Estate of Brian W. Hart a/k/a Brian William Hart v. Cheryl A. LeBlanc.

RI Probate Appeal

by Steven Hart
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On January 25, 2002, the Probate Court executed an order to transfer title to certain personal property from the estate to respondent. On February 22, 2002, the estate filed a notice of appeal with the Superior Court along with the reasons for appeal and a certified copy of the Probate Court record. Several photocopied pages of the Probate Court transcript, which had been recorded by a stenographer commissioned by petitioner, were attached to the certified record. On August 22, 2002, petitioner filed a copy of the entire transcript of the proceedings in the Probate Court. Relying on § 33-23-1, respondent filed a motion to dismiss on January 10, 2003, citing petitioner's failure to submit the transcript of the Probate Court proceedings to the Superior Court within thirty days of the execution of the order. At a hearing on January 31, 2003, petitioner admitted its failure to submit the transcript within the time prescribed, but requested that the court retroactively grant an extension to file the transcript. The hearing justice granted respondent's motion to dismiss, concluding that petitioner had failed to request a timely extension and, therefore, the Superior Court was without jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The petitioner appealed to this Court, arguing that although it had not submitted the entire transcript, it nevertheless had perfected its appeal in the Superior Court. The issue before us is whether petitioner was required to submit the entire privately commissioned transcript of the Probate Court proceedings within thirty days of the execution of the order to perfect its appeal to the Superior Court. The Court held that to perfect an appeal to the Superior Court from a Probate Court judgment under § 33-23-1, the appealing party must submit a written transcript of all relevant portions of the Probate Court proceedings, regardless of who commissioned the recording or transcription originally.

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Reference Info: Decision | State, 1st Circuit, Rhode Island | United States

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