Jury Awards Verdict Against Former Mrs. America

Los Angeles Daily Journal — Litigators in Focus

In 1981, Jill Scott and Plaintiff G.E. Scott were married.  In 1990, she was crowned Mrs. America.  In June 1998, a San Diego jury awarded $690,000 to Mr. Scott after his now ex-wife and her new husband Rick Chance hired bounty hunters to seize Scott in Belleville, Kansas, handcuff him and drive him back to San Diego to attend a family court hearing.

G.E. Scott was represented by San Diego lawyers Eugene G. Iredale and Douglas S. Gilliland.  Iredale, a Harvard Law School graduate and prominent criminal defense attorney said Scott was doing well financially during the middle of their marriage.  But when his business declined, the couple divorced.  They had two children.  The court granted custody of one child to each parent.  Jill Scott remarried to the Arizona auto glass mogul Rich Chance.  G.E. Scott moved to Belleville, Kansas with his son where he began working at a Taco Bell and fell behind on child support payment to Jill Scott-Chance.  Despite the fact that she re-married a multi-millionaire and was living in a mansion in Scottdale, Arizona, Jill Scott-Chance and her husband hired San Diego attorney Ian Lockhon who obtained a court order for G.E. Scott to appear in family law court in San Diego regarding unpaid child support.

Scott-Chance and her husband then hired two bounty hunters who seized G.E. Scott at gun-point from his Kansas home and drove him handcuffed to San Diego.  “It was just a sign of the incredible arrogance of the defendant and her wealthy husband, that they believed that if you have enough money, you just buy things.  If you are angry at an ex-husband, you buy his incarceration” Iredale said.

Iredale and Gilliland brought the lawsuit against Jill-Scott Chance, her attorney Lockhon and the bounty hunters.    Gilliland said the jury awarded G.E. Scott damages for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Damages for these torts are not covered by insurance under California law.  But the Chance’s homeowners’ insurance carrier for their Arizona home was defending the case and these torts are covered under Arizona law.  Gilliland said the jury also awarded punitive damages against both Jill Scott-Chance and Ian Lockhon.