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Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Livestream

 
 Topics include Brenda Bryant, Judge Edward Miller, guardianship, Babcock Center, Cynthia Buckley, Judge David Knutson, Judge Tim Wermager, parental alienation, Judge Donna Scott Davenport, and Mooresville Police Department. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

New Livestream

 
 Topics include: Burkhart V Adkins, Judge Gary Henderson, Davidson County, Council on Children's Rights, John Bryan, and Wendy Smith. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Anastasia Garcia Doesn't Like that Pesky Hearsay Rule

 Anastasia Garcia, the Guardian Ad Litem for Gabe Shapiro, believes that hearsay should not apply to people in her profession. She even proposed the idea in a lawyer's journal. 

Unshackling Guardians Ad Li... by mikekvolpe

"Commentators courts, and state legislators have reached an almost universal consensus recognizing the pivotal role played by Guardian ad Litem (GALs) in the administration of justice by protecting the vulnerable," Garcia begins in an essay from 2016.

Garcia, in the essay recognized the role of the hearsay rule but believed that GALs are so critical they should be exempt. 

"The interests served by the hearsay rule, ensuring that inherently unreliable statements do not come into evidence, is critically important. However, this needs to be weighed against the necessity of the Guardian to bring to light for the Court, details of an investigation from collateral sources who are (sic) available to testify. This factor has been considered by some Courts."

She continues, "Moreover, in balancing these competing interests the fact that family cases are always heard by a Judge militates heavily in favor of admitting the GAL reports."

These GAL reports, produced by people like Garcia, are often a collection of interviews by people close to both the mother and father. 

Often times, those interviewed for these reports have complained that their interviews were mischaracterized or otherwise twisted. 

Chris Mackney is the subject of my book "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce."

In that case, the custody evaluator, Stanton Samenow, who took on a similar role to a GAL claimed Mackney had no friends despite interviewing at least three of Mackney's friends. Mackney was in his 40s at time, and these friends, including Rich Ware, had been his friends since college. 

But Garcia, like many court actors, has the full faith and confidence in the court. 

"During a non-jury trial, it is presumed that the court is able to sift the wheat from the chaff and select only the legal evidence." Garcia quotes from a court decision. 

Indeed, Garcia, like this decision, believe that the reason for the hearsay rule is to protect the simpletons who normally make up a jury. Since judges, who Garcia thinks are much smarter than juries, preside over custody issues, they will be able to spot the good hearsay from the bad. 

She continues, "There is a way to address concerns about admitting potentially 'unreliable' statements through Guardian reports. As the current GAL statute requires the filing of a Guardian report 20 days before a final hearing if the time required for the filing of a report is extended to lets say 60 days, any lingering concerns about unreliable statements unduly influencing the court's decision-making process can be conclusively laid to rest."

In other words, give the lawyers enough times and they can re-interview every witness and make sure to challenge all the unreliable statements. Except, this means the lawyers are spending all their time figuring out if the GAL report has improper hearsay statements, rather than making sure to prepare for the case. 

Ms. Garcia and I have wildly differing philosophies on GALs; I think GALs should be eliminated, while she thinks they should be given even more power. 

Please find the interview with Gabe Shapiro below. Starts at approximately 38 minutes. 


Post Script

Please check out the previous parts of this Miami-Dade series: Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Child on Brink of Living With Alleged Child Molester in Missouri

 

Melissa Hagemeier is facing an impossible choice. 

I've featured Hagemeier's story several times before. She lost custody of her twins- she has other children- in November 2020, after a Guardian ad litem- Molly Murphy- accused her of parental alienation. 

In the TRO, it states, "The Guardian ad Litem and the Court finds that the children will suffer immediate and  irreparable harm as set forth in the Application in the absence of the Temporary Restraining Order."

Upon being forced to live with her father, Hagemeier's daughter disclosed that her father had been molesting her

"He fucked me," the fourteen year old said referring to her father. "He literally put his dick inside of me."

"She then stated that she then lost her virginity but at least he wore a condom," the girl states in this portion, "{The girl} stated that she recalled that her night gown was pulled up and her underwear was pulled down. She disclosed that she had been laying on her back and her father crawled on top of her. {Her father} struck her in the left side of her face with his fist causing her to get dizzy. He then pushed her legs up pinning them against her chest when he put his penis into her vagina."

The Jefferson County- where dad lives- Sheriff's Office began investigating the claims, but that's when dad's attorney, Ryan Munro, and the GAL, Molly Murphy, sprung into action. 

Munro and Murphy schemed and forced this girl to sit for a deposition, which often last for hours and force those being question to answer nearly every question asked. 

