Music fans were certainly in a state of shock last week when news spread that an arrest warrant had been filed for Anita Baker for failing to appear in court over a dispute with a home contractor. However, no one was more shocked than Baker herself. She recently released a statement about her legal drama and claims that the arrest warrant is a part of a sinister plot against her.
According to TMZ, Baker explained to them that the drama began when she hired Ray Smith Painting and Decorating to repair the outside of her Detroit home after it was damaged in a storm. The total bill was $75, 000 and Baker paid the contractor $60,000 upfront with the intention of paying them the balance after the job was complete. However, Baker claims that the contractor did a horrible job and that she ended up finishing the repairs herself.
Ray Smith Painting and Decorating proceeded to file a lawsuit for the other $15,000, but Baker says she was never served with legal documents to alert her to the lawsuit. When Baker failed to appear in court for the April 2011 hearing, a judge gave a default judgment and she was ordered to pay them the remaining $15,000. However, Baker says she was still in the dark about the lawsuit.
In July 2013, the contractor tried to take Baker to court once again to receive the money that was ordered in the judgment. The contractor claims he placed the legal papers on Baker’s front door, but she claims that she was on tour and never received any notice, adding that she doesn’t think the contractor ever placed them there.
Since Baker failed to show up to court again, the judge issued the arrest warrant on Wednesday.
Baker claims that last week was the first time she’d heard of the lawsuit and the she’s stunned at her not-so-new legal drama.
“I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I’m terrified,” Baker said. Baker claims that this isn’t the first time someone has claimed to have served her legal papers and then won the case by default without her knowledge.
Baker plans to appear in court this week to get the warrant lifted and the default judgment set aside, but she claims that she no longer has any faith in the legal system. “There’s no justice in the justice system,” Baker said.
We’re still stumped about how Baker went so long without knowing about this case, but we hope this messy legal matter is solved quickly. – nicholas robinson