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Bridgeman v. Allen

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

August 30, 2013

EDWARD C. BRIDGEMAN, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
DONNA J. ALLEN, Defendant and Respondent, BEVERLY J. BRITO, as Trustee, etc., Objector and Respondent.

Order File Date 9/27/13

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, No. 37-2009-00150168- PR-TR-NC Richard G. Cline, Judge.

The McMillan Law Firm, Scott A. McMillan and Evan A. Kalooky for Plaintiff and Appellant.

No appearance for Defendant and Respondent.

Hagar & Cotton and Cary L. Cotten for Objector and Respondent.

ORDER MODIFYING OPINION

THE COURT:

It is ordered that the opinion filed herein on August 30, 2013, be modified as follows:

On page 4, delete the first, second and third full paragraphs and substitute the following:

As a threshold matter, Brito asserts Edward lacks standing to appeal the dismissal of his petition because he is not a beneficiary under the third and fourth amendments to the Trust. Brito reasons that because Edward cannot inherit from the Trust, he is not legally aggrieved and thus lacks standing to pursue this appeal. We reject this contention.

"Standing to appeal is jurisdictional [citation] and the issue of whether a party has standing is a question of law [citation]." (People v. Hernandez (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 715, 719–720.) To have standing to appeal, a person generally must be a party of record and sufficiently aggrieved by the judgment or order. (Code Civ. Proc., § 902; County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 736–737.)

Here, although Edward is a party to the appeal, Brito argues that he is not legally aggrieved because he cannot inherit from the Trust. The first, second, and third amendments to the Trust are not part of the record on appeal. Thus, Brito has not established that Edward was not a named beneficiary to the third amendment and that he would not benefit if his challenge to the fourth amendment succeeded. Accordingly, on this record, Brito has not established that Edward lacks standing to appeal the order dismissing his petition. (Conservatorship of Stewart (1969) 276 Cal.App.2d 211, 215 [party is aggrieved by order dismissing his action even though his grievance turns out to be legally without merit].) We need not, and do not, address the issue of Edward's standing to bring the underlying action.

There is no change in the judgment.

McINTYRE, J.

A trustee must provide notice when all or part of a revocable trust becomes irrevocable because of the death of a settlor (Prob. Code, ยง 16061.7, subd. (a)) and any action contesting the trust cannot be filed "more than 120 days from the date the notification by the trustee is served upon him or her." (Prob. ...


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