At this deposition, Hagemeier told me, her daughter recanted the disclosures. 

"They did depo my daughter who recanted, which clearly was setup. We knew she would recant based off the email my daughter sent back in March after a conversation with her father."

In that March conversation, Hagemeier told me, her daughter said her father told her if she recanted she would go back to living with her mom. 

According to a recording, Hagemeier was despondent in her father's care. 

 
 In the recording, the girl is heard saying, "I just want to go home."

Now, the system is setting up to force this girl to spend half her time with the man she said molested her. 

According to a proposed consent order, Melissa and her ex will share 50/50 custody. 

Munro and Murphy did not response to messages for comment. 

Hagemeier is currently being represented by Julia O'Connor; shockingly, Hagemeier told me that O'Connor has been threatening for Hagemeier to accept this deal or O'Connor is threatening to withdraw. 

O'Connor did respond by text, telling me my facts were wrong. 

"I can't discuss any active cases with you, Mike. But can say that do not appreciate the name calling from someone who has wildly inactive facts." (This was in response to a voicemail where I said she would not be hired to be a dog catcher, after this is over)

"Mulvaney {she misunderstood my last name} sounds Irish. I don't know what county (sic) your people are from. But I do know they're disappointed in you. And your 'investigative journalistic' skills. Because leaving slanderous and aggressive messages from a conversation that's one sided instead of asking questions is a pathetic example of an 'investigator'. Such a shame."

(I was born in Russia, for the record)

This 50/50 arrangement was telegraphed. According to a recording from the Spring 2021, Murphy was planning this all along. 

 

 "Our ultimate goal is I would think- mine has been- is for the kids to share equal time and be happy, healthy, mentally healthy, okay in school. All that kind of stuff," Murphy states.

Post Script:

Find the previous articles in this series here:  Article 1Article 2Article 3Article 4Article 5Article 6Article 7Article 8Article 9, Article 10, Article 11, and Article 12



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Livestream

 
 Topics include: Elaine Pudlowski, St. Louis County, Evita Tolu, Kristen Rash Davie County Social Worker, Wendy Smith, Judge David Siprell, Judge Carol Hicks,

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Supreme Court Writ in Case Involving Family Bridges May Break 1st Amendment Ground

(Part of an order by Judge Kim Berkeley Clark)

 

A writ which waits for US Supreme Court acceptance or denial seeks to challenge the near unfettered ability of judges in family law cases to gag litigants. 

The writ filed by Richard Ducote, who has been involved in numerous high profile cases, cannot even identify his client by name, rather using SS, but says his client is not even allowed to say their own name publicly.

Petitioners Richard Ducote and Victoria McIntyre are attorneys representing Petitioner S.S., the mother of a now 14-year-old son, in a Pennsylvania child custody case. After S.S. lost custody to the father, Respondent S.B., and the ruling was affirmed on appeal, at S.B.’s urging the trial court issued a “gag order” against all three Petitioners forbidding them to: “speak publicly or communicate about this case including, but not limited to print and broadcast media, on-line or web-based communications, or inviting the public to view existing on-line or web-based publications”; and “direct or encourage third parties to speak publicly about this case including, but not limited to, print and broadcast media, on-line or web-based communications…”

The writ continues.  

S.B.’s counsel sought a gag order on Petitioners, plus $200,000 in sanctions, and $10,000 for each future violation of the proposed order. No evidence whatsoever concerning the child was presented at the hearing which resulted in the gag order. It is important to note that Petitioners have never publicly stated F’s name or otherwise publicly identified him. On April 19, 2018, over S.S.’s strenuous constitutional objections, Judge Clark first signed an interim gag order preventing all parties and their counsel from publicly speaking or communicating about the case. App. 80a. However, on April 27, 2018, Judge Clark entered a final gag order prohibiting only S.S., Mr. Ducote, and Ms. McIntyre—and not S.B., his counsel, or S.S.’s former trial counsel who presented the child’s testimony—from speaking about this case in any manner:

Ducote's writ of ceteriorari is below.

5-19-2021 Final Cert Petition by mikekvolpe

In the writ, Ducote states that the unusual action, taken by Judge Kim Berkeley Clark, the President Judge of the Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, was in response to an article in the Pittsburgh City Times and a press conference which followed. Ducote continues in the writ. 

Petitioners, together with other professionals, parents, and a now grown child sharing common concerns and experiences, participated in a February 7, 2018, Pittsburgh press conference discussing child abuse victims and the courts’ failure to protect them.1 Mr. Ducote mentioned only S.S. by name, as a mother who lost custody of her un-named son, despite his testimony, to his un-named father. 

