Woman claims her lawyer failed to show up in courtroom
An East St. Louis woman has filed suit against a Carbondale attorney, alleging he caused numerous cases she filed to be dismissed because he failed to show up in the courtroom.
Paula Johnson claims she hired Jeffrey William Green to represent her in a number of cases and paid him more than $11,000 in advance to prosecute cases for her.
One of the cases asked that a woman repair her fallen fence "for the purpose of securing the property of 715 North 24th Street safe for disabled, wheel-chair residents to peacefully live, containing the harbored unleashed animals on the property of Annie Johnson, and not blocking the path of Medical Transport Vehicles pulling up in the yard," the complaint filed Jan. 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.
However, many of Johnson's cases were dismissed for failure to prosecute, the suit states.
"Defendant failed to promptly refund any part of a fee paid in advance that has not been earned," the suit states.
Because Johnson's complaints were dismissed, she has accumulated more than $14,000 in medical bills, she alleges.
She also lives "in fear of being attacked by an unleashed pit bull as she enters the property of 715 North 24th Street, anguish, and to suffer nervousness and anxiety," the suit states.
Green is guilty of misconduct because of conversion, his failure to maintain and safeguard funds belonging to a client, his failure to act with diligence and promptness representing a client, his failure to promptly refund any part of a fee paid in advance that has not been earned, his dishonest, fraudulent and deceitful conduct and because of conduct that tends to defeat the administration of justice, according to the complaint.
"Defendant repeatedly failed to provide quality legal services to client, and continuously made misrepresentations that the status of the cases were being prosecuted, but truthfully they had been dismissed/one case with Prejudice," the suit states.
In the five-count suit, Johnson is seeking punitive damages of $500,000, exemplary damages of $300,000 and damages of $100,000, plus other relief the court deems just.
She is representing herself.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0044.