Jun 30, 2020

Schenck Price Obtains Appellate Victory Affirming Dismissal of Will Contest With Prejudice on Hearing Date of Order to Show Cause

Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Chancery Division, Probate Part seeking to set aside the Last Will and Testament of his deceased father. The Order to Show Cause directed the parties to personally appear on the return date. The probate judge dismissed the complaint with prejudice when the plaintiff failed to appear at the hearing and the plaintiff appealed. Shirley B. Whitenack and Meredith L. Grocott, representing the Executor, successfully argued that the trial court’s order should be affirmed. Noting that dismissal with prejudice is a drastic remedy to be used sparingly, the Appellate Division ruled that dismissal with prejudice was warranted because the plaintiff had a history of invoking the court’s jurisdiction but defying its orders.