RECORD No. 1389-96-3
CIRCUIT COURT No. 9216
M. ISMAIL SLOAN,
CHARLES E. ROBERTS and SHELBY H. ROBERTS
PETITION FOR A REHEARING AND REHEARING EN BANC OF THE DECISIONS OF THIS COURT WHICH DENIED THE RENEWAL OF THE MOTIONS FOR TRANSCRIPTS BASED UPON THE RECENTLY DECIDED UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT DECISION IN M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 117 S.Ct. 555 (1996) AND WHICH DENIED THE PETITION FOR REHEARING AND REHEARING EN BANC
NATURE OF THE CASE AND SUMMARY OF THE PROCEEDINGS IN THE TRIAL COURT
This case comes before the court as the result of the criminal kidnapping of Shamema Honzagool Sloan which took place in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates on October 7, 1990. The child, who was eight years old at the time, was kidnapped by persons hired by Charles and Shelby Roberts. The child was brought from the United Arab Emirates to the Roberts' home in Madison Heights, Amherst County, Virginia, arriving on October 9, 1990, two days later.
The Roberts on October 23, 1990, only two weeks after they had kidnapped the child, filed a petition with the Amherst County J & D Court asking for the custody of the child. The court did not immediately grant their custody petition but rather issued an order "continuing" the child in the custody of the Department of Social Services, even though that agency had never previously had custody of the child.
The petitioner did not know what had happened to his child, who had been kidnapped from the front yard of his home in the United Arab Emirates. Petitioner was never notified that his child was being held in Amherst County, Virginia. No hearing of any kind was ever conducted at that time by the Amherst County J & D Court, even though the law of Virginia required notice to both the parents and a hearing within 72 hours. None of the laws and procedures of Virginia were complied with.
The father arrived in Amherst County on November 13, 1990 searching for his child. Upon hearing that the father was in Virginia, Judge Lawrence Janow immediately issued a capias for his arrest, even though no charges had been brought or could possibly have been brought against the father. The father was arrested within two hours after his arrival in Amherst County and held in Amherst County Jail. The father was released only to be arrested again. Eventually, the father was convicted on the obviously specious charge of attempting to kidnap his daughter back and sentenced to five years in prison.
Throughout this entire time, the kidnappers, Charles and Shelby Roberts, have contended that this is a "civil case" and that neither the parents nor the child are entitled to the protections guaranteed to criminal defendants. At the same time, Charles and Shelby Roberts have succeeded in having the father arrested a total of 11 times, each time on the obviously ridiculous charge that he is trying to keep or recover custody of his own child.
It must be understood that Charles and Shelby Roberts are in no way legally connected with this child. They are not parents, in-laws, relatives or anything else to this child. They are just hard core criminal kidnappers and nothing more than that.
Throughout these proceedings, the petitioner has demanded all the rights which a criminal defendant is afforded, including transcripts. The petitioner-father has repeatedly appealed. The very first order ever issued by Judge Janow in this case, which was the order "continuing " custody with the Department of Social Services, was appealed to this court on the grounds that Judge Janow had no jurisdiction to issue his order. That appeal was dismissed on the grounds of "non-appealable order."
There have been about 14 appeals to this court in this case. Each appeal has been dismissed on similar grounds. None of these appeals have been heard and decided on the merits.
The latest decision of this court, which is dated March 17, 1997, states:
"On January 6, 1997 came the appellant, in proper person, and moved for the preparation of the transcript in this case, citing M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 117 S.Ct. 555 (1996).
"Upon consideration thereof, the motion is denied as it was not timely filed and the case M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 117 S.Ct. 555 (1996), cited by appellant, is a termination of parental rights case and the case before this Court is a custody case."
However, the decision in M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 117 S.Ct. 555 (1996) makes no fine distinction between a custody case and a termination of parental rights case. The reality of this case is that for the past seven years the parents of this child have not had the opportunity to see, meet, visit or know the whereabouts of this child. The parents are allowed to have nothing to say about the education or upbringing of this child. Charles and Shelby Roberts are members of a religious cult. They believe in Creationism and hold other ridiculous religious beliefs. Their sole purpose in wanting to kidnap this child was to indoctrinate her into their religion. The actual parents have not even been allowed to know whether their child is dead or alive.
These hard core criminals are allowed to operate in Virginia because of corruption in the Virginia system. In any normal state or jurisdiction, they would immediately have been arrested and put in jail. The fact that the judges of this court keep dismissing the appeals and petitions filed by the parents of this child makes these judges accomplices in the criminal kidnapping of the child.
The decision of this court callously states that the motion is untimely. However, if anyone will look back through the record of this case, one will see that the petitioner has repeatedly petitioned for a transcript of the case below. Many of these motions and petitions were made while the father was in jail, but was still trying to get his kidnapped daughter back. The fact that the kidnappers repeatedly procrastinated and delayed and the hearings took place over eight hearing days lasting a year makes the cost of producing these transcripts prohibitive to any normal person. Moreover, the courts below have contumaceously refused to transmit the record of this case to this appellate court, so all this court has before it is one thin file folder consisting of only those documents selected by the lower court which Judge Janow wants this court to see. The full record of this case is more than one thousand pages long.
The decision in M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 117 S.Ct. 555 (1996) does not merely establish the right to a transcript. It clearly holds that the kidnapped child and the parents are all entitled to the full panoply of rights afforded to criminal defendants. I believe that the United States Supreme Court had my case in mind when it rendered its decision. I have filed about 14 petitions for a writ of certiorari with that court making the same identical points and arguments which have now become the law of the land as the result of that decision.
For all of the reasons set forth above, this petition for a rehearing and rehearing en banc should be granted and these proceedings must be dismissed and the child must be returned to the custody of her father or in the alternative this case should be remanded to the trial court for determination based upon a proper record in accordance with the decision in M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 117 S.Ct. 555 (1996).
Appellant requests oral argument of this appeal.
DATED: March 31, 1997
M. Ismail Sloan
461 Peachstone Terrace
San Rafael CA 94903
Tel: (718) 638-5153
FAX: (718) 857-8613
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
Samuel H. Sloan states that on March 31, 1997 he served the within petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc by mailing a true copy of the same to the following:
Charles and Shelby Roberts
420 Amelon Road
Madison Heights, VA 24572
J. Thompson Shrader
P. O. Box 428
709 South Main Street
Amherst, Virginia 24521
Lisa L. Schenkel
1602 Graves Mill Road
P. O. Box 11315
Lynchburg, Virginia 24506
c/o Raja Abdul Rashid
House No. 252, Street No. 52
Samuel H. Sloan