First on CNN: Sanford warned about trespassing in 2011
April 17th, 2013
01:27 PM ET
9 years ago

First on CNN: Sanford warned about trespassing in 2011

(CNN) - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has engaged in a "pattern" of trespassing on his ex-wife's property since their divorce and was even issued a warning about the matter by her attorney two years ago, according to court documents related to the incident.

The Associated Press reported late Tuesday that Sanford, who is currently the Republican nominee for Congress in South Carolina's First District, has been ordered to appear in court on May 9 after his ex-wife Jenny complained that he trespassed on her Sullivan's Island property. Under the terms of their 2010 divorce, neither party can enter the other's home without permission.

Jenny Sanford later confirmed the incident, which occurred on Feb. 3, three weeks after Mark Sanford announced his House campaign. She told CNN that "this is a private matter" and offered no further comment.

Mark Sanford said in a statement Wednesday he was simply watching the Super Bowl with one of his sons, and could not get in touch with Jenny Sanford beforehand.

But a closer examination of the court documents, obtained by CNN on Wednesday, suggests that Mark Sanford has repeatedly entered Jenny Sanford's beachfront home on Sullivan's Island without permission.

Mark Sanford has "entered into a pattern of entering onto Plaintiff's property, both at her former and current residences, without her permission and against her wishes," according to a complaint filed in Charleston County family court on March 21. It asks that Mark Sanford be held in contempt of court.

Jenny Sanford has informed Mark Sanford "on a number of occasions that this behavior is in violation of the court's order, and has demanded that it not occur again," the complaint reads. The document does not include details about previous trespassing accusations.

CNN has also obtained a "formal notice" sent to Mark in Feb. 2011 by Jenny Sanford's attorney, Deena Smith McRackan, warning him not to enter the Sullivan's Island residence without permission.

"This is a formal notice not to trespass on her property," McRackan wrote to the former governor. "[Jenny Sanford] intends to enforce any violation of thus request by resort to either the Family Court in a contempt action or a criminal charge for trespass, or both."

She continued, "I am sorry it has come to this, but Jenny tried to impress upon you the importance of honoring her wishes. She was not successful, so has no choice but to rely on her rights under the law."

McRackan also filed a copy of the trespass letter with the chief of police in Sullivan's Island on April 21, 2011.

A spokesman for Mark Sanford declined to comment on the new details and pointed to the statement issued by the campaign earlier Wednesday.

Sanford's opponent in the congressional race is Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, the sister of television host Stephen Colbert.

His court date is set for two days after the May 7 special election.

Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Gregory M. Newbold

    He obviously doesn`t believe that he has to follow "the rules".

    April 17, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Homer Simpson

    Just sayin, pehaps he is the one who should move on, she has not tried to make unnecesary contact with him. he should obey the law, just like everyone else is expected to, and when you dont, you get arrested, unusual concept for you righties to comprehend

    April 17, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Homer Simpson

    He has no respect for her, the law, or our citizens, lies, and more lies, why is it so hard to see this guy for what he is. he obviously thinks he is above the law, seriously hope he does not get voted back in public office

    April 17, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Homer Simpson

    A guy with his history getting reelected should be laughable, yet here he is, a true testiment to the gop ability to manipulate the voting process

    April 17, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Homer Simpson

    Just an allaround stand up guy!

    April 17, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Homer Simpson

    If he loved his kids he would not jeaprodise his future relationship with his kids, he simply has no respect for the law

    April 17, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Chipster

    What is WRONG with this man?! He clearly has no concept of how a person should behave and what boundaries are. The fact that he had a mistress in Argentina was not as shocking as the fact that he told people he would be hiking in the Appalachians and then went missing, completely unreachable, is astonishing. Again, no concept of his responsibilities as governor. Most people outgrow such self-serving impulses by the age of 12. It incredible that he thinks the people should elect such an irresponsible person to any responsible office again.

    April 17, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. AZ Girl

    Whether he is "R" or "D" makes no difference. That he is a liar and a cheater does. I'm sorry, any man that is sneaking around his ex wife's yard ( where he is NOT supposed to be), in the dark, with his cell phone for light, when she isn't supposed to be home, is just plain creepy! There's a reason it's court ordered for him not to be there.

    Come on, don't you people what ANY of those shows on ID Discovery or the BIO channel?

    April 17, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "he needs to realize his wife still harbors hatred and resentment towards him, even if he was only trying to see his kids. she should seek counseling for her anger and he needs to make sure he stays away from her while trying not to lose touch with his children. she obviously has not fogiven him and moved on with her life."

    There are Court orders that neither of them is to set foot on the others' property without permission to do so. That in no way justifies or gives you an excuse to pin this on her for still being angry with him and needing counseling. Grow up, you misogynist pig.

    April 17, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. chilly g

    after the previous years only in south carolina could this guy get elected because he a republican and a
    southern good old boy, south carolina is at the bottom of most catogery of how well states are doing.

    April 17, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Tom

    Oh well, there's always the 2016 Presidential race. He would fit right in on the primary circuit. Mark Sanford, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich on the same stage for a debate could be ratings gold. Is the term "crazy Republican" redundant?

    April 17, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    This ego manic fool doesn't belong in government, maybe in somila where the gop has the same values ,gun rights ,no taxes and no brains ,we told you how to vote and you choose the paid nra gun lobbyist in stead of the 90% of American voters ,see you in the midterms except for sanford who won't make it .

    April 17, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. AZ Girl

    ~~~>Just Saying... Really? SHE'S angry and not forgiven him and "moved on"? SHE wasn't the one sneaking around her house in the dark. AND why should she forgive him? He lied, cheated, and lied again to not only her, but her sons, AND the American people. Embarrassing her and her trust in him. Heck I don't forgive him and I din't even know him!

    ~~~> Name Lynn... I really am not saying to be mean or anything but after reading many of your posts they are a little concerning (syntax, verb usage, grammar, and context) and I don't say this out of rudeness, but are you ES or have a medical problem?

    April 17, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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