Apr 21, 2018

TENTATIVE RULINGS

Probate Calendar

4/19/18 10:30 a.m. Courtroom 22

Probate Law & Motion at 11:00 a.m.

Judge Bradford DeMeo

Department 12

Probate matters will be heard as follows: 

Probate Calendar: Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 22. 

Law & Motion Calendar: Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 22.

Limited Conservatorship Calendar: Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 23. 

Courtrooms 22 and 23 are located at the Civil and Family Law Courthouse – 3055 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa, California 95403

 

If the tentative ruling is accepted, no appearance is necessary unless otherwise indicated.  You must notify the probate clerk at (707) 521-6893 if you wish to be heard in response to the tentative ruling.  Any interested party who wishes to be heard in opposition to a petition must notify all other parties of the intent to appear.  Both notifications must be completed no later than 4:00 p.m. on the court day immediately preceding the day of the hearing.

Unless notification to the probate clerk has been given as provided above, the tentative rulings shall become the rulings of the court at 10:45 a.m. on the day of the hearing. 

In accordance with CRC Rule 3.670, CourtCall is available for telephone appearances on the Probate Calendar, except for hearings on petitions to confirm the sale of property and other matters in which the court determines that a personal appearance would materially assist in the determination of proceedings or in the effective management or resolution of the particular case.  CourtCall Video is now available for remote court appearances on the Probate Calendar.

PLEASE NOTE:  PROBATE CALENDAR ORDERS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT 2:30 P.M. ON THE DAY OF THE HEARING IN THE PROBATE DEPARTMENT, LOCATED AT 3055 CLEVELAND AVENUE.

1.  EBERTS, A

EST OF BETTY NEWFIELD

SPR-79550

WAIVER OF ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: The hearing is continued to June 7, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22.

 

Petitioner is to identify the personal representative of the estate of Todd Skov to whom the 50% interest in the estate’s real property is to pass.

 

Pursuant to Prob. Code section 10953(c), the court orders Timothy Allen Skov’s counsel of record, Elizabeth Larssen, to file an accounting of estate assets listed on all Inventory and Appraisals filed in this matter. Petitioner is ordered to serve Ms. Larssen with this order by April 27, 2018. Ms. Larssen is ordered to file the accounting by May 30, 2018.

 

2. 

TRUST OF BEULAH M COOPER

SPR-85052

ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING:  Continued to May 31, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.  Petitioner is directed to file, no later than May 24, 2018, a verified declaration explaining why the property on hand at the end of the account period is listed as $775.12 when the property on hand at the end of the account period is listed as $3,106.55 on the financial statement.  Petitioner shall also explain why the checking account number listed in the accounting is different from the account number listed on the financial statements.

 

3.  DENNIS, A

     SLOME, B

     GARDNER, L

CONS OF LOUIS J WATTS, JR.

SPR-88885

ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING:  The first account and report is approved. Conservator is directed to arrange transportation for the conservatee to attend court if he so chooses.

 

4.  SO CO COUNSEL

CONS OF LOIS HAWTHORNE

SPR-88922

ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING:  The first account and report is approved. Attorney fees are approved in the amount prayed. The conservator fees are approved in the amount of $23,419.90. In making this determination, the Court has considered the nature and difficulty of the tasks performed, the time spent, the results achieved, and the benefit to the conservatee. The proposed order has been revised to conform to this ruling.

 

5.  GLADDEN, M

EST OF OLOF GREGOR LINDE

SPR-89085

WAIVER OF ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

6.  HESS, S

EST OF JUDITH M SMITH

SPR-89333

HEGGSTAD

Cont. From 3/8/18

TENTATIVE RULING: The petition for Order Confirming and Transferring Assets to Trust is approved.

 

7.  GULLOTTA, E

EST OF JANE CHAIGNEAU

SPR-089756

ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

Note: Inventory and Appraisals are required to be filed within four months after letters are first issued to a general personal representative. (Prob. Code section 8800(b).) The personal representative is duly advised of this obligation at the outset by filing an acknowledgment of receipt of Form DE-147, Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative, which instructs the personal representative of his or her basic responsibilities.

