Judges Increasingly Interfere in Marital Life

By Janet Phelan

There have been a growing number of mainstream articles about the abuses being visited upon the elderly and disabled through court-authorized guardianship, although most of these articles tend to focus on a few “bad apple” guardians and to cut a wide detour around any implications that judges are involved in the wholesale theft, civil rights violations and in some cases, even the murder of those subjected to their adjudication.

Guardianships are generally initiated through court proceedings when there is an allegation that an individual is forgetful or otherwise lacks capacity. Upon the initiation of a guardianship, the target loses many, if not all, of his civil rights and all access to his monies.

Those who have been following the thread of judicial corruption, however, know that judges are deeply embedded in this process. Judges are the linchpin, the glue that holds the entire abuse-by-guardianship scheme together. Without a judge’s stamp of approval, none of the isolation, the embezzlement and the inappropriate medical decisions are even possible.

And now, judges in these proceedings have gone a step further into the legal Twilight Zone and are attacking the marriages of those under guardianship.These acts of intrusion by the state into family privacy and the sanctity of marital life are taking place both explicitly and implicitly.

Explicitly, Judge JoAnn Johnson launched a wrecking ball into the 74-year marriage of 102-year-old Stanley Zurko and his wife, Irene (Judgment 9.145.2020 PDF). Neither spouse requested the legal separation nor were either in the courtroom when the judge entered this decision . Why did Judge Johnson take this off-the-high-dive leap? According to the pair’s daughter, the separation was done in order to facilitate the robbery of the Zurkos’ assets. Stanley Zurko was under a court-authorized guardianship at the time that the court made its order. His wife, Irene, was not.

Explicitly, the marriage of Charlie Thrash and Laura Martinez Thrash was annulled by Judge Oscar Kazan in Bexar County Court on March 21, 2019.The wedding took place on March 4, 2019. According to legal documents, Charlie and Laura had lived together since 2012. The Netflix film, Dirty Money, focuses in on the Thrash guardianship and seems to point to a concerted effort by Charlie Thrash’s guardian, Tonya Barina, to reap the benefits of Charlie’s considerable nest egg, going so far as to close his place of business and to seize his vehicles. The annulment effectively voided any legal protest that might have been lodged by Laura Martinez Thrash.

Netflix is being sued by Barina, as are attorney Phil Ross and Laura, all of whom were interviewed on air in the documentary.

Less explicitly, marriages such as that enjoyed by Dean and Amy Sallas for over fifty years are being severed by decisions by a guardian. Amy Sallas was taken by force on Jan 24, 2019.  Although no explicit legal mechanism was employed, such as a dissolution of marriage or a restraining order, Dean is forbidden to contact his wife by order of the guardian, who is in this case the Cook County Public Guardian. According to Dean, he has not seen Amy since April 9, 2021. This reporter was successful in reaching Amy Sallas by phone on two occasions. After the second time, I was also barred from contacting her, on “order of the guardian.” Attempts made to contact the Cook County Public Guardian for an explanation of this decision were not met with a response.

Rose West has not seen her husband of 32 years in six months. The guardian in this case, Sarah Jennings, was unsuccessful in her bid for a legal restraining order against Rose but has successfully isolated Bill West from his wife. Jennings placed Bill in a facility 140 miles away from the home he shared with Rose. Undaunted, Rose made the drive repeatedly to see him but is now refused access. This reporter attempted to call Bill West in the facility, Premier Estates in Pawnee City, Nebraska but was told by the receptionist that I could only speak with him after getting the guardian’s permission to do so.

A local pastor in Pawnee City, Nebraska, was successful in visiting Bill West in the facility. The pastor, who asked that his name be withheld from this report as he felt it might negatively impact his ability to see Bill in the future, reported that he was also denied visitation last Friday, on the “order of the guardian.” He reports that he has attempted to reach Sarah Jennings and has not had success yet in doing so. He also stated that he does not believe that Nebraska state law allows the guardian to make these decisions, although case law might.

While guardianship statutes give a guardian some discretion in the protective actions taken, none explicitly give the guardian the right to isolate the target (we are using this word deliberately) and none grant the power to interfere in the marital relationship. Retired attorney Ken Ditkowsky has gone so far as to suggest that such actions by a guardian may constitute a felony. But in a complicit courtroom, where a judge has both power and immunity, nearly anything is possible.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, where Amy and Dean Sallas were married, the wedding ceremony is laden with symbolism, including the ritual of the “common cup.” According to this symbolism, “The common cup serves as a witness that from that moment on, the couple shall share everything in life, joy as well as sorrow, and that they will bear one another’s burdens, the token of a life of harmony. Their joy will be doubled and their sorrows halved because they are shared. Whatever the cup of life has in store for them, they will share equally.”

Apparently, the court has a different idea.

Janet Phelan has been on the trail of the biological weapons agenda since the new millennium. Her book on the pandemic, At the Breaking Point of History: How Decades of US Duplicity Enabled the Pandemic, has been published in 2021 by Trine Day and is available on Amazon and elsewhere. Her articles on this issue have appeared in Activist Post, New Eastern Outlook, Infowars and elsewhere. Educated at Grinnell College, UC Berkeley and the University of Missouri Graduate School of Journalism, Janet “jumped ship” and since 2004 has been writing exclusively for independent media. Her articles previously appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Oui Magazine, Orange Coast Magazine, the Long Beach Press Telegram, the Santa Monica Daily Press and other publications. She is the author of the groundbreaking expose, EXILE and two books of poetry. She resides abroad. You may follow Janet on Parler here @JanetPhelan and Twitter @JanetPhelan14. To support her work, please go to JanetPhelan.

Image: Pixabay

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