Thursday, February 26, 2015



RAYE A. SMITH                                                          ) CASE No.: 15CVF00096
525 Bunker Hill Road                                                      )
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004                                                    ) Judge:
                            Plaintiff,                                               )
                                                               )    RESPONSE TO COMPLAINT IN
                                                                                                                      )     FORCIBLE ENTRY AND
                              -vs-                                                    )    DETAINER AND COUNTERCLAIM
MELINDA PILLSBURY-FOSTER                             )
525 Bunker Hill Road                                                      )
Upstairs                                                                           )
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004                                                    )
                      Defendant.                                                 )

Now comes the Defendant, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, in Pro Se, and states her Response and Counterclaim as follows:
          1. Plaintiff, RAYE A. SMITH, hereinafter referred to as Plaintiff, entered into an agreement to provide corporate housing as part of a package offered Defendant which included a partnership in the yet to be incorporated entity, Rubicon Aegis, in October of 2011. Housing included Defendant's handicapped son. The final agreement took place on October 25, 2011. Defendant was persuaded by Plaintiff's representations to relocate to Ohio on these promises. There was at no time any implied cost for housing, which was a legitimate business expense deductible by the corporation. Defendant assumes these were listed on the tax returns submitted by Plaintiff. The purpose for relocating was a redesign for Rumor Mill News. Rubicon Aegis, LLC is, according to the belief of Defendant, the owner of Rumor Mill News, through Plaintiff's Ohio Corporation by that name. Defendant's residence was to be of short duration because Defendant owns a house in California which was left unrented at the request of Plaintiff. The duration of residence changed at the request of Plaintiff due to Plaintiff's failure to provide the needed resources to carry out the project, which was to begin immediately upon Defendant's arrival. Defendant was asked to wait for resources to become available, then asked to find volunteers to provide resources, then asked to pay the costs herself. Defendant was also asked to wait for full payment of the promised salary and benefits, receiving only commissions on advertising, which she had been receiving while still in California. These changes took place only after Defendant arrived in Ohio.
        2. Defendant was employed as Director for Advertising for Rumor Mill News early in September, 2011. Defendant was told Rubicon Aegis had not yet been incorporated and this would be one of the first matters to handle when Defendant arrived. Defendant was then providing advertising service for Rumor Mill News and for RMN Radio. Defendant was also a radio host on RMN Radio and assisting with management for RMN Radio. All required work was carried out from California. There was no need of a relocation to facilitate this work which was readily handled online and by phone. Commissions were remitted to Defendant by PayPal. Plaintiff said Rumor Mill News was worth nearly one million dollars at that point. Defendant checked this online and the figure was closer to a half million, but still substantial. (See Exhibits 1 & 2 & 23 – September 13, 2011 Email, Employment Letter, Letter from Advertiser)
         3. In fact, Rubicon Aegis, LLC, had been incorporated in Ohio in 2010. Defendant discovered this fact in late 2013. Partnership in the second company would not have provided to Defendant equity in the work she had been asked to perform. Defendant asked on multiple occasions to see corporate records. Plaintiff claimed she could not locate them each time. This claim had credibility with Defendant because Plaintiff is a hoarder and upon Defendant's arrival at the corporate headquarters, then a desk in the corner of Plaintiff's bedroom, masses of unfiled papers were everywhere. During the time when Defendant was working on the plans for the redesign Plaintiff asked Defendant to pay for the second incorporation and other expenses herself. Defendant refused as this was not their understanding. Until late in 2013 Defendant believed Rubicon Aegis, LLC had never been incorporated. (See Exhibit 3 – Ohio Incorporation)
        4. As part of her campaign to persuade Defendant to relocate Plaintiff offered to pay for the cost of having Defendant drive to Ohio. Defendant was uncomfortable making the trip because Defendant is legally handicapped and subject to migraine headaches and had poor vision. Driving at night is both stressful and likely to cause migraines. Records of these expenditures could be obtained by subpoena of Plaintiff's financial records for November, 2011 as she called and made the reservations, paying for these by credit card.
      5. Plaintiff also expressed a wish to become Defendant's son's Godmother and ensure he was cared for in the event Defendant was unable to do so due to the inherited heart condition which caused the deaths of Defendant's two sisters and one brother. The expression of concern for Defendant's son, who needs care and oversight 24/7, was a pivotal factor in the decision to accept the offer made by Plaintiff. Defendant invested a degree of trust in Plaintiff because of these expressions which proved to be unwarranted. On the basis of these representations Defendant agreed to come to Ohio. Defendant was assured by Plaintiff money would be made available to allow her to return to California the next summer if more time for the redesign was needed so she could rent out her home, which remains vacant to this day. Plaintiff refused to pay for these expenses when the time arrived.
(See Exhibits 4 & 5, Medical Records Defendant and son)
         6. As one of her first duties upon arriving in Ashtabula Defendant was asked to design business cards for use by Plaintiff and Defendant and find a state where incorporation could take place. Defendant provided three states as possibilities, with a list of costs, these printed and handed to Plaintiff, as per her request. (See Exhibit 6 – Business cards)
