Stop the Appointment of Attorney Jonathan W. Lounsberry to Judge in Spartanburg , SC.

Stop the Appointment of Attorney Jonathan W. Lounsberry to Judge in Spartanburg , SC.

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Lawana Rice started this petition to State Senator Luke A. Rankin and

My name is Lawana Rice. I am writing to oppose the appointment  of Attorney Jonathan Lounsberry, of the Steven Law firm to Judge in the 7th Circuit Court- Spartanburg,SC.

Towering over the SC Appellate Court (Columbia, SC) is an unprecedented "opinion", Alukonis v. Smith, July 22, 2020 No. 5745 of which  Jonathan Lounsberry was the defense attorney for the Respondent/ Appellate in the lower courts of Spartanburg, SC.

Jonathan Lounsberry,  a noted complex family law attorney,  failed to represent or defend the rights of his client, Wayne K. Smith, Jr.  Because he did not perform the simplest due diligence during discovery and  the gathering of evidence,  nor use the information given him to contradict the claims of the plaintiff the now unprecedented case of “Alukonis v. Smith” is set to be a case text or an “opinion”  reference for 3rd party seeking custody against a natural biological parent. 

FACTS

1) FRAUDULENT CONCEALMENT OF EVIDENCE-Jonathan Lounsberry  instead  of defending the cause of his client, agreed with the plaintiff's lawyer  on an unheard of 9 day  child custody trial. Jonathan Lounsberry had sufficient time to gather and present new as well as previous information, he however, arbitrarily chose to disregard essential testimonies and documents by not presenting them during the course of the trial. The information that he either choose not to follow up on or suppress was absolutely necessary to counter the claims made by the grandfather and his lawyers and would have eradicated his claim as de facto custodian. Jonathan Lounsberry cunningly told the Smiths that his client was the natural father so he had nothing to worry attempting to cover his lack of presenting crucial information in the case.  By choosing to withhold evidence, numerous witness statements, affidavits, employment records, school attendance, co -workers statements , the deceased mothers SC Cosmetology licensure, roommate statements, and  by not  contacting key witnesses, Jonathan allowed the plaintiff to maintain his claims of de facto custodian, psychological parent status, as well the  terms of residence. 

 He presented to  his client a list of items he would subpoena including social media accounts, and texts. However none of the critical statements, testimonies or social media info was presented on behalf of his client during the 9 day trial. Mysteriously, the plaintiffs lawyers were able to obtain social media data and submit portions beneficial to their  case.  

2) LEGAL MALPRACTICE-Jonathan Lounsberry who identifies himself as a complex family law attorney failed to represent his client, Mr. Smith in a  manner that befits a reasonable prudent attorney. His action and the errors  he made were not merely a result of poor strategy but negligence and a breach of his legal duty to represent and defend the cause of his client who paid him well over $70,000.00 of his and his family's hard earned money.

As a result, Wayne Smith, Jr, Braylon and  the Smith family continue to suffer loss and injury as this case drags on. Wayne Jr. continues to work extra hours to earn money to pay lawyers  and court fees. This is also grueling on his body and health but he is determined to continue to make the present sacrifice for the latter victory in belief ‘ as the South Carolina motto states, “ Everyday I breathe, I hope.”  

2) INSTITUTIONAL RACISM-Jonathan Lounsberry proved himself to  be a part of a deep rooted  horrendous system embedded in  our society whose normal practice  is to discriminate and deny the liberties and rights of individuals  by denying legal due processes, violating  civil liberties and constitutional rights while projecting callous attitudes, ignorant behaviors and prejudices stemming from racist stereotyping. He revealed his heart when he stated to his client and his father that,” he was at a disadvantage being black, having dreadlocks and for not having been put on child support by his child's mother.  After the Honorable Phillip Sinclair ruled  in  the favor of  his client , Jonathan Lounsberry said to Wayne jr."I don't know how you won?”

3)CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION ( PARENTAL RIGHTS)

 Wayne JR. agreed to  and paid for the Paternity DNA test when the child was less than a month old. Once confirmed as the father, he and his family were a constant vital support to his first born only son and his mother who resided in South Carolina alone.  Immediately following the mothers suicide,Wayne Smith, Jr.  accepted the role and responsibility of raising his son alone with the assurance his family surrounding and aiding him.  The court approved the child's name change from Alukonis to Smith. Per the Guardian Ad Litem, Chris Kennedy , “ The name change was in the best interest of the minor child and that the Petitioner being named the natural and biological father is also in the best interest of the child." 

 Shortly afterwards , the superior rights of a natural parent were dismissed. The protected liberty interest in the care, custody and control of our children as a fundamental right protected by the  Due Process Clause, were violated and undermined in the proceedings presiding over by the now retired Judge James F. Fraley, Jr. 

By  granting temporary guardianship to the maternal grandfather,  he allowed  him to uproot the child from his  surrounding and  the nurturing care of his father and the relatives he was  most familiar with and to move him  to Florida, to be cared for daily by strangers in a daycare center so soon after losing his mother.

As Wayne Smith’s  attorney,  in the custody trial  ,Jonathan made no effort to defend his clients position. Jonathan Lounsberry was a part of the team that violated Wayne Smith Jr.  constitution rights.  When he was threatened to be fired, he stated he was too vested in the case and that the judge would not allow it in the middle of the 9 day trial.

4)PARENTAL ALIENATION- The mere fact that one of  the plaintiff witnesses  stated she heard the child call Mr. Alukonis “daddy”  without Mr. Alukonis correcting him demonstrates the depth of hostility and lawlessness of this case.  This reveals  psychological manipulation and relational distortion perpetrated by the grandfather in his ploy to alienate the child from his father. To the shame of this court system, he was not reprimanded by counsel for the defendant or  by the “expert” Dr. Jonathan Gould.

Per Honorable Phillip Sinclair, the judge presiding over the 9 day custody trial , said " The child Braylon Smith should never have left the state of South Carolina. Wayne Smith had never  been found unfit as a parent nor a provider , so he  was granted primary custody of his son.

The attorney-client relationship was tarnished during the 9 day  custody trial by Jonathan’s daily antagonistic counsel  to surrender his case, "Because it was not looking good for him" and  to allow the grandfather/plaintiff  to be have custody of his firstborn only son that he adored.

What father , proclaimed by the courts as  having acquiesced his parental role, would spend well over $100,000.00 and continue to fight a system seemingly stacked again him if it was not for the love and belief that his child belonged with him. 

Therefore, this appointment would grant Jonathan Lounsberry  a position of greater influence and power to interpret the law as he sees fit.  This would be a detriment to the residents, the city  and county of Spartanburg, the 7th Judicial Circuit Court and the state of South Carolina.

Our country is in a time of awakening and turmoil due  to social, economic and institutional racism.  To appoint Jonathan Lounsberry as a judge in this moment is to make an open declaration that the old mindset of inequality, bigotry and institutional racism is acceptable.

Send your letters of opposition to:

Commission on Lawyer Conduct

Christopher Isgett, Chairman

1220 Senate Street, Suite 111

Columbia, SC 29201

803-734-2037

and to:

Office of Disciplinary Counsel

John S. Nichols

P O Box 12151

Columbia, SC 29211

803-734-2038

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