Guest Column: Winnebago County Family Court is incompetent or worse
By Mark Applegren
Whereas my divorce case and appeal has become more than just public record in this city, I wish to share with the people of Winnebago County the incompetence, in my opinion, that runs rampant in Winnebago County Family Court, and now apparently the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.
But, I must tell you that I was a sole proprietor, which means that my companys net profit is my gross income. Any CPA will tell you, it is not the same gross that the normal person receives as an employee.
First, checks I have to write to the Federal IRS, Social Security, and the State IRS, come out of this gross just like the average Joe, but appear in my draw column as though the check was written to me.
Second, interest is deductible on the business loan as a business expense, but the principal amount of that payment comes out of my gross and also appears in my draw column even though the check was written to the bank.
Third, expenses such as health insurance, which the average Joe many times has included as a benefit, are not totally deductible as a sole proprietor. Personal disability and business overhead disability insurance are also non-deductible and come out of my after tax dollars.
The Illinois State Statutes specifically explain how to figure net income for someone like me, and has yet to be followed at the local level. I challenge you to find such in my case as required in Local Rule 14 and the Illinois State Statutes, and now the appellate level. Or better yet, find any of the following required items as per Local Rule 14 in my case: First Case Management Conference, Financial Affidavits, Statement of Assets and Liabilities, Pre-Trial Memorandum, or Child Support Data Sheet Required in All Dissolution of Marriage, Order of Protection, and Family Cases Where Child Support (or Child Support and Maintenance) Has or May be Ordered, and required Family Mediation Program.
And even though I hold in my hand a copy of notes from my ex-wifes first meeting, written by her sister, with her attorney listing 32 percent of net income for child support is what you will get, her lawyer smiles and should be commended for obtaining a court order which requires me to pay my ex-wife 135 percent of my net income as defined per Illinois State Statutes.
You will get no argument from me that my draw was $9,638 per month in the year 2000, nor that $3,272 of that went to the federal IRS per month, and $281 went to the state IRS, $444 per month of non-deductible expense to health insurance, $798 to Bank One for the court-ordered payment of my ex-wife and childrens residence, $689 per month for property taxes on that house and lots that my ex was given total control over by Judge Nordquist, $306 to the sanitary district for special assessment charge to bring sewer to said lots, $35 a month to maintain those lots, $868 to Bank One for principal payment on business loan, $121 for business overhead disability, $155 for the excess of non-deductible expense for my auto which I used to call on customers and deliver parts with, $58 for auto insurance for said vehicle, and $106 per month for out-of-pocket medical expenditures. Which leaves $2,505 a month net after mandatory deductions or equals my take-home pay if I was an average Joe, per Illinois State Statute 750 ILCS 5/505 (3).
Its undisputed evidence that I used my retirement account funds to pay bills for a company that my ex was given control of, i.e.: Both federal and state IRS, utility payments, rent, and loan payments, but according to Judge Nordquist and the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, these are not in any way mandatory expenses and should not have been in any way made to the respective creditors. And whereas, half of that retirement account was hers, they state that all of the indebtedness is mine.
I was ordered to pay $3,000 a month from that $2,505 left to me as take-home pay every month to my ex-wife for unallocated support (No, you did not read those numbers wrong!), and since my companys intake had dropped to around $5,500 per month from an average of $15,000 per month from the previous 10 years monthly average prior to November and December 2000, I closed the company and looked for new work to meet my court-ordered obligations.
So, according to the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, the total gross from my business was my disposable income, and whereas my business has now increased its monthly intake to $7,500 per month, the opposition now argues that Im apparently not making any money, and I should look for a new job. But that argument from them has already been ruled on in a sense since the Appellate Court ruled that $5,500 per month gross business income equates to more than $100,000 per year in disposable or net income to me.
Tax protesters, please take notethe Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, has ruled through implication you dont need to pay federal or state taxes, nor federally lawful payments to the bank on loans for which you signed. Just use case # 2-02-357 from the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.
And whereas, Judge Kapala was a personal acquaintance from years ago, for whom I had the utmost respect, this former Winnebago County Board of Health Member, president of Intra-Cut Wire EDM, Inc., and president of Airborne Gymnastics, Inc. personally believes that first, Judge Kapala should have abstained or recused himself from my case. But he has, in my opinion, proved that along with Judge Nordquist, they are dumber then a box of rocks, and would fail Business Accounting 101 at Rock Valley College.
Mark Appelgren is a local resident and former small business owner.