Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

ADDITIONAL CASESIn the Matter of the Petition of Raquiyah Kelly for Letters of Administration in the Estate of Gilbert Scott-Heron, Deceased; 2011-2283/BDECISION and ORDER Incident to cross-petitions for the appointment of an administrator in the estate of Gilbert Scott-Heron,1 the court held the issuance of letters of administration in abeyance pending a kinship determination to be made after a hearing. Decedent’s alleged son, Rumal Rackley, has been acting as temporary administrator since November 30, 2011.Following a hearing held on December 5, 2018, the court determined that decedent was survived by four adult children: Gia Scott-Heron (“Gia”), Chegianna Newton (“Chegianna”), Raquiyah Nia Kelly Heron (“Raquiyah”), and Rumal Rackley (“Rumal”), as his sole distributees.As a threshold matter, in light of the documents admitted into evidence, all objections to decedent’s paternity of Gia, Chegianna, and Raquiyah were withdrawn, and the court determined that kinship was established as to the three daughters.2 As to Rumal, in addition to consideration of documentary evidence,3 the court heard testimony of Earnest A. Jackson, Jr., and Lurma Rackley, and found the testimony credible and compelling. Mr. Jackson, a friend and business associate of decedent’s, described his decades-long relationship with decedent and testified that decedent had four children: Gia, Rumal, Raquiyah and Chegianna. In particular, as to Rumal, the testimony of Mr. Jackson established that decedent introduced Rumal as his son and publicly recognized him as such. As testified to by Mr. Jackson, this acknowledgment is amply demonstrated in the name of decedent’s record company, Rumal-Gia Records Limited, and its logo, which features two children joining hands around a globe.Also testifying for petitioner was Lurma Rackley, Rumal’s mother. Ms. Rackley testified that decedent was Rumal’s father and identified several documents, including a handwritten letter that decedent had written to Rumal. Among the other documents introduced into evidence were various liner notes from decedent’s albums and written by him, which expressly recognize and identify by name decedent’s children, including Rumal.4The court found that the proof, in particular the statements and actions of decedent, made in very public fora over a span of many years, constituted clear and convincing evidence of decedent’s open and notorious acknowledgment that Rumal was his son, thereby establishing paternity in accordance with EPTL 4-1.2(a)(2)(C).Accordingly, the court determined that decedent was survived by four children, namely Rumal Rackley, Gia Scott-Heron, Chegianna Newton, and Raquiyah Nia Kelly Heron as his sole distributees.Letters of AdministrationThe reports of Jeffrey St. Clair, guardian ad litem for unknown distributees, and Lawton Squires, prior guardian ad litem for Chegianna Newton, have been received and their recommendations considered.Pursuant to SCPA 1001(1)(f)(i), the petition of Rumal for Letters of Administration is hereby granted and the cross-petition of Raquiyah is denied. Rumal has served as temporary administrator of the estate for over seven years and a proceeding to judicially settle his intermediate account is pending in this court. The concerns raised by Raquiyah in her application are not an adequate basis for denial of Rumal’s appointment as administrator and, to the extent that they have any validity, are more appropriately brought as objections in the pending accounting proceeding. The rationale for appointing Rumal as temporary administrator, as expressed in this court’s decision dated November 30, 2011, applies equally to his appointment as permanent administrator.This decision, together with the transcript of the proceedings of December 5, 2018, constitute the order of the court. Petitioner shall settle a decree appointing Rumal Rackley as administrator and providing for the compensation of the guardians ad litem.The clerk of the court is directed to mail a copy of this decision to all parties in these proceedings.Dated: May 2, 2019

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

Complex Claims & Litigation Forum 2024

February 26, 2024 - February 28, 2024
Las Vegas, NV

The conference experience aimed to help insurers and litigators Prevent, Prepare, and Prevail in complex claims cases and risks.

Learn More

Women, Influence & Power in Law UK Awards 2024

March 06, 2024
London, UK

Women, Influence & Power in Law UK Awards honors women lawyers who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession.

Learn More

Florida Legal Awards (FLLA) 2024

April 04, 2024
Miami, FL

Daily Business Review honors attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in Florida.

Learn More


Gill & Chamas, LLC seeks an attorney to work in their Woodbridge, NJ Office. Candidate must possess either of the following: 1-3+ year...

Apply Now ›


COLE SCHOTZ P.C.HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT- NEW JERSEY OFFICE Prominent mid-Atlantic law Firm with multiple office locatio...

Apply Now ›

Trusts and Estates Associate / Estate Planning and Tax Specialist - New York

Join a Top Nassau County law firm, as a Trusts and Estates Associate, where your expertise will navigate the complexities of estate plannin...

Apply Now ›

Danaher Lagnese

Connecticut Law Tribune

Professional Announcement

View Announcement ›

Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari

New Jersey Law Journal

Frederick D. Miceli has joined the firm as Of Counsel

View Announcement ›


New Jersey Law Journal

Professional Announcement

View Announcement ›