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J. Michael Schaefer
An excerpt of J. Michael Schaefer's cover letter.

Getting reacquainted via cover letter

Cover letters on lawsuits filed in state circuit court usually are pretty boilerplate. But one I saw last month in Baltimore City Circuit Court got my attention.

“Please give my regards to Barbara Bowman who I have been doing business with for decades, you remember [sic] me as the late Governor Schaefers [sic] companion during his final years,” the letter reads in part.

The letter was written by J. Michael Schaefer, who says he took former Gov. William Donald Schaefer out for meals and civic appearances three times a week beginning in September 2006 through Gov. Schaefer’s death in April 2011. (The two men are not related.)

Mike Schaefer filed a $28,000 claim against the late governor’s estate in June 2011, which he claimed was $500 a month for being a part-time caregiver. A Baltimore County Orphans’ Court judge dismissed the case five months later, according to online records.

Schaefer, who now lives in Las Vegas, mentioned his relationship with the late governor several times when I spoke with him Tuesday. But the current lawsuit, he said, has nothing to do with Gov. Schaefer.

The lawsuit, brought by Mike Schaefer and his son, is against New Charm City Development LLC. The Schaefers allege the company purchased an apartment they owned in the 900 block of Calvert Street in August 2013 but has “refused to record the transaction or pay required fees to the state or city,” according to the complaint.

As a result, the Schaefers continue to receive real estate tax and water bills and citations from city housing inspectors, according to the complaint.

State property records show the Schaefers purchased the property in 2006. New Charm City paid a $75,000 deposit in September 2013 but the Schaefers have not been able to get in touch with New Charm City officials since then, according to the lawsuit.

“I’m just trying to get a court to get these people to sit up right,” Mike Schaefer said.

The case is Derek D. Schaefer, et al., v. New Charm City Development LLC, 24C1500953.