California Court of Appeals, Second District, Seventh Division
from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County
No. BC511863, Suzanne G. Bruguera, Judge. Affirmed.
Freeman, Freeman & Smiley, Stephen M. Lowe and Thomas C.
Aikin for Plaintiff and Appellant.
Oldman, Cooley, Sallus, Birnberg & Coleman, Marc L.
Sallus, Marshal A. Oldman and Susan B. Rosenblat for
Defendant and Respondent Martha Wilkins, Individually and as
H. Stone for Defendant and Respondent Eileen N. Wilkins,
Individually and as Co-Trustee, etc.
appearances by Defendants and Respondents Geoffrey Wilkins
and Derek Wilkins.
PERLUSS, P. J.
Wilkins Tepper sued her three siblings, Geoffrey Wilkins,
Martha Wilkins and Derek Wilkins, on behalf of her
88-year-old mother, Eileen Wilkins, claiming her
siblings' actions individually and while serving as
trustees of Eileen's revocable living trust constituted
financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult. Tepper's
siblings demurred to her first amended complaint, asserting
Tepper lacked standing to pursue an action on Eileen's
behalf. Eileen, separately represented by counsel, intervened
in the action and joined the demurrer to Tepper's amended
complaint. The court sustained the demurrer without leave to
amend and dismissed Tepper's elder abuse action on
standing grounds. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The Original and First Amended Complaints
The original complaint
12, 2013 Tepper filed an elder abuse action against Geoffrey,
Derek and Martha alleging each of them, individually, and
while serving together with Eileen as co-trustees of
Eileen's revocable living trust, had taken and/or
mismanaged Eileen's assets to Eileen's detriment.
Tepper, who was not a trustee of Eileen's revocable
trust, alleged she had standing as Eileen's child to
pursue the action on Eileen's behalf to protect her
mother from financial abuse. Tepper did not allege that she
had been personally aggrieved by the actions of her siblings
or that she possessed the ability to file suit as
Eileen's conservator or attorney-in-fact under a power of
appointment. In her prayer for relief Tepper sought
compensatory and punitive damages and reasonable attorney
Eileen's motion to intervene
September 18, 2013 Eileen, represented by separate counsel,
moved to intervene in the action. On February 5, 2014 the
court granted Eileen's motion; and Eileen filed a
complaint in intervention alleging she was the real party in
interest and Tepper lacked standing to file this, or any,
lawsuit on her behalf.
Martha, Geoffrey, Derek and Eileen's motion for
judgment on the pleadings
Derek, Geoffrey and Eileen filed answers to Tepper's
complaint. On March 5, 2014 Martha, individually and in her
capacity as a co-trustee of Eileen's revocable living
trust, moved for judgment on the pleadings asserting Tepper
lacked standing to bring the elder abuse action on
Eileen's behalf. Geoffrey, Derek and Eileen filed notices
of joinder in Martha's motion. On August 20, 2014 the
court granted the motion, but granted Tepper leave to amend
Tepper's first ...