Bring George Chuvalo Home

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After years of litigation in January of 2018, Ontario's Office of Public Guardian and Trustee was substituted in as legal representative for Canadian heavyweight boxing legend, George Chuvalo, in a divorce proceeding filed by the children of his first marriage as power of attorney.  George's children sought to force their father's divorce from his second wife of 24 years, Joanne Chuvalo.  Neither Joanne nor George Chuvalo want to divorce and neither of them filed for divorce.

When George was notified in June of 2016 that his children filed to divorce him, he revoked his children's power of attorney. His revocation explicitly states that he wants to end the divorce proceeding his children started and remain with his wife. When George's revocation was sent to his children's attorney, she disregarded the revocation and continued to pursue George Chuvalo's divorce against his wishes.  A bar complaint has since been filed with the Law Society of Ontario against the children's attorney.

George was taken from his matrimonial home in Caledon by a group of people in June of 2016. Included in the group were a family member of George's first marriage and a security guard. George and his wife, Joanne, were prevented from driving out of their driveway and George was physically removed from Joanne's vehicle. The group told George that he was being taken to Muhammed Ali's funeral. However, George never arrived at Muhammed Ali's funeral and George was never returned home. By the time George was taken from his wife, his children had already filed to force their father's divorce.

The same day George was taken from the family home, Joanne called 9-1-1 to report her missing husband. Police located the vehicle containing George and questioned the passengers. In the meantime, Joanne's lawyer contacted police and advised that she was on her way there to explain the case to the arresting officer. However, police let the car containing George leave without even speaking with George's wife or her attorney. Since that day, Joanne has been prevented from knowing where her husband is.

According to Joanne, George has been hidden around the greater Toronto area at his children's homes, nursing homes, and the home of a security guard commonly seen with George selling memorabilia. Throughout the divorce litigation, George has been examined by medical professionals who have all  agreed that George suffers from significant cognitive impairment. According to medical reports, the children's attorney became angry with George when he refused to sign the divorce application submitted by his children. By late 2017, George's cognitive impairment worsened to the point that George mistakenly thought the lawyer hired by his children was tasked with reuniting him with his wife.

A week long trial on George's mental capacity was scheduled to begin on January 8, 2018. Before trial started, Justice Kiteley finally ordered George's children and their attorney out of the case due to the fact that all expert physicians agreed that George lacked the mental capacity to instruct a lawyer.  Once George's children and their attorney were removed from the case, the Office of Public Guardian and Trustee was substituted in as George's representative.

On March 12, Joanne Chuvalo's attorneys asked the Office of Public Guardian and Trustee to allow the couple to spend time together.  However, the Office of Public Guardian and Trustee refused to take a position on the issue.  In doing so, the court had no ability to grant Joanne access to her husband.  We support George's interests being protected by the Office of Public Guardian and Trustee, but with that representation comes responsibility. 

We call on the OFFICE OF PUBLIC GUARDIAN AND TRUSTEE to acknowledge the clear and apparent problems throughout this case and act accordingly by:

1) Investigating whether the allegations brought by George's children against Joanne are true or false.

Throughout years of litigation, George's children did not file any evidence supporting their accusations against Joanne. When questioned by the media about their allegations, both children and their attorney refused to comment.  Now that George's children and their attorney have been removed from the case, it is incumbent on the Office of Public Guardian and Trustee as George's current legal representative to conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations made by George's children .  If the allegations against George's wife are false, the divorce proceeding should be dismissed immediately.

2) Permitting Joanne and George Chuvalo access to see each other. 

Joanne and George Chuvalo have been married for 24 years and love each other dearly.  The court record is full of examples of them attempting to see each other, but always being interrupted by police at the request of George's children.  By not taking a position on the issue, the court cannot allow the couple to spend time together.  The Office of Public Guardian and Trustee should permit Joanne and George Chuvalo access to see each other immediately.  This is especially important in light of George's capacity issues.  Time is of the essence.

3) Dismissing the case immediately to stop excessive depletion of Chuvalo property as a result of the divorce proceeding filed by George's children.

Joanne and George Chuvalo do not want to divorce and did not file for divorce.  However, as a result of this legal proceeding filed by George's children, Joanne and George are expected to pay for all legal fees and court costs.  To date, over ten lawyers at six different firms have worked on this case.  It is anticipated that the vast majority of Joanne and George Chuvalo's property accumulated in their 24-year marriage will be sold to cover all the bills.  Rather than spending more of George's money on unwanted litigation to further the goals sought by George's children, the Office of Public Guardian should dismiss this case immediately to prevent any further waste of martial property and to preserve whatever is left of George Chuvalo's estate.

Please sign our petition and demand that the Office of Public Guardian and Trustee investigate the allegations made by George's children, allow Joanne and George Chuvalo access to see each other, and immediately dismiss the legal proceeding filed by George's children. 

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