As many of my friends and readers know Insanity is an affectionate term that Mike gave to his exwife Becky.  I am the widow.  Insanity sued me back in March to collect over $100,000 from Mike’s estate.  Mike’s parents paid for Becky’s attorney fees while little ole me just did my own legal research and response.  Several hearings later and a trial the court ruled in my favor and bought my argument that Becky did not have standing to sue for that 100k because it was actually concerning an insurance policy naming Mike and Becky’s son Ryan as sole and irrevocable beneficiary.  So, of course my inlaws hired another attorney for Ryan and then he sued.

When I received his lawsuit I noted that the hearing for his motion was calendared for October 29th, which was also his 19th birthday.  There was a hearing scheduled to return on Becky’s motion for October 25th.  That hearing was to figure out how they were going to make ME pay $5,400 which Becky claimed Mike owed.  But I decided that I didn’t want to travel a hour ‘down the hill”  to go to court on the 25th and then again on the 29th. After all THEY all live down there near the courthouse so there’s no travel involved for them.Also, there is a statute of limitations on filing a claim against an estate of the deceased.  Four months if a probate has been opened, one year if there is no probate.  I did not probate Mike’s Will as he had no assets that the court needed to decide what to do with.  So the clock was ticking.  Though Becky and Ryan’s attorney’s didn’t seem to know that.  So I called them up, asked for a continuance of both hearings and to have them both put on the same day.  They agreed to change the date.  I gave them some good dates, November 8th was one of them.  But it took a few days for them to get back to me.

I’m not an attorney after all, and I am on the other side so they don’t have to jump when I ask them to.  However, during those days in September while I was waiting to hear back from the attorney as to what date we’d all go back to court to duke it out, it occurred to me that November 8th would likely be a bad day for me.

After all Mike died on November 4th.  His funeral was November 11th…that week in between I spent making funeral plans, writing his eulogy, getting to know Ryan again after two years absence and all that business that goes on (never mind emotions) planning a funeral for a spouse.

So, I decided that I didn’t want to see my inlaws during that week and most certainly didn’t want to see my stepson. Remember also, that I knew of that statute of limitations.  That these greedy people were trying to get a judgment against Mike before the year was up didn’t stop that clock ticking.  Oh sure they may have a judgment but they have to submit it to probate court to start collections before that one year anniversary was up.

When they called me back and told me November 8th was a go, I told them then that nope, can’t do it, something came up.  What? But that’s a date you gave us?  Yup, true story.  It changed. Sorry. Get a new date.  The new date was December 17th.

My responsibility was to do a legal response to Ryan and his argument.  Which I procrastinated in doing.  You see I am sick and tired of these people.  Their life changed not at all when Mike died, while my life was shattered.  Never mind that I truly believed and it is my argument that the law supports my belief that Mike was not obligated to Ryan.  Finally I decided to get this monkey off my back and do my response.  I had received Ryan’s official transcript from his school district via subpoena.  Those were no in the court record though Becky’s attorney objected to them.  I got them in anyway by making the custodian of records come to trial, personally. Like it or not those transcripts were getting in the court record.  That was the proof that I needed to show that Ryan and his mother were lying to the court.

So I did a draft of my response.  And then let it sit there.  And sit there.   And sit there. I could not get the motivation to finish it.  But the clock was ticking against me.  Rather Mike as I am acting as him by proxy.  My response had to be filed in the court no later than 5 days before the hearing or the other attorney’s can object and they will object to them not being timely served.  We already had gone down that road way back in May, the judge overruled them though.

But I had gotten bored with this game and didn’t feel like making the attorney’s work any harder than they had to so I worked on my response.  And I got it all done. With exhibits and everything.  But now I’m late on filing it.  I should have mailed it last week, but couldn’t bother.  So it had to be filed by yesterday.  Yet I am swamped at work.

Enter my good and trusted ally and friend Alina.  Always ready, willing and able to take on my battles, to help me in anyway she can, in ways that I don’t even know I need help but she does.  Alina called me up, knowing that I was stressing about the deadline and swamped at work…too swamped to drive a hour down the hill to file the documents in the court and to drive a hour back up the hill between 8 and 4.  So Alina did that driving.  She came all the way to my office, picked up the documents and then drove all the way down the hill (the cajon pass for you that don’t live here) and went to file the documents.

Except there’s a problem.  Poor Alina, she got a taste of my lousy work life being me for a few hours.  She was not a happy camper, but she learned a lot!  She called me from pay phone, yes they still have those!  You can’t bring a cell phone with a camera into the court house..that’s why I have a cell phone without a camera.  Anyway she tells me that the filing clerk says there’s no hearing on calendar for Monday.  Alina had her check under Mike’s name, my name, Becky’s name, Ryan’s name….lol…poor thing…it’s all filed under the same case number, but she didn’t know that.

Anyway, nope nothing.  Alina tells me that the clerk said the file is in storage. No way!  The file is active!  It has to be inactive for about 5 or 8 years before it goes to storage, check again!  They checked again.  Nope, no hearings.  I told Alina to then go to the department, talk to the judges clerk.  She did.  Walked up three flights of marble stairs in amongst the dregs of society the filthy unwashed masses of central district courthouse.

You see Alina has a very strong need to be clean….rubbing shoulders with dirty strangers just heightens her OCD to an inth degree.  But she soldiered on as she always does when I insist.  And there was no arguing with me at that point.  You see I knew the implications of what the clerk was telling Alina, but I just could not believe it.  There has to be something wrong here.  Alina talked to the bailiff in the courtroom, the judges clerk and they both concurred, no hearings on calendar.

