Children want trustees fired

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AIKEN - Six of James Brown's children have filed a petition to remove the trustees of the estate, one day after a confrontation at the music legend's home between the men and his son-in-law.

Brown  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Brown

The petition, filed in Aiken County Probate Court on Wednesday, demands that the trustees be removed as Mr. Brown's personal representatives, including longtime adviser Buddy Dallas.

A hearing has been scheduled in probate court at 11 a.m. Feb. 1.

The 33-page document alleges that Mr. Dallas, Alford Bradley and David G. Cannon have mismanaged the estate.

What the children want, Atlanta attorney Louis Levenson said, is for someone else to execute Mr. Brown's will.

The biggest concern, he said, is "that the estate and trust and wishes of James Brown be carried out neutrally by someone who has no interest in the outcome."

Mr. Levenson represents the six children named in the singer's will - Terry Brown, Larry Brown, Daryl Brown, Venisha Brown, Deanna Brown Thomas and Yamma Brown Lumar - and multiple grandchildren.

Mr. Dallas said Wednesday evening that he hadn't seen the petition yet.

"These are the same children who sued their own father," he said. "So I shouldn't have expected any less."

Mr. Dallas denied that there's been any wrongdoing by himself or the other trustees, saying that there has been no tension until a confrontation Tuesday.

Mr. Dallas said he and the other trustees were chosen by Mr. Brown to represent the estate once the singer died.

"I guess if we were replaced we would be replaced by his children," Mr. Dallas said. "But had that been Mr. Brown's wishes, he would" have done that himself.

Mr. Brown died Christmas Day at age 73. His will, which was filed last week in Aiken County Probate Court, stated that his "personal and household effects" would be divided "in approximately equal shares" between six of his children.

The bulk of his holdings and music empire are separate in the trust.

Among the allegations in the petition are that Mr. Brown's liquid assets are in danger of being "lost or dissipated or stolen" if the court does not step in.

It also alleges that the trustees have not provided to the children accounts of the singer's assets or records relating to the irrevocable trust, have removed papers and documents from secret locations in the home and have banned them from the Beech Island estate.

Much of the controversy surrounding Mr. Brown's estate has centered on Tomi Rae Hynie Brown and her 5-year-old son, James Brown II. The two were not mentioned in the will, which was drafted more than a year before the marriage and more than 10 months before the boy was born.

The legality of the couple's marriage and the paternity of the child have been questioned, and Mrs. Brown has vowed to fight the will.

But a different conflict erupted shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday, when the husband of Deanna Brown Thomas called the Aiken County Sheriff's Office to 430 Douglas Drive in Beech Island.

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Michael Frank said Shawn Thomas was "upset that a group of five individuals who are trustees and attorneys for Mr. Brown's estate were at his property, apparently there to look at the property."

Mr. Dallas said Mr. Thomas used his vehicle to block the entrance to the estate, a confrontation that also involved Mr. Cannon and Mr. Bradley.

Rodney Peeples, a former judge also working as co-counsel on the estate, also was blocked from leaving.

Strom Thurmond Jr., a probate attorney working on Mr. Brown's estate, left before the entrance was blocked.

Mr. Dallas said Mr. Thomas was in an "agitated state," and told the trustees that they were trespassing.

As representatives of Mr. Brown's estate and trust, the attorneys are responsible for itemizing and appraising his assets. Mr. Dallas said the attorneys were visiting the property to "attend to estate business and a security" matter.

Mr. Thomas asked sheriff's Deputy Kevin Blackwell to search the attorneys, Lt. Frank said.

"That's something we would not do," he said. "That's private property and that's a civil issue. Once the deputy found out why they were there, they were allowed to go on their way."

No incident report was written on the confrontation, and the deputy left Mr. Brown's residence about 30 minutes after he arrived, Lt. Frank said.

RESTRAINING ORDER

To read the emergency petition go to this story at click here.

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disgustedwithaugusta
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disgustedwithaugusta 01/25/07 - 04:02 am
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Does this really shock

Does this really shock anyone? Ladies and Gentleman-- stock up on the popcorn and coke .... this is going to be fun!!!

patnicc
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patnicc 01/25/07 - 04:35 am
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I knew this was coming. It's

I knew this was coming. It's going to be a real showdown for the next 15 to 20 years. The Word is GREED! GREED! GREED!

southiegal
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southiegal 01/25/07 - 05:11 am
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All parties should have met &

All parties should have met & entered together. No ifs, ands or buts about it! Greed is a horrible thing & makes people go crazy.

jackragg
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jackragg 01/25/07 - 07:27 am
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It seems that a will just

