Garmon v. County of Rockland

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Trusts and Estates

New York Law Journal

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Judge Andrew Carter

Garmon's son Antonio died, in June 2009, while in police custody. Dying intestate, Antonio left his children and Garmon as potential heirs. On May 11, 2012, Antonio's daughter Smith received letters to administer his estate. She subsequently granted Garmon power of attorney from Aug. 8, 2012, to Jan. 1, 2013. The County of Rockland was previously dismissed from Garmon's lawsuit pursuing federal civil rights and state law-based claims, on Antonio's behalf, against the police department and certain officers. The court dismissed Garmon's lawsuit for lack of standing. New York law gives the power to bring claims for a decedent to the administrator of the estate. Because Garmon was not named the administrator, he sought to assert legal rights properly belonging to Smith. The power of attorney executed by Smith had no effect on Garmon's inability to litigate decedent Antonio's claims. Citing In re Will of Jones and In re Sadlo the court noted that Smith could not delegate her responsibilities of administering Antonio's estate. Finding that the facts aligned closely with Friedman v. Clearview Gardens, the court concluded that because he was not named the estate's administrator, Garmon lacked standing to bring claims belonging to Antonio.

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