Independent of the conference, on February 28, 2018, the PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER published Parental Inequity: Children’s Advocates Say Family Courts Unfairly Favor Fathers, Even When They’re the Abusers (App. 114a). The article, which included comments from a Pennsylvania legislator and a George Washington University law school professor, highlighted proposed legal reforms to address custody cases with abuse allegations. F’s graphic testimony was anonymously quoted to illustrate the alarming nature of this problem. App. 114a.

Ducote alleged that this case involved the cover-up of child molestation. Here is what SS's son allegedly said during a judge's questioning of the boy.

Well, sometimes he would lay on top of me. He would like pull my pajamas down. He had these like shorty shorts that he would go running in. They didn’t need underwear. Well, the first thing is that I was—I acted asleep, but I was really awake when it all happened. He would stick his penis in my butt crack. Into what I call my poop hole. He would do that many times. When under my body he would be squeezing my penis. Sometimes I get really angry with myself because I always say that I could have stopped him 

The Pittsburgh City Paper article suggested that the bogus label of "parental alienation" was used as a response to the sexual molestation allegations, a common use for the parental alienation scheme. 

(From the Pittsburgh City Paper)

"At the heart of the problems surrounding custody cases," the Pittsburgh City Paper article states, "is the concept of parental alienation syndrome....Ducote has worked on hundreds of cases and says abusive parents often claim parental alienation to refute abuse allegations. He says the child custody case he's currently working in is a clear example."

Family Bridges appears to be a part of the scheme to cover-up the abuse.  According to an order in the case, Family Bridges was used for reunification, "Following the completion of the Family Bridges workshop, and before returning home with , Father shall take on a vacation of no less than five days in duration. The Court expects that will apply what he has learned during the Family Bridges workshop to improve their interactions with his Father during and following their vacation."

Family Bridges has received a great deal of scrutiny; Randy Rand, its principle, has problems with his license and many former children who have gone through the program say it destroyed their childhoods. 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the gag order. That opinion is below.

Penn Supreme Court Opinion on Gag Order by mikekvolpe on Scribd

Appellants contend that the Superior Court’s affirmance of the gag order violates their constitutional rights to free speech as the order constitutes “freewheeling censorship” that prohibits them indefinitely from speaking about the case in any manner, while imposing no restrictions on Father’s speech. Brief for Appellants at 9. Categorizing the gag order as both a content-based restriction and a prior restraint on speech, Appellants posit that the heightened constitutional standard of strict scrutiny must apply. They maintain that because there is no compelling state interest supporting the imposition of an indefinite and total restraint upon their speech, the gag order cannot stand. 

Relating to the claim that the gag order constitutes a content-based restriction on speech, Appellants’ position begins with the premise that content-based restrictions require the government to satisfy the strict scrutiny standard to pass constitutional muster. Brief for Appellant at 10 (citing Turner Broad. Sys. Inc. v. F.C.C., 512 U.S. 622, 642 (1994) (internal citation omitted) (holding that “[o]ur precedents thus apply the most exacting scrutiny to regulations that suppress, disadvantage, or impose differential burdens upon speech because of its content”)). They contend that the gag order’s plain language constitutes a total prohibition against speaking publicly about the custody case in any manner, not only in a manner that identifies Child, as held by the Superior Court. 

In support of this contention, Appellants rely exclusively upon the following sentence in the order: “It is hereby ORDERED that [Mother]; Richard Ducote, Esquire; and Victoria McIntyre, Esquire shall NOT speak publicly or communicate about this case including, but not limited to, print and broadcast media, on-line or web-based communications, or inviting the public to view existing on-line or web-based publications.” Trial Court Order, 4/27/2018, at 1. Ignoring the remaining text of the gag order, Appellants view the speech restriction as constituting a total ban on speech of a particular topic, i.e., Child’s custody proceeding, which, they argue, renders the regulation of speech content based. 


The US Supreme Court will decide later this month if it will accept the case. 

Post Script: 

Find the previous Family Bridges story here and go to the fundraiser. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Newest Livestream

 
 Topics include Shannon Moreau, Burkhard V Adkins, Haynes V Haynes, Wendy Smith, Davidson County North Carolina, and Mecklenburg County North Carolina.

On Action Radio Talking Miami-Dade and 1st Amendment Violations

Topics include Kristen Rash, Davie County Social Worker, Richard Macon, Davie County Social Worker, Forsyth NC Judge Gordon Miller, Miami Dade, Dori Foster-Morales, Anastasia Garcia, Cindi Kamen, Judge Ivonne Cuesta, and Eric Satin. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Livestream

 
 Topics include: Haynes V Haynes, Shannon Joy, Kristen Rash, Davie County Social Worker, Richard Macon, Davie County Social Worker, Dan Johnson, Alice Giordano, Rachel Alintoff, and Judge Angela Dalton. 

