Law Office Report 45, August 8, 1978

[Editor’s note: There are three copies of the following Law Office report. Since the third copy has annotations, it is the one that has been transcribed. The first two copies have the same original text, but without annotations.]

B5b(5a)

Law Office report #45
August 8, 1978
from June [Crym]
page 1

Following are recaps of people who have said they’re ready to go within the next 2 months, but who have legal problems. Some of these can be resolved and don’t affect their traveling. This is not complete, there will be more as we reach them. The list comes to about 30.

1. Melissa Jackson – In March 1978 she got a 6 month temporary restraining order against Ronald Jackson preventing him from visiting the children, because he had violated his visitation order and arrived unannounced on the weekend when he wasn’t scheduled to see the children. The court granted her the order. Her six months are up at the end of August 1978. Ronald Jackson has not tried to reach her or see the kids, that she knows of. She has relatives in Oklahoma, an aunt, of whom Ronald Jackson knows but he does not know where she lives. Melissa could travel to visit her aunt and stay there for a while before traveling any farther. She is on AFDC – if she doesn’t mailing in the notice she gets every month from AFDC, she will just automatically cut off – so if she were to travel and not send in the notice, she would just be removed from the AFDC roll. She is interested in making the trip. Ludella and the 2 children would go with her. They have no money other than the welfare check and Ludella’s Social Security. [Annotation: “[illegible word] – he is big trouble – she has an order restraining her from taking their kids out of the state and we know it. E. [Eugene Chaikin]”] [second note by Harriet Tropp: “If we did this, I am certain that Ronald Jackson will blow somebody away.”]

2. Bernice White – she takes care of her 2 grandchildren, Lugenia Germany, aged 8 and Aresha Morras, age 1 year 4 months. The mom is Carolyn Ratliff, who used to attend but has not been for at least a year. Both fathers of the children were never married to Carolyn. Lugenia’s dad has since married someone else. Aresha’s dad is a heroin addict. Both dads visit from time to time. Aresha’s dad once stole her for 12 hours, the police were called and they told him never to take the child again. Lugenia’s mom got her her passport; Aresha doesn’t have passport yet. Ted Holliday has been seeing Carolyn Ratliff about twice a week and Bernice says this is having a favorable influence in encouraging Carolyn’s attitude toward the church and toward having the 2 children travel overseas with Bernice. Carolyn does not have a passport herself. Bernice sings in the choir, comes to every service, has a positive attitude. [Annotation: “Carolyn Ratliff is crazy. If we take those kids we are really looking for trouble! I say no. E.”]

3. Lessie Alexander – had a bus accident in April 1977, as a lawyer handling it, she filed a claim against the insurance company; waiting for case to be settled. I told her that this wouldn’t necessarily keep her from going over because several other people who had been in the same situation went and when their settlements came through, we just sent their papers over. She is enthusiastic about going, at one time was all packed, and could get ready again. I don’t think this should hold her back. [Annotation: “OK. E.”]

4. Ruby Lee Neal – her grandson, Andy Neal, age 13, stays with her. The mom, Dolores Scott, is not in the church – was going to sign permission for him to go but now since the newspapers have come out with all the lies, she’s hesitating. The child’s dad, who is Ruby’s son, is unmarried to Dolores Scott, doesn’t care one way or the other. Ruby is Cordell Neal’s mom, who is already over there. [Annotation: “No consent, no come. E.”] [second note by Harriet Tropp: “Right. Maybe the Rev. Moore’s statement will have some effect on her.”]

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Law Office report #45
August 8, 1978
from June
page 2

5. Mary Donnell – husband in Los Angeles, an electrician, has legal visitation rights; they are divorced. We have copy of her divorce order. She visited him this summer to get his permission to take the children with her; he refused to sign anything and instead wanted her to sign papers for him to keep the children and she traveled alone to Guyana. He pays child support to the court; she’s on AFDC. The children are Esque Lee Donnell III, page 7, and Debra Lynn Donnell, age 10. Mary has relatives in Ohio. When she visited him she told him she was going to take the kids to visit her relatives in Ohio. He told her to call him when she went, but he made no fuss about them going to Ohio. She said he knows that when she got there, the relatives would try to make her stay, meaning that chances are he wouldn’t see her or the kids again. But he still didn’t object, his main objection was to the children being taken out of the USA. [Marginal note: “No.”] I would think that if she were to visit her relatives and then decide to go further on, she should not mention to the relatives her destination because they would just pass it on to him. All the children have passports. [Annotation: “Legal problem. E.”] [second note by Harriet Tropp: “Very astute.”]

