- Posted August 6, 2014 by
Saluda, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Protests around the world
African American Heirs, Tormented by White South Carolina Judge and Lawyers, Can't Find Help
Entire I(E)rving family is overwhelmingly frustrated in their search to find any federal agency, national organization, or even private legal counsel who can/will assist them in their efforts to stop the escalating Saluda, SC County illegal practices that are devastating their family.
Eighty-six-year-old Thelma Joyce Irving Taylor, matriarch of the David and Sallie Mae Irving family, along with other "active" interest holding direct bloodline I(E)rving family descendants, are still, even after 10 long and grueling years of patiently battling in the U.S. court system, currently being forced to continuously protest, fervently fight, and desperately plead for help against a Saluda, SC County judge and some lawyers who have been, and still are, using some of the most devious, illegal, and tormenting tactics that they can devise in order to gain self-profit as they literally destroy the I(E)rving family.
According to Bennie Warren Butler, a 74-year-old, second generation I(E)rving heir, and longtime Saluda, SC resident, "It was Attorney Kathy O. Rushton (Saluda, SC), serving as the Judge/Special Referee/Magistrate in our case, who finally took a very blatantly untruthful complaint written and filed in the court by Attorney Christian G. Spradley (Moore, Taylor Law Firm, P.A., Saluda, SC) and used it in order to outright sell and quiet title my family's 110 acre "homestead", without our knowledge, to Randy A. Barnes and Adam T. Barnes (Batesburg, SC) for $201,000." My grandfather purchased this farmland in 1917 and ever since then, the I(E)rving family had been solely and fully maintaining it (including paying all the taxes, on time, even until January 2014). Judge Rushton and Attorney Spradley also had a hand in the eventual cutting down and removal of the timber that one of my uncles had planted on the property nearly 20 years ago. My family and I, to this day, still don't know when any of this activity took place, nor do we know the amount the timber was sold for, to whom, or even what has happen to any of the money from that transaction."
At present, the 175+ I(E)rving family members, with an indescribable frustration that's increasing daily, are now having to unwillingly come against an "improper" Saluda, SC Court Order obviously designed toward letting this judge and all of the lawyers involved now try and outright take from the I(E)rving heirs a large portion of the money from the sale of their property which is rightfully due to some of the "active" interest holding direct bloodline I(E)rving descendants. [Lawyers involved in this case besides Spradley include 98-year-old, Moore, Taylor Law Firm retired affiliate/partner Attorney Billy C. Coleman (Saluda, SC) who was, at one time, the legal counsel/adviser for the entire I(E)rving family along with Attorney Henrietta Gill (Leesburg, SC) serving as the Guardian ad litem (GAL)]. I(E)rving family names were omitted and calculations were incorrect in this Order. Yet, Judge Rushton signed and had it quickly filed at a so-called "Supplemental Hearing" held on April 22, 2014 at the Saluda Court House.
On May 29, 2014, Judge Rushton, despite her signed Order's illegalities, then allowed Attorney Spradley to go ahead and send out a check to an I(E)rving heir listed on this incorrect Order. After this unlawful move by Rushton and Spradley, Willie B. Heyward (Heirs Property Law Center, Charleston, SC) just threw up his hands and told the I(E)rving family that he was no longer, after 10 years of being the I(E)rving family's counsel, going to try and deal with the shenanigans that are continuing to escalate in this "kangaroo court" that's being operated by this judge and these lawyers in Saluda, SC.
In mid-July 2014, Attorney Spradley, added another insult to injury to the I(E)rving family by starting to spread the bold-faced lie that I(E)rving family members were making threats upon people involved in this court case. The I(E)rving family again contacted the Supreme Court of South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel. According to Rochester Irving (West Columbia, SC), a third generation I(E)rving heir, "My family has submitted complaints to this Counsel since 2004, including documentation of every one of the many wrong-doings that this judge and these lawyers have inflicted upon my family, and yet and still, this Counsel, to date, has dismissed all of our complaints and said that they can't find anything "unethical" about any of these lawyers' actions."
The I(E)rvings' additional search for legal help from the South Carolina Bar Association was just as futile with their receipt of only two referrals for a lawyer licensed to practice in the Saluda County area. In the call to one of the offices located in Lexington, SC, a staff member answering the telephone didn't even know what heirs’ property is. The other attorney (in Aiken, SC) said that heirs’ property issues were just too complicated for him. The SC Bar Association said that they had no other referrals on their list for the Saluda, SC County area and they wished the I(E)rving family much luck in finding counsel. The South Carolina Legal Aid Office said that they don’t handle cases as such that involve money issues. And, a Greenwood Heirs Property Legal staff member said that they, too, are looking for lawyers to handle their heirs' property cases. She said that contract lawyers don’t want these type of cases because they're too time consuming and there isn’t enough money in them.
Additionally, the I(E)rving family has been told by the FBI, the SC Governor's Office, SC General State's Attorney Office, and SC Chief Justice Office that there isn't anything that they can do to help the I(E)rving family in regards to this legal matter. And there's been little to no response resulting from their contact made with every SC Senator and SC Congressional Representative, the White House (President Barak Obama and Vice President Joe Biden), and even all nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Also, in their efforts to seek assistance from The U.S. Justice Department, the I(E)rving family's telephone calls have just been transferred from Department to Department with no positive final connection to anyone.
The National Headquarters of the NAACP (Washington, DC) said that it would have to be a class action or class suit before they even thought about getting involved and therefore referred the family to their South Carolina Chapter lawyer who quickly told the family that he was retired and it really looked like it was too much work for him to take on. Other national organizations contacted but also offering no assistance or response include: the Congressional Black Caucus, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, the ACLU, the Urban League, the National Action Network, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Nation of Islam, and the New Black Panthers Party. Also, an email blast throughout the U.S. went out from the I(E)rving family soliciting for any qualified, tough lawyer who would take on this case. Still to date, there has been no positive response. Unfortunately, the work of many heirs' property advocacy groups contacted over the past decade just doesn't include covering the Saluda, SC County area.
So, should this type of tormenting upon a hard working, tax-paying family like the I(E)rvings be happening in America in 2014?
Does anybody even care that these conniving so-called Saluda, SC legal professionals are making a total mockery of the U.S. Justice System?
Are others going to have to suffer for years as the I(E)rving family has unwillingly had to do so at the hands of such conniving manipulators of the law as Rushton, Spradley, Coleman, Gill, and their cohorts?
The I(E)rving family is being torn apart and literally destroyed.
The I(E)rvings want their property returned to them.
Who can the I(E)rvings NOW turn to for help?