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In re Estate of Choe

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Knox

January 12, 2018

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF JONG CHOE

         Civil Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, Case No. 2005-1103

          For Appellant Sharma PAUL GIORGIANNI GIORGIANNI LAW LLC.

          For Appellee Kory Choe KIM M. ROSE CRITCHFIELD, CRITCHFIELD & JOHNSTON, LTD.

          Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J., Hon. John W. Wise, J., Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Wise, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Constance Sharma appeals the April 17, 2017, judgment entry of the Knox County Probate Court finding her in contempt and ordering her to pay "[a]ll attorneys' fees incurred by Kory Choe, all filing fees, transcript fees, and all other fees."

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} The relevant facts and procedural history are as follows:

         {¶3} Dr. Jong Choe and his wife Moon Choe were tragically killed in an automobile accident on April 15, 2005. The Choes were survived by their minor children Kory Choe, Katie Choe, and Kendric Choe. At the time of his death, Dr. Choe was a Knox County, Ohio resident and was practicing urology in Knox County, Ohio.

         {¶4} On April 26, 2005, a decedent's estate was opened for Dr. Jong Choe in the Knox County Probate Court, and the court appointed W. Michael Kramer executor.

         {¶5} On February 21, 2007, the estate was closed.

         {¶6} On June 3, 2013, the estate was re-opened based upon a newly-discovered asset: proceeds from a $1.7 million life insurance policy on the life of Dr. Choe. The probate court reappointed Mr. Kramer executor of the estate. By this time, Mr. Kramer had a new attorney, Appellant Constance Sharma.

         {¶7} On December 30, 2015, Mr. Kramer and Ms. Sharma filed a first partial Fiduciary's Account, covering the period 2005 through November 2015.

         {¶8} On February 10, 2016, the probate court approved the first ...


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