Since deputies cant serve papers on the fugitive whod been running Progressive Christian Academy in Macon, the propertys owner wants a lawsuit moved to a different county.
E.T. Strickland, whose Sunrise Enterprises Inc. of Palm Beach County, Fla., owns the property the school sits on, is asking a judge to move the lawsuit to Pierce County, where he owns a home and another related business.
The documents, dated Jan. 31, were filed in Bibb County Superior Court this week.
Strickland contends that, because deputies never found Christina Perera to serve papers on her and the business named Progressive Academy Inc., there is no reason to keep the lawsuit in Bibb County. The school is on Macons Madison Street, and Perera -- also known by her married name of Hawkins -- owns a house in Bibb County.
Strickland is asking Bibb County Superior Court Judge Edgar Ennis to reconsider his decision to keep the case here.
School founder Betty Tolbert filed suit in October, saying Strickland, Perera and others conspired to strip the ailing school from her and a charity, B. Johnson Ministries Inc., through fraud.
Perera was dropped from the lawsuit because shed filed for bankruptcy in Florida. That bankruptcy case was later dismissed because shed failed to appear for a meeting.
Florida probation officers say Perera also skipped meetings for her felony probation, and they declared her a fugitive after being unable to locate her to arrest her.
Pereras felony history led to a Georgia investigation of the state-licensed preschool at Progressive Christian Academy. The preschool was shut down because no license in a new owners name had been obtained. An order by Ennis required Progressive Christian Academy to change its name, and Tolbert to surrender the day care license.
Other grades at the private school remain in operation under the name of Hope Academy, similar to the H.O.P.E. of Macon Management Corp. that Perera founded at Progressive Christian Academys address.
Strickland is also attacking Tolberts lawsuit, saying Tolbert hasnt said exactly what fraud the defendants are alleged to have committed. Stricklands attorney, David N. Nelson of Macon, wrote that Tolbert offers no evidence to support her racketeering allegations and seemingly takes the position that at this stage of the litigation the plaintiffs lack sufficient knowledge to make out their case for fraud.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.