Judge: Terri Schiavo’s Husband Can be Deposed in Guardianship Battle

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judge: Terri Schiavo’s Husband Can be Deposed in Guardianship Battle

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 27, 2004

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — A local judge has ruled that attorneys for Terri’s Schiavo’s parents can depose her estranged husband Michael. The decision means Michael must answer questions under oath in the first deposition since 1999.

The ruling by Circuit Court Judge George Greer allows Pat Anderson, the attorney for Terri’s parents Bob and Marcy Schindler, to question Michael.

Anderson is also allowed to question Jodi Centonze, Michael’s live-in fiancée since 1997 and the mother of two children with Terri’s husband.

The questioning comes in relation to the Schindlers request that Judge Greer appoint a new legal guardian for Terri.

"Since 1999, a number of developments have come to light that have prompted the Schindler family and their legal representatives to call for the removal of Mr. Schiavo as Terri’s guardian," the Schindlers said in a statement Tuesday.

The Schindlers point to Michael’s refusal to use money from a $700,000 medical malpractice award for medical care or rehabilitative treatment for Terri. As a result of the lack of care, they say, her health has deteriorated and five of Terri’s teeth had to be extracted recently.

They also say Michael has abrogated his duties by failing to comply with a Florida statute requiring guardians to establish an annual medical care plan for patients under their watch.

Michael Schiavo has failed to file the annual care plan since August 2001.

Earlier this month, Greer dismissed a legal motion that would have required Terri’s estranged husband Michael to prove that he is still qualified to make her medical decisions.

Judge Greer ordered that a Writ of Quo Warranto filed on behalf of the Schindlers be dismissed. The legal document asked that Michael demonstrate what legal authority allows him to continue as Terri’s guardian and to show that he is complying with the law and court orders regarding Terri’s care.

Greer has not made a final decision on their request for change in guardianship.

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org