is not psychotic and sent her back to jail. As a result of this lawlessness Shelton has now filed at Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Federal District Court asking for relief and presentment of the criminal conduct of judges, sheriff staff, state’s attorney, court clerk, and other corrupt persons to the U.S. Attorney for  prosecution. You can read it here: (download will be 24 pages) fed habeas 6-12-14 final Full Petition with evidence (download will be 400+ pages) Habeas Petition Asst. US Attorney Zachary T. Fardon United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division 219 S. Dearborn St., 5th Floor Chicago, IL 60604 Phone: (312) 353-5300 ______________________ FBI,Special Agent in Charge – Chicago Robert J. Holley 2111 W. Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60608 Phone: (312) 421-6700 Fax: (312) 829-5732/38 E-mail: Chicago@ic.fbi.gov _________________________ Senator Durbin WASHINGTON, D.C. 711 Hart Senate Bldg. Washington, DC 20510 9 am to 6 pm ET (202) 224-2152 – phone (202) 228-0400 – fax ____________________ Senator Kirk Washington, DC 524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC, 20510 Phone: 202-224-2854 Fax: 202-228-4611 ___________________ Congressman Lipinsky Washington, D.C. Office 1717 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515 P (202) 225 – 5701 P (866) 822 – 5701 F (202) 225 – 1012

July 31, 2014

Inability to pay child support, court fee, & court-appointed counselor or examiner


A COURT MAY AWARD THE NONCUSTODIAL PARENT CHILD SUPPORT IF THE CUSTODIAL PARENT IS MUCH WEALTHIER THAN NONCUSTODIAL PARENT. THIS IS SO THAT CHILD CAN LIVE SAME LIFESTYLE WITH BOTH PARENTS.

In re Marriage of Turk 2014 IL 116730

 

Appellate citation: 2013 IL App (1st) 122486.

 

      JUSTICE KARMEIER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

            Chief Justice Garman and Justices Freeman, Kilbride, and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

      Justice Theis specially concurred, with opinion, joined by Justice Thomas.

 

            The parties to this Cook County child support dispute divorced in 2005 and have two sons, now ages 17 and 15. In 2012, the circuit court entered an agreed order establishing the father as custodial parent and setting up a visitation schedule for the mother under which she had regular visitation with the older boy once a week, for dinner on Wednesdays, and regular visitation with the younger boy, with weekly visits from Monday to Wednesday mornings, plus alternating weekends. This system gave her nearly equal time with him. At this time it was determined that the father earned approximately $150,000 per year and that the mother was earning less than $10,000. The father asked for termination of his obligation to pay support based on his custodial status, but the circuit court’s order required him to pay $600 per month in child support and to fund medical expenses not covered by insurance. The father’s claim that his designation as custodial parent meant that statute precluded requiring him to pay child support to a noncustodial parent was rejected by the circuit court, and the father appealed.

            The appellate court, like the circuit court, rejected the father’s claim of no obligation to pay child support, and it affirmed this aspect of the trial court’s ruling. However, it remanded for an evidentiary hearing for reconsideration as to the support amount. It did not, however, interfere with the circuit court’s ruling as to medical expenses.

            In this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court said that the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act expressly confers on courts the option to order either or both parents to pay an amount that is reasonable and necessary for the support of the child, and, in its discretion, to order payment of various expenses determined to be reasonable, including health needs not covered by insurance. The supreme court explained that a parent who is technically noncustodial may have visitation rights which place the child in that parent’s care for periods of time which involve commensurate cost. This can be problematic if the noncustodial parent has fewer resources to meet the substantial support costs of an extensive visitation schedule. This would not only be unfair, but would leave the poorer parent with insufficient resources to care for the child in a manner even minimally comparable to that of the wealthier parent. A child should not end up living commensurate with the wealthier custodial parent’s income only half the time, when staying with the wealthier custodial parent. This could be detrimental to the child. Therefore, a trial court may order a custodial parent to pay child support where the circumstances and the best interests of the child warrant it.