Child Support Paints a New Layer in Curious Lawsuit

 Martin James Schulz, the man at the center of a curious lawsuit based on a purported oral agreement, has at least two child support matters where this lawsuit was not disclosed. 

Schulz is currently suing Ryan Millsap, who sold the movie studio Blackhall Studios to a hedge fund for over $100 million. 

Schulz claims that he and Millsap have an oral agreement which entitles him to most of the proceeds of the sale. 

According to the child support documents, Schulz has come a long way to being a principle in a nine figure deal. 

In 2012, Schulz settled a child support matter with his ex Martha; in it, he claimed to have made $4,948 per month and was ordered to pay $917 per month. 



Schulz has not updated his income even though as part of his lawsuit he has received $6.7 million to remove a lis pendente in order to complete the sale of Blackhall Studios. 

This is not the only child support matter for Schulz; I also spoke to another ex-girlfriend, Alina, who said she had a relationship with Schulz starting in 2016 shortly before he went to rehab, which happened in 2017. 

At the time, she said he portrayed himself as the boss over at Blackhall Studios, however, he always had a drinking problem. 

She said Schulz went to rehab upon the advice of Millsap, but that upon his return he was barred from the studios. 

She said that Schulz has portrayed himself as constantly broke, unable to find work and pays her only a few hundred dollars per month. 

I reached out to Schulz by email but received no response. 

Arpad "Arki" Busson is the hedge fund manager who appears to be funding Schulz's lawsuit against Millsap. 

Alina said that Schulz told her he met Busson in rehab and that they may have attempted to do other business deals- she remembers Schulz flying to New York a lot after meeting Busson. 

She said that though his drinking would cause him to disappear for days sometimes he was never physically violent and treated her children well. 

There is also a new lawsuit recently filed in this case; this one by Schulz ex-wife, Claire Yankee. Yankee claims she was the mastermind behind Blackhall Studios. 

Claire Yankee Et Al. v. M. ... by mikekvolpe

In 2017, Schulz pled guilty to stalking Yankee. That is below.

18SC157086_Guilty Plea Tran... by mikekvolpe

I reached out to the two attorneys, Greg Godsey and Steve McConnell, but I did not receive a response back. 

Schulz lawsuit against Millsap goes to a three judge panel later in September. The three judges who will hear the arbitration are: Judge NS "Ken" Kendrick, Judge Edward Krugman, and Judge Randy Rich. 

Post Script

Check out Part onePart two, and Part three of this series. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Newest Livestream

 
 Topics include: Wake County Department of Social Services, Beverly Mitchell Wake County social worker, Haynes V Haynes, Davidson County, 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Livestream With Grant Wyeth

 
 Wyeth is an Australian based journalist working with The Diplomat. Topics include parental alienation, Australia, 50/50 custody, England, domestic violence, physical abuse, and Haynes V Haynes. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Arpad Busson: International Man of Mystery

                                                                     (Arpad Busson)
 

Arpad Bussom, the man who appears to be funding the curious lawsuit which make up the previous parts of this serious, appears to have lived a charmed life cruising around the globe, bedding beautiful celebrities, with ties to notorious figures like Bernie Madoff and Jeffrey Epstein. 

According to an apparent funding agreement Busson has been funding the lawsuit of Martin James Schulz, a man with an extensive criminal history, against Ryan Millsap, a highly respected executive, who recently sold his movie studio for more than $100 million. 

Schulz claims that he and Millsap had an oral agreement making him entitled to almost all the sale proceeds. 

Busson and Schulz appear to have met in rehab in 2017; Busson was in rehab even as a high profile custody case played out, that with his ex-girlfriend Uma Thurman. 

"At this point, Luna (their daughter) has all the advantages in life ... two parents who love her ... who provide amply for her. She will have every opportunity to be intellectually, culturally enriched," Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper said as Thurman nodded vigorously in agreement.

"The only thing lacking and I hope it's forthcoming is that her parents can reach some place in life to put aside their rancor and anger against one another, never loving or even like each other but cooperate with each other."

Judge Cooper is a judge I am familiar with, having covered him in the story of Dr. Micheline Epstein. Here is part of that

Dr. Epstein, meanwhile, told TAC it has been more than a month since she has seen her daughter, thanks to Justice Matthew Cooper of the New York Supreme Court.

