$300,000 Changes Hands – Brothers and Sisters Separated By State - Their Mother Is Charged With a Crime By Her Opponents - The Amy Joan Schneider Story Can Not End Here
Published on March 28, 2006 By trueandfree In Politics
By: Nell Kinzer-Smith

A 38 year old Mother of five is representing herself against some unbelievable odds in what appears to be a politically money driven court. Amy Joan Schneider says she is in the Macon County Illinois Civil Probate Court System fighting to reunite her children so they can “at least see each other.”

I was attracted to this case after having completed some light research and being astounded by the documentation confirming use of the Illinois Criminal Court as a litigation weapon. The Illinois criminal system is set in place by the tax payers to protect the people. In the case of The People of Illinois vs. Amy J. Schneider, ‘The People’s’ motivation and purpose is somewhat questionable.

Matt Hurley, Senior Editor of the conservative political blog ‘Weapons of Mass Discussion’ Link conducted at least two email interview with Schneider in 2003. To me, a disturbing story begins to take shape in this interview. WMD E Mail InterviewLink

Schneider says Circuit Judge Albert AG Webber IV is corrupt; and has been able to ignore the constitution because of the direct help of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman. Public records show that Garman, a Republican appointed Webber as Judge in 2001, and that Webber has given Garman political campaign money. Judge John P. Shonkwiler, John K. Greanias, Mitchell K. Shick, and Scott B. Diamond, all Republicans have been named in Schneider’s pleadings filed in the court.

This is where it all gets peculiar for me.

Decatur Illinois attorney Kurt B. Bickes is one of the opposing lawyers in Schneider’s civil case. Bickes represents one or more of the people Schneider is battling in court for possession of her two natural children. Bickes is also being paid by Schneider’s opponent Karen Coates.

According to the court record, on February 7, 2005, attorney Bickes filed Direct Criminal Contempt charges against Schneider inside their civil case. This was after Schneider filed a petition to remove Judge A. G. Webber IV.

Bickes’ criminal contempt complaint, which is pending, originally asked the court to fine Schneider $25,000 and incarcerate her for six months in county jail. Now Schneider is facing criminal charges solely upon an attack from her civil litigation opponents. How can this be? Contempt Petition Link

If this were a common tactic available to both parties, as it must be in an impartial system, wouldn’t the Illinois system simply collapse from the parties bringing criminal charges against one another?

Of course, the non-partisan courts are supposed to be free of politics – the last word in fairness and evenhandedness. In this Illinois case, the system has failed.

Schneider’s sister, Karen Coates, has spent three hundred thousand dollars in attorney fees in this case. All this money paid to two Decatur Illinois law firms including Kurt B. Bickes.

You have probably guessed who Judge Webber gave Schneider’s children—that would be Karen Coates. It is notable that the three hundred thousand dollars Karen Coates paid to Decatur IL attorneys was not her money.

The three hundred thousand dollars spent came from a trust fund which belonged to Schneider’s two minor children. Yes folks, the guardian aunt has not paid one dime of her own money. In fact, from what I can gather from documentation, Karen Coates has actually paid herself out of the trust fund for ‘services rendered’ to Schneider’s two children, who are living in her home, undisputedly against Schneider’s will.

Now keep in mind that Schneider is currently raising three other children ages 12, 8, and 3. Schneider is a college graduate, owns her home and has run her own Photography business for the past 15 years as her only source of income. She appears quite a remarkable person to be forcefully deprived of seeing two of her five children by a probate court judge.

It all makes me wonder why Karen Coates, or anyone is able to keep Schneider’s two children away from her like that. Schneider says her parental rights have never been terminated by any court, including the one holding the children. Seems there would be a lot of legally fit parents without their children in Illinois if they were all treated with the same standards. The obvious and discordant factor in the hole case is the massive amount of money paid to lawyers in this relatively small town.

In news releases and articles on the internet, Schneider claims she and her children are the victims of a racist and biased Judge Albert G. Webber IV, who is politically ambitious and motivated by money. According to campaign disclosures, the last Supreme Court seat in Illinois cost the two candidates over 9.3 million dollars, a national spending record. One could certainly argue that money is a major factor in Illinois Judicial politics. Link

I talked briefly with Amy Joan Schneider by telephone. She graciously agreed to answer a few questions.

NKS First I have to tell you that I was quite taken aback by the US Newswire interview with your eleven year old daughter. Link

AJS Yes, she wants to know what’s going on. I guess she is just at that age where everything needs to be explained.

