Mrs. Simmons’ side of the courtroom was packed today with both locals and the media in attendance as legal hearings were heard in the case of Habitat For Humanity versus Candice Simmons. Mrs. Simmons was evicted from her home by Habitat over what Mrs. Simmons has disputed as a $500 default in payments to the organization plus $2,900 in legal fees added by Douglas Zayicek of the Bellamy Law firm. Habitat for Humanity later foreclosed on the Simmons’ home.
Douglas Zayicek spoke on behalf of Mrs. Carla Shuessler and Habitat for Humanity. Mrs. Schuessler is the Executive Director of the Myrtle Beach Habitat For Humanity. She is also the Board President for the local Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
The legal argument in question is rule 60B, a writ of assistance. Mr. Radeker argued that Mrs. Simmons was never served with a petition for the process to file a writ of assistance.
After the trial concluded, Mr.Radeker told MyrtleBeachSC news, “My client was denied due process in this matter.“
Mr. Zayicek, on behalf of Habitat For Humanity, argued that his firm e-filed the court’s proceedings. He stated that the writ was in that e-filing and no direct notification by Habitat For Humanity is required by law.
According to a video statement made last month to MyrtleBeachSC news, Mrs. Simmons says the issue began when her son was recruited to a new school to be that school’s starting running back. Mrs. Schuessler’s son was previously scheduled to be the team’s lead back. Records indicate Mrs. Schuessler did meet with the school in August of 2017 asking that Simmons’ son be transferred to another school. Notice of default to Mrs. Simmons was then served by Habitat on September 15th, less than one month later. Habitat claims at the time of foreclosure, Mrs. Simmons was $500 behind on her mortgage. Habitat also added Mr. Zayicek’s legal fees of $2,900 putting Mrs. Simmons in total $3,400 behind.
In the courtroom today, Mr. Zayicek stated that no one, including Habitat For Humanity, wanted to be here today. Zayicek also stated that Mrs. Simmons had fallen behind once before in 2014, but caught those payments up.
Mr. Zayicek also stated, “I cut my legal fees in half to Habitat as it relates to this matter.”
When Mrs. Simmons initially made her statement to MyrtleBeachSC news, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune was quick to comment online as below:
There is clearly a symbiotic relationship between the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber, of which Mrs. Schuessler is Board President.
It is unclear if Mr. Zayicek (and the Bellamy Law Firm) did make Mayor Bethune aware of all of the legal filings in this matter. If he has done so, questions remain as to why he would do so. Legal questions also remain as to if a sitting Mayor’s comments in any way could prejudice the hearings of today. We reached out to both Mayor Bethune and Mrs. Schuessler. Neither chose to comment.
A delay in the case was ruled by the judge until affidavits could be produced by Habitat this Wednesday and a response from Mrs. Simmons’ legal team by Monday at noon. The judge will decide on the case afterwards.
Editor’s Note: When this article was first published, it stated Mrs. Simmons was never served a writ of assistance. That sentence should have read, Mr. Radeker argued that Mrs. Simmons was never served with a petition for the process to file a writ of assistance. We also stated Mr. Radeker worked pro bono. We have since learned he is being paid.