 

8.  MILKS, J

     WEST, J

EST OF DON MORIKAWA

SPR-089907

PTN TO COMPEL & TO ACCOUNT

TENTATIVE RULING: Per request of counsel, the hearing is continued to June 21, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22, to allow petitioner to file an amended pleading.

 

9.  GLADDEN, M

EST OF JAMES STEWART MILLER

SPR-089931

WAIVER OF ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

10.  ADAMS, B

EST OF NORMA J LEMA

SPR-089941

WAIVER OF ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

Note: Inventory and Appraisals are required to be filed within four months after letters are first issued to a general personal representative. (Prob. Code section 8800(b).) The personal representative is duly advised of this obligation at the outset by filing an acknowledgment of receipt of Form DE-147, Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative, which instructs the personal representative of his or her basic responsibilities.

 

11.  QUOCK, K

EST OF MEREDITH JANE WATTS

SPR-090013

ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: The petition is approved.

 

Note: Inventory and Appraisals are required to be filed within four months after letters are first issued to a general personal representative. (Prob. Code section 8800(b).) The personal representative is duly advised of this obligation at the outset by filing an acknowledgment of receipt of Form DE-147, Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative, which instructs the personal representative of his or her basic responsibilities.

 

12.  DENNIS, A

       COPENHAVER, E

       NORTON, T

CONS OF SUZANNE DEKOZAN

SPR-090198

REVIEW

TENTATIVE RULING: Having been informed the medical records have been received by conservatee’s attorney, this matter is dismissed without prejudice.

 

13.  CAMPOPIANO, H

EST OF ANGELINA TERESA ROGINA

SPR-090407

WAIVER OF ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

14.  PONCIA, L

EST OF JESSE P WILDS, SR

SPR-090436

WAIVER OF ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: As petitioner has not adequately explained the need for a larger reserve, the court will allow a reserve in the amount of $2,000. The petition is otherwise approved. Petitioner is directed to submit an order that conforms to this ruling.

 

15.  O’DONNELL, D

EST OF MARK PATRICK SICHI

SPR-090516

WAIVER OF ACCT & RPT

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

16.  MUNYER, L

       SINIGIANI, C

TRUST OF JOHN JOSEPH AND MARY C FLING

SPR-090901

CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

TENTATIVE RULING: Appearances required.

 

17.  SRL

PTN OF SANDRA KRISTEN NELSON-CACHO

SPR-090903

 

CHANGE OF NAME

TENTATIVE RULING: This petition was continued from March 08, 2018, to allow petitioner to publish in a local newspaper as required by Civil Code of Procedure section 1277(a)(2). The court has still not received proof of publication. This case is dismissed for failure to comply with the Probate Code requirements for publication. 

 

18.  JONES, D

TRUST OF CHARTRAND FAMILY

SPR-091027

PTN FOR TERM OF TRUST

TENTATIVE RULING: The hearing is continued to May 24, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22, to allow the parties to submit their settlement agreement for court review.

 

19.  DIEPENBROCK EBERTS, A

       RAFF, D

TRUST OF HERBERT & GENEVIEVE M FLEMING

SPR-091075

PTN CONCERNING INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF TRUST, CONTEST AMENDMENTS & FOR DAMAGES

TENTATIVE RULING: Appearances required to set the matter for CMC, settlement conference, and/or trial.

 

20.  EIMERS, J

TRUST OF ALICE MARGARET FRIEDRICH

SPR091200

CONFIRM SUCCESSOR TTEE & TRUST ASSETS

TENTATIVE RULING: The hearing is continued to May 31, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22. Petitioner must provide notice compliant with new Prob. Code section 851(c). (Amended by Stats.2017, c. 32 (A.B.308), § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)

 

21.  LARSSEN, E

TRUST OF IRVIN V NAHMENS

SPR-091206

PETITION TO APPT SUCC TTEES

TENTATIVE RULING: The petition is moot. The petition appointing a successor trustee was approved on April 13, 2018.

 

22.  RAPAPORT, D

TRUST OF IRWIN ROSMARIN

SPR-091207

PTN TO DETERMINE VALIDITY OF TRUST AMENDMENTS & TO INSTRUCT TRUSTEE

TENTATIVE RULING: Per request of counsel, the hearing is continued to July 26, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22.

