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News & Press: Court Cases

Judgments: Torjesen v. Mansdorf

Tuesday, July 19, 2016  
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A judgment creditor obtained a judgment against a judgment debtor (individually and as trustee of the debtor's trust), but did not levy on the debtor's property until after the debtor died. A third party claimant to the property filed a third party claim, and the judgment creditor filed a petition under the Enforcement of Judgments Law ("EJL") to invalidate the third party claim. The trial court granted the judgment creditor's petition. The third party claimant did not appeal from that ruling. Two years later, the third party claimant filed a motion to vacate the order granting the petition, on the ground that it is void because the trial court did not have jurisdiction to proceed under the EJL. (C.C.P. Section 686.020 provides that after the death of the judgment debtor, enforcement of a judgment against property in the judgment debtor's estate is governed by the Probate Code, and not by the EJL.) The trial court denied the motion, and the third party claimant appealed. The appellate court held that the underlying order invalidating the third party claim was voidable, not void, and became final once the time to appeal that order ran. Therefore, the trial court properly denied the third party claimant's belated motion to vacate that order.

Cal.App. 2nd Dist. (B263377) 7/5/16

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