As Westview goes to press, Supreme Court Justice Tanya Kennedy, who District Leader and civil rights attorney Arthur Schwartz had sued in Federal and Appellate courts, is primed to sign an order making Schwartz the Guardian for 91-year-old Christopher Street resident Ruth Berk. Two months after promising Ruth that he would end her imprisonment in a nursing home, Schwartz got her released back to 95 Christopher Street in late January.
Now he has agreed to be responsible for supervising her medical care, and perhaps, most important of all, planning her defense against the landlord, who has two pending lawsuits to evict her and her daughter, Jessica Berk, from the penthouse apartment they have lived in since 1959. Schwartz plans to bring in “top guns” to defend Berk, who has been sued 16 times by her landlord over the last 20 years and has never lost.
At a Court hearing on the change of guardian on February 9, Ruth told Judge Kennedy that the day she came home was the “happiest day of my life.” When asked if she wanted Schwartz to become her guardian she replied: “I couldn’t think of anyone I would want to help me more.” The trial on the landlord’s case has been set for April 20—support is needed.
Stay tuned! Ruth Berk (front) with documentary filmmaker Vanessa Stockley and Arthur Schwartz. Photo by Jessica Berk