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Respondent Claims Petitioner Lacks Standing


A 19 years old woman was at the hotel located at Staten Island, New York. The said hotel is approximately one half mile from the woman’s residence where she resided with her mother. While at the hotel, the woman made her way to the roof of the hotel where she plunged to her death. Consequently, the woman’s mother’s attorney, who has an office in Staten Island, New York, filed for limited letters testamentary in order to bring an action for a potential wrongful death action.

A New York Probate Lawyer said the complainant mother apparently changed attorneys to one who has offices in Brooklyn and commenced the legal action by filing a summons and complaint with the Kings County clerk’s office. The summons stated that the venue was based on the mother’s residence at Brooklyn however the mother’s verified complaint stated that she was a resident of the County of Richmond. The verified complaint contains allegations of fact in support for a single cause of action for damages due to wrongful death and the woman’s conscious pain and suffering up until her death.

The hotel served an answer to the revised verified complaint that includes thirteen affirmative defenses. A Brooklyn Probate Lawyer said the third affirmative defense states that the mother’s complaint filed in Kings County are at improper venue, and that the place of trial of the action should be changed to a proper venue, a Richmond County. Submitted along with the opponents’ answer was a demand to change venue. When the mother did not respond to the demand to change venue to a proper county, the hotel filed the underlying notice of motion to change venue with the Richmond County clerk’s office.

The mother’s counsel, whose law office is located in Kings County, selected Kings County as the venue in the summons of the action based on the alleged residence of the mother. Based on records, the rules governed proper venue. Further, the place of trial shall be in the county in which one of the parties resided when the action was initiated.

The opponent also put forth documents to show that the mother’s residence was in Richmond County at the beginning of the action. The opponent’s affirmation contains the mother’s petition for probate, letters testamentary and the woman’s death certificate. The petition for probate was filed with the surrogate’s Court of Richmond County. The form listed the woman’s residence as well as the mother’s residence Staten Island, New York. The Richmond County address is also listed on the woman’s death certificate.

Lastly, a Bronx Probate Lawyer said the mother contends that the hotel do not have standing to make a motion and claim that a motion for a default decision against them has been filed in Kings County Supreme Court. The hotel further argues that the mother agreed to extend the time to answer. In support of their argument, the hotel attached an unsigned stipulation extending time to answer. While the attached copy is not signed, the mother’s counsel does not argue that it was forwarded to him to memorialize the agreement between the attorneys to extend the time to answer. Nonetheless, the court will grant the hotel to leave to file their answer and the mother shall accept same and be permitted file responses to the remaining affirmative defenses within thirty days of the order.

Consequently, the court ordered that the hotel’s motion to change venue to Richmond County is granted. Moreover, it is ordered that the mother shall immediately file an application to extend her limited letters testamentary or file for permanent letters testamentary with the Surrogate Court of Richmond County, and shall document same to the court and opposing counsel upon receipt of the updated letters testamentary. It is also ordered that the hotels are granted leave to file their answer and that the mother shall accept such answer and is granted thirty days to file responses to the court.

The field of law is a complicated matter. It is important that when we encounter these kinds of issues we should be properly informed and we can’t do that without the help of the Kings County Estate Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates. If you want assistance from the experts, whether it is for a will, estate litigation or probate call the Kings County Probate Attorney or Kings County Will Contest Attorneys.

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