Prepared for Ky. State Representative Stan Lee
By Christopher Hignite
November 6, 2007
corrected, with emmendations and additions
November 28, 2007
On April 26, 2007 Lt. Keith Stevens of the Lexington-Fayette County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the home of my mother, Jane Hignite, with whom I live. My mother was there as was my youngest sibling, Brandon, a 27 year old man who was born with Downs Syndrome. Lt. Stevens told my mother that he had a summons to serve me in a child custody case. The County Attorney’s Office had been looking for me for quite a while, he said. Now that they had caught up with me I was in big trouble. To my brother Brandon, Lt. Stevens said “What do you think of your brother now. You are an uncle and he didn’t even tell you. We’re going to put him in jail for a long time.” My mother told Lt. Stevens that I was at work delivering pizzas and that he would find me downtown at my place of employment, A Slice of Chicago.
Lt. Stevens left his business card with my mother. He then came to Slice of Chicago, marched into the back of the building where the pizzas are made and loudly demanded to know where I was, stating again for all to hear that Chris Hignite was in a lot of trouble. Stevens was told by the owner of Slice that I was on a delivery and that he, Stevens, could wait outside for me to return. When I did return, Stevens handed me a copy of a Civil Summons issued for me on November 11, 1997 and signed by Robert M. True and Amy Fowler, a Summons to appear in the case of Michelle Brizendine and her daughter, Madison. Later I would learn that this Civil Summons had been occasioned by a Court Complaint pursuing child support issued on November 4, 1997, and signed by Fayette County. Margaret Kannensohn and her assistants Byron L. Ockerman, Christopher E. Hutchison, R. Barry Minton.
On April 27, 2007 I called family court attorney Jenny Scott and on May 1, 2007 my mother and I met with her. Ms. Scott had already collected copies of papers from the County Attorney’s office, and after some discussion of the case, I signed a contract with her, for an initial fee of $750, to represent my interests in the upcoming case. I pointed out to Ms. Scott that, in the upper right corner of the original of the copy with which I had been served someone, at some time, had written by hand ‘07-17-06’. Ms. Scott noted with interest that the section entitled ‘Proof of Service’ had not been filled in or signed by either Stevens or myself, thus making the document appear as if it had never been served at all. “But,” she said, “I do not want to make a deal out of it”.
A further set of facts is even more remarkable. On April 26, 2007 Lt. Keith Stevens told my mother that the County Attorney’s Office had been looking for me “for quite a while”. On June 28, 2007 The DNA nurse told me, in the presence of Michelle and Madison Brizendine, that her paperwork showed that three attempts had been made to serve the summons. [The DNA nurse stated, by the way, that she “didn’t work for the city but for the testing facility”; nevertheless, her office has doors adjoining those of both the County Attorney and the Family Court Judge, and she also has access to their mutual conference room.] On May 1, 2007 my attorney, Jenny Scott also told me that three attempts had been made to serve the summons and she showed me a copy of a piece of stenographer’s notebook paper bearing three signatures and three dates. Ms. Scott noted, again with considerable interest, that she had never seen the summons attempts listed on a separate piece of paper; furthermore, that in every other case she had known the dates of attempts to serve a summons and the names of the servers were written on the back of the summons itself. “But,” she said, “I do not want to make a deal out of it”. Finally, in the last week of October, my attorney, told me that nobody now remembered the note listing three attempts to serve the Summons, but that the County Attorney’s office claims it can produce a carbon copy of a note on scrap paper of one attempt to serve it. And, yes, you guessed it, my own attorney, Jenny Scott, did not want to make a deal out of it.
I, however, did want to make a deal of it. It was Wednesday, October 31. There was a hearing of the case scheduled for November 1 at 9 a.m. The County Attorney was asking the judge for a summary ruling that my attorney Ms. Scott called “devastating”. I had cleared the fact that I could not be at this hearing and we had agreed that Ms. Scott would act in my interest. Both Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning I tried unsuccessfully to reach Ms. Scott by phone and in person. I then hand-delivered and slid under her office door a letter of instructions containing the specific wording of several motions which I wished to have entered into the court record. That evening my mother, Jane, and my brother, Cory visited Michelle Brizendine at her home. And on Thursday morning, Ms. Jenny Scott sold me down the river.
Ms. Scott had decided to settle the matter herself. She said that she didn’t want to cause ill relations with anyone in the County Attorney’s office. She said that my motions would be have been ignored by the Judge. I told her I didn’t care if the judge ignored or denied the motions; the very fact that the record showed that an attempt had been made to enter them would have done the trick. Ms. Scott said she had taken what she thought was the best offer and that she didn’t want to do battle.
Today, on November 6, 2007 at 4:29 p.m. my attorney, Jenny Scott finally returned a number of calls that I had made to her. She said again that she had read my motions, she said there were “valid points” in all of them. Nevertheless, she would be the laughing stock of family court if she had attempted to file them, she was a family court lawyer, she did not sign on with me to take on the County Attorney’s office, and perhaps I needed to see a criminal lawyer. To put the matter as she herself had put it at our very first meeting: “My daddy told me not to shit where I eat.”
The motions, “the valid points” that would make Ms. Scott “the laughing stock of family court” were based on these following six claims:
The County Attorney has a documented history of harassing me.
I am privy to secrets that the County Attorney would not want leaked to the public.
The mother removed the child from the state and didn’t pursue child support so as not to have to worry about custody battles with the intention of raising the child as her own with another father.
The County Attorney’s child support division is plagued with mistakes and incompetence making this a great place to place someone if you want to harass them. One could always claim later that the mistakes were due to incompetence and an apology would be given for your time in jail and the cost of your attorney.
Michelle has made it a habit of changing her stories to suit her needs and therefore nothing she says can be taken with any confidence.
A similar situation occurred in Scott County with a ten year old case that re-appeared after being dismissed originally. The officers in the case stated on record that they had been asked to harass me by members of the Lexington Vice Squad. Ten years later, in 2005, the case was re-entered into the computer and listed and un-finished. This made it appear that I had been avoiding them for ten years. Once again damaging my reputation and costing me money.
The remainder of this series of articles will substantiate these claims.