Monday, November 18, 2013

Feldkamp probates just keep rollin' along

Another court date in the estate probates of the late John Feldkamp and Audrey Feldkamp has come and gone. Actually, today's court was more than a little "interesting". Neither heir (Jackie Feldkamp or Scott Feldkamp) was present in court, but the Executor, Woodstock Attorney Carl Gilmore, was.

And Hampshire Attorney R. Duane Slayton was there, too, but it seemed unclear whether he was there to represent his client, Scott Feldkamp, or to represent himself - as Judge Chmiel expressed in his own words.

Judge Chmiel questioned Attorney Slayton closely on that point, because Slayton has lost contact, or so he said, with his client. At one point I thought I heard Slayton say that he didn't know where Scott Feldkamp was or how to reach him and that he hadn't been in contact with him for "over a year." Slayton said he had no phone number or address for Scott.

Attorney Slayton said that Scott Feldkamp is totally disabled and cannot respond to Discovery. Oh, really? When did that happen? Has Scott become disabled since June 7, 2011? So far as I know, any injuries that Scott claimed he suffered on June 7th would not have resulted in a total disability. Has something happened since? Like, maybe after he went to Florida in May 2012?

I thought I heard Slayton say in court that he had gotten responses (to Discovery) from Scott but had not given them to Attorney Gilmore. And that Scott knew he'd never get anything (i.e., money or other distribution) from the estates.

What Attorney Gilmore is attempting to learn through Discovery is what happened to all the assets that were in both estates during the time that Scott Feldkamp was the Executor. There were reportedly over $50,000 in cash assets, household furnishings, personal property, vehicles and investments.

Attorney Gilmore can't get answers out of Scott Feldkamp, who was the original Executor under both Wills, or from Jackie Feldkamp, who was the first Successor Executor. She only served a short time and, so far as I know, was not able to get any records from Scott, her brother. By that time Scott had left the State of Illinois and had taken the escrow books and checkbook from the real estate business, which were supposed to remain in Illinois and in the hands of the managing broker of Harmony Real Estate.

Early in these probates Judge Chmiel expressed "great concern" about Attorney Slayton's representing Scott in estate matters without having filed an Appearance. Today Judge Chmiel expressed concern that Slayton is representing Scott without direction from him. Judge Chmiel reminded Slayton of the statutory authority for an attorney to withdraw from representation, when he can no longer be of value to his client.

Slayton attempted to present to Judge Chmiel a sheet of "four concerns", and Judge Chmiel stopped him in his tracks, saying the only matter before the Court was Attorney Gilmore's Motion about Discovery.

Judge Chmiel told Slayton that he was concerned that Slayton was speaking for himself and not for his client. Judge Chmiel said Slayton is not a Party in the case. He is there only as Scott Feldkamp's attorney.

Judge Chmiel also told Slayton that he "just blew the attorney-client privilege."

Where is Scott Feldkamp? Slayton says he doesn't know. He told Judge Chmiel that he doesn't have an address or a phone number for Scott Feldkamp.

What if some assets of value to the Estates have been uncovered? Certain assets have been foreclosed on. But are there other assets still in the estates with potential value? Will Scott suddenly re-appear and provide his attorney with a means of contacting him? It would probably be a good idea for Scott to let the Probate Court know his whereabouts.

Judge Chmiel was ready to drop a $100/day fine on both Scott and Jackie, if they fail to respond to Discovery. Judge Chmiel praised Attorney Gilmore for diligently performing his duties, as they were imposed on his by the Court. He said that never once has Gilmore expressed concern about how, or whether, he is going to get paid for serving.

Does Slayton know how to reach Scott Feldkamp?
Is the squatter still in the residence on Somerset Drive? Does he know how to reach Scott?
Slayton said several times that Scott is disabled. Is he getting disability benefits? How and where is he receiving them? What's he living on, if he is totally disabled?
Doesn't Scott have relatives in the Chicago area? Don't they know how to reach him? Of course, they do.

Scott Feldkamp and Jackie Feldkamp are to respond to all outstanding Discovery questions by December 31. The next court date is January 7, 2014, at 9:30AM. Courtroom 202.

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