        7. Defendant, while waiting for the redesign to take place, wrote letters for Plaintiff, chauffeured her, began arrangements for a conference, at her direction, wrote police complaints at her direction, cleaned the house, built furniture, cleaned the basement, still full of unemptied boxes from Plaintiff's move from California, scanned and inventoried records supplied to her for this purpose and provided meals for the special diet Plaintiff claimed she needed medically. Defendant was never paid for this work, which had nothing to do with advertising, for which she did not receive the agreed salary. Copies of these, and of the initial plans for the redesign are available and can be provided.
        8. Defendant has never been fired from the position of Director for Advertising. Instead, Plaintiff shut off the corporate phone provided and Defendant's Internet and redirected advertising communications so Defendant was no longer receiving them, refusing to discuss why this was happening. Defendant began using her own cell phone and obtained, at her own expense, a hot spot and continued to carry out the duties of Director for Advertising though she did not receive commissions from Plaintiff. Defendant had been given an email address created for her, and had been using this since January 26, 2012. These actions took place a few days before Defendant received the first eviction order, as documented below. No discussion or disagreement ever took place because Plaintiff refused .
        9. At this time Defendant learned Plaintiff had been slandering Defendant at the church they both attended in attempts to characterize her as an 'uninvited squatter.' Plaintiff carried out a campaign of slander and libel against Defendant at church and elsewhere. Eventually, Plaintiff appeared to realize this was not working and left the church. Defendant believes, on the evidence, this was carried out to evade responsibility for the related costs of employment, salary plus commissions and medical benefits agreed upon. Defendant believes, among other violations of the original agreement, Plaintiff failed to pay for unemployment benefits with the State of Ohio as well. Plaintiff refused to show her the paperwork which should have been filed. (See Exhibit 16 – Letter from Church Member)
        10. Defendant discovered as a result of the slanders and from observing Plaintiff that lies, misrepresentation, and fraud were essential elements of how her website was run. On the site monthly pleas for money, usually around $3,000 - $5,000 were made to pay Plaintiff's personal bills. Defendant saw, after moving to Ohio, these presented fraudulent circumstances, including health problems and other non-existent issues. Additionally, further research revealed a pattern of deceit which was present in Plaintiff's behavior from at least 1992. In Washoe, Nevada, on Aug 30, 1989 Plaintiff married Gunther K. Russbacher. Russbacher was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 21 years in prison in 1992 according to an article published in the Chicago Tribune titled, “A Pro Con.” The article follows Russbacher through his life as a con-artist as he impersonates military officers and professional airline pilots and bilks unwary clients while acting as a stock broker. Plaintiff and her husband were reported to have defrauded readers of Phoenix Journal, a print publication, of thousands of dollars through fraudulent use of their credit cards to pay for travel and hotels and expenses related to the supposed coronation of Gunther K. Russbacher as Arch Duke of Austria. Russbacher was arrested in Austria while Plaintiff fled to the United States, continuing to ask unwary supporters for money to pay for her personal debts. Around 2007 Plaintiff began asking RMN Readers to contribute to the purchase and construction of a 'Family Campground,' which would be available to them when economic conditions collapsed. Although Plaintiff claimed to have purchased land in the Rock Creek, Ohio area no land is in either her name, the name of the corporation or the names of those cooperating with the scheme in Ohio in the records available from the Office of the Assessor. Plaintiff extracted from RMN Readers between $20,000 - $30,000 from last May until today supposedly to pay for a move, which may have begun but has not yet been completed. (See Exhibits 13, 14- E, K & L, Libelous Post, E - RMN Front Page, K - Phoenix Journal Pages 63 & 64, L - ARTICLE – Chicago Tribune - A Pro Con.doc)
          11. Defendant was handed a first eviction notice by her son, who found it taped to the door of
her bedroom on August 12, 2013. He then walked to church, where Defendant was attending a Vestry meeting. Upon arriving home, Defendant immediately called her attorney in California, Dara Leigh Bloom, Esq. who wrote a response and demand for settlement. This was served by certified mail but Plaintiff refused to open it. A copy had been emailed to her. This was followed by another eviction notice and response from Defendant's attorney. Plaintiff again refused to accept delivery. NOTICE TO LEAVE PREMISES was received by Defendant on or near the date of October 29, 2014 and again Defendant offered mediation, this time online at the website where she began documenting these events publicly, (See Exhibits 7, 8, & 9 – Responses to Notices & Photos of final notice)
            12. The website provided Defendant with more information through communications from former RMN Readers and present RMN Readers who were curious and persuaded by the evidence provided that Plaintiff is actually a con-artist. These individuals began sending Defendant more specifics on Plaintiff from online sources she had not yet found herself.