 

23.  RAFF, D

TRUST OF RICHARD E SILVERS & EVELYN L SILVERS

SPR-091208

PTN FOR SALE OF R/P BY TTEE

TENTATIVE RULING: The matter is continued to June 7, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 22.  As objections have been filed, pursuant to local rule 6.2 (G)(2), the parties are directed to meet and confer and make a reasonable and good faith attempt to informally resolve the controversy at a face-to-face conference, if possible, otherwise by telephone conference, before any hearing of the contested petition. 

 

24.  DOUVILLE, G

TRUST OF INEZ J GOLDIE

SPR-091215

PTN TO DETERMINE VALIDITY OF 2ND AMENDMENT TO TRUST

TENTATIVE RULING: Petitioner Jennifer Hatton has filed a petition to determine the validity of the purported second amendment to the Inez J. Goldie Living Trust, dated August 18, 1997. Petitioner alleges that second amendment executed on March 30, 2017, invalid due to the decedent settlor’s failure to deliver the second amendment to the petitioner as co-trustee, is invalid due to the mental incapacity of the decedent, and is invalid due to undue influence exerted on the decedent by beneficiary Pamela Stark.

 

The petition is denied on the first ground. Here, Probate Code section 15401 provides the method of revocation: “By a writing, other than a will, signed by the settlor or any other person holding the power of revocation and delivered to the trustee during the lifetime of the settlor or the person holding the power of revocation. If the trust instrument explicitly makes the method of revocation provided in the trust instrument the exclusive method of revocation, the trust may not be revoked pursuant to this paragraph.” (Underline added.) Thus, the decedent could revoke the trust by delivering the writing to herself as the settlor; she did not need to deliver the amendment to petitioner as co-trustee.

 

Appearances are required on the remaining issues.

 

25.  RONDON, B

EST OF RALPH SMITH

SPR-091230

LTRS OF ADMIN

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

26.  SRL

PTN OF HOMOBONO GOMEZ LOPEZ

SPR-091254

 

CHANGE OF NAME

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved

      

27.  SHINDELDECKER, T

EST OF CHARLES TODD ADKINS

SPR-091256

PROBATE OF WILL

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

28.  SMITH, K

CONFIDENTIAL

SPR-091260

CHANGE OF NAME

TENTATIVE RULING:  Approved.

 

29.  KWASNESKI, K

EST OF DAVID LEROY WESTCOTT

SPR-091263

PROBATE OF WILL & ADMIN WWA

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

30.  KEMP, B

EST OF KATHERINE A YANNAZZO

SPR-091265

PROBATE OF WILL

TENTATIVE RULING: The hearing is continued to May 17, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22. All executors, including alternative executors, must receive notice. (Prob. Code section 8110(b).)

 

31.  SRL

PTN OF KIMBERLEE ALICE KELLER

SPR-091267

 

CHANGE OF NAME

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

                                 

32.  ROWLAND, W

EST OF AUGUSTE BERTA ANDERSON

SPR-091270

LTRS OF ADMIN

TENTATIVE RULING: The hearing is continued to May 24, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22. As an amended petition has been filed requesting decedent’s will be admitted to probate, new notice must be published in a local newspaper. (CRC, Rule 7.54.)

 

33.  SRL

EST OF LEONARD E WELLS

SPR-091276

SPOUSAL PROPERTY PETITION

TENTATIVE RULING: Per request of counsel, the hearing is continued to June 21, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22.

 

34.  SRL

EST OF STEFAN ADAM GUDJOHNSEN

SPR-091277

PROBATE OF WILL

TENTATIVE RULING: The petition is approved. Bond will be required in the amount of $100,000. (Prob.Code § 8571.)

 

35.  KETRON, B

EST OF LAWRENCE EDWARD BROWN

SPR-091279

PROBATE OF WILL

TENTATIVE RULING: Approved.

 

36.  BROTHERS, M

EST OF ALESSIO G MAGGI

SPR-091280

PROBATE OF WILL

TENTATIVE RULING: The hearing is continued to May 17, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 22.

 

All executors, including alternative executors, must receive notice. (Prob. Code section 8110(b).)

