February 15, 2003
On September 10, 2002, you appointed the Honorable Amy W. McCulloch as special probate judge for Aiken County in the matter of the Estate of my mother, Helen Marjorie Sloan.
Five months have passed since being appointed and Judge McCulloch has not taken any action in this case and indeed has refused to act. I have repeatedly demanded that a hearing be scheduled and held. Judge McCulloch has refused to schedule or to hold a hearing.
It is now obvious that Judge McCulloch is biased in this case. It is clear what she plans to do. Under these circumstances, I must demand and insist that Judge McCulloch be removed and disqualified from the case and another judge appointed.
After receiving your letter of appointment, Judge McCulloch scheduled a hearing to be held on this matter for November 20, 2002 at 2:00 PM. Actually, there was and still is no need to schedule a hearing because the matter was and still is uncontested. I had filed a petition to be appointed as the personal representative of my mother on August 14, 2002. My mother had died leaving an estate of at least $400,000. My brother, Creighton, the only other heir to my mother's estate, has filed nothing.
I traveled with my wife and infant daughter from New York to attend the hearing in South Carolina. On the afternoon of November 19, 2002, while I was sitting in my attorney's office, a clerk called from the court to inform us that the judge's friend had died and that the judge was going to deliver an eulogy at the funeral which was going to held at the same time that the court hearing was scheduled, so therefore the hearing would have to be postponed.
Naturally, we assumed that this meant that the hearing would be postponed for a few hours or a day or two, but the clerk said that no, that there would have to be a new 20-day notice.
This was, of course, outrageous. It often happens that a case has to be postponed for one reason or another. Just because a hearing has to be adjourned does not mean that the case has to be started all over again. In addition, there were three other judges in Judge McCulloch's court and any one of them could have heard the case, especially since it was uncontested.
It quickly became apparent that the judge had other plans. Frankly, I doubt that it was even true that the judge had had a friend who died. I found out that either the judge or the judge's clerk had called my brother and had spoken to him. They had told him to file papers contesting the appointment of me as the personal representative.
This was outrageous. Perhaps the judge thought that my brother was not aware of his legal rights. If she thought that, she was mistaken. My brother is extremely litigious. He often files frivolous lawsuits. My brother has filed five lawsuits against his own mother, most of which are still pending. My brother has gotten all of his own mother's bank accounts and assets frozen since 1986. He also stole her house in Lynchburg, Virginia. My mother filed three counter-suits against my brother. My brother ultimately had his own mother kidnapped by professional kidnappers in Bangkok, Thailand on September 3, 1990. He had his own mother locked up and held prisoner in a nursing home for 12 years until she died at age 92.
With this background, for Judge McCulloch to call up my brother and tell him to file a pleading in court is outrageous. What is obviously going on is that Judge McCulloch wants to protect certain persons in South Carolina from being criminally prosecuted for kidnapping and for looting my mother's assets. My mother, who was a retired medical doctor and child psychiatrist who was listed in the First edition of Who's Who in American Women, was receiving $6,000 per month in pension and social security. If you add that up for the 12 years between the date she was kidnapped until the date of her death 12 years later and add accumulated interest, you will see that she received more than one million dollars, almost all of which has disappeared. She had never even been to South Carolina prior to being kidnapped in 1990 and taken there. Judge McCulloch wants to protect those who stole the money, primarily my brother Creighton but also some South Carolina officials and judges who were co-conspirators in this, from going to prison.
When I heard that Judge McCulloch had called my brother and told him to file opposing papers and given him more than two months more to do so, I could see the handwriting on the wall. I immediately went over to the South Carolina Supreme Court Building and complained to Rosalyn Frierson about this. Rosalyn Frierson said that although she had been involved in assigning this case to Judge McCulloch, she could do nothing about this now.
I then strongly considered filing a mandamus petition against Judge McCulloch and a complaint to the Commission on Judicial Conduct, but finally I decided to go back to New York and hope that Judge McCulloch would realize that she was wrong and proceed with the case.