It seems that a will just doesn't mean so much these days.You spend all that money to have your wishes carried out after your death, and then everybody just ignores them.Or even worse, think that they knew your intentions better than you.

september 5th
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september 5th 01/25/07 - 08:16 am
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imagine that! the children

imagine that! the children are now made w/ the attorney! if these children had been smart they would have embraced the wife and together they could have made a fight for the money...now i hope the wife gets all the money and that she will require the "so-called" children to have paternity tests before she give them some of james brown's old records! let's be real there are only two children that look anything like james brown..the lady that was dancing that looks like his twin and the little 5 year old (everybody else is questionable considering the fact that apparently james brown slept with any and everybody..i am waiting for more children to come out of the woodworks! also, it is obvious that buddy dallas is a poor attorney because after he got james brown to sign everything over to him-he never advised james brown to update his will..we all know that james brown only had a 3rd grade education and an honorary doctorate-so what do you think? i hope the wife gets everything..she deserves it!! haha!

NEOSLDY
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NEOSLDY 01/25/07 - 08:36 am
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can't james brown's family

can't james brown's family and friends agree to lay him to rest, then fight about his belongings.

TT
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TT 01/25/07 - 08:47 am
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This is directed to surprise,

This is directed to surprise, the horrible things that you are posting aren't called for. This is a very serious matter going on, if this would have been your family maybe you would have made different choices! The matter at hand is a bit troubled,in stead of being sarcastic and negative turn this into something positive and pray that this matter gets resolved in a decent and orderly fashion. God is in control of ALL no matter what! I've added you to my prayer list as well..God bless you!

fergie01
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fergie01 01/25/07 - 08:47 am
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well now the kids know how

well now the kids know how tomi rae feels. good for them. they should have included her more. they would have made a great stand together. i agree greed is a terrible thing. as i said before cruddy dallas is a thief.

colgate
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colgate 01/25/07 - 08:48 am
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Where is our quarterback?

Where is our quarterback? Girl, you better get your tail in this game. Now we got even more legal people w/the estate. What assets did they need to itemize and appraise? What security matters? Keeping anyone other than them ( and one turncoat son) off the property? The trustees' are even in charge of distributing the personal effects to the children. No way. As Big D continues to scandalize everybodys' name that questions him, he better make sure he don't end up in lockup. He was almost there yesterday. Can you imagine? Big D in lockup at the Aiken county jail? All these times Big D has been in the house ( taking everything he could get his hands on I'm sure) he should have already made a list of the assets) Why do you need an ex-judge and Strom Thurmond to look at it? He's trying to get rich along w/ his buddies. I don't care of all the children blow every dime of the money it should go to them not these lawyers.
Why is it greed to expect more than "personal effects" from a man as wealthy as their dad? Mr. Brown should have gotten an entertainment attorney instead of these 10,,11,,12,, local yokels
to handle this matter.

colgate
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colgate 01/25/07 - 08:53 am
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Shawn man, I'm glad you took

Shawn man, I'm glad you took the day off to keep your eye on everything. But you're just the son-in-law man. Mr. D, these people may not would have done this or that (according to you) if their father were alive. But the fact of the matter is he's not, so things are going to be different now. I don't think this situation is goingaccording to protocol. You may get your ... kicked.
Paging Tomi Rae!!!!
Please call your attorney
GO TEAM TOMI RAE!!!!!!!!!!!

amazed1
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amazed1 01/25/07 - 08:54 am
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I'm sure that if James could

I'm sure that if James could see what is going on with his family, he would be so embaressed. Bury the man and let him rest in peace.

mrraymondmicheal
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mrraymondmicheal 01/25/07 - 09:01 am
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its apparent that the

its apparent that the attorneys cant be trusted or his older kids. i pray that little james jr is his child and tomi rae can get her act together so he can be taken care of. the bottom line is james brown made alot of mistakes financially because of his limited education so he had to trust alot of snakes including his own children. no one will ever truly know what james brown really wanted.i think the he was ill-informed and swindled by buddy dallas but who could he really trust? old age and the angel of death took him before he could make any changes, if he wanted to.one day the truth will be revealed but we all may be dead and gone ourselves before it does.

colgate
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colgate 01/25/07 - 09:19 am
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He probably didn't give them

He probably didn't give them anything at least not on the scale of the kind of money he had when he was alive. I know people like that. They try to be funny with their own family.
How could Mr. Brown be embarrased? All that stuff he did that made the papers. Please. My man was all the way live. I still loved him though. That's why I say those vultures, I mean lawyers better watch out. Don't get a black man or women real [filtered word]. They may come out swinging.