            While rejecting the custodial father’s claims as to the meaning of the statute, the appellate court had remanded for an evidentiary hearing, with directions for the circuit court to clearly explain the basis for any support awarded. It was correct in this regard, but the supreme court held that, on remand, the circuit court should also revisit with specificity the issue of what portion of uninsured medical expenses the father should be required to pay.

            The appellate court was, thus, affirmed in part and reversed in part.

________________________________________________________________

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HAS HELD THAT BEFORE A PERSON CAN BE JAILED FOR NONPAYMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT HE MUST BE GIVEN DUE PROCESS AND IN SOME CASES AN ATTORNEY – IF THE COURT DOES NOT PROVIDE THAT DUE PROCESS AS DEFINED IN THIS CASE

Turner v. Rogers, 131 S. Ct. 2507, 180 L. Ed. 2d 452 (2011) [2011 BL 161240]

If incarcerated for failing to pay child support must have been given due process – notice, due process evidentiary hearing where it must be proven that defendant has ability to pay child support, and counsel. In a civil case, due process does not always involve appointment of counsel.

This is true only if there are procedural safeguards:

These include (1) notice to the defendant that his “ability to pay” is a critical issue in the contempt proceeding; (2) the use of a form (or the equivalent) to elicit relevant financial information from him; (3) an opportunity at the hearing for him to respond to statements and questions about his financial status; and (4) an express finding by the court that the defendant has the ability to pay,

and the opposing counsel (parent) is pro se, then the court is not required to appoint counsel.

 

January 15, 2013

Free legal assistance for those who are wrongfully convicted or coerced to falsely plea guilty


There is no guarantee you will be able to find a lawyer to help you, but here are the places you can look.  You will have to make appointments by phone and then go to them.  There will be lots of appointments and lots of rejections before  you are likely to find someone to help you, but don’t give up!

Prepare a SHORT document where you write about your case and send it or deliver it to the attorneys or law clinics you made appointments with before you go to your appointments – with a cover letter that is a few sentences saying this is what you are doing.

Write a one to two page story about your case and attach any evidence that proves you are innocent (affidavits or letters from witnesses or whatever else you have).  Give the details of what you were accused of and what you confessed to and pled  guilty to.  Write a paragraph as to why you pled guilty when you didn’t do it.  Write a paragraph about what you plan on doing in life and how the conviction is preventing  you from accomplishing your goals.  Write a paragraph about what the state’s witnesses said that caused you to be convicted and why you think they were motivated to lie.  Give this to each of the places you get an appointment BEFORE you go to the appointment.

Contact law school clinics where they have lawyers who represent indigent clients.  They all don’t do this automatically and they are limited by funding from grants and government. etc.  But call each one and pound the pavement meeting with them after making appointments and showing them the evidence that proves you are innocent. This is NOT an easy task.

http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/?section=LinksPage&LinksPage=Law_Schools

You should also apply for executive clemency from the parole board – which reviews your case and recommends to the Governor if you should be granted a pardon.  Make sure you answer the above questions in your written application. The Gov. can overturn any conviction with a pardon.  It would be better if you could find witnesses who can prove your innocence and get a signed affidavit from them that would be signed by a notary.  Remember that letters are hearsay and not admissible in court.  If you have witnesses that sign affidavits that state they are willing to testify to what they wrote in their affidavits that would be best.

http://www2.illinois.gov/PRB/Pages/prbexclemex.aspx

This page  contains links to free legal services.

http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/?section=SERVRESPage&SERVRESPage=7020

It will be tough finding someone to help you.

Good luck!  Work hard pounding the pavement going to appointments and never give up!

September 21, 2012

Grandparent visitation rights in Illinois – a big hurdle


ILLINOIS LAW ON GRANDPARENTS’ VISITATION RIGHTS by L. Shelton

This post assumes that the custodial parent has denied visitation for the non-custodial parent-related grandparents.

As explained in the following it is almost impossible to obtain visitation for  grandparents by court order unless the grandparents can prove, by convincing evidence that without their visitation the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health will be harmed.  Therefore, the grandparents must obtain affidavits from psychologists, testimony from the child, or independent testimony from persons other than themselves that there is hard evidence that a child will be harmed without their interactions with the child.  There is a presumption in the law that the parent’s decision to bar visitation from the grandparent does not harm the child.

