Hudson v. FosterAnnotate this Case
The Court of Appeal concluded that the order denying the motion to vacate for extrinsic fraud is appealable in this case, and that misrepresentations of material fact in a conservator's account are treated as extrinsic fraud.
The court held that a conservatee has no duty to investigate representations of fact in the conservator's account, unless the conservatee becomes aware of facts from which a reasonably prudent person would suspect wrongdoing. The court explained that, to set aside an order approving the conservator's account on the ground of extrinsic fraud, a conservatee is not required to establish that the misrepresentations of material fact in the account could not have been discovered prior to entry of the order approving the account. In this case, the probate court's ruling relied on legal authority that the court found unpersuasive because it placed a higher burden to investigate on the conservatee. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for the probate court to exercise its discretion based on an accurate understanding of the applicable law.