NKS Based on the interview, it seems she was affected by visiting the court with you this past summer. Do you think that helped her, and if so, how?

AJS I think it lets her understand what I am dealing with in Decatur. Hailey is very sharp and before she would always quiz me about what happened in court. I think the first time she went to court with me was really hard on her emotionally. After that, she seemed to find a little more balance and really pick up on things. It’s funny, after the second so-called hearing, Hailey said, Mom I feel like I need to take a shower. Of course I asked why, she said those people are so slimy--it’s dripping down the walls.

NKS It sounds like she is coping with the adversity very well given her age.

AJS I guess so. I know it makes her sad; she really wants to be with her sister Kaela.

NKS Maybe someday she will. How are her grades, does she have hobbies?

AJS Hailey is a B honor roll student at a Catholic School. I went to Catholic School and I think that’s pretty good. She also plays three musical instruments, piano, trumpet, and guitar. The School and our Community have so many things for kids to do we can’t keep up. Hailey and her brother want to do everything. She’s had six years of dance, ballet and jazz, which seems to be her favorite.

NKS Let me ask you about the crime you’ve been charged with. I think I understand what happened but how do you think this will play out?

AJS (laughter) I really don’t know, a person could say that the criminals are running the show here.

NKS OK, tell me what you mean by that.

AJS Well, the law seems to come in the form of money. The law or justice in Decatur [Illinois] is something you can purchase. In this case, and one side having spent three hundred thousand dollars, apparently anything can happen. For instance, the Illinois law says that the court is “without jurisdiction” to even hear a petition from a non-parent if a parent is willing and able to care for their children. I have never had a hearing to determine that question, and Judge Webber himself has made sure that I don’t get a hearing. That is really a crime—because he is breaking that law.

NKS Is there anything you can do? Is there anyone you can complain to?

AJS I have complained. So far, the system is willing to allow this advocate judge to enrich his friends and drinking buddies on the backs of my children and their future.

NKS In some of your pleadings, you claim that you are being unjustly punished. Elaborate.

AJS Again, this is the way the judge is covering up a crime. My sister pays Judge Webber’s friends three hundred thousand dollars and the judge ignores all obligations to obey the law. When I complain, Webber pretends he is protecting my children by levying judgments against me. My mother does not want my white children to be with the black ones and they have essentially paid off corrupt politicians to achieve that end.

NKS Who is the judge making the judgments for?

AJS Can’t you guess? Karen Coates, although by her own admission, she has not spent any of her own money.

NKS Then how is the judge legally justified in giving Karen Coates a judgment? How was she damaged?

AJS He was not justified—legally or morally. The court system and the judge assume that people just don’t care or are too stupid to see what they are doing. The judge is simply rewarding Karen Coates for a job well done. He needed her in order to steal all of that money. I have not received any money, and they all want me to shut up. That’s not going to happen.

NKS But you are facing jail. Six months is a long time.

AJS True, but I have to stand up. The judge and the paid lawyers have used intimidation from the start. My two children were sold by the court. And then, the connivers with their pockets full, allowed the opposing lawyer, Kurt Bickes to bring criminal charges against me for complaining about the judge and his disregard for the law and my constitutional rights.

NKS What proof do you have that the judge is breaking the law and what has the Supreme Court had to say about your allegations?

AJS As I said earlier, the law Link [755 ILCS 5/11-5.3 (c)] says the Judge Webber is breaking the law and “lacks jurisdiction”. The Illinois statute and constitutions are written in plain easy-to-understand language. Either the judge must obey the law written by the legislature or he is above the law. The Illinois Supreme Court Justices should all know about the violation because I have sent them notices and pleadings asking for an explanation; they have not responded. They are hiding like chickens in black robes.

NKS What steps are you currently taking in this matter.

AJS I am staying inside the system. Over a year ago, I filed a motion challenging Judge Webber’s jurisdiction. There has been a political stonewall in place, I guess to protect the thieves and hide what they have done. I believe there is still someone in the system with enough integrity that the wall of dishonesty and deprivation will eventually fall. I will also approach the Macon County Illinois States attorney’s office and ask for a criminal investigation.

NKS In Your recent news release interviews, you state that Court Justice Rita Garman, Sue Myerscough, Judge John Shonkwiler and other are complicit by virtue of participation or looking the other way. If you could say something to these individuals, what would it be?

