ILNews

Man didn't timely file petition to reopen estates

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A trial court correctly denied the request to reopen the estates of a man's deceased parents to correct an error because he failed to timely file his petition, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.

In In the Matter of the Estates of Obed Kalwitz, Sr., and Helen Kalwitz; Eugene Kalwitz v. Sharon Grieger, No. 46A03-0911-CV-546, Eugene Kalwitz filed a petition to reopen the estates of his parents after discovering a mistake in the personal representatives' deed conveying land. Based on a settlement reached between Kalwitz and his sister, Sharon Grieger, both personal representatives of the estates, Kalwitz was solely to receive the land. But the parties didn't read the document before signing it and it conveyed the property to Kalwitz and Grieger.

They filed their verified final account and petition for authority to distribute the remaining assets and to close the estates in August 2007. Kalwitz discovered the error in December 2008 and filed his petition to reopen the estates alleging a scrivener's error in March 2009. The trial court entered summary judgment for Grieger on Kalwitz's petition, finding it was untimely as a matter of law.

The Court of Appeals had to decide which statute applies: Indiana Code Section 29-1-17-13, which has a one-year statute of limitations, or I.C. Section 39-1-17-14(a), which has a general six-year statute of limitations.

Section 13 requires the petitioner to allege misconduct, though not necessarily liability, on the part of a personal representative and must be brought within one year of the date of discharge. Section 14 applies only to assets unadministered in the original order for the final settlement of an estate.

Kalwitz sought to reopen the estates under Section 14 to correct a scrivener's error, but the real estate was distributed by the deed in the former administration of the estates. As such, he can't use Section 14 to collaterally attack final judgment on an already administered asset, wrote Judge Edward Najam.

"It is important to emphasize that Eugene was not without a remedy for his allegation. But his remedy, if any, was under Section 13," he wrote.

He had to have filed his petition within one year of the date of discharge, which he failed to do. The trial court was correct in granting summary judgment for Grieger.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

ADVERTISEMENT