Original complaint : http://www.scribd.com/doc/15605980/Raymone-Bain-vs-Michael-Jackson-lawsuit
Raymone Bain sued MJ on May 5, 2009, alleging that she and MJ signed a Personal Services Agreement that entitles her for the 10% of MJ's incomes from certain projects. The amount of money she claims exceeds 44 million dollars.
MJ's then lawyers filed for a dismissal 8 days before MJ died, claiming that Bain and MJ signed a document on December 27, 2007 that released the defendants from any such liability. After the tragical events the Judge entered a stay, the case could continue 5 months later.
Since then the Judge ruled in the MJ Esate's favour a couple of times, the last time he closed the case on June 8, 2012. Now Bain is back, as she filed for an appeal in the case on June 29, 2012!
She claims that her office received a letter from MJ on April 24, 2008, appr. 4 months after she has been terminated saying the followings:
"I have never terminated your services nor did I null and void any of your Agreements. I know nothing about a release form. I neither authorized or [sic] signed the same. Therefore, I am authorizing you to continue to communicate with Mr. Yakoob
regarding the Sultan [of Brunei]’s property in Las Vegas, and to continue your role as my General Manager and President/COO of The Michael Jackson Company."
Bain says that MJ was seriously interested in buying a permanent resident in Las Vegas at the time.
Furthermore she claims that this letter has been moved from her office by a consultant of The Michael Jackson Company LLC, and was returned only around July, 2010. On the top of that she says that the 2007 release does not seem to be signed by MJ.
On the grounds of the above new foundings, Bains wants the case to be re-opened. Unfortunately I couldn't find physical traces of the letter she mentioned.
By the way, Bain did not spend a single minute in prison. Her 90 days sentencing has been suspended, and she is on a 60 months probation period now. On the top of that she has to contribute 200 hours of community service, and pay her due taxes (over 200.000 dollars).
- Bain sat down with John Branca and Howard Weitzman in late 2009, when the Estate Administrators offered to settle her case. Bain insists that she would have been open to settle, however her lawyers advised her not to contact them.
- Bain has been invited to the Jackson Family event for the first anniversary of MJ's death.
I have the copy of the letter from a previous court filing
Although Bain has filed an appeal she failed to file some documents and she does not have a lawyer representing her business (businesses are required to be represented by a lawyer).
After claiming she didn't get some of court notifications in the mail and two extensions, she's at her last extension. Court says
Response to order due 02/19/2013. Failure to respond shall result in dismissal of the case for lack of prosecution.
Bain met the deadline, has a lawyer and made her points.
It's all about the letter. How she only found the letter after the court decision and the court is being wrong by not considering it.
She needs to either find a lawyer to represent her or make an argument to the court as to why they should not dismiss the appeal.
APPELLANT Brief due 04/11/2013. Appendix due 04/11/2013.
APPELLEE Brief due on 05/13/2013.
APPELLANT Reply Brief due 05/28/2013
Update: All of the briefs have been filed. Today (oct 21) the court has set a date for the oral arguments it is December 06, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. After the oral argument it will be waiting for a decision from the appellate court.
Bain's argument for appeal has been pretty much the same.
A short recap of everything :
Bain is hired by MJ, she later becomes more than a publicist and she has agreement of a 10% fee. There have been unpaid salaries etc, later she gets paid and she is asked to sign a release form that says MJ doesn't own her anything. She signs it. Bain in her motions say she believed it was only about the unpaid salaries debt and not a termination. Anyway soon after this her communications with Michael gets less and less and ends. She files a lawsuit against Michael, later the Estate for the 10% fee from many of the deals such as Thriller 25 and even TII.
Her lawsuit against Estate gets dismissed at summary judgment mainly based on the release form. Court rules that as she signed the form saying MJ doesn't own anything to her, there's no case.
After the decision Bain finds a letter that was faxed to her by MJ that said he did not know anything about a release form and he did not terminate her. She argued this was newly discovered evidence. The court did not agree and kept their summary judgment of dismissing the case.
In appeal Bain makes the same argument. She found the letter MJ sent her after the courts decision and court made an error by not allowing it as a newly discovered evidence. She also argues that
- Michael said to her he would not sign the release and the authenticity of his signature on the release is doubtful
- the release form was about past debt due and not the fees due after it was signed
- bain signed the release form under duress and fraud
- bain states she knew about the letter but could not find it and the file the letter was in (Sultan of Brunei file) was taken from her office by a consultant of MJ. Bain also states as she could not find it, she did not mention the letter in her motions.
- the consultant returns the file to her after the summary judgment and that's when she finds the letter and she asked the lower court to reverse its summary judgment based on that newly discovered evidence.
- Bain argues that the lower court made a mistake by not allowing the newly discovered evidence. Court said as Bain knew about the letter it cannot be considered as a "newly discovered".
- Bain also argues that she showed due diligence in searching for the letter however the court disagreed as she did not notify the court about the missing letter. Court stated she should have told the court the existence of the letter and ask time to locate it.
- Bain also blames (and also sued) her lawyers claiming they made mistakes.
Estate's reply brief includes
- Bain knew about the alleged letter but never mentioned it.
- known letter cannot be "newly discovered". they state Bain admitted to knowing about the letter and just did not know its whereabouts.so she could and should have mentioned the letter.
- the consultant who has taken away the file from her office is never identified
- the consultant did not provide an affidavit confirming how and when the file was taken from Bain's office.
- a reasonable person would have asked the consultant who took away some files if the letter was in the files or at least notify the court about the letters existence and ask time for discovery of it.
- letter is faxed so it's authenticity isn't determined. Origin, source of transmission and MJ's signature is not authenticated.
- letter might not make any difference to the outcome of the case. MJ's letter doesn't cancel the release, it just states he denies the knowledge of the release. Estate states that not only Bain signed the release but received the money mentioned in the release.
- Estate questions Bain's version of events. In her affidavit she writes both "in her wildest imagination she would not suspect the box containing information about houses" would include the letter but in other parts she state she looked for Sultan of Brueni file. (Michael's letter also mentions Sultan's house)
- Bain claims a real estate consultant have removed the files to look over the houses in 2008 and returned them in 2010. Estate states that Bain never contacted the consultant to ask for the files, never contacted MJ (when alive) or MJ Lawyers to ask if they still have a copy of the letter and never notified the court and ask for courts help and time to locate the letter.
Bain's reply consists of
- detailed arguments about what is "newly discovered"
- arguing Bain showed due diligence in searching for the letter
- argues that the letter is authenticated through Bain's statements and no contrary evidence is presented by the Estate
- argues that the letter states Michael never signed the release and therefore it would make a huge impact on the case
Oral arguments have been completed last friday (december 6th). Now we wait.