AJS Hey Rita Garman, and others, you know I have never been given a hearing! Why aren’t you all obeying the constitution you swore to uphold? I only want for my children and myself what you expect for yourselves and your children!

NKS Thank you Amy Joan.

AJS Thank you.

Next, Did Karen Coates buy Amy Joan Schneider’s children for $300.000. I look forward to continuing my investigation into this compelling case. Stay tuned.

Link to Fight CPS posted 04/04/06 by trueandfree: Link

on Mar 28, 2006
Keep us tuned in, and go over to Gideon Macleish's latest on CPS and give him a link.  He might be able to give you and her some resources as this is his fight as well.
on Mar 30, 2006
I am so happy to see this story reported. I think this is the worst thing I have heard in a long time. This poor woman and those kids are being tormented by those awful crooks. Why in the world are they doing this, and why won’t somebody stop them? It is really sick and it breaks my heart. Thank you for reporting this story. I wish her well.
on Apr 04, 2006
Thank you Dr. Guy. I have added a link to FightCPS.com. Gideon McLeish has posted this article there. I hope this information will raise awareness of our collective vulnerabilities as citizens under a growing political court system.
on Apr 08, 2006
She is not alone in the fight against this probate court! It is big in abuse where money is to be had. The same court took my mother, (I am a noncriminal only child) and gave her to a half-aunt who I hadn't seen in 46 years. She was not allowed the 2nd opinion so desperately needed despite her funds. This is estate conservation at its worst!

If the guardian ad litum had looked at Mother's records, he would have seen the documentation, (not available to me at that time) of neglect and abuse. Mother entered long term care walking, talking, eating and going to the bathroom by herself, she ate breakfast out daily with friends who enjoyed her company. She had not been hospitalized in years. In five weeks she lost all abilities and 20# with no intervening treatment. She was finally admitted to a hospital for rehydration and admission paperwork documents a pubic area wound. Mom had complained to a neighbor of sexual threats which scared the neighbor. The threats were recorded in her medical records as a "mental aberration".

When I finally gained access to the records, I requested complaints against the facility through FOI Act. There were many including 3 other sexual assault complaints! What is more, is that the IDPH investigator regarded one as "valid" but the facility was not cited nor were charges pressed. So family members are still admitting loved ones unknowingly subjecting them to such terrors and abuse. The Gal could have seen all this instead he chose to chat with the facility social worker and charge $600.

Large funds are missing here too, not surprising. The court is uncooperative in investigating. A Bank & Trust is involved in the cover-up. I requested a court transcript and got a note back that we had to go "through the judge's secretary". What is that?

Is he going to try and jail us for wanting to expose the corruption and racketeering in Macon County Probate Court and attorney community?

My Dad left everything in trust to Mom, yet she didn't even receive a spousal allowance. Her guardianship funds paid for Dad's estate expenses and she didn't even receive a 2nd opinion which I begged for! Dad's estate was estimated at 10,000 because of joint tenancy. NO accountings have been made and the estate is still open after 3 years? What is interesting is the attorneys are still billing against the "non-existent estate". No funds for a 2nd opinion, but lots for attorney billing.

Illinois Probate Law allows the selection of a court appointed guardian at the court's discretion, whether or not the disabled person had already designated a guardian while of sound mind. The guardian of the person is not required to file a status report in Macon County. It is an estate free for all and the people of Illinois do not have any idea how at risk they are!

I have a letter from Larry Trent, Illinois Director of State Police stating that the Judge "handpicks" his investigators. What is that? I appealed to every agency and pleaded for a 2nd opinion to no avail. It would have been easier to get aide for a dog tied in the sun. The same court appointed guardian, (who can be anyone) enrolled Mother in hospice violating her human rights and left her to die. It can happen to any Illinois resident and is happening! It is becoming more common all over the country. Surely, you think.....this can't be! It is.....check the writings of Wesley Smith and Dianne Armstrong.

So far I haven't had any rights to the accountings of Dad's estate. Illinois agencies have done nothing to investigate despite the documentation. IDPH regards it as "hearsay" because we live out of state.

The elderly and disabled with funds are really at risk. It is corruption and racketeering at its worst! I have been cited for stealing my own goods, (Mother left all the household goods to me.) The judge said my toys may not be mine because I didn't take them when I left home. I don't care about the money any more, but someone in Illinois is going to explain what happened to Mom.