It is a sad statement that although the Illinois law supports in principle grandparents’ visitation rights in cases where parents are not available, in reality the Illinois Supreme Court’s interpretation of this law eviscerates it so that if a custodial parent refuses to allow the grandparents to visit with the child, the grandparents have no recourse.

Grandparents’ rights are contained in several different statutes including:

  • Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) 750 ILCS 5/101, et seq.,
  • Illinois Probate Act of 1975 (Probate Act), 755 ILCS 5/1-1, et seq., and
  • Illinois Adoption Act, (Adoption Act) 750 ILCS 5/0.01, et seq..

In common law, the superior right of the natural parent to raise and control their children was absolute barring special circumstances, such as when a parent died and his/her parents were trustee for their grandchild, or when the parent died and the grandparents had a long established close relationship with the child. In re Marriage of Spomer, 123 Ill.App.3d 31, 462 N.E.2d 724, 78 Ill.Dec. 605 (1984) [5th Dist].

Since 2005, although the Illinois Supreme Court (IL S Ct) has not addressed the constitutionality of the act yet, under the Probate Act and the IMDMA grandparents can move for visitation. Amendments to the IMDMA have been considered in Flynn v. Henkel, 227 Ill.2d 176, 880 N.E.2d 166, 316 Ill.Dec. 688 (2007).

In 2000 the legislature enacted law to allow grandparents visitation rights, IMDMA §§607(b)(1) and 607(b)(3). This was held unconstitutional in Wickham v. Byrne, 199 Ill.2d 309, 769 N.E.2d 1, 263 Ill.Dec. 799 (2002). They ruled the statute infringed on the natural parents’ fundamental right “to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children without unwarranted state intrusion.” Wickham 769 N.E.2d at 5. See also Schweigert v. Schweigert, 201 Ill.2d 42, 772 N.E.2d 229, 265 Ill.Dec. 191 (2002); and Lulay v. Lulay, 193 Ill.2d 455, 739 N.E.2d 521, 250 Ill.Dec. 758 (2000).

Statutes that infringe on such fundamental rights can only survive if narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest. Laws pertaining to mandatory immunizations, protection against child abuse, and child labor prohibitions will survive.

In 2005 the legislature narrowed the situations where grandparents can move for and obtain visitation to comport with the above principles. This statute permits grandparents to seek visitation with their grandchild if the child’s parent or parents unreasonable deny visitation and at least one of five situations exists. 750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(1):

1)    One parent is incompetent, deceased, or imprisoned for more than one year.

2)    The child’s parents are divorced for at least three months, at least one of the parents does not object to the visitation, and the grandparent visitation would not interfere with the visitation enjoyed by the parent not related to the grandparent seeking visitation.

3)    If a court other than a juvenile court or adoption court has terminated one parent’s rights in the child and this parent is the child of the grandparent seeking visitation.

4)    The child was born out of wedlock, the parents do not live together, and the petitioner is a maternal grandparent.

5)    The child was born out of wedlock, a court has established paternity, the parents do not live together, and the petitioner is the paternal grandparent.

The statute prohibits petitions for grandparents visitation if the parental rights have been terminated in an adoption proceeding, 750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(2).

The statute places the burden of proof on the grandparent and the Illinois Supreme Court has interpreted this so onerously that it is now virtually impossible for grandparents to obtain visitation if the custodial parent does not approve of it.

“[T]here is a rebuttal presumption that a fit parent’s actions and decisions regarding grandparent . . .  visitation are not harmful to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health.” 750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(3) To prevail on a petition for visitation, the grandparents must prove that the parent’s actions and decisions in denying visitation harm the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health. Id. In determining whether this rebuttable presumption is overcome, the trial court is directed to consider numerous factors. These factors are:

1)    the child’s preference,

2)    the mental and physical health of the child and the grandparents,

3)    the duration and nature of the child’s relationship with the grandparents,

4)     the good faith of the grandparents in seeking visitation and of the person denying visitation,

5)    the amount of visitation time requested and

6)    whether this visitation would adversely impact the child’s other activities,

7)    whether the child lived with the grandparents for at least six consecutive months with or without the current custodial parent,

8)    whether the grandparents have had frequent contact with the child for at least 12 consecutive months,, and

9)    any other facts that demonstrate that severing the relationship between the grandparents and the child will harm the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health.