When she dropped her daughter off at school in early March, she was not wearing a mask on the sidewalk. A school employee demanded she put one on and Epstein refused, leading to an argument. The school employee reported the matter to the school who reported it to both parents; Epstein said her ex-husband then filed an emergency motion suspending her custody time.

Justice Cooper granted him the motion while further ordering Epstein to wear a mask in her own home as a condition of reinstating supervised visits. She has not seen her daughter since Cooper’s order in March.

Cooper has also done high profile divorces for Robert DeNiro, Paul George, and Damon Dash. While Busson and Thurman eventually settled, it was after bitter custody battle

 Uma Thurman's baby daddy doesn't deserve more visitation with their daughter -- because she says he's been a flaky father who has rarely seen the girl.

The Sun Newspaper described just how sordid the case got. 

So far, it seems neither party has any interest in being “reasonable”.

Multi-millionaire Arpad, 53, has painted Uma, 46, as a pill-popping, temperamental mother who is prone to severe mood swings and treated ­pregnancy like a “business deal”.

It also emerged in court that the Pulp Fiction star suffered from ­attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a “learning difficulty”.

Meanwhile Arpad — known as “Arki” — has been grilled about an alleged addiction to hookers and cheating on a college admissions test, and ­portrayed as an errant dad who ­cancels plans with his daughter to attend concerts and football games. 

Thurman is not the only celebrity Busson has children with; he also was involved with Elle MacPherson, with whom he has two children. 

That relationship appears to have ended better as the Daily Mail described. 

Elle Macpherson has shared a social snap with ex-partner and father of her two sons Arpad Busson.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, the 53-year-old Australian model uploaded a black-and-white image of Arpad, 54, wearing a Santa hat and a big smile.

 Also tagging their eldest son Flynn Busson, Elle wrote: 'Thankyou for a magical Christmas, love you,' adding a love heart emoji.

It's not the only part of Busson's life that is colorful. He's a financier who has made and lost millions many times over.

As the story from INews in England called, "Arki Busson: The rise and fall of the man to know in finance, who used his connections to raise capital" noted, though he had made tens of millions as a hedge fund manager, in 2008 he became embroiled with Bernie Madoff. 

It was around that time that cracks also began to appear in Mr Busson’s business empire. By 2009 EIM had lost almost half of its $15bn of assets under management as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, while his investment company became embroiled in Bernard Madoff’s $50bn Ponzi scheme, with Mr Busson making a $230m investment with the fraudster.

Busson was known as a fund to fund hedge fund manager. By this, he would take hedge fund money, and rather than investing it himself, he would disburse that money in other hedge funds. 

Like other fund managers, he put a lot of his money into Bernie Madoff's hedge fund. INews continued.

Problems mounted and turbulence followed. EIM was offloaded to Gottex Fund Management Holdings, a Swiss investment firm, in 2013. And in 2016 the company was renamed LumX.

Losses began to build with the latest set of accounts showing that LumX posted a loss of $13m in 2019, contributing to losses of more than $55m over the last five years. Over the same period, headcount at the firm fell from 139 employees to just 37 at the end of 2019. 

His hedge fund was eventually delisted from the Swiss exchange in 2020, the story noted.  

Madoff is not the only notorious character which Busson has rubbed shoulders with. 

His name also popped up on page 9 in Jeffrey Epstein's black book. 

As such, even as his professional life was spiraling down, and his personal life became the stuff of Page six type stories, Busson hooked up with Schulz to fund his lawsuit, arguing that Schulz is entitled to tens of millions in a sale of a movie studio due to a verbal contract. 

Post Script

Check out Part one and Part two of this series. 



Saturday, September 4, 2021

Schulz With a Long Rap Sheet Before His Entrance into a Nine Figure Deal



 Martin James Schulz, the man now claiming that he's owed tens of millions in a nine figure movie deal, has a long rap sheet, with numerous aliases, leaving a trail of misery.

As I previously covered, Schulz now claims that he had a verbal contract with Ryan Millsap for a share of Blackhall Studios which Millsap recently sold for over $100 million. 

But prior to meeting Millsap, Schulz developed a long rap sheet spanning more than two decades; police reports not only list several aliases but more than one birthdate. 

The earliest police report is from 1991 in Los Angeles County- Schulz separately had dates of births in 1970 and 1967 in varying police reports- and that report is below. 

Schulz Case 90C01177 by mikekvolpe

Schulz wound up having a bench warrant in that 1991 case after he failed to appear for a hearing. 

His offenses span several states, and more than one county in California. Besides the aforementioned trouble in Los Angeles County in 1991, Schulz had another run-in with the law in Ventura County in 1997. That is below. 


