Judge lifts arrest warrant for Anita Baker

Lawsuit involving singer-songwriter, contractor will continue in April


DETROIT – A judge has dismissed the arrest warrant that had been issued for singer-songwriter Anita Baker.

Baker's legal troubles stem from an incident involving her Grosse Pointe estate. Ray Smith Painting and Decorating claims Baker never handed over thousands of dollars she owed the company for work done inside her home. The plaintiff's attorney, Daniel Gerow, claimed Baker has failed to pay up and failed to appear in court, which is what led to the bench warrant being issued.

But Baker's attorney, Jamal Hamood, said his client did pay up - a lot.

"She had paid them almost $60,000, and the contract was supposed to be far less than that, and at the end, ended up with a job that was very shoddy. Very poor workmanship. She has pictures," Hamood said.

Hamood said Baker and the contractor got into a dispute over an additional $15,000, which resulted in a lawsuit in 2010.

"The plaintiff decided to dismiss that lawsuit, voluntarily on his own," Hamood said. "So, Ms. Baker believed that the matter was over at that point."

Hamood said the lawsuit was refiled about four months later, but Baker was never served with any papers.

"She wasn't aware that the second lawsuit had been filed, and certainly wasn't aware that a default or a default judgment had been added against her," Hamood said.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Edward Ewell said Monday that while the warrant was dismissed, the lawsuit over the money will continue at a hearing in April.

Hamood said Baker will be in town for the April hearing and is "thrilled and eager to have an opportunity to explain her side of things in court."