          13. During the period between September 2013 and present Defendant has been harassed, threatened, and subjected to multiple abuses by Plaintiff and her paid employees which caused emotional trauma, potential injury and threatened her life and the life of her son. These actions included vandalizing her car, taking out lighting on the stairs which could have resulted in Defendant's son falling and injuring himself, disabling the drain in the bathtub and more. Defendant's son must use a cane to walk and has only limited mobility. He is entirely blind in one eye and 70% blind in the other. In January 2014, immediately after a home invasion and murder took place in Ashtabula, Defendant and her son, Arthur, began finding the front door unlocked, especially late at night. Because Plaintiff had placed bookcases blocking access to the hallway only Defendant and her son were thus put at risk. Arthur had always been, according to Defendant, careful about locking doors even when he was next to the door on the front porch. Defendant would get up several times during the night, knowing she had locked the door, to find it again unlocked. This stopped abruptly when the perpetrators of the home invasion were found and prosecuted. At the same period Plaintiff had been heard urging new paid employees to 'solve her problem for her.' These urgings to violence were easily heard even with doors closed. Plaintiff also indirectly received a death threat against herself and her son made by Plaintiff and conveyed by a man she characterized as one of her best friends, Alexander, Duke of Manchester. This took place on August 22, 2014 and was received by Defendant from Wendy Buford Montagu, the former wife of Manchester. The message had been left on Wendy's answering machine at her work and stated a contract, initiated by Plaintiff, was out on Defendant and her son. Manchester has a criminal record which includes 22 felonies. In the audio tape Defendant is described as a “dead person walking.” Defendant reported this, with a copy of the audio, to the Ashtabula Police and to the FBI. (See Exhibits 20 & 21 – Death Threat Audio, Police Report August 2014)
         14. On December 30, 2014, the water was turned off at 525 Bunker Hill Road. Defendant called to ascertain the reason and learned this had happened because Plaintiff had not paid Aqua and was moving. Believing the utility company had been truthfully informed by Plaintiff Defendant paid the outstanding charges and had the water put in her name. Water service was restored within two hours. Defendant, worried the electricity would also be turned off, called Illumination and discovered Plaintiff had ended her service at the close of business that day. Defendant arranged to take over the payment for Illumination, putting the service in her own name. Defendant also provided a letter of credit from Southern California Edison on her present service in California so she would not have to pay a deposit. Defendant then called Dominion and again found the service was being turned off and moved it to her own name. (See Exhibits 10, 11 & 12 – Aqua Payment Dec. 30, 2014, Account numbers for Illumination and Dominion, SCE Letter of Credit)
        15. On the basis of these facts Defendant was assured Plaintiff was finally moving, as she had been saying online for months. Defendant called the property owner, Robert Brobst on December 30, 2014 and left a message, asking him to call her about renting the house herself. Sometime later Defendant learned Brobst, had called at the request of Plaintiff and asked the utilities be put back in Plaintiff's name until January 30. At nearly the same time Brobst visited the house and handed the Defendant a copy of a NOTICE TO LEAVE PREMISES made out to Plaintiff, with a note including 'other occupants.' In the interim Brobst had contacted the utility companies and arranged, without the permission of Defendant, to have these returned to Plaintiff but then returned to Defendant on February 2. Defendant was not consulted and did not consent to this and again attempted to contact Brobst by phone. Her call was not returned. (See Exhibit 17 – Brobst Notice)
         16. On January 16 Defendant learned Plaintiff had posted a libelous letter on Rumor Mill News. To quote the relevant part of the Posting, “ I do not know how long it will take my lawyer, my landlord and his lawyer to get her out of the house. I have been told by someone who knows her that she has been evicted 13 times before. This means she knows every trick in the book and probably knows more than all of the lawyers involved in this eviction. In today’s society most criminals know their legal rights better than their lawyers.” This was the first indication Defendant had that Plaintiff, Brobst, and two attorneys were cooperating in what has the appearance of an abuse of process and conspiracy. The charges in the post are libelous, and easily so proved. Defendant sent a faxed letter and attachments to Brobst on January 22 informing him she no longer wished to rent the house and was looking for alternatives. Believing she had found a place to live and struggling with the constant harassment and threats made by Plaintiff and Plaintiff's paid help, she wrote another letter on February 2, 2015, further outlining the reasons she would not rent from him. Plaintiff posted another comment on RMN stating Brobst would not let Plaintiff move until Defendant had moved. (See Exhibits 13, 14 &15 – Libelous Post, January 2015, Brobst Letter & Attachments, Jan. 22, Brobst Letter, Feb. 2nd)
          17. Defendant is a person of good character and has been the sole caretaker of her disabled son since September, 1997 when he suffered the first of two massive brain injuries. Contrary to slanders told by Plaintiff she is honest, hardworking, and reliable and has worked in multiple capacities in her community in not for profit organizations for such issues as Right to Life, ending domestic violence, feeding the needy, animal rescue and more. She has been honored for her work on numerous occasions, most of which was unpaid because she believes in giving back to the community.
{See Exhibits 16, 18, 19 & 22, Letter from Church Member, Letter from W. Leon Smith, Letter from Gail Lightfoot, Declaration from Ayn Pillsbury)
        18. Defendant offered through email, certified letter, and by word to enter into negotiations for a settlement multiple times with Plaintiff with a reputable third party agreeable to both Plaintiff and Defendant but received no response to this offer from the time it was first made, September 2013, until today. She believes the actions of Plaintiff were taken, involving others as well, to evade being sued. Defendant has been attempting to find representation for months. Defendant remains willing to accept mediation if such mediation takes into account the events herein documented, resolving all potential issues between parties and mediated by a mutually agreed individual.