Schulz Ventura by mikekvolpe


The 1997 arrest lists Paul Raymond Webber as an alias used by Schulz. 

                                             (Ventura Police listing some of Schulz aliases)


Schulz criminal history spans from minor traffic accidents to insurance fraud, but the most troubling comes in 2017, when he was convicted of stalking his ex-wife. The transcript of his guilty plea is below. 

His ex testified during this hearing and stated in part.

It's also impossible to truly describe the terror that it is to have somebody following, being able to quote things that you've said to other people in private and not know how. To have someone so insidiously try to get in between yourself and your friend, yourself and your family, by having following you, listened to you, any manner, whether it was GPS tracking, whether it was surveillance...I have been afraid to go out. I have stayed in far often than I normally would. Depression, the anxiety, just the trauma and therapy to try and feel normal again.

During her testimony, Schulz's ex noted that he had previously been convicted of staking another woman.

Then to actually have the physical evidence of how he was doing it and to further learn that he had done this to a woman before me and received a conviction.
I left a message for his attorney on this case, Lance Dutton, but he did not respond. His attorney for his civil lawsuit, Eric John Taylor, also did not respond to comment on the first article. 

His criminal history is vast and varied and some of it is below. 






He's also has at least one child support matter which has been going on California for years and it's not clear if he has disclosed this lawsuit in that child support matter. I asked Mr. Taylor if he had. 

Schulz met Millsap in 2016; he initially started working for Millsap's studio, Blackhall Studio, but by 2017, Schulz was in rehab where he met the financier Arpad Bussom; Bussom has previously been linked to both Elle MacPherson and Uma Thurman. 

Bussom has reportedly been funding this lawsuit. 


Friday, September 3, 2021

On with Tom Roten Talking North Carolina and Miami-Dade

Topics include Forsyth NC Judge Gordon Miller, Davie County Social Worker Kristen Rash, Davie County Social Worker Richard Macon, Forsyth County In-home Services Social Worker Ayanna Brown, Miami-Dade, 1st Amendment, Dori Foster-Morales, Eric Satin, Gabe Shapiro, and Jordan Abramowitz. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Studio Sale Stalled By Unusual Lawsuit

 

   (Ryan Millsap, along with other Atlanta power brokers, for an article in Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Blackhall Studios provides everything a movie production may need. 

On their website, the studio boasts that it, "offers complete services for all types and sizes of productions – from small independent films to scripted television series to tent pole movies. The ever-expanding in-town Atlanta studio complex spans nearly 150 acres across two adjacent campuses."

It provided studio space for such blockbuster hits as Godzilla, Jumanji the Next Level, Venom, and Stephen King's Doctor Sleep. 

Its sale, earlier this year, was covered extensively, including by CNBC. 

One of Atlanta’s biggest filming hubs has been sold.

Founder Ryan Millsap announced Wednesday the sale of Blackhall Studios to Commonwealth Group, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, for $120 million.

Blackhall, which is in the process of expanding its footprint in Georgia, also has studio projects in London and Los Angeles.

Millsap, the founder, is the sort of person one would expect to be in the middle of a successful nine figure deal. 

Millsap was featured in Atlanta Business Chronicle's (ABC) "Most Influential Atlantans" and ABC's list of "Most Admired CEO's."

An ABC article from 2020 noted. 

CEO Ryan Millsap announced plans in September to expand from 210,000 square feet to 600,000 square feet at 1415 Constitution Road SE in Atlanta, near the intersection of Bouldercrest Road and Interstate 285. So far Blackhall has nine sound stages.

Millsap opened Blackhall Studios in the spring of 2017. He has invested $75 million in the current facility, and he intends to spend another $150 million on its expansion.

The sound stages produce about $500 million to $700 million of content each year, Millsap said at the time of the expansion announcement. When the expansion is complete, that would rise to more than $1 billion a year, he said.

Even as Millsap was managing the studio and finalizing his nine figure deal, he has been hounded by a curious lawsuit with a character who would normally not be part of such a transaction. 

He is currently being sued by Martin James Schulz. Schulz is much less likely to be on the business pages than in the police blotter. 

He has at least fifteen criminal convictions, including one in Georgia in 2017, for stalking an ex-wife. 

Here is part of the transcript from his guilty plea. 

The court: DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU'RE CHARGED WITH  THE FOLLOWING OFFENSES. YOU'RE CHARGED WITH THREE COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED STALKING AS FELONIES AND YOU'RE CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF VIOLATION OF A PROTECTIVE OFFERED AS A MISDEMEANOR? 

