Retired judge in New York subject of guardianship abuse

I have just become aware of the following article:


February 28, 2006 -- EXCLUSIVE

A beloved former Brooklyn judge says he's a virtual prisoner in a Bronx
nursing home where he has been confined by a court order for more than a
year while his appointed guardian sells his assets.

The former judge, John Phillips, 82, wears a monitoring wristband and
cannot leave or receive telephone calls at the East Haven Nursing and
Rehabilitation Center — but spoke to The Post via a tape recorder
carried by a friend during a visit.

"It's lousy what they did to me," Phillips told The Post. "I've got to
get out of here and get back to Brooklyn. They're stealing from me. I'm
going to get my life back. I've got no business being here."

Phillips has been an involuntary guest at the home since December 2004.
Court-appointed guardians have looked after his multimillion-dollar
estate since 2002, when a judge ruled that he was not mentally competent.

All records in connection with his case have been sealed. But a lawyer
retained by a niece of Phillips' said the judge is barred from leaving
the facility by a court order.

"I still don't understand how the judge is at the nursing home," said
the lawyer, Armani Scott. "But once he was put in, the court said he
can't get out until they say so."

Scott said he's unaware of any specific treatment the ex-judge is
getting at the home.

A nursing-home official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The
Post that Phillips did require monitoring and care — but also said the
situation would be better if the ex-judge lived with a relative.

Of particular concern to both Phillips and loved ones is what's
happening to his estate, which includes at least 10 buildings and two

Earlier this month, a committee formed by friends of Phillips' filed a
complaint with state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to look into the
management of his finances by his court-appointed guardian, Emani Taylor.

Taylor did not return a call seeking comment.

Relatives plan to attend a Brooklyn Supreme Court hearing today in hopes
of persuading Justice Michael Pesce to release Phillips and relieve Taylor.

Meanwhile, Phillips is outraged that his properties are being sold.

"They are stealing my theaters and everything," Phillips says on the
tape. "I want to get out of here . . . I'm gonna tear their asses up
when I get out."


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