In The Matter of the Estate of Michael A. Clare, Deceased.
BY THE COURT
Although K.S.A. 59-2204 requires that a petitioner in probate
cause the matter to be set for a hearing, the statute does
not define the means for setting down a hearing. The probate
statutes do not require a written order setting a hearing.
local court rule may not conflict with statutes or Supreme
validity of a local rule is subject to review for its
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in 51 Kan.App.2d 886,
357 P.3d 303 (2015). Appeal from Johnson District Court;
Michael P. Joyce, judge. Judgment of the Court of Appeals
affirming the district court is reversed. Judgment of the
district court is reversed.
W. Kurtz, of Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P., of Kansas City,
Missouri, was on the brief for appellant Jessica Kay
Charles J. Andres, of Olathe, was on the brief for appellee
Christine J. Clare.
appeal involves a claim against an estate under the Kansas
Probate Code. Because the decisions of the district court and
the Court of Appeals conflict with our holding in In re
Estate of Rickabaugh, ___ Kan.___, ___ P.3d ___(No. 111,
389, this day decided), we reverse both courts and remand for
further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
December 22, 2013, Michael A. Clare shot and killed his wife,
Deborah Clare, and then took his own life. He died intestate.
The principal asset of his estate was a $250, 000 life
insurance policy. Deborah was listed as the beneficiary, with
Michael's legal children listed as the contingent
beneficiaries. However, Michael had no legal children.
R. Stockton was Michael Clare's mother. Christine J.
Clare is the sister of Shirley Stockton. Jessica Kay Crosslin
is the biological daughter of Deborah Clare.
filed a petition for letters of administration on June 10,
2014. On June 16, 2014, Crosslin, through counsel, exchanged
e-mails with Jodi Sullivan, an administrative assistant for
the district court, requesting a date for a hearing on the
petition. Crosslin chose July 21, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., as a
hearing date and time, and Sullivan informed her that she
would "put it on our calendar." Sullivan
subsequently entered that date and a hearing time on the
court's electronic docket sheet. Crosslin did not,
however, submit an order for hearing for signature, and no
such order was issued. Crosslin subsequently published a
notice of hearing and notice to creditors in the Olathe News.
2, 2014, while that hearing was pending, Shirley Stockton
filed a nomination for Christine Clare to be issued letters
of administration in Michael's estate. Christine
concurrently filed a petition for letters of administration.
She also submitted an order for hearing, setting a hearing
date of July 21, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., for the signature of the
court. On July 3, 2014, the judge signed the order,
apparently through an assistant.
was appointed administrator of Deborah Clare's estate.
Then, on August 25, 2014, the district court entered an order
appointing Christine ...