Amber Darnell, of RealtySouth, is listed in court documents as the agent for the sale of a house belonging to Clanton resident Bonnie Cahalane.
I contacted Darnell recently and informed her that Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds had unlawfully ordered Cahalane jailed for five months last year as part of the fallout from a divorce case styled Wyatt v. Wyatt. The judge then orchestrated an agreement for the sale of Ms. Cahalane's house while she was under threat of being returned to jail if she did not comply.
When I informed Darnell that both the incarceration and resulting sales agreement were contrary to black-letter Alabama law, she didn't much seem to care. "I'm just doing what the court has told me to do," she said.
Darnell, however, did seem to care about any unsightly publicity that might come from the sale. (See video at the end of this post.) Here is part of our exchange:
"There's nothing I've said that you would need to publish."
"Well, that's for me to decide."
"No, it's not because I'm the one who's verbally saying it. And there's not anything I've said or anything that you need to publish."
"I will publish what I feel needs to be done."
Darnell then referenced a statement I had made earlier about Cahalane's right not to be unlawfully incarcerated or be the victim of court-ordered theft. Somehow, Darnell equated that to her own alleged right not to be quoted about the sale of a house for which she is the listed agent:
"You're so concerned about someone else's rights, but when it comes to my rights, you're not worried about mine?"
"What rights of yours [have I violated]? I told you who I am and asked a few questions."
"And I said what I need to say and said you don't need to publish anything at this point."
"Well, you don't have that right, to tell me whether or not to publish. I make that decision."
Since that approach didn't seem to be working, Darnell decided to try insults:
"I've read your blog--it was brought to my attention by the ex husband (Harold Wyatt)--I know you are attacking RealtySouth and anyone you can attack."
"I'm publishing information that is right from the court file. You are the listed agent, and that's fact."
It seemed Darnell could use a refresher course on some basics of the law. So I decided to give her one:
"A woman is about to lose her house, and I consider that kind of important. The law is what's written; it's not what Sibley Reynolds says it is. . . . This is a judge who throws someone in jail for five months on a supposed debt? You just can't do that.
"Then you can't have a contract with the threat of the person going back to jail if she doesn't agree to it. That's Law School 101."
Darnell tried, without much success, to distance herself from inconvenient truths:
"I was not part of her being in jail. I don't know anything about that."
"How did the house come to be listed with you?"
"It was court ordered."
"I would encourage you to look beneath that court order because it's unlawful. I'm sure you wouldn't want to have your house taken from you unlawfully. I wouldn't want it done to me, and I don't want it done to Ms. [Cahalane]. We have lots of problems with judges who don't rule according to what the law says. That's what I'm trying to shine light on."