From: ptsc <ptsc AT nym DOT cryptofortress DOT com>
Subject: Minton joins Scientology suit against McPherson family
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 17:05:06 -0400
(Semi-corrected OCR) IN THE CIRCUIIT COURT FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA IN RE: ESTATE OF File No. 97-0589-ES LISA McPHERSON Deceased. Division: 003 _______________________________________/ PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF ADMINISTRATOR AD LITEM ROBERT S. MINTON ("MINTON"), by and through his undersigned counsel, hereby requests that this Court appoint an administrator ad litem for the purpose of taking charge of all pending litigation for which the Estate is presently engaged, and in support therefore, states as follows: 1. MINTON made a series of loans to the Estate for the express purpose of funding litigation expenses relating to the decedent's wrongful death; and as such, is a creditor and an "interested person" pursuant to Rule 5.120, Fla. Probate Rules. 2. The MINTON loans, which remain unpaid, were to be satisfied through potential recoveries from the wrongful death action prosecuted by the duly appointed personal representative, DELL LIEBREICH. It is now evident, however, after five years of service, that the personal representative is severely mishandling the Estate litigation, thereby jeopardizing MINTON's interest in being repaid his loans if an administrator ad litem is not immediately appointed to take over the course of said litigation. 3. Moreover, in December 1997, the Estate, through the personal representative and counsel, agreed with MINTON that the Estate would distribute a substantial portion of any recovery from the wrongful death action to an organization controlled by MINTON. In sworn deposition testimony given in 1999, the personal representative, in the presence of the Estates counsel, confirmed the existence of that agreement with MINT ON. Also in 1999, each of the personal representative's siblings, who are also beneficiaries of the Estate, similarly confirmed the existence of that agreement with MINTON, again in the presence of the Estate's counsel. [n April 2002, the personal representative again testified that this agreement with MINTON existed, but stated that she had "changed her mind" about it. The personal representative's recent testimony that she intended to renege on the agreement with MINTON is a further basis to believe that the personal representative is acting in contradiction to her duties to preserve the Estate's assets for the benefit of interested person MINTON, while continuing to squander the funds he has invested in the Estate's litigation. 4. The personal representative, instead of maximizing recoveries as is her charge, has caused through her actions multiple judgments to be entered against the Estate for breaching a covenant not to sue certain entities and individuals. One such judgment in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas totals over $500,000. In addition, counsel retained by the personal representative was personally sanctioned nearly $100,000 for conducting frivolous and vexatious litigation. 5. Judge Baird recently entered another judgment for liability against the Estate in a related breach of contract action filed in the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial District for Pinellas County, Florida. The damages and attorneys' fees claimed are expected to exceed $600,000. The Estate and its attorneys were further sanctioned by the court in the amount of $l1,824.26. 6. In the wrongful death action currently pending in the Pinellas County Circuit Court, there is a motion, which Judge Schaeffer presently has under submission, to dismiss the action and to disqualify the personal representative's counsel for allegedly suborning perjury and for the filing and prosecution of a sham pleading. In that case, there has been a counterclaim asserted against the Estate that is tantamount to "abuse of process." Said counterclaim has already withstood the Estate's motion to dismiss and therefore must be viewed as another potential Estate liability unless corrective action is instituted. 7. Florida Probate Rule 5.120(a) expressly provides for the appointment of an administrator ad litem where the "necessity arises..." In this instant matter, it is absolutely imperative that an independent and objective administrator ad litem be appointed to take over all pending litigation, as it is readily apparent from the record that the personal representative is not acting in the best interests of the Estate in prosecuting the wrongful death litigation to maximize a recovery, and if she is permitted to continue in this capacity, her direction will likely create more liabilities. 8. The personal representative has also recently filed a First Accounting that causes MINTON great concern. Among other things, the personal representative failed to account for the MINTON loans, nor did she disclose any Estate assets on hand (not even the wrongful death action). The First Accounting contains many other serious and significant material defects, deficiencies, errors and omissions and potentially discloses improper conduct with respect to the personal representative and/or her counsel. MINTON has filed an objection to the First Accounting with this Court and hereby incorporates said objection herein by reference. 9. Moreover, after receiving the wholly deficient First Accounting, MINTON made a statutory request for a copy of the probate inventory, but for some unknown reason was denied said request by the Estate. MINTON thus filed with this Court a motion to compel a copy of the inventory and hereby incorporates said motion herein by reference. 