Shealer v. StrakaAnnotate this Case
At issue was the proper procedure before an orphans’ court when an interested party files a petition to caveat a will and when an interested party requests that the orphans’ court transmit an issue to the circuit court for a trial by jury.
In this case, the Court of Appeals held (1) when it enacted Md. Code Ann. Est. & Trusts 5-207(b), the General Assembly intended to mandate a judicial probate hearing as the single procedure after a party files a petition to caveat, and as such, an automatic stay is not required when a petition to caveat a will is filed; (2) when an interested party in a caveat case makes a request to transfer undecided factual issues to a circuit court, the orphans’ court is required to transmit the issues to a court of law pursuant to Md. Code Ann. Est. & Trusts 2-105(b); and (3) in this case, the orphans’ court did not err in refusing to stay the judicial probate proceeding simply because a petition to caveat was filed, but the court did err when it refused a party’s request to transmit unresolved factual issues to a court of law, and the error was not harmless.