750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(4).

If the grandparents prevail, the court still has great flexibility in shaping the order. The court may refuse to grant overnight visitation or even possessory visitation. The court need only provide grandparents with reasonable access to the child. 750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(5).

Modifications of these grandparents’ visitation orders may be requested every two years, similar to this restriction on custody orders, unless the court is provided affidavits alleging facts that demonstrate “the child’s environment may endanger seriously the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health.” 750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(1). It must be proved by clear and convincing evidence that circumstances have changed since entry of previous visitation orders, which are necessary to protect the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health. Changes to the grandparent’s circumstances are irrelevant. The changes must relate to the child and the custodian. (750 ILCS 5/607(a-7)(2). The petition to modify visitation may be premised only on factual allegations that were nonexistent or unknown to the court when the previous visitation order was entered. (Id)  “Attorneys’ fees and costs shall be assessed against a party seeking modification of the visitation order if the court finds that the modification action is vexatious and constitutes harassment.,” 750 ILCS 5/607(a-7)(3).

Several amendments took effect in 2007:

1)    Grandparent visitation statutes do not apply to children less than one year old. 750 ILCS 5/607(a-3)

2)    The Petition must be filed in the county in which the child resides. 750 ILCS 5/607(a-3)

3)    The grandparent may petition for visitation during a pending divorce proceeding or any other proceeding involving custody of a child. 750 ILCS 5/607(a-3)

4)    The grandparent may petition for visitation if the parent has been missing for three months. 750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(1)(A-5) [missing means the person cannot be located and the fact they are missing has been reported to a law enforcement agency.] (Id.)

5)    The grandparent may also petition for visitation if the parent has been incarcerated during the three month period prior to the filing of the petition. 750 ILCS 5/607(a-5)(1)(A-15).

6)    The grandparent may petition for visitation if the child has been adopted by a relative or a stepparent [which changes the law barring visitation after adoption.].

The IL S Ct has ruled in Flynn v. Henkel, 227 Ill.2d 176, 880 N.E.2d 166, 316 Ill.Dec. 688 (2007), concerning grandparent visitation rights under these statutes. The court reversed the lower court and Appellate Court decisions granting visitation, stating that the grandparents, in this case where the child was born out of wedlock, did not meet their burden of proof to show that it is harmful to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health if visitation with the paternal grandparents was denied. The constitutionality of the new grandparent visitation statute has not been addressed.

Neither denial of an opportunity for grandparent visitation, as the trial court found, nor a child “never knowing a grandparent who loved him and who did not undermine the child’s relationship with his mother,” as the appellate court held, is “harm” that will rebut the presumption stated in section 607(a-5)(3) that a fit parent’s denial of a grandparent’s visitation is not harmful to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health. 880 N.E.2d at 171.

Under the probate act, a grandparent may petition for visitation if:

1)    both parents are deceased, and

2)    the grandparent is the parent of the child’s legal  parent. [thus if the adoptive parents both die, the grandparents may petition for visitation only if they are parents of the adoptive parents.]

755 ILCS 5/11-7.1(a). The burden of proof to prove these things by the preponderance of the evidence is on the petitioner. Again,, if adopted by a close relative, then the grandparents may petition for visitation. Close relatives include aunts, uncles, first cousins, and brothers and sisters of the child.

August 9, 2012

Family Law – U.S. Consumer Protection Act limits amount of garnishment for child support


The consumer protection act REQUIRES that no more than 65 % of you income go towards paying back child support (this 65% includes  payment of taxes first, then child support, then any other garnishment of wages – total garnishment can be no more than 65 % if in arrears and 60 % of wages if not in arrears for child support).