The federally funded Ombudsman Program did not intervene because "the guardian was happy with the care." Of course, she stood to benefit by Mother's death. I have a letter from the Ombudsman District Director quoting regs, "All complaints should be investigated, regardless of the source". In the next line, she states, the guardian is "happy with the care, case closed." So this only child could not intervene because of the power of the courts. The court is responsible for Mother's abuse and death. Nobody wants to see the documentation of the pubic area wound or sexual assaults. No investigation, no nothing. It's the way in Macon County, Illinois and probably throughout Illinois. Neighbors and friends have testified only to have their content ignored.

It is obvious large funds are missing. You can bet the attorneys are having a field day.

The FBI needs to become involved!
on Apr 13, 2006
Hey Amy or Nell,

We know Dan and Karen Coates. I called and left two messages with my e mail address. Karen Coates is not perfect by a long shot. We did not think it was the same people. How in the world could these people take anyone’s kids when their two kids are really screwed up? You probably already know Coates’ son is like on special watch at school because of mental issues. And I think everyone knows Dan is a total drunk and there is something wrong with his legs. They are bandaged up all the time. They are not nice people. We have not seen anything on the internet about them. I think you should let people know what they are really like. It blows me away to think Karen Coates took her own sister’s children and she is so screwed up herself. Please contact me, I have a relative that worked at the monument company.
on Apr 13, 2006
Hi eveyone, my name is Kaela Elizabeth Schneider-Sliney...the name sound familiar...it should because I am the child in question along with my brother. I don't know who the heck you think you are judging my family by what that sick psycopath of woman who calls me her daughter when all she did was push in shove after getting pregnate cause she slept around. She is not my mother and never has been, the moment she gave me and my brother up she lost the right to be called that. My real mom died when I was 13 Christine DiTerlizzi is my real mother, she is the one who cared for me when I was sick, watched me grow up and loved me my ENTIRE life, not just when she found out that I had a trust fund. How dare you people judge my family like this when you have no idea who the hell we are, and If that person really is from San Angelo which I know they are not because there facts are a little outdated then you must be a freaking idiot. If you want to know the real story call me on my cell phone 325-234-2847 and I will tell you the story. Other then that think what you want, but know it is not the truth.
on Apr 17, 2006
Why did they change your name? Thank you.
on Apr 18, 2006
You want to know why I changed my last name...because when I was younger I told my mom...Christine...that I didn't like being Sliney when I didn't live with a Sliney relative...I felt closer to my Schneider family. She said that that was fine with her and she asked me if I want to change it to Schneider or DiTerlizzi, her last name...I told her that I liked Schneider better because it was the family that I was the closest to. So we went ahead and changed my brother and my last name.
on Apr 23, 2006
Hello, I am a Pastor at a church in Kansas. I have a 14 year old daughter who brought this story to my attention last week. To my surprise, I found two other parishioners this week who were aware of the story. I am not taking sides in this issue; I just wanted to make a short comment.

God has given each of us gifts that only He can give. God’s gifts include a mother, father, brothers and sisters. He has given us one Divine gift. That is the gift to forgive, and to choose love over hate. God loves all of us no matter what we have done. God will forgive us regardless of our sins and trespasses. All we have to do is accept God and let Him into our hearts. Material things that seem important to us now can all be gone in a flash. God will never leave you.

As children born to this earth, we can not choose our real families; we can only be blessed with them. We can not choose our parents brothers and sisters. We can only choose good over evil, love over hate, and strive to keep our spirits free from the tempting bonds of the devil. As we live our blessed lives and God forgives us our sins, we can accept our Divine gift and spread God’s love and tolerance. God is alive in each of us. And just remember, God has a plan for all of us even though we do not always understand God's plan. The key is to trust God, and love man--that is never a mistake. We pray for your peace and tranquility.

on Apr 24, 2006
It is plain to me which one of Amy Schneider’s daughters has received the superior parenting. One is hateful and vulgar, and one talks about forgiving those who trespass against her. The attitudes of the two sisters are like night and day (no pun intended). Clearly, this poor misguided child who was taken and forcibly kept from her mother has been exposed to inferior anti-parents.

