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Trial court 's denial of adjournment in probate matter is upheld

The probate court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the respondent's (Eric Gala) request for an adjournment. Thus, the court affirmed the probate court's order approving the sale of a parcel of real estate owned by the Chester Gala Trust. Chester and Norma Gala divorced in 2005. Under the terms of the divorce judgment, the property was to be sold and the proceeds were to be distributed equally to them. But it was not sold. In 2013, appellee-Kirk (petitioner) was appointed successor conservator of Chester and of Norma. He was later appointed successor trustee of the Chester Gala Trust and of the Norma Gala Trust, and he filed a petition in the probate court seeking approval to sell the property. The court noted that respondent "had already been granted an adjournment, a factor weighing against providing a second adjournment." He also failed to show due diligence. The purpose of this adjournment was to provide him the opportunity to obtain his own appraisal. He agreed to a stipulated order that required any and all objections to be received by 4/22/14, and set the hearing for 4/24/14. Despite being given this opportunity, he failed to present his own appraisal by the time of the 4/24/14 hearing. His attorney indicated that, although an appraiser had been found on 4/16/14, respondent had not "begun the process of the appraisal . . . ." Given Chester's and Norma's "immediate need for funds to pay for their own care and respondent's inability to obtain an appraisal within the timeframe to which he agreed," the court found that "the trial court's refusal to grant another adjournment was well within the range of principled outcomes." Further, respondent could not show prejudice. "Petitioner presented the trial court with substantial evidence that the offer of $1,010,000 was not only adequate; it also exceeded the value of the property." The only appraiser to provide an appraisal testified that the value of the property was $700,000. The broker who negotiated the sale testified that the sale price of $1,010,000 "provided surprising value for the property. Respondent was given time to present an appraisal on or before a date he agreed to by stipulation, but failed to do so." Instead, he offered the testimony of an appraiser and a real estate agent, "neither of whom could offer a concrete opinion of the property's value." The only documentary evidence of value respondent provided was a copy of an offer of $900,000 made on 8/5/13, which was contingent on rezoning the property. Thus, the evidence presented to the trial court only showed that "the sale price of $1,010,000 was more than adequate value for the property." Respondent was not entitled to relief.

Antenuptial agreement held to be valid and enforceable

The court held that the parties' antenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable, concluding that to invalidate it on the basis of one party's fault would contravene the agreement's clear and unambiguous language, and that as a matter of law, the...

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