         19. Defendant asks the motion for eviction be dropped because the conditions pertaining to an eviction are not present. Housing was corporate. Plaintiff has engaged in egregious fraud, misrepresentation, and other unlawful actions. Plaintiff is attempting to use the form of eviction to evade the real issue, this being the violation of contract and an attempt to ignore her obligation as an employer to fire Defendant and then come to an equitable settlement which Defendant could accept.


        20. Defendant hereby realleges and reavers and hereby adopts by reference reach and every statement and allegation made in the First Response and Claim for Relief above, paragraphs one (1) through nineteen (19), as if fully rewritten.
       Defendant owes Plaintiff the sum of zero dollars for the use of the corporate housing assigned to her and occupied by her and her son from November 30, 2011 until today. Due to Plaintiff's failure to carry out her promises Defendant lacked funds to escape a continuing barrage of abuse by moving and from necessity was forced to remain in circumstances which were traumatic, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous.
WHEREFORE, Defendant demands judgment against Plaintiff for Damages, Violation of contract, and financial losses sustained by Defendant caused by the actions cited above. These include damages to Defendant, her son, benefits never provided for health care, the promised salary, and other losses directly resulting from the actions of Plaintiff. The cost of health care, the unpaid salary, and money paid by Defendant for carrying out the work assigned is One Hundred and Sixty-One Thousand Dollars. The cost to Defendant of being unable to care for her home in California and provide dental care and other necessities for herself and her son come to approximately Nineteen Thousand Dollars.

[[Electronic Signature]]__
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Signed February 25, 2015

Case No.: 15CVF00096 - Recusal Magistrate David Sheldon, Extension of Time


)      Case No.: 15CVF00096
IN THE MATTER OF  RECUSAL                )      Magistrate: David Sheldon                 

AND EXTENSION OF TIME                        )


)       Melinda Pillsbury-Foster



Now comes Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, Defendant in Case No. 15CVF00096 , acting in Pro Se, to hereby move that Magistrate David Sheldon recuse himself forthwith from any involvement whatsoever in all proceedings regarding the matter laid out in the aforenamed case and take the appropriate and necessary steps through the Ohio Supreme Court for the appointment of a successor judge to stand in his place and stead to hear and decide matters pertaining to the civil action now being heard and possible criminal charges stemming from the facts therein outlined. The grounds supporting this Motion are set forth on the Memorandum below.