From “Big Divorce Book” I Compiled:

11. “Title III, Consumer Protection Act”  Summary of authority and purpose of 15 USC § 1671 et seq. and 29 CFR Part 870 regarding maximum payments that may Be withheld under federal law from Obligor …………………………………………….  50-51

12. 15 USC § 1671 et seq. Federal Wage Garnishment Law (Title III of the Consumer Protection Act) & corresponding 29 CFR Part 870 …………………………………….  51-56

Mandates that when child support is an issue that federal and State taxes have priority over child support or other debts. Provides that child support has priority over other debts except for taxes. Provides that if the Obligor is not living with and supporting a spouse or child that no more than a total of 60% of net wages may be withheld from a paycheck and no more than 65% of net wages may be withheld from a paycheck if Obligor is more than 12 weeks in arrears ………………………………..   52-54

TITLE 15 > CHAPTER 41 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 1671. = 15 U.S.C. § 1671      Congressional findings and declaration of purpose

(a) Disadvantages of garnishment The Congress finds:

(1) The unrestricted garnishment of compensation due for personal services encourages the making of predatory extensions of credit. Such extensions of credit divert money into excessive credit payments and thereby hinder the production and flow of goods in interstate commerce.

(2) The application of garnishment as a creditors’ remedy frequently results in loss of employment by the debtor, and the resulting disruption of employment, production, and consumption constitutes a substantial burden on interstate commerce.

(3) The great disparities among the laws of the several States relating to garnishment have, in effect, destroyed the uniformity of the bankruptcy laws and frustrated the purposes thereof in many areas of the country.

(b) Necessity for regulation On the basis of the findings stated in subsection (a) of this section, the Congress determines that the provisions of this subchapter are necessary and proper for the purpose of carrying into execution the powers of the Congress to regulate commerce and to establish uniform bankruptcy laws.

15 U.S.C. § 1672. Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(a) The term “earnings” means compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.

(b) The term “disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of any individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.

(c) The term “garnishment” means any legal or equitable procedure through which the earnings of any individual are required to be withheld for payment of any debt.

15 U.S.C. § 1673. Restriction on garnishment

(a) Maximum allowable garnishment Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and in section 1675 of this title, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment may not exceed

(1) 25 per centum of his disposable earnings for that week, or

(2) the amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the Federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 206 (a)(1) of title 29 in effect at the time the earnings are payable,

whichever is less. In the case of earnings for any pay period other than a week, the Secretary of Labor shall by regulation prescribe a multiple of the Federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forth in paragraph (2).

(b) Exceptions (1) The restrictions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply in the case of (A) any order for the support of any person issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure, which is established by State law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial review.

(B) any order of any court of the United States having jurisdiction over cases under chapter 13 of title 11.

(C) any debt due for any State or Federal tax.

(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed— (A) where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child (other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used), 50 per centum of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week; and

(B) where such individual is not supporting such a spouse or dependent child described in clause (A), 60 per centum of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week;

except that, with respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the 50 per centum specified in clause (A) shall be deemed to be 55 per centum and the 60 per centum specified in clause (B) shall be deemed to be 65 per centum, if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order with respect to a period which is prior to the twelve-week period which ends with the beginning of such workweek.

(c) Execution or enforcement of garnishment order or process prohibited No court of the United States or any State, and no State (or officer or agency thereof), may make, execute, or enforce any order or process in violation of this section.

15 U.S.C. § 1674. Restriction on discharge from employment by reason of garnishment

(a) Termination of employment No employer may discharge any employee by reason of the fact that his earnings have been subjected to garnishment for any one indebtedness.

(b) Penalties Whoever willfully violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

15 U.S.C. § 1676. Enforcement by Secretary of Labor

(If someone violates this law you should complain to the U.S. Dept of Labor)

The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, shall enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

29 C.F.R. 870 et seq.

Title 29: Labor

PART 870—RESTRICTION ON GARNISHMENT Section Contents

Subpart A—General

29 U.S.C. § 870.1   Purpose and scope. § 870.2   Amendments to this part. Subpart B—Determinations and Interpretations

29 U.S.C. § 870.10   Maximum part of aggregate disposable earnings subject to garnishment under section 303(a). § 870.11   Exceptions to the restrictions provided by section 303(a) of the CCPA and priorities among garnishments.