Schulz: I AM.  

Schulz wound up pleading guilty to this charge; it was the latest in a life which has taken him on a criminal path that spans more than two decades. 

                                                (Part of Schulz criminal and civil history)


Schulz and Millsap initially met in 2016 and Schulz began working in a role that was akin to a property manager but by 2017, Schulz was in rehab for a drug problem. (More on Schulz in part two of this series)

In rehab, he met another shadowy figure: Arpad Busson. Busson is a financier with ties to Jeffrey Epstein and Bernie Madoff, with a knack for having relationships with beautiful celebrities. Busson has previously been linked to both Elle MacPhearson and Uma Thurman. 

Busson was previously a hedge fund manager, being tied to hedge funds like EIM Group and LUMX Asset Management. 

Busson then agreed, through a funding agreement, to fund a lawsuit that Schulz would soon file against Millsap. (More on Busson in part three of the series)

These funding agreements are not that unusual and the most famous case came when Peter Thiel funded Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea against Gawker; Thiel had personal reasons to fund such a lawsuit as Gawker had previously outed him. 

Schulz would claim that he was an integral part of Blackhall Studios and that he was owed a significant portion of the profits from the sale of the studio. 

But there was a twist to his allegation. He claimed that he had an oral and not a written contract. 

Despite the sale of Blackhall being a complicated real estate transaction with everything else in writing, Schulz still argued that he had an oral agreement that entitled him to most of the profits. 

Though the lawsuit is eyebrow raising, to hear Schulz attorney, the problem is not his client but Millsap. 

Millsap Timeline by mikekvolpe on Scribd

The attorney, Eric John Taylor, states in part, "As I have stated repeatedly, the emergency nature of this issue is a direct result of Mr. Millsap's own actions and subsequent scorched earth tactics....In conclusion, it's been over three weeks since the second emergency hearing at which your client's litigation counsel told the Court that the business might fail if the lis pendente was not lifted that day. Despite those representations, the business appears to still be running. Mr. Millsap is telling the press the business is booming. In fact, it appears that Blackhall is working on expansion plans. Yet, you approached me with another purported emergency and ask my clients to give up the only thing standing between Mr. Millsap and more fraudulent transfers depriving my client of their rightful property in exchange for nothing."

Taylor did not respond to an email for comment; I reached everyone listed on the letter and received one response. 

I reached out to John Da Grossa Smith, who had been representing Millsap. He did not respond but his attorney did.

My name is Kate Whitlock. I represent John Da Grosa Smith and SMITH LLC.

 

On March 26, 2021, Judge Joseph Iannazzone granted Mr. Smith’s and SMITH LLC’s request to withdraw as counsel of record in the case of Schulz, et al v. Millsap, et al, Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Civ. Act. No. 18-A09182-11. Defendants are now represented in that pending civil action by Thomas Tate, Esq. of the law firm Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C. (copied).

After receiving that response, I asked this follow up question, "I'm confused. Mr. Smith is a lawyer. What are you representing him on? Why would a lawyer need another lawyer to issue a statement first lawyer could figure out how to draft on his own?"

Ms. Whitlock did not respond to my follow up question.  

According to Taylor's letter, he filed the previously mentioned notice of  lis pendens on February 18, 2020. 

A lis pendens, "is an official notice to the public that a lawsuit involving a claim on a property has been filed," according to Investopedia. 

With that lis pendens filed, a sale of Blackhall Studio could not move forward as a lawsuit on the property was coming. 

In order to remove the lis pendens, Millsap agreed to pay Schulz $6.7 million. 

The parties have remained tight lipped with none of the principles agreeing to speak with me. 

This may be because there is an arbitration coming up for this lawsuit, which will be binding, later in September. 

Though it seems hard to believe that a claim based on an oral contract would win out, the case has made it this far, and so it's possible that a drug addict with a long rap sheet could be entitled to tens of millions of dollars from a successful CEO based entirely on a purported oral contract. 

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 Topics include Burkhart V Atkins, Haynes V Haynes,  Randy Rand, Family Bridges, North Carolina, Forsyth Department of Social Services, Kristen Rash, Davie County Social Worker, Ayanna Brown, Forsyth County Social Worker In-Home Services, Richard Macon, Davie County, Social Worker, Wake County Child Protective Services, Judge Ivonne Cuesta, and Sara Royster, Children's Law Center of Central North Carolina. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Mom Says Seneca County Ohio Is Covering Up Molestation By Her Ex-Husband


 

Molly Green's life changed on January 20, 2016. 

That's when her oldest daughter, four at the time, disclosed that her father, Green's ex, had been touching her inappropriately. 