1. Background Facts

The relevant events leading up to the above Motion came to the attention of Defendant on January 16, 2015. Defendant learned Plaintiff in the aforementioned case, Ms. Raye Smith, had posted a letter on Rumor Mill News, a website owned and controlled by Ms. Raye A. Smith. Ms. Smith is the Plaintiff in the case cited above, an eviction which she is pursuing to evade contractual obligations to Defendant.
Defendant is a senior citizen and disabled. Additionally, she is the sole caretaker for an adult disabled son who is entirely blind in one eye and 70% blind in the other eye. He survived two major brain injuries, has limited mobility, and needs care 24/7. Therefore Defendant's ability to work is severely constrained and limited. She and her son are dependent on disability and social security payments.
To quote the relevant part of the Posting noted above, which appeared publicly on the Rumor Mill News Website on January 5, 2015, “ I do not know how long it will take my lawyer, my landlord and his lawyer to get her out of the house. I have been told by someone who knows her that she has been evicted 13 times before. This means she knows every trick in the book and probably knows more than all of the lawyers involved in this eviction. In today’s society most criminals know their legal rights better than their lawyers.” This was the first indication Defendant had that Plaintiff, Robert Brobst, and two attorneys were cooperating in what has the appearance of an abuse of process and conspiracy. The posting is libelous, the charges being false to fact. (See Exhibit 13 – Libelous Post, January 5, 2015)
Defendant had contacted Brobst regarding renting the house herself because she had learned from a call to Aqua, the water company, when the water was turned off due to lack of payment by Smith, and that Smith was moving. Smith has been claiming to be in the process of moving since May of 2014 and has been extracting donations from her online Readers now amounting to between $20,000 and $30,000.
Calls to the other utilities confirmed that Smith had informed them she was moving and had cut off her service at the end of business that day, December 30, 2014. After ensuring the services would not be interrupted and moving them into her name so service would continue Defendant left a message for Brobst at his office. Her call was not returned.
Defendant learned indirectly by receiving a final bill from Dominion, the gas company, Brobst had called the utility companies, at the behest of Ms. Smith, to demand these be returned to her. Brobst and Ms. Smith had also arranged for the bills to be returned to Defendant's name on February 2, 2015. Defendant tried again to call Brobst. Her call was not returned. The utility companies refused to discuss what had taken place with her, saying this was confidential. Defendant assumed Smith was going to move as her service, she was able to confirm, ended on January 30, 2015. Smith had still not moved as of February 26, 2015.
Brobst had visited the house and handed the Defendant a copy of a NOTICE TO LEAVE PREMISES BEFORE SUIT naming Ms Smith, with a note including 'other occupants.' He refused to talk to her saying he did not need to know what had happened in any way.
Upon examining the Notice Defendant noticed it had been faxed to the recipient, presumably Robert Brobst, from the fax number 440-964-7710. Defendant ascertained this was the fax for David Sheldon, Esq., by googling the number on the Internet. Defendant was not named on the notice. (See - Exhibit 17 - Brobst Notice to Leave Premises )
Smith had previously used notices in her attempts to force Defendant to vacate the premises without settlement. To each of these Defendant had responded and made attempts to settle. Ms. Smith had not proceeded with a motion for eviction. (See Exhibits 14 & 15, Brobst Letters)
Because the utilities were to be returned to her name Defendant assumed Brobst had decided he was willing to rent to her. Defendant sent a fax to Brobst on January 22, 2015, with attachments, informing him she was seeking other housing because she had discovered what appeared to her to be a violation of ethics by him, Smith, David Sheldon and the other unnamed attorney.
Defendant stated this in the letter sent to Brobst. In the same letter she informed him she hoped to have alternative housing and be out by February 13th. Unfortunately, the unit was rented to another applicant. (See Letters to Brobst, January 22 & Exhibits, February 2)
Defendant learned during a visit to the Ashtabula Municipal website on Thursday, February 12, 2015, that Smith had filed a motion the previous day, February 11, 2015, Case No. 15CVF00096, a Complaint in Forcible Entry and Detainer to have Defendant evicted, continuing her attempts to evade her contractual obligations from employment and agreements with Defendant. Defendant's countersuit to the motion was filed with the court February 26, 2015, to be heard on Monday, March 2, 2015 in Ashtabula Municipal Court at 3PM. (See Exhibit 24 - Response to Complaint in Forcible Entry and Detainer and Counterclaim)
Defendant asked the Clerk of the Court who would be hearing the case and was told the case would be heard by David Sheldon, acting as Magistrate.
Defendant believes this violates the First Canon of the Code of Ethics for Ohio, this being, “ A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.” Defendant had pointed out her discovery in the letter faxed to Brobst on February 2, 2015.
If Attorney Sheldon prepared a NOTICE TO LEAVE PREMISES BEFORE SUIT form for Brobst, when the actual intent was to evict Defendant, ignoring her contractual claims and in collusion with another attorney, Brobst, and Smith then this an ethical violation in at least two ways.
First, it is an abuse of process, using a form of eviction to evade a civil suit for fraud and violations of contract which applies to renters. Second, it is being carried out covertly between multiple parties, which appears to be conspiracy, which under the law pertaining to 2923.32 - Engaging in pattern of corrupt activity, subsections (1) and (2).
Ms. Smith is attempting to collect from Defendant an unlawful debt, namely rent for housing which was supplied to Defendant as corporate housing as an employee. Presumably, the cost of corporate housing would have been deducted as a legitimate business expense. In so doing Smith is attempting to evade payment of money Smith owes Defendant. Smith is being aided in this by three parties, Brobst, Sheldon, and another unnamed attorney. Defendant believes it is likely Brobst has rented Smith the house to which she is moving.
Without question this incident constitutes a serious breach of the rules establishing proper Court conduct; rules requiring the avoidance of even the appearance of impropriety. It ignores the claims of Defendant, her persistent attempts to achieve a settlement despite the many threats, slanders, libels, and harm caused her by Plaintiff. It also places two disabled individuals at risk of homelessness.