Subpart A—General § 870.1   Purpose and scope. (a) This part sets forth the procedures and any policies, determinations, and interpretations of general application whereby the Secretary of Labor carries out his duties under section 303 of the CCPA dealing with restrictions on garnishment of earnings, and section 305 permitting exemptions for State-regulated garnishments in certain situations. While the Secretary’s duties under section 303 include insuring that certain amounts of earnings are protected, such duties do not include establishing priorities among multiple garnishments, as such priorities are determined by other Federal statutes or by State law.

(b) Functions of the Secretary under the CCPA to be performed as provided in this part are assigned to the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (hereinafter referred to as the Administrator), who, under the general direction and control of the Assistant Secretary, Wage and Labor Standards Administration, shall be empowered to take final and binding actions in administering the provisions of this part. The Administrator is empowered to subdelegate any of his duties under this part. Any legal advice and assistance required for administration of this part shall be provided by the Solicitor of Labor.

29 U.S.C. § 870.2   Amendments to this part. The Administrator may, at any time upon his own motion or upon written request of any interested person setting forth reasonable grounds therefor, amend any rules in this part.

Subpart B—Determinations and Interpretations § 870.10   Maximum part of aggregate disposable earnings subject to garnishment under section 303(a). (a) Statutory provision. Section 303 (a) of the CCPA provides that, with some exceptions,

the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment may not exceed

(1) 25 per centum of his disposable earnings for that week, or

(2) the amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the Federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, in effect at the time the earnings are payable.

whichever is less. In the case of earnings for any pay period other than a week, the Secretary of Labor shall by regulation prescribe a multiple of the Federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forth in paragraph (2).

(b) Weekly pay period. The statutory exemption formula applies directly to the aggregate disposable earnings paid or payable for a pay period of 1 workweek, or a lesser period. Its intent is to protect from garnishment and save to an individual earner the specified amount of compensation for his personal services rendered in the workweek, or a lesser period. Thus:

(1) The amount of an individual’s disposable earnings for a workweek or lesser period which may not be garnished is 30 times the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage. If an individual’s disposable earnings for such a period are equal to or less than 30 times the minimum wage, the individual’s earnings may not be garnished in any amount. (When the minimum wage increases, the proportionate amount of earnings which may not be garnished also increases.) On April 1, 1991, the minimum wage increased to $4.25. Accordingly, the amount of disposable weekly earnings which may not be garnished is $127.50 effective April 1, 1991. (For the period April 1, 1990 through March 31, 1991, the amount that may not be garnished is $114 (30×$3.80).)

(2) For earnings payable on or after April 1, 1991, if an individual’s disposable earnings for a workweek or lesser period are more than $127.50, but less than $170.00, only the amount above $127.50 is subject to garnishment. (For earnings payable during the period April 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991, when the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage was $3.80, this range computes to more than $114.00, but less than $152.00.)

(3) For earnings payable on or after April 1, 1991, if an individual’s disposable earnings for a workweek or lesser period are $170.00 or more, 25 percent of his/her disposable earnings is subject to garnishment. (The weekly figure was $152.00 (40×$3.80) for the period April 1, 1990 through March 31, 1991.)

(c) Pay for a period longer than 1 week. In the case of disposable earnings which compensate for personal services rendered in a pay period longer than 1 workweek, the weekly statutory exemption formula must be transformed to a formula applicable to such earnings providing equivalent restrictions on wage garnishment.

(1) The 25 percent part of the formula would apply to the aggregate disposable earnings for all the workweeks or fractions thereof compensated by the pay for such pay period.

(2) The following formula should be used to calculate the dollar amount of disposable earnings which would not be subject to garnishment: The number of workweeks, or fractions thereof, should be multiplied times the applicable Federal minimum wage and that amount should be multiplied by 30. For example, for the period April 1, 1990 through March 31, 1991 when the Federal minimum wage was $3.80 per hour, the formula should be calculated based on a minimum wage of $3.80 ($3.80 multiplied by 30 equals $114; $114 multiplied by the number of workweeks (or fractions thereof) equals the amount that cannot be garnished). As of April 1, 1991, the $4.25 Federal minimum wage replaces $3.80 in the formula (and the amount which cannot be garnished would then be $127.50 multiplied by the number of workweeks (or fractions thereof)). For purposes of this formula, a calendar month is considered to consist of 41/3workweeks. Thus, during the period April 1, 1990 through March 31, 1991 when the Federal minimum hourly wage was $3.80 an hour, the amount of disposable earnings for a 2-week period is $228.00 (2×30×$3.80); for a monthly period, $494.00 (41/3×30×$3.80). Effective April 1, 1991, such amounts increased as follows: for a two-week period, $255.00 (2×30×$4.25); for a monthly period, $552.50 (41/3×30×$4.25). The amount of disposable earnings for any other pay period longer than 1 week shall be computed in a manner consistent with section 303(a) of the act and with this paragraph.

