In re Thomas H. Gentry Revocable TrustAnnotate this Case
This dispute revolved around the administration of two trusts established by now-deceased Thomas H. Gentry. When the beneficiaries and co-trustees disputed how the trust assets should be distributed, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. Petitioner, a beneficiary of both trusts, filed a petition to enforce settlement agreement and appoint receiver. The probate court denied Petitioner’s petition to enforce (enforcement judgment) and granted in part and denied in part the co-trustees’ petition for instructions regarding the distribution of the assets (distribution judgment). Petitioner appealed from the enforcement judgment, arguing that the probate court ignored the settlement agreement in refusing to grant her petition to enforce. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) concluded that because Petitioner had failed to directly appeal the distribution judgment, Petitioner’s appeal of the enforcement judgment constituted a collateral attack on the distribution judgment. Because it was unable to grant Petitioner effective relief, the ICA dismissed her appeal as moot. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment, holding that the ICA erred in concluding that Petitioner’s appeal was an impermissible collateral attack and that Petitioner’s appeal was moot. Remanded.