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 01/25/07 - 09:28 am
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Ain't no one gonna rip off

Ain't no one gonna rip off the estate before the kids do...some in-laws close to the Godfather have been known to commit insurance fraud in the past as thier major source of income...before hooking up with JB, that is. Some folks will never change. This is so very sad, and should serve as a reminder to us all to get our affairs in order, so our families won't have any question as to our wishes.

misscj0123
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misscj0123 01/25/07 - 09:51 am
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If James Brown was alive to

If James Brown was alive to see this, he'd be disgusted. These people should be ashamed!

september 5th
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september 5th 01/25/07 - 10:00 am
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"tt" do you think there was

"tt" do you think there was any truth to what i stated? was does the fact that james brown had some many women claiming that he fathered their children mean that he slept around? or do you think they all were test tube babies?

WW1949
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WW1949 01/25/07 - 10:00 am
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When someone dies and leaves

When someone dies and leaves a will it has to be probated and all assets have to be verified. That is the job of the trustee's who are the representitives of the estate. It's obvious Mr. Brown didn't trust his children or he would have picked one of them as the trustee. He most likely knew what would happen and now it is happening as it always does when you have greedy people involved.

janet58
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janet58 01/25/07 - 10:02 am
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Sadly enough, the courts will

Sadly enough, the courts will only recognize the will with the latest date. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Brown didn't update his will even after 6-7 years with Tomi, and after the birth of their son named after him! If his children are correct, in that the Trustees are abusing their power, all Buddy Dallas would have to do would be to discard any newer versions of the will and Mr. Brown would never know. Mr. Brown could have added a codecil (?) to the will, and even then, Dallas could easily remove it since there would be no reference to it in the older will.

I think Mr. Brown was on top of his affairs so much that he would have had Dallas draft a newer will to either specifically INCLUDE Tomi and their son, or to specifically EXCLUDE them. Since Dallas hasn't produced one excluding Tomi, I'm betting there's one including her, or at least their son.

Wasn't she living with him when he died? Certainly that alone should be enough, given they have an almost ten year history together.

silentminority
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silentminority 01/25/07 - 10:17 am
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No matter how it plays out,

No matter how it plays out, in the end, a lawyer is going to come out on top. They always do.

georgiadawg1
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georgiadawg1 01/25/07 - 10:21 am
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Bjoneslll said it best. If

Bjoneslll said it best. If JB trusted his children at all he would have named one or more of them as trustees. But I'm sure he knew that they would just fight over it (like they are trying to do now) so he SPELLED HIS WILL AND INTENTIONS OUT IN PLAIN ENGLISH in his will and chose the lawyers to execute his will. Now you have his GREEDY children who want their piece of the pie, and they don't like it one bit that these WHITE attorneys have control over how his assets are dispursed. I'm sure James Brown was smart enough to know what might happen and he planned accordingly. And think about this for a minute, I'm sure Buddy D, Thurmond, and the rest of the team are very experienced in handling estates and wills (which his children know nothing about) and I'm sure they alerted JB to many things about estate taxes, etc. that could save him AND HIS CHILDREN a bunch of money. If you let those clown children try to manage his estate and trusts they would blow through everything he worked so hard for in no time. Bottome line, the children need to SHUT UP, let the attorneys do the legal work and research required to appraise his estate/assets and dispurse them according to HIS will.

singlge1
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singlge1 01/25/07 - 10:31 am
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Can anyone say "morals" here?

Can anyone say "morals" here? Evidently JB cared deeply for Tomi Rae to have spent 10 years with her (regardless to what the media portrayed). I'm sure many of us will agree that Buddy Dallas is crooked and there probably is/was something written somewhere to include her and the 5 year old child-she should have been included in the reading of the will and any other matters involving her deceased spouse. Yes, deceased SPOUSE. South Carolina does recognize common law marriage. Everyone involved should be mindful of their actions. Peaceful resolution should be the common goal but there is a lot missing here.

to tell the truth1
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to tell the truth1 01/25/07 - 10:35 am
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The children, heirs of his

The children, heirs of his will should have concern of the estate.
They are doing the right thing to change things since they are not being updated on things and not advised of visits to the estate and for what specified reasons to be at the estate.
Why are trustees just taking inventory? Buddy Dallas has a lot of interest into what plays out so rightfully so, someone with no ties to the estate should not be in that position. It doesn't make a difference about paternity of the mentioned children in the will, if that was James Brown's wishes, then they are entitled. We'll just have to wait on the final episode of this drama to see how it is played out. Sadly, it will never end!!!!!

mrraymondmicheal
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mrraymondmicheal 01/25/07 - 10:38 am
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i agree with mjmurphy, mr.