6. Washington Sanders – Washington’s nephew’s attorney, Henry Gross, who is an old friend of Charles Garry’s, volunteered to help terminate the conservatorship of Garrison and said he would do the court appearance. I sent him the accounting of the estate which Chaikin and Garrison signed; and the next thing is for Gross to file a petition in court to terminate the conservatorship. Then Sanders can travel on his own, the money will be his own and no longer in a special account and he will be free from the jurisdiction of the court. Gross didn’t seem to think it would be any problem. Andy called the nephew and told him what we were doing and the nephew agreed, and said okay. I will have to keep in touch with Gross to see how soon the whole thing will be over with. [Annotation: “Good. E.”]

7. Carolyn Walls – she was shopping in Oakland shopping center, and a store which was situated among many which opened out onto a mall and she picked up a necklace chain and put it in her pocket, walked out of the store after having walk around for some time. She says she forgot all about the chain and had every intention of paying for it. She was being watched and was stopped when she left the store to go into another store; they took her back in and would not let her pay for the chain. She is charged with petty theft and has to report for court hearing this week. Monday we are having Maxine Betts go into the public defender’s office with Carolyn and explained that Carolyn is diabetic and can’t serve time in jail; that she’s on disability and has arthritis; that she shops there in that same store a lot, in fact had several items on layaway and explained that this was just a misunderstanding, she had forgotten about the chain; and that she is respected in the community, no prior record, etc. Before she came to us, she went to a private detective in Oakland, a guy who had been involved in a lawsuit with her in 1959 who had been hired by her attorney then, and asked him to help her. He said he would get her off, but the next day he demanded that she pay him $150 or she would serve time in Santa Rita. That’s when she came to us… Today is Monday – Maxine went in with her to see p.d.; it went well, the p.d. doesn’t think she would be found guilty, or at worst he could get her on a six month’s work furlough type program with no jail time. Will know more this week. [Annotation: “OK.”]

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Law Office report #45
August 8, 1978
from June
page 3

8. Eric Upshaw and Maureen Odell – 2 months ago they were traveling to Santa Barbara with Eric’s mom Ann Peterson, in Betty McCann’s car. Maureen was driving. They pulled over to the side of the road after their car hit an object (I’m not sure what) that was in the middle of the road. Another party drove by also. When both cars started back into the flow of traffic, they were sideswiped by another car. Eric’s leg was caught between the door and the car and got hurt, though it doesn’t appear too bad because he was walking shortly afterwards. Maureen’s back got fractured and she’s had severe headaches and back pain ever since; her doctor put her on disability this week and told her to stay off work for 2 weeks. She’s wearing a neck brace. Ann Immediately went to a doctor and got x-rays taken. I referred Eric to Clarence Wilridge, attorney, and also Maureen. If there is a settlement to be obtained, they and Ann will all share it. Eric and Maureen both are still under doctors’ care. [Annotation by Harriet Tropp: “Why aren’t Maureen Odell and Eric Upshaw here? Obviously it’s not the issue at hand, but I thought I’d ask.”]

9. Jean Alexander Gibson – mother of Mark Gibson. Last month Mark was picked up with some other young guys by the cops and charged with petty theft, breaking and entering a house. Mark said he didn’t do anything but at the last minute admitted to Guy Young that he had been present when the thing happened, but that it was the other guys that did it, not him. Guy advised him to plead guilty and try to bargain it down. Mark’s had no prior offenses, so it didn’t seem that he would get any heavy sentence. When the police originally called Jean and told her they were holding her son, she told him it must be some mistake, her son was a member of PT and did nothing wrong… On July 25 Mark had his juvenile court hearing, and he was put on probation. The order says that he is made a ward of the Juvenile Court, that he is to reside in the home of his mother under special orders of probation, that he is to have a juvenile court progress report 12/22/78 in court, and 7/20/79 he is to have a wardship review by the court. Since Mark is now a ward of the court, and seems to be for at least another year, this makes it much more difficult for Jean to travel. She is also the mother of Lisa Gibson, age 15.

Jean talked to me today about time to get official custody of her children back from her husband, who is in Louisiana and who in the divorce was apparently granted legal custody of the children. I told her to wait, [Marginal note: “Right.”] that lots of times moving ahead like that just stirs up muddy waters and where the dad might not have had any interest or cared to hear from any of the children, if she should go to an attorney and try to get official custody, the dad might suddenly change his mind and demand the children to be with him. She will get a copy of the divorce order from the court for our records. It would seem to me that now that Mark is on probation, either he gets permission from the court to be on probation in Guyana and the whole family goes there; or we wait for his probation to be up in a year. I would recommend the latter; [Marginal note: “Right.”] if she should take him on probation to Guyana and get court permission here to have him serve probation in Guyana, obviously the whole family is traceable to Guyana by the dad, should he try to contact any of them here. He does keep in contact with Lisa, apparently. [Annotation in Eugene Chaikin’s handwriting: “Dad is pissed! Jean is nuts!”]

