Monday, June 14, 2021

Alleged Agreement Alterations Draw Bar Charges

The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging that an attorney had altered a settlement agreement 

After Rober left the courtroom, Respondent made additions to the one-page order in the Dissolution of Marriage Case. Specifically, she added language in the margin indicating that neither party shall abuse, harass or intimidate the other party, and that either party could require the other to perform and present results of a drug test.

Respondent then prepared a two-page proposed order in the Dissolution of Marriage Case. The two-page order misstated the agreed terms of the temporary parenting time agreement in at least two ways. First, it indicates that Gregory, not Aftan, would have the majority of the parenting time. Second, the duration of the temporary parenting time agreement was extended from until the next CMC (approximately 21 days) to until case resolution or further order of court.

The two-page order also contained provisions that Respondent and Rober had not discussed, let alone agreed upon, including but not limited to:

A. Gregory receiving exclusive possession of the marital home;

B. That neither party shall abuse, harass or intimidate the other party—directly or through third parties;

C. That upon reasonable suspicion, either party could require the other party to perform and present results of a drug test;

D. That no child support would be ordered during the pendency of the cause;

E. Joint temporary parental responsibilities as to the minor child;

F. That both parties equally split the cost of any medical, school or extracurricular activities of the minor child during the pendency of the cause;

G. That neither party would take the minor child’s phone away from him as punishment; and

H. Both parties’ attendance/completion of a "Children’s First Class".

The misstatements concerning the temporary parenting time agreement and several of the added provisions were favorable to Respondent’s client, Gregory.

After preparing the two-page order that Rober had neither reviewed nor approved for entry, Respondent threw the one-page order into a wastebasket in the courtroom.

Respondent approached the bench and presented the orders. Since Rober had left the courtroom, Judge Henze asked Respondent if the orders reflected Rober’s agreement and if he had seen them. Respondent stated yes, to both questions.

Respondent’s answers to Judge Henze’s questions that the orders reflected Rober’s agreement and that Rober had seen them were false.

Respondent knew that the statements...were false when she made them.

That upon being apprised of the information..., Judge Henze ordered Respondent and Rober to appear in her courtroom the next day, November 1, 2019, regarding what had occurred.

 That on November 1, 2019, prior to appearing in Judge Henze’s courtroom, Respondent asked Rober to falsely state that the two-page order was what they had agreed to.

WGEM reported on related criminal charges

A Quincy attorney entered an Alford plea in Adams County Court Friday to attempted forgery charges.

Roni VanAusdall was originally charged with three felony counts of attempted forgery in Adams County for allegedly fabricating documents in a divorce case pertaining to an agreed court order VanAusdall claimed to have had with attorney Nick Rober.

Court records state that VanAusdall knew that no such agreement existed.

VanAusdall entered an Alford plea to a Class A misdemeanor attempted forgery charge in court Friday, the felony charges were dropped as part of the plea.

VanAusdall is due back in court April 1 for sentencing.

In entering an Alford plea, VanAusdall admits the evidence presented by the prosecution would be likely to persuade a judge or jury to find her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt but does not admit to the criminal act.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2021/06/the-illinois-wgem-reported-on-related-criminal-charges-a-quincy-attorney-entered-an-alford-plea-in-adams-county-court-frida.html

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