Maloan refuses to recuse himself, Washburn takes the case
Story by Shannon Taylor Senior Investigative Reporter
The hearing for default judgement was heard Wednesday Feb. 22 in Weakley County Chancery Court.
Prior to that hearing Jo Floyd filed a motion to disqualify the trial court Judge from participating in the matter. Her reasoning for this included that Chancery Court Judge Michael Maloan was biased based upon his political donations to Attorney Roy Herron, who is representing the plaintiff. Floyd also has issues with the timing and filing of orders granted to give custody to the child’s father, Yueh Feng Wu.
In Floyd’s motion she stated that the injunction for custody and to remove her from her marital home was filed while she was out of state attending a funeral. Upon her return home she found Wu’s parents there and exited outside to find Wu, Herron and his wife, Nancy, waiting for her beside her vehicle.
Floyd states in the motion that she was told to immediately vacate her home. At the time, Floyd called 911 but was “repeatedly put on hold and told no officers were available.” Floyd said that Wu asked Ms. Herron where the police were and she stated, “I told them not to come.”
Floyd goes on to state that she went back inside the residence and retrieved a pre-packed box that was left for her by the front door. She also stated that all credit cards had been cut off by Wu. Floyd went on to say that she was left homeless by the court and had to use her car for shelter.
Floyd stated that all of this was done by Maloan signing the order. Further, Head Start Center Manager Lisa Alexander was used as the primary witness for the injunction stating that the child was not potty trained and had missed too many days in the Head Start program.
Floyd stated that the hearings were held without notice, no visitation was set, and no guardian ad litem was appointed.
At the hearing on Feb. 22, Maloan heard the motion for recusal first and stated that there was no basis for recusal and denied her motion. Floyd has 21 days to file an appeal. Maloan also overruled Herron’s motion for default judgement.
Maloan set a hearing for visitation and spousal support for Thursday March 9 at 9 a.m. Floyd was told to file an affidavit for income and expenses and assets and liabilities. That hearing has been reset for March 22.
For Floyd’s criminal hearing in front of Judge Tommy Moore, who did recuse himself, the case was discussed as going in front of Judge Mark Agee as a possibility, but the press received notice that it went through the Supreme Court who appointed the Honorable Vicki S. Snyder to preside over her theft charge.
In a turn of events, Dresden Attorney Jeff Washburn agreed to take Floyd’s case pro-bono. Washburn said that Herron has continually labeled Floyd as mentally incompetent and unstable, but Washburn said that he has sat down with Floyd many times and that she is not. He said that all the rumors circulating about Floyd have been “mostly propagated by her husband, Tommy Wu and Herron in his pleadings.” Washburn believes that there is no evidence of any of this.
Washburn said that representing Floyd was not something he wanted to do because he had quit practicing divorce law years ago due to the anxiety and stress it caused him. He also said that Wu had cut Floyd off from all financial resources and that her case was going to take hundreds of hours to investigate, draft, file pleadings, as well as seeking a fair trial in court.
Washburn said that the cruelest thing regarding Floyd’s case was done to her while she was in Michigan attending a funeral. At that time, Washburn said, Herron emailed Floyd the injunction granting Wu custody of her child and ordered her to return the child to Tennessee. Floyd complied and then traveled back for the funeral because she had nowhere else to go after being removed from her marital home.
Washburn said the biggest influence in him retaining her was his inner conscience and the fact that he felt like “God was working on me to represent her.”
“I developed a feeling that I should make every effort to try to prevent a travesty of justice from occurring. Somehow, I was convinced that it was my obligation as a licensed attorney in this state to counter all the misinformation that had been put out about this woman with the specific intent to taint her character and reputation for the husband’s tactical advantage in the divorce suit. Additionally, I came to the realization that Christian love leads us to help those that are being taken advantage of in society, even in the courts. I felt that, under the most basic tenants of fairness, those persons should not be taken advantage of by others and specifically so in the court system,” Washburn added.
Washburn said in his 20 years as an attorney, he has never witnessed “more egregious actions by an attorney to strip a woman of the child that she had been the primary caregiver for the first 3 1/2 years of his young life; who filed ex parte motions and obtained a Court Order that has denied the mother of any meaningful visitation with her child for five plus months, and that stripped the wife of all financial support from her financially well off husband to such an extent that she was instantly made a pauper without any means of securing legal representation, housing, or food without the assistance of other caring individuals who stepped in to relieve her of the dangers of sleeping in her car in parking lots and eating an occasional meal when money was available.”
Washburn said that Floyd was left broken by “taking away the comforts of a house, financial support, her clothing, her child, and the lifestyle she has enjoyed the past four years while living in Dresden with her husband who owns more than $700,000 in real estate in Dresden alone and who would be considered wealthy by any measure considering the two businesses and property he owns.”
Washburn noted that Floyd has suffered due to indignities suffered by Wu, Herron and no protection from the court. Unless the court orders Wu to pay Floyd’s attorney costs, Washburn said he would be doing this completely free of charge. Floyd is not receiving alimony and that they are struggling to get a temporary alimony and visitation set. Washburn filed an appeal for Maloan to recuse himself and Floyd’s next hearing is set for March 22 at 9 am.
Washburn added, “My prayer is that Jo Ann Floyd will receive a fair hearing that is untainted by lies, innuendo, and frivolous court filings and will see that justice does exist in Weakley County, Tennessee. Every good and honest person should expect no less.”
Years ago I watched how Malone handled a divorce case for one of his buddies, Hal Dodd—enough said!
My story is similar to this case, and I got my kids taken from me as well by my ex. He got everything he wanted and more. Never agreed to it and wanted to appeal it but was told not to. I’m glad she will get justice for her kids to be back in her hands again. Malone has done this to several families including me!
I have been following Mrs Floyd’s story and i hope Mr Washburn gets you your child back and hopefully Mr Wu will have to pay!
I wish my lawyer had this much heart and care when everything was taken from me. Including my kids.
Malone was the judge in my last divorce, he didn’t give anytime to speak on any thing. When it was over and I was made to look like a fool in court. I stepped down and headed to the door. Before I went out the door the words I said out loud was. Money talks and BS walks. When the bailiff asked him if he wanted him to catch me. Malone said no, she is mad let her go. I wasn’t mad number one and number two money had already signed the papers before court started.
I’ve had dealings with Malone and his cronies several times. My ex and I had conservatories of our daughter for several yrs, her drs and the court system had agreed the our daughter could never make life decisions on her on. When we allowed our daughter to “see” a parties son that is involved in this case (that is wealthy) then the court decided our daughter could then make life decisions (i.e. getting married). The same court that told us for yrs she shouldn’t make these decisions had her visit a local dr who saw her for less than 1 hr and determined she was mentally sound to make these decisions.