Justia Arizona Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Trusts & Estates
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The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals dismissing Richard Allen Reed's appeal from a criminal restitution order, holding that the legislature lacked authority to require the court to dismiss a pending appeal upon a convicted defendant's death but possessed authority to prohibit abatement of the defendant's conviction and sentence.Reed was convicted of voyeurism and required to pay $17,949.50 as restitution to the victim. Reed appealed, challenging the restitution amount. Reed appealed, but pending a decision, Reed died. Reed's wife moved to intervene or substitute as a party in the appeal. The court of appeals denied the motion because the wife did not cite authority permitting intervention or substitution in a criminal case. The court then dismissed the appeal pursuant to Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-106(A). The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals' opinion and remanded the case to the court of appeals, holding (1) the legislature lacked authority to require the court to dismiss a pending appeal upon a convicted defendant's death under section 13-106(A); but (2) the legislature possessed authority to prohibit abatement of that defendant's conviction and sentence under section 13-106(B). View "State v. Reed" on Justia Law

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This case concerned commercial property that was subject to a deed of trust and auctioned at trustee's sales twice in 2009. Alleging it was the successful bidder at the second sale, BT Capital, LLC sued the trustee and the trust beneficiary seeking title to the property and damages. The trial court granted summary judgment against BT and dismissed BT's tort claims. While BT's appeal was pending, another trustees sale was conducted in 2010, and a trustee's deed conveyed the property to a beneficiary. The court of appeals subsequently reversed the entry of summary judgment and remanded. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals' opinion and affirmed the superior court's entry of summary judgment against BT, holding that the case was rendered moot when the property was purchased by the beneficiary at the third trustee's sale in 2010. View "BT Capital, LLC v. TD Serv. Co. of Ariz." on Justia Law

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Jacob Braden, an adult with developmental disabilities, died as a result of injuries suffered while residing at an Arizona Integrated Residential and Educational Services (AIRES) facility. AIRES is a licensed private corporation that contracts with the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Division of Developmental Disabilities. Jacob's estate sued the State, alleging a statutory claim under the Adult Protective Services Act (APSA) for abuse and neglect. The trial court granted summary judgment for the State, finding it was not a proper defendant under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 46-455, which permits an action under APSA against a "person" or an "enterprise." The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the State was not exempt from liability under section 46-455. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals and affirmed the superior court after applying the rules of statutory construction to section 46-455, concluding that the State was not liable under APSA because the legislature did not intend to include the State in its expressly enumerated list of potential APSA defendants. View "Estate of Braden v. State" on Justia Law