 

Additionally, as the decedent’s will leaves his property to his trust, the trustee of the trust must be notified of the probate proceeding. The probate petition does not identify the trustee. Therefore, the court cannot determine if the proposed personal representative has notified the trustee or if the personal representative and the trustee are one in the same, in which case, the beneficiaries of the trust would also need to be identified and given notice. Petitioner is to provide the court with the additional information and give notice, if necessary.

 

Probate Law & Motion

4/19/18 11:00 a.m. Courtroom 22

Judge Bradford DeMeo

Department 12

1.  CYPHERS, K

TRUST OF JACLYN L CHURMA

SPR-090813

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

TENTATIVE RULING: The Court deems the application to be a CCP Sec.1008(b) RENEWED Petition for an Order Confirming Real Property to be an Asset of the Trust Estate, rather than a CCP Sec.1008(a) motion for reconsideration.  Although moving party refers to the application as a “reconsideration” motion, moving party relies on CCP Sec.1008(b) (the renewed application provision) and the deadline for a CCP Sec.1008(a) reconsideration motion appears to have expired.

            The unopposed, renewed petition is GRANTED.  As an initial matter, the Court finds that the original petition can be “renewed” under CCP Sec.1008(b) because the original petition was merely an application for an order that did not result in any final judgment.  The declaration of Louise Thompson establishes the jurisdictional requirements for the CCP Sec.1008(b) renewed application.  The evidence presented in the Charles de la Forest declaration constitutes “new or different facts” for purposes of CCP Sec.1008(b).  Based upon the new facts, there is now credible and sufficient evidence that decedent intended that her entire 40% interest in the property be held in trust during her lifetime.  Petitioner has now met her burden of proof in this matter.

            The December 7, 2017 order denying the original petition is VACATED and the renewed petition is GRANTED.

            Moving party shall prepare an order for signature consistent with this ruling. 

 

2. SPAULDING, G.

    ADAMS, B.

    WAGSTAFFE, J.

MATTER OF JOSEPH A. GAPPA AND JUDITH M. GAPPA TRUST

OSC RE CONTEMPT

TENTATIVE RULING: This matter comes on calendar for Shelley OCANA’s Application for an OSC re contempt against Michael Maciel for disobedience (indirect contempt) of a January 31, 2018 Order and a February 9, 2018 Order. 

            Alleged contemnor Michael MACIEL is ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE on May 22nd, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in DEPARTMENT 12 why he shouldn’t be held in contempt for violating the Court orders as set forth in the three declarations accompanying the request for an OSC. 

            The Court notes that it is the initiating declarations, not moving party’s P&As, that frame the issues constituting the alleged contemptuous acts.  The Court further notes that, although an OSC is being issued, the proponent of the indirect contempt must present witnesses at the hearing to prove the contempt beyond a reasonable doubt.  The accused is entitled to cross-examine witnesses and to present witnesses in his defense.  The rights of the alleged contemnor are basically the same as those of a criminal defendant, including the right to counsel, except that there is no general right to a jury trial.  CCP Sec.1217; In re Witherspoon (1984) 162 Cal.App.3d 1000; In re Morelli (1970) 11 Cal.App.3d 819, 850.  Both oral testimony and documentary evidence may be produced at the hearing.  See CCP Sec.1217; In re Morelli, supra at 834. 

            Although not required, the alleged contemnor may respond to the accusation with counter-declarations, which essentially serve as the answer to the charging allegations.  Lyon v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (1968) 68 Cal.2d 446, 452.  However, the accused party may assert his or defenses entirely at the hearing.  See CCP Sec.1217.  If the alleged contemnor does file a counter-declaration, allegations in the original declarations are deemed admitted if not denied by the counter-declaration, and a hearing is required only on the controverted issues.  Crittenden v. Superior Court of San Diego (1964) 225 Cal.App.2d 101, 107.  If Mr. Maciel elects to file any counter-declarations, they shall be filed and served by May 10th, 2018.

            Finally, the initiating declarations and OSC must be personally served on the alleged contemnor.  CCP Sec.1015-1016.  This requirement is jurisdictional.  Any order for indirect contempt would be invalid without such service.  In re Koehler (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1153.  Moving party shall file proof of personal service of the initiating declarations and the OSC by May 4th, 2018.

            Moving party shall prepare a proposed OSC consistent with this ruling.

 

 

 

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