Law and Argument

The Code of Judicial Conduct

The rules governing the conduct of the judiciary in Ohio are set forth in the Code of Judicial Conduct. In part, the Code states as follows:
“Canon 1

A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety…


[1] Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by improper conduct and conduct that creates the appearance of impropriety. This principle applies to both the professional and personal conduct of a judge.

[2] A judge should expect to be the subject of public scrutiny that might be viewed as burdensome if applied to other citizens, and must accept the restrictions imposed by the code.

[3] Conduct that compromises or appears to compromise the independence, integrity, and impartiality of a judge undermines public confidence in the judiciary. Because it is not practicable to list all such conduct, the rule is necessarily cast in general terms.

[4] Judges should participate in activities that promote ethical conduct among judges and lawyers, support professionalism within the judiciary and the legal profession, and promote access to justice for all.

[5] Actual improprieties include violations of law, court rules, or provisions of this code. The test for appearance of impropriety is an objective standard that focuses on whether the conduct would create, in reasonable minds, a perception that the judge violated this code, engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to public confidence in the judiciary, or engaged in other conduct that reflects adversely on the judge’s honesty, impartiality, temperament, or fitness to serve as a judge.
Canon 2

A Judge shall perform the duties of judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently.

RULE 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness

A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and shall perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially.

RULE 2.11 Disqualification

A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to the following circumstances:

The judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party’s lawyer, or personal knowledge of facts that are in dispute in the proceeding.


[1] A judge is responsible for his or her own conduct and for the conduct of others when those persons are acting at the judge’s direction or control. A judge may not direct court personnel to engage in conduct on the judge’s behalf or as the judge’s representative when such conduct would violate the code if undertaken by the judge.

[2] Public confidence in the judicial system depends upon timely justice. To promote the efficient administration of justice, a judge with supervisory authority must take the steps needed to ensure that judges under his or her supervision administer their workloads promptly.”

                      An Appearance Of Impropriety Exists

Without doubt, the heart and soul of the Code of Judicial Conduct is set forth in Canon 1, which mandates that a judge must avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Comment 5 to the Canon makes it clear that the test determining whether the appearance of impropriety exists is objective, and focuses on whether the conduct would create, in reasonable minds, a perception that the judge’s actions may constitute a violation of the Code’s provisions. In other words, the test is extremely broad, and obviously advocates that judges err on the side of caution when considering how their actions may appear to the general public.


By reasonable measure, an appearance of impropriety is present in these proceedings. The language of the Code of Judicial Conduct, argue that the integrity of these proceedings cannot be reasonably questioned. With due respect, presiding Magistrate Sheldon must recuse himself and make proper arrangements with the Ohio Supreme Court for a successor judge.

Respectfully submitted,



                                                                                       Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

                                                                                       Litigant, Pro Se

                                                                                       525 Bunker Hill Road

                                                                                       Ashtabula, Ohio 44004

                                                         REQUEST FOR A HEARING
Movant respectfully requests this Court to hear, consider and determine this Motion on a date prior to any hearing on the matter when all interested parties and counsel will be in Court. She therefore asked the hearing scheduled for Monday, March 2, 2015 at 3:00pm be rescheduled so the recusal can be heard.

