EDWARDSVILLE - A Belleville attorney insists a lawsuit filed by a woman involved in divorce proceedings has no substance.
Jeff Hammel, of the Hammel Law Firm, said he did not represent Mary Harshany Hendrixson despite her claims in the complaint that he was involved in the proceedings.
Hendrixson filed suit Nov. 8 in Madison County Circuit Court against the attorney, claiming negligence lined to the 2018 divorce proceedings.
But Hammel said there is no substance to the allegations, adding that he was never the plaintiff's lawyer.
Her claim appears to be a minor child suffered traumatic psychological injuries brought on by delays in the divorce proceedings, Hammel noted about the suit, which was filed by the plaintiff without legal counsel.
"The complaint has no substance and want to make clear I did not represent her," the attorney told the Record.
While Hendrixson does not specifically state in the complaint that Hammel did represent her, she flags up certain events over the course of a number of months which she connects to the attorney.
The plaintiff, from Terre Haute, Ind., claims that on July 19, 2018, her "divorce was cancelled in the circuit court of the Judicial Circuit Madison County IL due to defendant's actions." She claims a motion by the defendant led to an order stating in capital letters that divorce was "stricken upon petitinors (sic) motion," which was described as misrepresentation.
Hendrixson then mentions a request by her to Hammel asking for documents relating to his involvement as counsel in a criminal trial. This request, according to the complaint, was made on Aug. 28, 2019. Hendrixson then claims to have received a letter from the defendant Nov. 4 in which legal action was threatened if she continued to ask for more information about the divorce proceedings.
The complaint claims that Hammel delayed the divorce proceedings by failing to show for hearings, and otherwise failed to perform his duties as an attorney, though the lawyer insists others represented her.
She links the alleged delays to her minor child suffering physical and psychological abuse. Hendrixson is asking the court for $875,000 to be a placed in a trust, $1 for herself and attorney fees and costs.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 2019-L-1619.