Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
How can a multi-million dollar company vanish without a legal trace? Apparently it can happen when a CEO wants to ensure that the closely held business is not included among the marital assets in his divorce case.
That is one of many bizarre lessons to be taken from Rollins v. Rollins, the traveling divorce show that started in Greenville, South Carolina, and wound up in Shelby County, Alabama--contrary to common sense and all applicable law.
It appears that Ted Rollins, now the CEO of Charlotte-based Campus Crest Communities, did not want a closely held family business to get divided up in his divorce. So he took steps to ensure that his wife, Sherry Carroll Rollins, would flee with their two daughters to Alabama, where she had family. And that's when the company in question disappeared, meaning Ms. Rollins received nothing from a marital asset in which she had a clear legal stake.
We have focused on the jurisdictional change of scenery in Rollins, a shift that simply could not happen under Alabama law, as expressed best in a case styled Wesson v. Wesson, 628 So. 2d 953 (Ala. Civ. App., 1993). That's why Rollins stands as the worst case of courtroom abuse I've seen in the civil arena.
But oddities in the case hardly are limited to matters of jurisdiction. The virtual disappearance of a company called St. James Capital, LLC might be the strangest event of all. In fact, court documents indicate that a desire to keep St. James Capital under wraps might have been the reason the case shifted to Alabama in the first place.
I didn't think anything could top the cheat job Mrs. Schnauzer and I experienced at the Shelby Courthouse in Columbiana, Alabama, in a case that started thanks to our difficult neighbor with a criminal record. But I would have to say that Sherry Carroll Rollins can top our tale of legal woe. And who could have dreamed that she would wind up in the same courthouse where we got shafted?