Since Judge McCulloch had given my brother until the end of January to file his petitions, I waited politely until then. Finally, on the first of February, I called the clerk's office and spoke to Gillian Brewer. She said that Creighton had filed something on January 15, but that it lacked a certificate of service. She said that the judge was waiting to receive a certificate of service before proceeding with this case.
I again expressed my outrage. Papers without a certificate of service should not be received by the courts at all. Moreover, by what law does a judge postpone a case until one of the parties has filed papers? My mother died on May 16, 2002, which was nine months ago. This case should have been resolved already.
I demanded again that the court set a hearing date.
I called again just before 5:00 on Friday, February 14. The clerk told me that still nothing has been filed and no date has been set. The papers my brother submitted on January 15 still had not been filed.
Everybody familiar with this case agrees as to what is going to happen. Judge McCulloch is waiting for my brother to file papers so that she can appoint him or somebody else to be the personal representative. This is improper behavior for a judge. Moreover, it would be improper for Judge McCulloch to appoint Creighton as the personal representative, because Creighton has lawsuits pending against his mother in Virginia. He cannot be allowed to sue himself. The name of the first case was Sloan vs. Sovran Bank, which is still pending in the Lynchburg Circuit Court. In that case, Creighton got all of his mother's bank accounts frozen. The Virginia courts obviously had no jurisdiction to do that, since my mother was not in Virginia but was residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at the time. My mother had fled to that country to get away from Creighton.
After issuing an ex-parte order freezing my mother's assets, the judge disqualified himself from hearing that case. Subsequently, all of the judges in the Commonwealth of Virginia disqualified themselves from that case. Fred Hodnett, Assistant Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, whom you may want to call regarding this matter, has been searching for a judge for the last 16 years to hear that case. Because no judge would hear that case, my mother was never able to get her assets unfrozen.
One reason I want to be appointed as the personal representative of my mother is to appear in court in the Virginia Cases and get those assets unfrozen. I am in touch with the clerk of the Lynchburg Circuit Court and he informs me that those funds, which now come to more than $200,000, will not be unfrozen until a petition has been filed in court. My brother is not a proper person to file such a petition, because he is the plaintiff in that case. Creighton had my mother kidnapped in 1990 and had her held prisoner until she died last year. During those twelve years, Creighton could have applied to the Virginia Courts to lift the freeze on his mother's assets. He did not do so then, and he has not done so since his mother died.
In addition, my brother filed another court case against his own mother in the Lynchburg Circuit Court in 1992 entitled Sloan vs. Sloan, even though he was holding her prisoner in a nursing home South Carolina at the time. He used that court case to take possession of her house in Lynchburg, Virginia and he sold it for $75,000, a ridiculously low sum since the house was easily worth $150,00 and is now worth more than $300,000. The entire $75,000 has disappeared. At least $40,000 of that was taken for legal fees and moving and storage expenses. The remainder has disappeared and the lawyer involved has since died.
The sale of my mother's house was clearly illegal under Virginia law, for many reasons. There was no jurisdiction for the courts of Virginia to do this. I intend to apply to the courts of Virginia for recovery of the house. Again, since Creighton sold the house in 1994, he is not the proper person to do this.
Appointing a third party will not work either. Already several banks and other third parties have been asked to take this case and all have declined. Everybody quickly finds out that this case has been snarled in litigation since 1986 and nobody wants to be sued.
Under these circumstances, Judge McCulloch must be removed from this case. She has had this case for five months since September. She has not held a hearing nor even scheduled one and she refuses to proceed until my brother files papers. Her initial refusal to hear this case on the scheduled date because her friend had died was patently ridiculous. I doubt that her friend had even died. It is obvious that when she does finally hear this case she will rule against me. Since her bias is so obvious, it is clear that she cannot be allowed to proceed.
Please note that all of the judges of Virginia have already disqualified themselves from this case. It appears that the same thing is in the process of happening in South Carolina. This case was assigned to Judge McCulloch because the judges in Aiken had disqualified themselves. Therefore, I propose that a judge in North Carolina be appointed, to handle this case which has tangled up the courts of both Virginia and South Carolina for the past 17 years.
Samuel H. Sloan
Assistant Executive Secretary
Supreme Court of Virginia
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