                                                       CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

This is to certify that a copy of the foregoing was sent by regular United States mail, postage prepaid, and by email, this 26nd day of February, 2015, as follows:

David C. Sheldon
3503 Carpenter Road
P.O. Box 1152
Ashtabula, OH 44005
Phone: (440) 964-2671
Fax: (440) 964-7710

                                                                                              Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
                                                                                              Litigant, Pro Se
                                                                                              525 Bunker Hill Road
                                                                                              Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
                                                                                              Phone: 805-xxx-7600
                                                                                              Fax: 805-233-xxxx

Exhibit 14 – A - Small Claims Suit - 15CVI0048

Exhibit 14 – A - Small Claims Suit

Supplemental Information – Pillsbury-Foster vs. Smith

Small Claims Case No. 15CVI0048

I am requesting the amount of $3,000 from Raye A. Smith, AKA Rayelan Allan, born name Darlene Rae Smith, as an award for the following causes.

The first cause is having relocated to Ohio from my home in California at Ms. Smith's request. Ms. Smith offered numerous enticements to exact my agreement to do so. I am asking to be reimbursed for my expenses for driving to Ohio, a trip which took me over three weeks because my vision makes driving at night difficult for me.
(SEE – Two Medical Records)

Item No. One - $1,322
Reimbursement for my expenses for coming to Ohio in November of 2011. This took several weeks due to my poor eyesight of which Ms. Smith had been duly informed before I agreed to come. My unreimbursed expenses came to $1,322, totaled on the back of one of my business cards. (SEE Note on card)

Ms. Smith has said I imposed myself on her and was an 'uninvited guest.' This statement entirely ignores the documentation. I was already working for her as Director of Advertising for her online site, Rumor Mill News and for her 'radio station,' RMN Radio, where she had also asked me to host a show on Tuesdays. Although she removed any mention of me from the site I had my own site and maintained records of my guests. The show was Reclaim America and the site I maintained can be viewed online.

Cost-free housing was offered to me as a benefit of my employment, both Director of Advertising and COO for Rubicon Aegis, LLC.

I left my home in CA, on which I still pay the mortgage, and my friends to come to Ohio where I knew no one but Ms. Smith.

(SEE Letter of Employment – October 19, 2011)

(SEE Email between myself and Ms. Smith after she hired me dated September 13, 2011.)

Duration of Employment as Director for Advertising

I was still working as Director for Advertising in August 2013, an employment lasting over two years. I have hundreds and hundreds of emails documenting this and a list of advertisers, with their correspondence to me as well. I will produce these in court so the court can see they are in my email account and genuine.

(Emails as Director for Advertising)

The enticements which made me decide to accept Ms. Smith's offer were an offer to partner with her in a corporation to be organized which would be focused on online publishing and a benefit package which included medical insurance. Ms. Smith told me this entity would then own Rumor Mill News (RMN). RMN generates a decent income through advertising but it was clear to me it could at least double this if a redesign took place.

In coming to Ohio I was to be Chief Operating Officer of Rubicon Aegis, LLC. Ms. Smith was Chief Executive Officer of the company we would, together, start.

(SEE business cards made for Rubicon Aegis, LLC)

As part of my assigned duties as COO Ms. Smith asked me to find a state where the LLC could be inexpensively incorporated. I did research and provided to her with information on five different states, printing these out on my own printer. Ms. Smith then asked I use for printing our business cards and for multiple other jobs since Ms. Smith's own printer was not working.

Soon after this Ms. Smith informed me she had suffered undisclosed financial reversals which made it impossible for us to start the corporation immediately. She asked me to wait and began giving me household chores to do.

Only much later did I discover she had already incorporated Rubicon Aegis, LLC, in Ohio the year previous. The Incorporation Number being 1986471, incorporation date November 18, 2010 and it appears the Ohio entity is the actual owner of Rumor Mill News.

This appears to be fraud from the inception. See The History of Raye A. Smith for insight as to her history as a con-artist.

Item No. Two - $1,440.
I am asking for payment for one job Ms. Smith assigned me unrelated to either my job as Director of Advertising for Rumor Mill News, for which she had hired me in early September 2011 while I was still in California, or as a partner in Rubicon Aegis, LLC, which entity she told me we would operate together, as partners.

Beginning in January 2012 Ms. Smith asked me to carry out household tasks, which included cleaning out the basement, then filled with unopened boxes from her previous move from California to Ohio, which had taken place two years previously. I was to sort these and organize them as well. I did so.

Cleaning out the basement took nearly a month of days of not less than six hours each, including Saturday. At the moderate rate of $10 an hour this comes to $1,440.

