Terri Schiavo’s Parents File New Motion to Force Michael’s Deposition
by Steven Ertelt
August 26, 2004
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — Since Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband Michael has refused to appear at two scheduled depositions, an attorney for Terri’s parents filed a legal motion on Thursday asking a local judge to require him to appear.
Circuit Court Judge George Greer previously issued a verbal request for Michael and his live-in fiance Jodi Centonze, with whom he has two children, to appear for a deposition.
Pat Anderson, attorney for Terri’s parents Robert and Mary Schindler, is asking for Judge Greer to issue a written order requiring Michael and Jodi to appear.
"I do not believe Michael Schiavo will appear for deposition unless and until the court orders him to appear," Anderson told LifeNews.com. "I hope that happens."
George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael’s attorney, told the Associated Press that his client didn’t show because Judge Greer has not yet signed an order making sure Anderson can’t publicly distribute a videotaped copy of the deposition. Felos said Greer would sign such an order, but hasn’t yet.
The first time Michael failed to appear for a deposition was because of a scheduling conflict, though his attorneys later said Michael needed more time to prepare.
Anderson is also asking Judge Greer for a continuance in the case. Originally filed in November 2002, Judge Greer was supposed to issued a summary judgment ruling in September.
However, Anderson noted that the Schindlers need more time to obtain and analyze the depositions because of Michael’s delay in complying.
Terri’s parents are hoping to use the information gathered from the deposition to remove Michael as Terri’s legal guardian and replace him with Terri’s brother Bobby.
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 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. He has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Terri’s law, which allowed Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to reinsert the gastric tube that is providing Terri with food and water.
Removing the tube would cause Terri to die a painful starvation-dehydration death over the course of a week or more.