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Can someone sue you for injury on a property that is no longer in her name. If it is in her exhusbands name.

Signal Hill, CA |

My sister was recently served in California over a property that is owned in Palmdale, California. A few years ago before the divorce she signed the rights of the property over to her now exhusband who lives in Dallas, Texas. . The people that were bitten by a dog are now suing my sister and have summoned her to court. The injury occured in 2009. She divorced him in 2008. She gave over her rights to the property in 2008. Thank you for your time. Also, is there anything she can do if her husband in fact lied to her divorce attorney about no more property being in her name. He alledged he had nothing else in her name when she was making a settlement.

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Attorney answers 4


All she would need to do is turn the paperwork over to the homeowners insurance company that insured the house on the date of that incident as they will handle it.

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More facts are needed to properly answer your question.

Who owns the dog? Why was the dog on the property? Is your sister responsible for allowing the owner's of the dog and the dog to be on the subject property? If your sister has nothing to do with the dog being on the property and the property does not even belong to her, than she can likely avoid liability and may even affect her dismissal from the lawsuit. But, under these facts, it's unclear why your sister was even named in the lawsuit.

If some error exists in the marital property settlement, your sister can inform her attorney and see if anything can be done. But, I'm not sure what you mean when you say "ex-husband lied about no more property being in her name." And I'm not sure what you mean when you say "he alleged he had nothing else in her name..." Does this part of your question have to do with potential liability for the dog bite?

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Plaintiffs may have had preference for local defendant and my be trying to rely upon a community property presumption?

What is the tax status of the property? Its been 4 years, has he abandoned it? If he abandoned it does he consider it as "not property"?

Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.



He still owns the property and he currently rents the property out. The insurance company paid out to the injured person. However, they are seeking additional damages.

Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr


If that is the case you have more indicators of separate property. Insurance, maintained since 2008, FROM DALLAS, and maintained after the divorce with separate funds in 09, 10, 11........


Unfortunately, it's an old but true adage that "Anyone, can sue anyone else, for anything, at any time." The question is, can they win?
In this case, if your sister still owns the land, and it sounds from the end of your question that she might, she may be held liable for this person's injuries. Generally, the dog's owner is responsible if it bites someone and under New York law an out of possession landlord is not responsible for such an occurence but the law may be different in this case.
The most important thing for your sister to do is make sure she answers the lawsuit. If she doesn't she can lose by default, even if the law and the facts are actually on her side.

I've been litigating civil cases in New York for almost fifteen years including personal injury, medical malpractice, business disputes, construction matters and all other types of civil claims. Feel free to check my website: or shoot me an email at None of the answers I give on Avvo are to be taken as legal advice, nor are they intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is merely general information intended to allow you make an informed decision about your situation. I hope it was helpful.

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