i agree with mjmurphy, mr. brown knew his children better than anyone, one would think he knew what he was doing. his children need to let his appointed trustees do their job, whether the general public or them like it.now that daddy is gone its time they take care of themselves and make a living on their own. nothing will ever stop the fact they are his kids, but i think its safe to say he took care of his financial obligations as a father well and beyond what is required. what ever he left them they should be grateful and let his legacy live on respectfully as a music icon

commentator
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commentator 01/25/07 - 10:52 am
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Gee..... do ya think the

Gee..... do ya think the estate should be itemized and appraised by an UNINTERESTED third party , leave the atty's and family out of it ? There are companies that do just that. everything accounted for and noted. Free access to any and allr ecords, etc. and "the final answer is ............"

devaughny
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devaughny 01/25/07 - 10:57 am
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Someone please pinch me and

Someone please pinch me and tell me this aint real !!! Finally , Deanna woke-up and realized Dallas is still the same'ol Slick Oil Saleman. I cant' help but to wonder what brought about her change of heart. A person can't get over on Deanna and the clan for long. Many of you here think it was the fact that Deanna woke up after reading the blogs? or Maybe it was the fact that Deanna was grieving and her eyes were cloudy with tears over her dad's death? Whatever helped her see the light im happy the crook is about to be exposed for what he is. It come's to no surprise to the wise and experience that this saga will play out like it is and have done. If history tends to follow itself, like it did here it would have told us that this was going to happen. As I seat back and drink my hot creamy cup of joe, I can't help but to be amused. I've been bloging and bloging trying to reach Deanna and the clan to help them see Dallas for what he is, "no good", and guess what? I finally reach her. ROFL and lmao

colgate
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colgate 01/25/07 - 11:01 am
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O.K so just let the lawyers

O.K so just let the lawyers steal the money instead. Mr. Brown may have been like some people are. I had to work for my money so you have to work for yours. As for me, when I die, I want my family to have the things I worked for.
If he was my dad, I'd be asking questions and looking into the matter. The children(all including little James) and Tomi Rae should divide the estate. If they want to spend their money, let them. What you do with your inheritance is your business.
Please don't insinuate that the Brown family is too dumb to handle what should be theirs. That only Big D and his associates have the intelligence that's needed so therefore they should OVERSEE(R) everything. We are no longer in 1863. We've got papers and everything.

GO TEAM TOMI RAE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LadyS
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LadyS 01/25/07 - 11:02 am
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The feeding frenzy

The feeding frenzy begins...James Brown was a wonderfully talented singer, but he kept stuff stirred up in the CSRA for many, many years. Now his children are doing the same. Let the man rest - hold out your hand and be grateful for whatever your daddy CHOSE to leave you. Let the professionals do their job and quit worrying that someone is going to get more than you or is going to do the estate wrong. Mr. Buddy Dallas was your daddy's attorney, confidant, and friend for years. Do you really think your dad would have kept him around if he thought Mr. Dallas was doing him wrong? For God's Sake, get a grip, quit being selfish brats and let the PROFESSIONALS handle things. Just how proud do your think your dad is of all of you right now?

mrraymondmicheal
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mrraymondmicheal 01/25/07 - 11:04 am
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it should but it probably

it should but it probably wont happen, you are talking about control of millions of dollars with publishing and royalty rights.their is alot at stake , no one knows what kind of agreement dallas had with mr. brown, i feel that if mr. brown really wanted a neutral trustee he would have saw to it. he was a person concerning his own money matters that you didnt take for granted or said no to.this is not unfamilar with stars when they die, sometimes things get nasty and this is just an another example of things that happen when death occurs with property and assets worth something, families fight, wifes against children etc, in this case it just happens to be a well-known celebrity

colgate
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colgate 01/25/07 - 11:07 am
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Happy to see the team coming

Happy to see the team coming back. Yeah!

For all those last week that said about the comments "just let it end", we can't let it end until it ends.
Pop them rolaids Big D. You're going down.

colgate
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colgate 01/25/07 - 11:18 am
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Don't forget Mr. James Brown

Don't forget Mr. James Brown was 73 yrs old. People from that era, especially people that were brought up in rural areas thought a certain way. It may not have always been the right way. I know because my family originally comes from such an area. However, in later years when people look back over some of their business dealings the younger ones ask, Why was this set up like this? Sometimes they are told " do this this way and you'll be protected". The older person from that time never questioned what any lawyer told them. So if say, you happen to get one that was "grittin" on your stuff, they would and could manipulate it any way they wanted to.

Urban Legend # 11
You can trust a guy w/a briefcase and a three piece suit.
(For about a minute)

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