(3) Absent any changes to the rate set forth in section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, disposable earnings for individuals paid weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and monthly may not be garnished unless they are in excess of the following amounts:

Date Minimum amount Weekly amount Biweekly amount Semi-monthly amount Monthly rate Jan. 1, 1981 $3.35 $100.50 $201.00 $217.75 $435.50 Apr. 1, 1990 3.80 114.00 228.00 247.00 494.00 Apr. 1, 1991 4.25 127.50 255.00 276.25 552.50

(4) Absent any changes to the rate set forth in section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, if the disposable earnings are less than the following figures, only the difference between the appropriate figures set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section and the individual’s disposable earnings may be garnished.

Date Minimum amount Weekly amount Biweekly amount Semi-monthly amount Monthly rate Jan. 1, 1981 $3.35 $134.00 $268.00 $290.33 $580.67 Apr. 1, 1990 3.80 152.00 304.00 329.33 658.67 Apr. 1, 1991 4.25 170.00 340.00 368.33 736.67

For example, in April of 1990, if an individual’s disposable earnings for a biweekly pay period are $274.00, the difference between $228.00 and $274.00 (i.e., $46.00) may be garnished.

(5) If disposable earnings are in excess of the figures stated in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, 25% of the disposable earnings may be garnished.

(d) Date wages paid or payable controlling. The date that disposable earnings are paid or payable, and not the date the Court issues the garnishment order, is controlling in determining the amount of disposable earnings that may be garnished. Thus, a garnishment order in November 1990, providing for withholding from wages over a period of time, based on exemptions computed at the $3.80 per hour minimum wage then in effect, would be modified by operation of the change in the law so that wages paid after April 1, 1991, are subject to garnishment to the extent described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section on the basis of a minimum rate of $4.25 per hour. This principle is applicable at the time of the enactment of any further increase in the minimum wage.

29 U.S.C. § 870.11   Exceptions to the restrictions provided by section 303(a) of the CCPA and priorities among garnishments. top (a)(1) Section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act provides that the restrictions in section 303(a) do not apply to:

(i) Any debt due for any State or Federal tax, or

(ii) Any order of any court of bankruptcy under Chapter XIII of the Bankruptcy Act.

(2) Accordingly the Consumer Credit Protection Act does not restrict in any way the amount which may be withheld for State or Federal taxes or in Chapter XIII Bankruptcy Act proceedings.

(b)(1) Section 303(b) provides the following restrictions on the amount that may be withheld for the support of any person (e.g. alimony or child support):

(A) Where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child (other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is issued), 50 per centum of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week; and

(B) Where such individual is not supporting such a spouse or dependent child described in clause (A), 60 per centum of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week; except that, with respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the 50 per centum specified in clause (A) shall be deemed to be 55 per centum and the 60 per centum specified in clause (B) shall be deemed to be 65 per centum, if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order with respect to a period which is prior to the twelve week period which ends with the beginning of such workweek.

(2) Compliance with the provisions of section 303(a) and (b) may offer problems when there is more than one garnishment. In that event the priority is determined by State law or other Federal laws as the CCPA contains no provisions controlling the priorities of garnishments. However, in no event may the amount of any individual’s disposable earnings which may be garnished exceed the percentages specified in section 303. To illustrate:

(i) If 45% of an individual’s disposable earnings were garnished for taxes, and this garnishment has priority, the Consumer Credit Protection Act permits garnishment for the support of any person of only the difference between 45% and the applicable percentage (50 to 65%) in the above quoted section 303(b).

