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Can you sue someone for putting false information on a death certificate?

San Diego, CA |

Deceased was still legally married when he died. He and wife had been separated but no legal action was taken to get a divorce. When he passed his son stated for the death certificate that he was divorced even though he knew that to be false. The death certificate was issued in California in 2013. Wife is trying to get the death certificate amended but has to get a court order establishing the marital status at time of death since son will not sign the affidavit to amend a record.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You can but probably not successfully. I would however have a request in your petition to get the court order include attorney fees against the son for making wife go through the process. Fraud is hard to prove and aside from aggravation (which you cannot be compensated in court for), your damages are minimal, especially if you get your court order.

Asker

Posted

ok that would be fine but how would you start the process? would i have to get in contact with an attorney to start this process or could i do it myself?

Asker

Posted

and thank you for the quick response. I really appreciate it

Christine James

Christine James

Posted

You should have an attorney help you. This is not a common matter brought before the court, and it will take some well thought out legal arguments both in writing and orally.

Posted

Suing for fraud may not be feasible in this case. The best thing to do is to ask the court to reimburse her for legal and court costs.

Posted

Do not waste your time or money. Death certificates are evidence of death and nothing else. Nobody can or should rely on a death certificate for any information other than death contained in a death certificate for exactly the reason you state, the informant is frequently uninformed or biased. If the marital status of the decedent is important in some other forum, there are other ways to establish that.
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Disclaimer: California attorney Robert Miller has practiced for over 45 years and restricts his practice to real estate and probate matters in the Central District of Los Angeles. Any opinion expressed is for general informational purposes only, no attorney-client relationship is intended or created by this answer, and no action or inaction should be contemplated without first employing and consulting with a competent attorney convenient to the questioner.

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