151 F.Supp. 26 (D.D.C. 1957), Civ. A. 3431-56, Blackwelder v. Crooks

Docket Nº:Civ. A. 3431-56
Citation:151 F.Supp. 26
Party Name:Blackwelder v. Crooks
Case Date:April 17, 1957
Court:United States District Courts, District of Columbia

Page 26

151 F.Supp. 26 (D.D.C. 1957)

Leroy J. BLACKWELDER, Plaintiff,

v.

James A. CROOKS, Defendant.

In re Frederick A. STERLING.

Civ. A. Nos. 3431-56, 4006-55.

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

April 17, 1957

Page 27

Justin L. Edgerton, Washington, D.C., for the motion.

Mark P. Friedlander, Washington, D.C., opposed.

HOLTZOFF, District Judge.

There are before the Court two motions to adjudicate Leroy J. Blackwelder and Patrick David Sterling in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order made by this Court in these two cases which were consolidated for trial. The contempt charge involves a civil contempt.

This litigation involves certain assets of the estate of Frederick A. Sterling for whom a conservator was appointed due to the fact that the infirmities of advanced age have rendered it difficult for him to administer his own property. In the course of the trial the undisputed fact appeared that the respondent Patrick David Sterling, a son of Frederick A. Sterling, had obtained a power of attorney from his father to deal with his father's property. The Court found that the father was not competent to execute such a power of attorney and rendered judgment declaring it null and void.

Prior to the trial, however, acting upon the basis of the power of attorney, Patrick D. Sterling transferred certain securities belonging to his father to Leroy J. Blackwelder, and the two together sold these securities for a sum in excess of $57,000. The check for that amount was cashed by Leroy J. Blackwelder over the counter at the bank on which it was drawn. Blackwelder testified that he took the money, put it in a box, carried it to Florida, and buried the box in the ground in the region of Florida known as the Everglades, and that the box with the money in it is still there.

The Court then directed Blackwelder and Patrick David Sterling to pay the money over to the conservator, or in the alternative, deposit it in the Registry of the Court, not later than January 22, 1957. The purpose of the Court in according to the respondents the alternative of depositing the money into the Registry of the Court, was to leave the funds intact pending the disposition of any appeal that might be taken, if one were taken, but at the same time protecting the estate from loss.

This order has not been complied with. The money has not been paid over...

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