Hummmm…why is that?

Alina went back to the filing clerk and then she called me to say there is the stipulation that says the hearing from October 25th and the hearing from October 29th were both continued to December 17th.  But that those hearings did not get continued.  Why not?

So I pulled out the 4 inch thick binder that has been containing the Insanity vs the widow lawsuits.And lookie here I see the reason.  The error.  A slight mistake can have huge consequences in the arena of law.

The copy of the stipulation that Ryan’s attorney sent to me shows that it was filed on November 1st.  After the other two hearing dates.  But even more importantly there WAS NO JUDGES SIGNATURE on the document_  What does that mean you ask?  It means the judge did not approve the continuance.  But also that Ryan’s attorney filed it LATE!

I went on line and read the file record, which filled in the blanks of the info that Alina had given me.  Because Ryan’s attorney filed the stipulation late, that meant one of the attorneys had to show up on October 25th to tell the court that there was a stipulation and that the hearing needs to be moved to December 17th.

But no one was there.  I am under no obligation to be there as I am not the moving party.  Certainly I don’t need to be there to make sure the attorney’s do their job.  The judge called the case, no one answered.  He called it again an hour later, no one answered.  And so on..all day. So the matter was taken off calendar, never to be heard from again.  Then 4 days later, same thing.  On October 29th one of the attorney’s had to show up to tell the court that the matter was continued, no one there.  Matter taken off calendar!

Lol…..I told Alina to go try and get my response back, which was filed on demand.  Meaning they instructed me that there was no reason to file it as there was no hearing, no case, etc.  I wanted my response on file because I just could not fathom just a stupid mistake and a miraculous outcome.  It simply just does not happen you see?

Lawyers, especially two of them in tandem just do not make stupid mistakes like this…rather they shouldn’t.  So both hearings are off calendar now. Nothing scheduled for Monday.  Alina confirmed from the filing clerk and the judges clerk that I shouldn’t show up.  That the case won’t be called, that the lawyers would be ignored if they showed up.  And they will show up you see?  Because they don’t know the error they have committed.  I only know it due to my procrastination in the end and Alina’s trusted and solid friendship.  That we had to file the documents in person rather than by mail.  We got the news right away.

I never would have checked to see if the hearings were on calendar, because of course they were on calendar, right?  Of course.  But not!

Effective yesterday afternoon the filing clerk has sent a notice to the judge requesting an order to vacate the stipulation changing those two hearing dates.  Alina had them pull the file, which wasn’t in storage after all and the clerk caught the really stupid error, that there was no judges signature.  So they are asking permission from the judge to remove that stipulation from the record.  In essence the only thing remaining in the record would be that the attorney’s simply did not show up on October 25th and then again October 29th.  Can anyone say state bar complaint times two?

Remember that statute of limitations? Well that clock tolled on November 4th.  If they know about it, then they have to know by now that I stalled them long enough to get that clock to toll.  They would have to refile, start everything back at square one now to get the court to hear the case.  All over again.  But that clock already chimed.  So they lost.  Oh I knew they had lost already and I did my response and sort of participated so that they didn’t get suspicious and look into why I was still playing the game.  Because I needed those hearings continued to after November 4th.  Little did I know that my continuing the hearings would have such a major consequence to their cases.   They will have to re-serve Mike and re-serve me with their new lawsuits…..can anyone say cha-ching? Attorney fees are high in this type of thing!  Lol,…but not for me!

Here’s the really fun image.  My father and mother inlaw will be traveling from Needles this weekend into town with anticipation of beating me bad in court.  Mike’s exwife and Ryan will all be very tense this weekend anticipating the hearings on Monday.  Ryan will be sweating it big time because he HAS to be there, he’ll be dreading seeing me and Gabrielle….dreading it.  On Monday morning they will all be assembled together as they always were, arrogant and so assured of the outcome.  And hating of course. Hating me because I killed their beloved Mike.  BUT they will notice that I’m not there, yet they won’t know why.  They will stroll into the courtroom at 8:30 a.m. like they always did.  And they will wait.  The attorney’s are always late.  They will wait for the slayers of the widow to arrive and do their nasty work.

And they will wonder for a time where I am. Until the attorney’s check the court calendar to find out what number their case is and when it will be called.  And they will then discover on Monday that their case is not on calendar.  And they will inquire as to why that is? And they will then notice that I am not in the courtroom.  The attorney’s will have to tell their clients, my former family members that there is no hearings today.  There won’t be any hearings today, that they messed up big time.  So sorry.  And then the attorney’s and the DNA will understand my absence.  They will all understand that I knew in advance of the mistake, that the matters were gone, gone, gone off the court calendar.  And they will wonder how did I know when their high powered $500 a hour attorney’s did not know?

And they should know that I beat them in the end.  That clang of the statute of limitations, if they know about it has long ago stopped echoing in the hallways of the courthouse.  And they lost in their treasure hunt.  I am now no longer restrained in anyway.  The orders in place that I can’t sell my house or give my stuff away or move out of the freaking state and country have been erased!  I’m free of the restraints and free of the DNA!!!!!

Thank you God!  and thank you readers for all your cheerleading and support.  Wowie!!! What a wonderful Christmas present for me and my two kids!!!!  Now back to business and me?  Back to work!

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