Courts Used as "Enforcer"


New details have surfaced in the arrest of Mrs. Katherine B. Moore in Wilmington, North Carolina. Mrs. Moore is the 77 year-old African American woman who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

North Carolina Superior Court Judge J. Stanley Carmical

Moore’s arrest was ordered by North Carolina Superior Court Judge J. Stanley Carmical on January 10, 2019 (shown left).


It is rare when someone over 65 is arrested in the United States, and even more rare when it is a woman who is black or African American.

According to the FBI’s statistics from 2016, out of a population of 320 million, there are just under 9 million arrests each year, putting the overall probability of arrest in America at 1:35.

Closer analysis of those numbers show that fewer than 100,000 Americans over the age of 65 are arrested each year. Out of that group, only 30% of those are women, and of that number, only 20% (~6,000) are black or African American.

That takes the odds of Mrs. Moore being arrested in the United States to  be greater than 1:50,000.  (*For details, see the FBI source:  https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-20


So what had Mrs. Moore done to have the state of North Carolina put her in jail?

Judge Carmical’s order details that Mrs. Moore had missed a number of court ordered “show cause” hearings.

According to www.law.cornell.edu, a “show cause” hearing is explained this way: Order to show cause (O.S.C.) is a demand of a judge for a party to justify, explain or prove why the court should or should not grant a motion.”

By failing to appear at her “show cause hearings” Judge Carmical ruled that Mrs. Moore was in contempt of court, and ordered her arrest.


The court hearings were rooted in a probate dispute between Mrs. Moore and her half-sisters.

The siblings had battled for nearly three years, but in the summer of 2018, the women seemed to have come to terms.

The peace didn’t last long. Within weeks of signing an agreement, Mrs. Moore’s half-sisters filed a complaint in court accusing Mrs. Moore of failing to hold up her end of the deal and taking items from the estate that were not hers.


Records show that at the same time, in the fall of 2018, Mrs. Moore had been diagnosed with cancer.

Mrs. Moore was being treated by Dr. Jason Starr at the Mayo Clinic’s Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology. According to the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Starr treats pancreatic cancer among other diseases.

Mrs. Moore asked the court to postpone her hearings while she received treatment for her cancer.

The court rejected her requests.

On January 22, 2019, Mrs. Moore had returned from her treatment at the Mayo Clinic and went to the courthouse to file the paperwork for an appeal.

According to the spokesman for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s department, Mrs. Moore was arrested at the courthouse. She spent 14 days in jail.

While held in custody, she did not receive treatment for her cancer.

www.stopprobatefraud.com will deliver updates on this story as they break.






About Edmund Burke 116 Articles
Volunteers working to help people spot, stop and recover from fraud and corruption in probate, trusts, estates & guardianships.