Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Holden v. Holden

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

December 9, 2019

GREGORY HOLDEN, Appellee,
v.
LESLIE HOLDEN, Appellant.

          APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS PROBATE DIVISION Case No. PC11-09-0029

          Jack F. Grove, for appellee

          Leslie Holden, pro se

          OPINION

          PIPER, J.

         {¶ 1} This case involves an appeal of the probate court's decision to set aside a will based on undue influence. The decision arose from a will contest action between a brother and sister regarding their mother's estate. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the decision of the probate court.

         {¶ 2} Greg Holden and Leslie Holden are the children of Archie ("Arch") and Jean Holden. The parents executed wills in 1971 which left their property to Leslie and Greg equally. The wills originally named Leslie, the older sibling, as the executor, but codicils were executed in 1998 nominating the siblings as co-executors. Following Arch's and Jean's heart attacks in 2005, Greg helped his parents with their finances. The couple later had concerns about Leslie's finances and in November 2005, executed codicils that named Greg sole executor. At Arch's request, Jean executed a power of attorney in Greg's favor in July 2006.

         {¶ 3} Arch fell in December 2006 and was hospitalized until his death in January 2007. After her father's death, Leslie moved in with her mother and refused to let Greg be involved in their mother's financial matters. However, Greg continued to be involved in his mother's life in other ways, such as visiting and taking her to medical appointments.

         {¶ 4} On May 25, 2007, Jean changed her will, naming Leslie as her executor, and leaving one dollar to Greg, and the remainder of her estate to Leslie. When Jean died in July 2011, Leslie admitted the May 2007 will to the Butler County Probate Court. Greg filed an action to contest the will on the basis that it was procured under undue influence and was inconsistent with his mother's actions and prior testamentary expressions.

         {¶ 5} The case eventually was heard before a magistrate in October 2018. The magistrate issued a written decision finding the will was the product of undue influence and therefore, invalid. Leslie filed an objection to the magistrate's decision which stated, in its entirety, "Now comes Leslie Holden, and makes this Objection to the Decision of the Magistrate of December 4, 2018." Leslie also failed to file a transcript of the hearing before the magistrate with the trial court.

         {¶ 6} The trial court found that Leslie failed to comply with the rules requiring an objection to "be specific and state with peculiarity all grounds for objection." See Civ.R. 53(D)(3)(b)(ii). Moreover, the court found that whether specifically stated or not, it could not consider any objections to factual findings made by the magistrate because Leslie had failed to file a transcript. The court then independently reviewed the magistrate's conclusions of law in light of the magistrate's findings of fact and determined that the magistrate properly applied the law. Accordingly, the trial court overruled the objection and found the will was the product of undue influence and therefore invalid.

         {¶ 7} Leslie, who is an attorney and is representing herself pro se, now appeals the trial court's decision. She raises the following sole assignment of error, which states in its entirety:

         {¶ 8} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN SEVERAL WAYS

         {¶ 9} We begin by noting that in multiple ways, Leslie's brief does not comply with the Appellate Rules of Procedure and this court's local rules. Most notably, the assignment of error does not "assert precisely the manner in which the trial court is alleged to have erred." Loc.R. 11(B)(3). Moreover, Leslie's argument does not contain citations to the record or to authority to support her arguments. See App.R. 16(7); Loc.R. 11 (B)(3). [1]

         {¶ 10} Most critically, as discussed above, Leslie failed to file a transcript of the magistrate's hearing with the trial court. On appeal, Leslie filed a transcript of the magistrate's hearing. However, this court granted Greg's motion to strike the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.