Causes Three & Four – Utility Bills - $328.08
Payment for utility bills of $226.12 (Aqua) and $101.08 (Dominion Gas) I paid to keep the water on and in the mistaken belief Ms. Smith was moving and I could, therefore, rent the house in my own name. I was told when I called Aqua, Illumination Co., and Dominion Ms. Smith had turned off the gas as of December 3oth and would be moved by that day. These facts came to my attention because Aqua turned off the water because Ms. Smith failed to pay the bill.

(SEE copies of 2 bills, Dominion and Aqua)

The History of Raye A. Smith - Discovered from Research

Ms. Smith, then divorced from her second husband, married Gunther Russbacher on August 30, 1989. Russbacher claimed to be formerly the number three man in the CIA and the pilot who flew George H. W. Bush to Paris to set up the October Surprise in 1979. This claim appears to be a fabrication.

In an article published in the Chicago Tribune, “A Pro Con,” by Michael Tackett on March 17, 1992, Russbacher is revealed to be a con-man. At the time the article was written Russbacher had recently been convicted and sentenced to 21 years in prison in St. Charles County, Missouri.

The article is available on line at:

In an article about Ms. Smith and her then husband, Gunther Russbacher, published November 15, 1994 by The Phoenix Project, both Ms. Smith and her husband are publicly named as con-men who bilked supporters of thousands of dollars.

(See ARTICLE: The Phoenix Project)

The article contains this statement by Ms. Smith. “I need $2,000 for my phone bill,” the writer then states Ms. Smith, referred to as Rayelan, one of her pseudonyms, in the article, asked for money for other bills after she and her husband committed credit card fraud, charging $36,000 to pay for “Gunther's coronation” in Austria.

Ms. Smith still claims she is the legitimate Arch-Duchess of Austria, though Russbacher divorced her in 1996 and immediately, by Ms. Smith's report, remarried.

The Phoenix Project article includes this quote, chastising a Dr. Koenig for trusting the Russbachers. “ should have checked this out a bit more carefully. One of the smoothest SCAMS ever run was foisted off on these people AND YOU by the so-called Russbachers.”

The writer goes on to say the police in Vienna said Russbacher had been in prison in Germany, the U. S. and also in Austria.

The article includes the same formula for panhandling which is replicated online at Rumor Mill News today as a matter of routine.

On Rumor Mill News Ms. Smith continually claims to be either victimized or in desperate straits and unable to pay her utility bills or other necessities. RMN Readers donate around $3,000 to $4,000 a month to relieve needs which I observed while living in the housing provides, upstairs from Ms. Smith, did not exist.
(SEE – Front Page Rumor Mill News)

After coming to Ohio at the end of 2011 I learned that around 2007 Rumor Mill News Readers were enticed to invest in what was presented as a 'Family Campground' to be developed in Rock Creek, Ohio and invested thousands of dollars. The money was never accounted for and the subject was dropped from discussion.

RMN is organized to give Ms. Smith complete control of what appears on the site. Posters, referred to as 'Agents' who annoy her are summarily eliminated and unable to take issue with anything she says. There is no channel for appeal. Readers who post use handles, not their names so locating each other and sharing information is nearly impossible.

I did not actually read RMN until after coming to Ohio. When Ms. Smith asked me to consider partnering with her to improve the look and income of Rumor Mill I looked at the layout to assess the need for redesign but not the content, which included subjects, for instance aliens and multiple conspiracies, which did not interest me.

At the time, Ms. Smith I was already working as Director for Advertising for Rumor Mill News.

(SEE Letter for employment, October 19, 2011 and Email Correspondence September 13, 2011. )

Over the time I was working for her Ms. Smith drained me of resources. She then attempted to force me to leave without even firing me. Knowing I had documentation of my work and employment she has attempted in various ways to force me to leave without attempting to evict me, which would put us in a court of law where I could present my evidence.

On January 5, 2015 Ms. Smith published a Post which appeared on Rumor Mill News libeling me. This same post publicly states I am a free loader who foisted myself on her, ignoring that I am in Ohio as an employee occupying 'corporate housing.' The post is an astonishing fabrication of outright lies.

(SEE January 5, 2015 POST)

I made multiple attempts to reach a resolution by settlement using my attorney and offered mediation through the minister of the church we then both attended.

The issue of slander and libel are not being raised here in any legal sense. The material is presented to illustrate the methods Ms. Smith employs and her personal history.

I am now asking friends and associates to send me character references and will have those at the hearing.

Signed, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster