A California Court of Appeal
based in Santa Ana ruled this week that an Orange County Superior Court
judge improperly sided against a gay man seeking assets from his deceased partner's estate.
Before he died in October 2010, James Humpert promised Richard Allen--his longtime, loving partner--that he "would be taken care of" after his death.
But Humpert had named his sister, Edith Marlynne Stoddard, as his estate's administrator and she isn't willing to obey her brother's wishes.
Allen filed a lawsuit 91 days after Stoddard's notice, but David I. Hood, a temporary judge, sided with Stoddard on a technicality: the lawsuit was one day late and thus untimely.
But a three-justice appellate panel--William Bedsworth, William Rylaarsdam and Eileen Moore--noted established legal recognition of Humpert's promise to Allen and reversed Hood by declaring he'd applied the wrong statute of limitations.
Upshot: The justices ordered the case reopened and to be tried on the merits of Allen's argument.