Laches Bars Probate Petition; Filing, Not Service, Determines Timeliness of Petition

  Laches is an equitable defense which may be asserted when unreasonable delay in bringing a cause of action results in prejudice. While the statute of limitations specifies the outside time limit within which a cause of action must be brought, laches considers the totality of circumstances surrounding delay, and any resulting prejudice, to deny a remedy when a claimant has “slept on his rights.” Continue reading

Non-Aggrieved Party Lacks Standing to Appeal

  The right to appeal is purely statutory. Code of Civil Procedure section 902 defines who may appeal from a judgment. The statute provides that “any party aggrieved” may appeal from an adverse judgment. The test is twofold. One must be both: 1) a party of record to the action; and 2) aggrieved — to have standing to appeal. Thus, notwithstanding an appealable judgment or order, an appeal may be taken only by a party who has standing to appeal. Standing is a jurisdictional requirement and cannot be waived.

  One is considered aggrieved whose rights or interests are injuriously affected by the order or judgment in an immediate and substantial way, and not as a nominal or remote consequence of the decision. [See, In re K.C.] Conversely, a party who is not aggrieved by an order or judgment has no standing to attack it on appeal. Injurious effect on another party is insufficient to give rise to appellate standing. Appellate courts provide relief for appellants who have been wronged by trial court error – not for appellants that have suffered no wrong but instead seek to advance the interests of others who have not complained. Continue reading