(ii) If 70% of an individual’s disposable earnings were garnished for taxes and/or a Title XIII Bankruptcy debt, and these garnishments have priority, the Consumer Credit Protection Act does not permit garnishment either for the support of any person or for other debts.

(iii) If 25% of an individual’s disposable earnings were withheld pursuant to an ordinary garnishment which is subject to the restrictions of section 303(a), and the garnishment has priority in accordance with State law, the Consumer Credit Protection Act permits the additional garnishment for the support of any person of only the difference between 25% and the applicable percentage (50–65%) in the above quoted section 303(b).

(iv) If 25% or more of an individual’s disposable earnings were withheld pursuant to a garnishment for support, and the support garnishment has priority in accordance with State law, the Consumer Credit Protection Act does not permit the withholding of any additional amounts pursuant to an ordinary garnishment which is subject to the restrictions of section 303(a).

March 7, 2012

IISBA members retaliate against activists in family court fighting against extortion of family assets by court-appointed attorneys


Read complaint here.

On February 29, 2012 a group of moms and dads who were victims of court ordered extortion of their families appeared to testify before the Illinois House Judiciary I Committee in support of HB 5544, which would set a limit on fees that child representatives and guardian ad litems can bill families for services in divorce cases, when they are court-appointed to represent the minor children.

These moms and dads made compelling testimony that proved that judges were rubber stamping orders to pay these lawyers exorbitant amounts, from $300 to $1200 per hour, amounting to up to around $100,000 per divorce case. These fees which are often one to two times an average family’s yearly income, not including the fees the parents pay each of their own attorneys, cause the corrupt family court judges to ignore the law, 750 ILCS 5-506, that requires them to approve only “reasonable and necessary” fees, and order the families to use the children’s’ college funds to pay the court-appointed attorneys as well as to sell their homes – often making them homeless or end up living in trailer homes or with friends and relatives, to pay these fees.

Surely, this was not the intent of the legislature when they enacted these statutes to look after the “best interest of the children” – notably a term that the Nazis used 60 years ago to take Aryan looking from their parents and place them with good German couples in order to ensure a pure race!

For details of this scheme to rape the estates of families in divorce court to enrich lawyers see the complaint filed with the ARDC, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Kilbride, with the attached copies of the slide show that these activists gave to the Illinois House Judiciary I Committee on February 29, 2012 to document this atrocious, immoral, and illegal scheme supported by the ISBA, whose member testified that they NEED these exorbitant fees and the families should have a penalty that impoverishes them for arguing with each other!

Read complaint here.

January 25, 2012

Motion for Supervisory Order – Illinois Supreme Court


The reason to file a motion for a supervisory order with the Illinois Supreme Court (IL S Ct) is if a person is unable to file  direct appeal on the issue. For example in a divorce case where the judge endlessly keeps an issue “in reserve” for more than a year, and therefore, there is no final appealable order because all issues are not dealt with, then it is appropriate to file a motion for supervisory order to the IL S Ct in order to ask for an order to force the trial judge to make a decision on the case.

Also see info from the Illinois Pro Bono organization: here

The following is an example of a motion for supervisory order. The sample IL S Ct motion for supervisory order is here.

To file it, if the court is in session you send the original and 9 copies to the IL S Ct in Springfield at their office. If they are not in session and you are in Chicago, you file an original and five copies in the Chicago office of the IL S Ct and then send one copy to each of the four justices outside of Chicago – their local offices. Recently (2013) the IL S Ct made rules on how to E-file. See their web site for updated information.

Included must be notice of service to the judge (who is the respondent) and to the other parties, an order with a place for the judges to circle either “denied” or “granted” and a place to sign it., a verified statement that you are complying with the 20 page limit to the pleading, a cover for the appendix, an affidavit that the documents in the appendix are true and accurate copies, a table of contents with page numbers for the appendix, an affidavit if you are pro se (verified statement if you are an attorney) that you have served notice and the motion to the parties and judges, and a check for $25 dollars.  See IL S Ct rules 383,341-343.

The supporting record must be authenticated by the trial court clerk or verified by affidavit by attorney or  pro se counsel as required in IL S Ct rule
328

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