Surrogate Edward McCarty III
Harvey applied for a contempt order in a compulsory accounting proceeding involving her parents’ trusts, against Mayerson, her brother. She alleged she never received any distributions of income or principal from any trust established for her benefit, claiming Mayerson failed to file an accounting, as ordered. Mayerson alleged the order was defective as it set forth the proceeding was to punish “Marion Solomon.” He also argued both trusts provided they would be administered and construed under the laws of Florida. The court found it had jurisdiction over the matter as the trustee resided in New York State and the trusts’ assets were allegedly also located in the state. Also, it noted the contempt proceeding was procedural, rather than substantive, and the law of the forum applied to determine whether notice was proper. The court found while there may be several typographical errors in the document, it was clear Mayerson was the subject of a proceeding to hold him in contempt for failure to obey a court order to account. Further, in light of the contacts of the trusts to the state, the court ruled the law of New York applied. It found Mayerson in contempt, suspending his authority to act as trustee under both trusts unless he purged the contempt.