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Defendant Contends Court Lacks Personal Jurisdiction


This case is being heard in the Supreme Court of Nassau County. The action before the court is a case of accounting in regard to an estate. The decedent passed away on the 20th of September, 2000. A New York Probate Lawyer said at the time of her death she was a partner defendant in two cases involving property located in Queens. The plaintiff is also a partner in these cases.

Case Background

The will left by the decedent provides that the plaintiff and another individual would each receive a third of a share of her residuary estate. The remaining third of the estate was to be placed in a trust for the benefit of another.

Letters testamentary were issued on the 13th of December, 2000 by the Nassau County Surrogates Court. A refunding, receipt, and release agreement was issued and one of the benefactors received their share of the estate. He agreed that any liability that is chargeable against the property would be distributed to him.

The benefactor passed away on the 18th of February, 2008. In regard to the trust that was left to him letters testamentary were issued to the plaintiff by the Surrogates court. The executor of his estate commenced an action against the plaintiff.

A mediation settlement agreement was entered into in order to settle all of the claims that were made between the parties. The agreement allowed for the estate of the benefactor to retain the house that was owned in Massachusetts. All of the tangible personal property was to be auctioned and distributed at a rate of 70% to the partnerships and 30% back to the estate.

A mutual release was part of the settlement agreement. Westchester County Probate Lawyers said the parties agreed to release all claims and causes of action in the matter. It was also agreed that the dispute would be subject to a lawsuit in Nassau County. This particular action involves the matter of accounting for the estate.

There are three causes of action the plaintiff is seeking accounting in respect to all of the affairs of the estate. The plaintiff is seeking a declaratory judgment stating that the mediation settlement agreement does not cover the claims made for accounting in the matter.

Case Discussion and Decision

The defendant has moved to have the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction dismissed arguing the estate has not contacts with New York. However, in cases such as this the state has the ability to exercise personal jurisdiction over any domiciliary. For this reason this motion is denied.

Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said the defendant has argued that the claim made by the plaintiff for the receipt, release, and refund agreement is barred by the one year time limit in applicable to claims against the decedent’s estates is denied.

Finally, the plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment against the defendant is denied. The defendant will provide an answer within 15 days of being served a copy of this order.

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