Suit looking to halt distribution of James Brown’s trust dismissed

  • Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:25 a.m.

An Illinois woman who claimed James Brown “disinherited” his children and had no intention for his assets to be passed to them, has had a federal court claim looking to halt any disbursement of his assets dismissed.

Jacquelyne Hollander, 55, who worked for Brown in the late 1980s, filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court for South Carolina demanding a judge “stay the distribution of trust assets until I have an opportunity to be heard fairly and impartially, as a claimant.”

S.C. Circuit Court Judge Doyet A. “Jack” Early III, who oversaw the state lawsuits related to Brown’s estate and the “James Brown I Feel Good” Irrevocable Trust, and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson were both named in the lawsuit filed in September 2011.

Hollander claimed she and Brown worked on the trust in the 1980s and that at that time she was a partner with the Godfather of Soul as a public relations representative and later a songwriter. As a partner in the setup of the trust, Hollander believes she must be heard and be able to exert control over the distribution of funds.

The estate was, after years of legal wrangling, settled with 25 percent going to Brown’s spouse Tomi Rae Hynie, 25 percent going to his heirs and 50 percent to the trust.

Hollander believes Brown’s intention was to have 100 percent of his estate transferred to the child welfare trust.

Hollander filed against Wilson as, she believes, she was mistreated and then ignored by the Attorney General’s Office from 2007 onwards. She claims that in the months following Brown’s December 2006 death, Sonny Jones of the Attorney General’s Office, enlisted her help with issues related to the Brown estate. This included Hollander driving items from her home in Illinois to South Carolina. The items are only described as “evidence” in her claim.

However, as the case continued, she alleges Jones refused to return, or even answer, her calls.

Hollander has seen numerous attempts fail on the state and federal levels to enter the proceedings related to Brown’s estate. She has claimed that more than 100 lawyers in South Carolina have refused to take her case due to “fear over political retribution” or conflicts of interest.

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