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Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33911
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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We found a court order for a relative to sell property and

Customer Question

We found a court order for a relative to sell property and divide the sale 3 ways. She did not do this. Is this considered "contempt of court?"
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the court order was issued in?
Customer: California . . . and this is the hard part . . . in the year 2000.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, our now deceased lawyer verbally informed us that all property was lost. We have been notified by the court to close the probate this year and found the court order.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Simply if this is contempt of court and if so does it not have a statue of limitations.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

You ask that she be held in contempt of court but it is never absolutely guaranteed that the judge will agree with you. As far as statute of limitations, they generally start when the final order is issued and you will still be able to file contempt if the probate has not been closed. If the probate is closed, then you have to file to reopen it and the court may or may not grant that request.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Probate is not closed. Discovery of the court order occurred due to the request by the California court to close probate. As per a sibling, the court order demands that the property be changed from the executor (since he did not do his job) to the sibling to complete the task of selling the property and divide the proceeds three ways. We have only just found out, 17 years later, the sibling did not sell the property and has been collecting rent from it. No action has been taken since the order. We would like to file contempt of court since the order was never followed through. Perhaps it has reached statue of limitations?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

The statute of limitations has not passed so long as the probate is still open.

To file a motion for contempt you would retain an attorney and have them prepare the paperwork, serve all necessary parties, and set the hearing. You will also want the lawyer to address the issue of the rental income. It should have been placed in an account for the estate.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Is a judgement and court order the same? There seems to be a statue of limitation. . . according to:
CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
SECTION 683.010-683.050
683.010. Except as otherwise provided by statute or in the
judgment, a judgment is enforceable under this title upon entry.
683.020. Except as otherwise provided by statute, upon the
expiration of 10 years after the date of entry of a money judgment or
a judgment for possession or sale of property:
(a) The judgment may not be enforced.
(b) All enforcement procedures pursuant to the judgment or to a
writ or order issued pursuant to the judgment shall cease.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

It can be. In this particular case the order to dispose of the property is called an Interlocutory Order. It doesn't become final until the final order is issued in the probate case.

Typically the Final Order in a Probate case is not called a judgment.