The last time we blogged about the Rosa Parks estate fight going on in a Detroit area probate court, it appeared as if the legal dispute had finally come to an end. However, a lawyer representing one of the parties in that dispute has now filed a new lawsuit alleging that the judge and two of the court-appointed attorneys involved in the case have conspired with one another to effectively loot the late civil rights icon’s estate of funds.
Rosa Parks died in 2005, and ever since then her nieces and nephews have been battling with representatives of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development over who controls her estate property. Early on in the case, probate Judge Freddie Burton Jr. appointed two attorneys, John Chase Jr. and Melvin Jefferson Jr., to act as representatives of the estate.
The lawsuit filed recently claims that since then the two attorneys have charged the estate for about $500,000 in legal fees, and left the estate with about $88,000 in debts. The lawsuit claims that the judge conspired with the two attorneys to reduce the Parks estate of its value. It asks, in part, the judge to recuse himself from any further Parks probate proceedings.
Legal experts have raised doubts about the viability of the claim, noting that while disagreeing with a court ruling is one thing, suing a judge and attorneys for conspiracy is a much different matter. A hearing on the petition is coming within the month.