This is what happens when money and greed rips a child from its loving parent. If you follow this story, this woman has fought for her children like I know I would have to fight for mine in this situation. By all indications Amy Schneider is currently raising three wonderful and healthy children. If Karen Coates is a perfect parent, it certainly does not show with this young lady. In another blog I read a while back, this girl practically called her mother a whore. She wrote about ‘affairs’ and the like. This was all clearly based on her being brainwashed by hateful and hostile people. The incidences Kaela referred to supposedly happened when she was two years old. I wonder what kind of person would tell a little girl all of these terrible and hateful things about her mother. Even if it were true, whose place is it to spend a child’s future ($300,000) on lawyers and dirty judges to keep brothers and sisters separated from each other? That is clearly the devil’s work.
on Apr 28, 2006
Is this the people in San Angelo that run that National Memorial Planning place out on Chadbourne road? I think their business is not so good. They ripped us off when dad died, no wonder they rip off their own sister.
on May 24, 2006
When Mary Ann McMorrow leaves the Illinois Supreme Court there will be no good women remaining there. Gov. George Ryan did Illinois a grave dis-service by appointing Rita Garman, a pure politician, to the Supreme Court. Sadly, Sue Myerscough is just as bad. As a woman and mother in Illinois, I am bitterly disappointed with these two money grabbing politicians posing as court justices.
on May 31, 2006
We all should be shocked and terrified that a Judge is allowed to do as he pleases. If AJS was the worse possible parent, (which it doesn't appear she is) she should still be entitled to due process!
on Sep 05, 2006
I Live in San Angelo TX and I am 18 years old. I attended Lakeview High School and I graduated this year.

For the past about two years my mom and I have been amazed by the 'Amy Joan Schneider' story in Illinois. In fact, I have talked with and written to Hailey, Ms. Schneider's other Daughter who lives in Illinois. We staty in touch on the internet.

I had class all year with Kaela, Ms. Schneider's daughter who lives here in San Angelo. I also know Cow Head (or whatever those guys call her) Sarah Coates.

My best friend and I have know Kaela and Sarah for the past two years. In my opinions Kaela is not a happy perosn like Sarah's mom has made her out to be. I remember walking up to Kaela one day and just asking her if she was all right. She was totally spaced out sometimes. I mean everybody spaces out but not like that.

Anyway I talked to my dad about writing a comment and he said it was ok. My mom and I trhought that I would get arrested or something.

I jsut want to let everyone know what a great girl Hailey is. she is funny, we laugh alot. I guess we have become pen pals or something. She is very smartand I am so glad she is my friend. She tells me that she can't talk to her sister but loves her very much. She never says anything mean or angry (I think I would if someone busted up my family like that.) She listens to whatever i have to say and then just changes the subject. I know she must be sad but all I know is she seems alot happier than her sister down here. I see that Karen Coats woman at the school sometimes in that big ugly truck thing. she is like really fat and her eyes are bucked. My boyfriend says she looks like that football player Tony Saragossa but only Saragossa is a better looking woman. I read shere she wook a bunch of money or something and that stupid judge who makes Kaela stay down here because Hailey and them are black.

Hailey is really the only black friend i have ever had and she is so sweet. i do not know why people hate for race. She says her mom and dad are cool and fun. Her brother is a butthead and her little sister is totally spoiled. I talked with her too a couple of times, cute! But when I talked to Hailey on the phone it always seems like something is goingon and people are laughing at her house. I have talked with two of her friends Jacqueline and Breanne, they seem cool.

Hailey said she is playing basketball and is in the school band. she sent me a pic of her cool new hairdo-it is really cool! i wish i could have my hair done like that but it would look really weird. I would like to visit Hailey in Illinios some day. My mom said it could possibly happen. right now i am in my first year at college. I just wanted to share my thoughts and say how wrong i think it is for someone to keep two sisters apart because of color. Shame on that crooked judge and those folkes in Illinios. i agree with that one i saw on the blogs, this is the devils work.
on Sep 07, 2006
Albert G. Webber IV "Maybe G. is for Gay?"

I went to school with Albert G. Webber in Bloomington IL. My husband and I met in college, we both knew Al Webber. In fact, his nickname was BooBoo Webber, because he looked and walked like BooBoo on Yogi Bear. It is hard for me to believe that this little punk is now running people's lives. My then roommate always said Webber was gay and there were rumors he was butt buddies with some guy at school. One thing I do know is that BooBoo Webber is no prince, princess maybe... We think it's terrible that woman and her kids are being treated like they are. We have just become grandparents and this racism story really hits home with our daughter who happens to have married an Asian American man. We have followed this ridiculous display of hatred in the Decatur Illinois Court for the past couple of years now. My family and I wish this woman well and we hope to see the day when Albert BooBoo Webber is finally called to task. And if he broke the law, he needs to be out of office, period.