There are 4 sisters involved. My youngest and oldest sister are the parties of these problems. For the last 3 years she has been taking me to court over my mothers estate. She is extremely upset because my parents put me in charge of the estate not her. Three times both of my sisters along with their lawyer have gone to court trying to get control over my mom's estate. All 3 times her lawyer NEVER sent any notice to myself, other sister in the estate nor my lawyer of these court appearances. Her lawyer did wrong and I want to know what can I do legally can I show proof that they never gave any documentation? She is now with a 4th lawyer. The one previously did the same thing as her lawyer did. I'm thinking he realized that by not informing other parties he stopped representing her
It is difficult to prove that you didn't receive anything. Normally, they must prove that they sent you notice, but depending on the proceeding, it could be as simple as a first class letter to your last known address. Other proceedings require more formal notice such as certified mail. It sounds as though you already have a lawyer, and so these are the kind of things you should be discussing with him or her. If you no longer have a lawyer, then you should get one experience in probate litigation.
I assume you are represented by a lawyer. If not you should be. If you are the personal representative of your mother's estate or the trustee of your mother's trust, the fees of the lawyer that you hire will be paid out of the estate or the trust.
Most lawyers do not tolerate not receiving notice. Consequently, I would expect that the lawyer you have hired would be willing to jump all over the other lawyer if the other lawyer ever fails to give notice again.
I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. My answering your question does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should consult a lawyer so you can tell the lawyer the entire situation and get legal advice that is precisely tailored to your case.
I agree with my colleagues and I would simply add that most JUDGES would not tolerate lack of notice, either. In my experience, if there is no notice given, then judge does not even allow the hearing to take place. If a lawyer lied about giving notice, he or she could be sanctioned by the court or by the State Bar. No lawyer I know would risk his or her license in order to try to help a client do something illegal. It is not worth it. I will say that if you are represented by a lawyer, that notice to the lawyer can be construed to be notice to you.
The probate file is a part of the public record. You can obtain copies of the documents that were filed with the court and if you are interested in pursuing this further, you can check to see what address the lawyer was using and who exactly was being served notice of the hearings. That may help to explain what has taken place.
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Well this depends on the truth in the matter.
If you are represented by counsel, then all notices of filings and of court dates would be sent to him or her. There are four likely scenarios.
1. These notices were sent to your attorney, and your attorney dropped the ball by not keeping you informed, possibly not appearing. I do not like to insinuate this on colleagues, but it frequently happens. Not all attorneys are as organized as myself.
2. Notices were sent, but lost in the mail-not entirely likely to happen 3 times in a row.
3. Opposing counsel did not mail out notices, and submitted a false Proof of Service-I also find this unlikely, given the severity of this action.
4. Your sister furnished her attorney with an incorrect address.
If you are not receiving notices pertaining to this case, you and your attorney need to get to the bottom of this. If your attorney turns out to be the problem, you should consider retaining different counsel.
If you are not receiving proper notice of court hearings something is definitely wrong . Someone needs to get to the bottom of this, whether that is you or your attorney. Or, if you don't have an attorney maybe it's time to hire one. If you've been to court three times and you're still in charge of the estate then it sounds like the judge isn't buying much of what they are arguing. It could be time for some counter-actions. But it's hard to say without knowing more.
Please note that answering this question does not make me your attorney. If you want to hire me, call me and let's talk.
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