YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The city and an ambulance company are contending that a federal lawsuit filed by the mother of a murder victim should be dismissed because the mother is acting as an attorney and the administrator of her son’s estate.

American Medical Response filed a motion earlier this month in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio asking U.S. Judge Sara Lioi to dismiss a wrongful death complaint filed by Lynette Wesley, the mother of Brandon Wesley, saying that federal court procedures bar someone from serving as their own attorney and as the administrator of an estate that is pursuing a civil claim if there is a beneficiary.

Attorneys for AMR contend that Brandon Wesley’s father is listed in probate court records as a beneficiary.

AMR filed its motion Dec. 16. Last week, attorneys for the city filed their own motion basically saying that they agreed with the motion that AMR filed and asked for the suit to be dismissed.

Lynette Wesley is the mother of Brandon Wesley, 18, who died after being shot on July 18, 2020, at Homestead and East Dewey avenues. Police said he was walking home after playing basketball when he was caught in the crossfire between other rival groups who were shooting at each other. Despite pleas for assistance from detectives, the case is still unsolved.

In her complaint, which was filed in February by Pittsburgh-based lawyers Joel Sansone and Massino Terzigni, Lynette Wesley claimed it took more than an hour for an ambulance to show up and that city police officers withheld aid from her son as he waited for medical attention.

Radio call logs and police reports said that an ambulance arrived just under 10 minutes after the first 911 call was made and Brandon Wesley was already at St. Elizabeth Health Center when one of the officers named in the complaint, a homicide detective, got called out to respond to the scene.

Reports also said that city police officers were giving medical aid to Brandon Wesley before the ambulance arrived.

Court records show that on Oct. 13, Sansone and Terzigni asked to withdraw from the case, citing “irreconcilable differences,” but they did not get more specific.

Judge Lioi ruled in their favor Oct. 17 and said in her order that an Oct. 28 pretrial conference in the case would go ahead as scheduled, and if Lynette Wesley did not hire a lawyer, she could represent herself for the pretrial conference. She would have 60 days to hire a lawyer, however.

Court records show that Lynette Wesley told the judge that she wanted to hire a new attorney and Judge Lioi told her “that under the law, it is highly unlikely she can represent the case pro se [acting as her own attorney].” Court records said Judge Lioi told her if she did not have an attorney by Dec. 13, she would have to explain why the case should not be dismissed.

According to the records, Lynette Wesley told the judge she understood.

The records do not indicate which law Judge Lioi was referring to, but in their Dec. 16 brief, just three days after Judge Lioi’s deadline, attorneys for AMR said federal courts “have recognized that it is not permissible for a pro se plaintiff, as administrator of an estate, where there are other beneficiaries or next of kin of creditors involved.”

Included in AMR’s motion was paperwork from Mahoning County Probate Court that said Wesley’s father, Bernard Merchant, was listed as a beneficiary of Brandon Wesley’s estate.

AMR included case law from the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which said “a personal representative may appear pro se on behalf of an estate only if he or she is the sole beneficiary of the estate and the estate has no creditors.”

Because Wesley failed to meet the deadline imposed by Judge Lioi to have an attorney represent her, the case should be dismissed, AMR’s attorneys wrote.

Court records do not list a future hearing date nor a response filed by Lynette Wesley.