X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Patrick John Goldthorn and Burk Goldthorn were the only living children of decedent Martha Goldthorn. Burk brought suit, seeking to set aside his mother’s will and other estate planning documents on the ground that she lacked capacity to execute them. Burk initially obtained a temporary restraining order and then requested a temporary injunction “freezing” the assets of his mother’s estate until a trial on the merits. The trial court heard Burk’s request for injunctive relief at an evidentiary hearing, at which only a single witness, Zack Mason, testified. Patrick, who opposed the injunctive relief, called Mason to testify. Patrick’s attorney explained that because Burk had to prove he would succeed on the merits in order to obtain injunctive relief, Patrick called Mason as the only witness who was present in the room when Martha executed her will and could testify to her capacity. Mason, the probate and estate planning attorney who drafted Martha’s 2006 will, testified he visited with Martha about five times in his office in 2006. On the day she executed the will, he discussed the terms of the will with her, and he believed she had sufficient ability to understand the act of making a will and the extent and nature of her property. The trial court interrupted the questioning to ask Patrick’s attorney to explain how holding matters in abeyance would harm his client. Receiving no satisfactory answer, the trial court asked the attorneys and parties to “step back into the jury room and discuss this matter [for] a few minutes.” Following a brief recess, Patrick’s attorney stated that the parties had failed to reach an agreement. He asked that the court dissolve the temporary restraining order. The trial court, however, signed an order issuing a temporary injunction. An appeal ensued. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. A trial court, the court stated, has broad discretion in deciding whether to grant or deny a temporary injunction. The trial court abuses its discretion, the court stated, when “the law is misapplied to established facts, or when the evidence does not reasonably support the conclusion that the applicant has a probable right of recovery.” As a prerequisite to a temporary injunction, the court stated, probable right and probable injury must be established by competent evidence adduced at a hearing. At the hearing, Burk’s attorney stated the appellee would “be happy to put on evidence” but it would take longer than 15 minutes to do so. The trial court stated it had a “bad docket” and “under the circumstances . . [would] just order that the temporary order remain in force and effect.” The court then allowed Patrick to “make an exception,” at which point the appellant offered Mason’s testimony. Thus, the court concluded that because no evidence adduced at the hearing indicated irreparable injury or probable recovery, the trial court erred in granting the temporary injunction. OPINION:Marion, J.; Stone, Marion and Simmons, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.