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Law Office report #45
August 8, 1978
from June
page 4

10. Ethel (Pumpkin) Winters – she had been taking care of her sister’s baby, Renée, from the last year+. Her sister told her this week that she would not let Pumpkin take the child to Guyana, since the sister believes what she’s reading in the papers. Pumpkin is disturbed about it but has declared twice to Phyllis, that she wants to go with her own baby and that’s that. She was trying to adopt the sister’s baby and had seen an attorney about it, but realizes that it is not possible right now and seems to have made her mind up. What she tells us and what she tells her companion Steve McIntosh seems to be 2 different stories, because he came to Phyllis and told her that Pumpkin was going to try to get Renee back and still try for adoption. But after Phyllis talk to Pumpkin once again, last night, Pumpkin still insisted that she wanted to go over and not trying to get Renée back. I would suggest Pumpkin and her baby go over as soon as possible. [Annotation: “OK. E.”]

11. Marie Mills – Marie obviously won’t be going soon, but here are the facts because they have changed somewhat. [Marginal note in Eugene Chaikin’s handwriting: “No way”]

She has the following children with her, all with different situations: Robert Mills, age 14, and Carol Mills, age 12, her grandchildren. Marie’s son is the father of the children. He lives in Kansas City, Mo. he is divorced from the mother, who lives in Arizona with their stepfather. The natural father has visitation rights but does not exercise them. Marie has had Carol since the child was 5 years old; before that, Carol was with her dad from the age of 2. Marie has had Robert since he was 7. Early this year the stepfather and mother came to visit, and in dropping Robert and Carol off at the back gate of the church for Marie, observed our security, and didn’t like it. They wrote Marie a letter later,  saying they wanted their children back and they didn’t like PT. The children haven’t gone back and refuse to do so. Out of all the children that Marie has with her, this is the most difficult case, and at least the children are not wards of the court, they are related to Marie, as she has had them for years, so she is thinking of sometime filing for freedom from custody and control for them.

Mary Fonseca, age 14 – She is foster child, niece of Marie’s husband. Marie and her husband are presently adopting her, have filed adoption petition, had one home visit, one more to go. Mother and father of child both agreed to adoption, no opposition.

Lee Ann Thompson – Marie is her legal guardian; Kay Rosas her natural mother.

Ronald Wilburn, age 9 – Foster child. Marie talked to social worker about adoption. Court review last in June 1978, one more year in court. Will be adopted eventually, but not to be started till Keith Edwards adoption is finished.

Keith Edwards, age 8 – foster child, already came adoption proceedings. Welfare dept approved adoption, court appearance already done, accepted as adoptive parents. Goes back to court formalizing adopting order. Probably in December.

Kevin Richardson, age 6, brother of Ronald Wilburn. When Keith is adopted, then the welfare adoption agency will start Kevin and Ronald’s adoption. All of these are underway – the main thing with Marie is time. Also, her husband does not come to church; he used to irregularly. He is not hostile, and he has his passport. He is also an alcoholic. He and Marie are both the adopting parents. She wanted me to add this in the report since when time comes for them to go once they have all the children as theirs, she would want for him to go too. But that is a long way down the road.

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Law Office report #45
August 8, 1978
from June
page 5

12. Jessimere Harris and children – This is another one that will take time. [Marginal note: “Good! E.”] Jessimere is the mother of O’Neal Ramey, age 16. Jessimere is the legal guardian of Willie Dandy, age 16. Willie is on probation through San Bernardino court for misdemeanor as well as a felony for 2 years. William Sweeney, age 13, is Jessimere’s grandson, has been with her since 1971. His mom signed power of attorney for Jessimere undertaken to Guyana. His mom lives in San Bernardino. David Sweeney, Jessimere’s grandson, age 14, has been with her since 1971. He is on 2 year probation for same offense as Willie Dandy out of San Bernardino court. Tyrone Sweeney, age 11, is Jessimere’s grandson, has been with her since 1971. His mom also signed power of attorney for him to go with Jessimere. Michael Miles is 18 years old, NGO in San Bernardino for 6 more months. John Miles is 19 years old, in jail for unknown length of time for rape. Paul Miles was made ward of court and court appointed Jessimere to have him. He is on probation for petty theft. He was 17 last month. If and when Jessimere goes over, she would also want to take her 86-year-old infirm aunt who does not attend service. Arletha Arnold says that her aunt, named Willie Porter, wants to go and has her passport.

[Pages B5b(3a) – (3e) duplicate B5b(5a) – (5e), without annotations]

[Pages B5b(4a) – (4e) duplicate B5b(5a) – (5e), without annotations]

Originally posted on March 23rd, 2021.

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