The full interview with Green is below. She has since reverted back to her maiden name Baker. 


After her daughter disclosed, she initially confronted her then husband, who denied the allegation. After consulting with family, Baker first moved to a hotel and then to Iowa after she found her then husband stalking her and her children at the hotel. 

"I only fled at the time because he found me in hiding and {her daughter} had told me she was scared because I would be in heaven and blood we be everywhere. I was terrified of him hurting us and it was clear I would get no help from his family or the services I sought help with {in Ohio}." She told me in a text message. 

Baker said one reason she left was because authorities, particularly Child Protective Services, were not helping.

"In Iowa, the police came right away. Child Protective Services came immediately...So, I got help." she told me. 

Baker said her girls were scheduled for a psychological evaluation within a week of arriving in Iowa.

Iowa CPS also recommended the girls stay away from Baker's ex, "At this time, the Iowa Department of Human Services would recommend that {her daughter} continue to participate in play therapy and participate in an extended forensic interview and that she not have unsupervised with the person responsible until the conclusion of the assessment process."

Baker's daughter did not just disclose to Iowa DHS, but to a psychologist several times. 

Here are parts of her disclosures to that psychologist, "The client {her daughter} stated that she wanted to tell the therapist something and then told a story about how her dad did something really bad and she yelled, 'no, no, no' really loudly and he stopped....The therapist asked what happened that made her have to tell her father 'no, no, no' and she stated that her father had tied her arms and legs to a chair....Client told a story where her father hit her and her younger sister on the back with a stick and it hurt. He then tried to make them laugh by being silly and said he was sorry."


The report continues, "The therapist asked how her father hurting her and the client stated that he touched her bottom (she calls it her burn-burn)...The client continued to state that she watched her father touch her sister's bottom and it hurt her sister."
Despite these disclosures, Baker's then still husband quickly moved things in motion in a Seneca court, filing for divorce and thus forcing Baker to come back to Seneca County to fight the charges. Here is part of a Seneca County Magistrate Kenneth Clason order, "This case came before Magistrate Clason on February 9, 2016, Upon review, the court finds the motion not well-taken and is DENIED. Defendant Molly E Green shall immediately return with the minor children... and shall make them available in the State of Ohio for determination of their placement at the hearing scheduled February 10, 2016."

Baker was initially given physical custody after this hearing but her ex received unsupervised visits. 

As her daughter continued to disclose after those visits, Baker's life went from bad to worse. 

"They would come home and disclose to me that he was continuing the abuse. Holding knives up to dolls so that they would be afraid...Eventually my daughters stated some more things that were worthy of CPS opening up a report allegedly, so they opened up a report, but really looking in hindsight, the report from CPS was to remove me from my children."

In fact, Seneca County CPS was filing things on behalf of Baker's ex. Like this motion filed by CPS and the Guardian ad Litem, Lisa Miller, who would be appointed to the case. 



Objection by the GAL Father... by mikekvolpe

I spoke with Victor Perez, the attorney for Seneca County CPS who filed that motion but he declined comment because these matters are confidential, which they are. The GAL, Lisa Miller, did not respond to a message for comment. 

Baker told me that Miller had not even met with her children when she recommended that custody be switched, which it was in April and then Dr. John Hustak was appointed; Hustak diagnosed Miller with "histrionics" and claimed that the abuse allegations were due to her delusional beliefs being absorbed by her children.

His so-called diagnosis mirrored the conclusions of Seneca County CPS, "CPS thinks that she is feeding her children stories about their father and making them tell people," according to the previous psychologist's report. 

Dr. Hustak appears retired and a number on-line was no longer active. 

I spoke with Green's ex-husband's attorney, Dean Henry, and he stated, "That matter occurred as a result of an agreement that was reached in court that was later converted to an order by agreement of the parties."

There was indeed an agreement on December 14, 2016, but Baker told me that her attorneys told her it was either agree to this agreement or face having her kids placed into foster care or with her ex-husband.

Baker said that she was made to believe that in three months she would regain custody, but that did not happen.

"They'd be crying and upset because they wanted their mommy. So, I was being told I was exacerbating them or allowing the girls to be anxious. I was not making less anxiety producing....She had stomach problems again in March 2017 and allegedly they thought I worked it out to be around her in the bathroom."

Baker said she made Valentine's Day treats and dropped them off at her daughter's school, which Green said the court also deemed to violate a court order. 

"Those two things were the nail in the coffin," Baker told me. 

She was also ordered to pay more than $1,000 per month in child support which forced her to move from Ohio to Iowa. She now drives approximately seven hours to see her children supervised.