Friday, June 19, 2015

The legacy of Precious continues. Crystal Martin tries to seal the case.

Crystal Martin apparently filed a motion to seal the case of State Farm v. Crystal Wise Martin and Brandi Barnett two weeks ago.  The motion to seal itself was filed under seal but Brandi Barnett filed a response Monday that stated it was a motion to seal the case.  Mrs. Martin is the wife of the now-deceased Precious Martin.  Mrs. Martin and Brandi Barnett both dispute who should be the proper beneficiary of a  $500,272 life insurance policy held by Mr. Martin that named Ms. Barnett as the beneficiary. Crystal Martin also said Ms. Barnett lived in a home owned by Precious Martin and accused her of "seducing" her husband as she sued her for alienation of affection. The case has been assigned to Judge Henry Wingate.   The response states:

On May 29, 2015, Defendant Martin filed a motion to seal this entire case...

 The Court granted by text order the ore tenus request to file the Motion to Seal under seal. There is no record as to the reasons Defendant Martin gave to the Court for such a request.

4. When filing the Motion to Seal, Defendant Martin’s counsel intentionally did not select the “Seal” option in the electronic filing and left the text for the docket sheet blank so no member of the public would have a clue as to what type of motion she was filing.

Based on these actions it is clear Defendant Martin wants to request the Court to prevent the public from having access to the Court records for this case, and does not want to give the public the opportunity to oppose her motion.

6. This type of conduct is improper, and should not be allowed by the Court. If Defendant Martin wants to prevent the public access to the Court’s records, then she should be required to allow the public the opportunity to respond such requests. The public clearly has an interest in such records based on the media’s publication of them.

Ms. Barnett then argues Mrs. Martin can't argue an alienation of affection case while keeping out evidence that the Martins might not exactly have had a rock-solid marriage:

Even now Defendant Martin continues to claim in her motion to seal that allegations of past affairs by Precious Martin are irrelevant, but completely fails to explain why it would be irrelevant. Merely making a legal conclusion of irrelevancy is not enough. Defendant Barnett has explained in her motion and reply why such allegations are relevant, and Defendant Martin simply does not respond to the argument.

10. Defendant Martin has been provided a copy of Defendant Barnett’s pre-discovery disclosures, which contain a lot more sensitive than what has been placed in the public record. Had Defendant Barnett simply wanted to disclose embarrassing alleged facts so the media would pick them up she could have done so a lot earlier in the case with a lot more detail. Defendant Barnett is willing to e-mail the Court her pre-discovery disclosures and discovery responses so they will not be part of the public record, and the Court will be able to ascertain the restraint Defendant Barnett has used in her case.
Attorney Nick Norris then makes his closing argument in favor of keeping the case open to the public and media:

The public has a clear right to the court record in this case just like any other case. There is no trade secret, patent, or other private information in the current case that would justify the sealing of an entire case. Defendant Martin had no problem filing public documents alleging Defendant Barnett had intentionally seduced Precious Martin into having an adulterous affair with her, and that Defendant Barnett intentionally tried to end their marriage. However, when embarrassing allegations are filed against Defendant Martin she files a motion to seal under seal so even the public has no idea what she is requesting. Defendant Martin should not be allowed to use the public court record to her benefit when she chooses, and then choose to close the public court record merely because she does not like what she sees.

 If the Court were to seal the entire record merely because embarrassing allegations were filed in the public record most civil cases would have to sealed. In most civil cases that are filed before this Court there is some allegation that a party could claim is embarrassing.
 The two sides have sparred in court since the original filings in September.  Cross-claims, counterclaims, motions to dismiss, all the weapons of legal warfare have been used at some point in  this case.  Mrs. Martin is represented by attorney Chuck McRae.

Kingfish note: Mrs. Martin can't have it both ways.  She is the one who contested what appears to be a valid life insurance claim by Brandi Barnett.  It was she who filed the alienation of affection lawsuit.   She had to know that would invite a response by Mrs. Barnett.  Children are not the issue of the contract (Life insurance policy) nor of the alienation of affection lawsuit.  There are no minors involved anywhere in this case although Mrs. Martin is probably trying to argue she wants to protect her children from seeing this case as the basis for her motion to seal the case.  She even cites a sealed exhibit from this website in one of her sealed filings.  There is no reason Judge Wingate should seal this case. Period.

<i>JJ</i> is reviewing legal options and will make a decision about the motion to seal at the appropriate time.

Earlier posts
The catfight over Precious Martin continues.

Alienation defendant: Precious had no affections to lose.
Wife & alleged mistress of Precious Martin slug it out in court.


Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Crystal Martin has little character anyway. Her allegations on her radio show have been horrible toward an elected official and his wife. What gives with her? Her behavior is not that of one who "wants to protect the children". Even I heard about Precious having a mistress and a home west of Jackson shortly after his death. Just plain common behavior to even sue the mistress. Particularly if she knew about her prior to Precious' death.

Anonymous said...

Wingate will not tolerate this one bit.

Anonymous said...

What gives? 500,000$$$$$$$$ it ain't got nothin to do with character its $500,000.

Hinjosa said...

Why is this in Federal court?

Anonymous said...

Out of state insurance company is a party to the case. Provides diversity jurisdiction. And I guess the alienation claim was joined.

KF, has the insurer not inter pleaded the proceeds?

And this just dawned on me. Back when Precious was pushing 500, the policy couldn't have been cheap.

Anonymous said...

Policy didn't start until the weight loss. It was not more than a year or so old as per previous posts detailing the policy. The premiums payments weren't that lengthy. It would seem that the wife could sue for half of the premium payments that came from joint finances during marriage? How does the wife justify asking for the entire amount if she is not a named beneficiary of a fairly new policy?

Anonymous said...

Miss all those cockneyed 'shout-outs' from Precious on the radio. Very, very funny.

Kingfish said...

I'm not approving your comment for a reason. Shoot me and email and I'll explain why.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the Martin children (as well as the mistress' chikdren, if she has any?). The adults in their lives have no morals or class. What a legacy Precious left. I wish these people would take their trashy lawsuits and go away.

Anonymous said...

So, you'll approve comments insinuating that certain public officials might be/have been homosexual (Sweet Thread), but censor those that are based on public record? I see.

As a person who attended and supposedly graduated from law school, surely you know you cannot be held accountable for allowing a poster to cite part of a public record on your blog.

Kingfish said...

Homesexual? Um, Too Sweet is his street name. Have no clue what his orientation is nor do I care.

I told you to shoot me an email and I would nicely explain it to you.

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