10. It appears that the personal representative and her counsel are acting to conceal assets of the Estate. They have most recently concocted a story, presumably in order to skirt the probate court's control and jurisdiction, that the MINTON loans were not made to the Estate, but were "personal" loans to the Estate lawyer to use for whatever purpose he chooses including personal matters. This new found position of the personal representative is directly in contradiction of her duty to preserve Estate assets for the benefit of interested persons, including creditors such as MINTON. 11. Further creating an adversarial interest is the fact that the personal representative and her siblings are the beneficiaries of the Estate. Florida Probate Rule 5.120(a) authorizes the appointment of an administrator ad litem where the personal representative is also a survivor of the decedent and therefore may have an adverse interest to the Estate. See Continental National Bank v. Brill, 636 So. 2d 782, 783-4 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994) (in such a case, the court may appoint an individual without self- interest as administrator ad litem). 12. Based upon the forgoing, MINTON believes that the personal representative is properly administering the Estate, wasting assets of the Estate, acting in contravention of law and equity, promoting the interests of beneficiaries and others above the rights and interests of other interested persons such as MINTON, all of which rises to the level that requires this Court to immediately appoint an administrator ad litem. WHEREFORE, ROBERT S. MINTON would respectfully request that this Court immediately appoint an administrator ad litem for the purpose of taking charge of all pending litigation for which the Estate is presently engaged, and for such other and further relief that this Honorable Court deems appropriate under the circumstances. CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been furnished by U.S. Mail to: F. WALLACE POPE, SR., ESQUIRE, Johnson, Blakely, et al., P.O. Box 1368, Clearwater, Florida 33757-1368; KENNAN G. DANDAR, ESQUIRE, Dandar & Dandar, P.A., P.O. Box 24597, Tampa, Florida 33623-4597 and WILLIAM RAMIBAUM, ESQUIRE, 28960 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 100, Clearwater, Florida 33761, this day of September, 2002. Fla. Bar No. 4173 SPN 1923 STEPHEN J. WEIN, ESQUIRE Fla. Bar No. 212814 SPN 43400 BATTAGLLIA, ROSS, DICUS & WEIN, P.A. P.O. Box 41100 St. Petersburg, Florida 33743-1100 Telephone No. (727) 381-2300 Facsimile No. (727) 343-4059 ATTORNEYS FOR MINTON IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA PROBATE DIVISION In Re: Estate of Lisa McPherson, Deceased. _______________________________/ CASE NO. 97-0589-ES-003 CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGAMZATION, INC., ADVERSARY PROCEEDING #4 Petitioner/Plaintiff vs. DELL LIEBREICH, Individually and as Personal Representative, Respondents/Defendant. __________________________________________________________/ JOINDER OF CREDITOR RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER TO PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF ADMINISTRATOR AD LITEM Religious Technology Center ("RTC") a creditor and "interested person" herewith joins in with Petition for Appointment of Administrator Ad Litem, ("Petition"), filed by the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization pursuant to Rule 5.120 Fla. Probate Rules, for the limited purpose of taking charge of and resolving litigation that is wasting the remaining assets of the Estate. 1. The Estate is liable for judgments totaling $548,010.87, plus post- judgment interest for breach of contract in the case entitled, Religious Technology Center v. Liebreich, in the United States District Court, for the Eastern District of Texas, Case No. 6:00 CV503. (Exs. A & B). RTC has also been awarded $98,296.00 in sanctions against the Estate's counsel for conducting frivolous and vexatious litigation on behalf of the Estate. (Ex. C). RTC is accordingly an "interested person" to this action. 2. RTC joins the Petition for Appointment of Administrator Ad Litem for all the reasons set forth in the Petition. I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true copy hereof has been furnished by facsimile and regular U.S. mail to Kennan G. Dandar, Esq., Dandar & Dandar, P.A., 1715 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 750, Tampa, FL 33607; Anthony Battaglia, Esq., Ross, Dicus & Wein, P.A., P.O. Box 41100, St. Petersburg, FL 33743-1100; and William Rambaum, Esq., 28960 U.S. Hwy. 19 North, Suite 100, Clearwater, FL 33761-2403, this day of September, 2002. JOHNSON, BLAKELY, POPE, BOKOR, RIYPPEL & BURNS, P.A. By: F. Wallace Pope, Jr. Post Office Box 1368 Clearwater, Florida 33757 (727) 461-1818 (727) 441-8617 fax SPN# 00002797 Attorneys for Religious Technology Center 275331
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Today, the Second District Court of Appeal agreed with the Estate of Lisa McPherson and affirmed the dismissal of Robert Minton's petition in probate court to appoint an Administrator Ad Litem. The appeals court agreed with Probate Judge, George Greer, that Minton had no standing in probate court. Minton's petition mirrored Scientology's many failed petitions to have a stranger appointed administrator to take control of the wrongful death case.
Life and Death of Lisa McPherson