Former servant sues for title to home

November 23, 1993|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,Staff Writer

An 82-year-old blind woman facing eviction from her Highland home has gone to court for the title of the property she has lived on for 43 years, or for a settlement of $320,000.

Lulu Moore, a former domestic worker on the Scheidt family farm in Highland, says in a Howard County Circuit Court filing that the three siblings who now own the farm are wrongfully trying to evict her.

Mrs. Moore's attorney, Jo Glasco, filed the six-page complaint in Howard County Circuit Court Nov. 12 and is preparing to have it delivered soon to defendant Peter Scheidt, one of three siblings trying to evict Mrs. Moore.

The three children of the now-deceased former owners want to evict Mrs. Moore to clear the way for sale of the 120-acre property, which could enrich their family trust by as much as $5.6 million.

The Scheidt family's Chevy Chase attorney, Eric Mitchell, said he has not seen the complaint and would not comment about Mrs. Moore's claim to the title or to a settlement.

"Frankly, [the complaint] comes as a surprise to me," he said yesterday.

No date has been set for a hearing on Mrs. Moore's complaint. The Scheidt family's eviction proceedings also are in Howard County Circuit Court and awaiting a trial date.

Mrs. Moore contends that the house was given to her as a lifetime home by her former employers, Melvin and Prue Scheidt.

She says that when the Scheidts purchased the second half of their Highland farm in 1950, they gave her a tenant house on the property, rent free, while she worked as a domestic worker for the family.

But Melvin and Prue Scheidt, who died in August 1979, made no mention of Mrs. Moore in their wills.

The couple's three children contend that Mrs. Moore does not have a right to any part of the farm, noting that she was not mentioned in the will and arguing that she paid rent at least part of the time she lived on the property.

Dr. Peter Scheidt, of Highland, and his two sisters, Carol Thomas, of Highland and Sally Churan, of Albuquerque, N.M., want to develop part of the farm in 28 one-acre lots.

Money from the sale of those lots, at up to $200,000 each, would go into a family trust, according to Melvin and Prue Scheidt's wills.

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