Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rothwell v. Molitor

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

December 13, 2019

Jacqueline M. ROTHWELL and Franklin L. Molitor
v.
Ronald T. MOLITOR, Barbara K. Vogelpohl, and Steve Molitor.

         Appeal from Madison Circuit Court (CV-08-953)

Page 472

          Jacqueline M. Rothwell, appellant, pro se; and Franklin L. Molitor, appellant, pro se.

         Ronald T. Molitor, appellee, pro se.

         MOORE, Judge.

         Jacqueline M. Rothwell and Franklin L. Molitor ("the contestants") appeal from a judgment entered by the Madison Circuit Court ("the circuit court") in favor of Ronald T. Molitor, Barbara K. Vogelpohl, and Steve Molitor ("the proponents") in a will contest. We reverse the circuit court's judgment.

         Procedural History

         On April 24, 2008, Ronald T. Molitor ("Ronald") filed in the Madison Probate Court ("the probate court") a petition to probate the will of Lilly Molitor, the mother of the proponents and the contestants. On June 9, 2008, the probate court granted letters testamentary to Ronald.

         On June 25, 2008, the contestants filed in the circuit court a verified petition requesting that the administration of the estate be removed from the probate court to the circuit court; they also attacked the will, alleging, among other things, that Lilly had lacked testamentary capacity. The contestants named Ronald, Barbara K. Vogelpohl ("Barbara"), and Lilly's estate as defendants in the will contest. The defendants answered the petition on August 18, 2008. Ronald, Barbara, and the estate subsequently filed a counterclaim for attorney's fees, and the contestants replied to that counterclaim. Ronald, Barbara, and the estate then filed an amended answer.

         On June 24, 2010, the circuit court severed the administration proceedings from the will contest and dismissed the estate from the will contest.

         On September 14, 2011, the contestants amended their verified petition to add Steve Molitor ("Steve") as a defendant in the will contest. Steve answered the petition on November 28, 2011.

         A trial was eventually held on November 26, 2018. At the trial, the signature page of Lilly's will, as well as the alleged self-proving affidavit, were introduced into evidence. Without objection from the proponents, the contestants introduced testimony pointing out that the alleged self-proving affidavit contained an error. Specifically, the name of one of the witnesses was listed as the testator in the notary's acknowledgment. Furthermore, the second witness and the name of the notary were listed as the two witnesses on the notary's acknowledgment.

         On February 25, 2019, the circuit court entered a judgment stating, in pertinent part:

"The matter ... that was set for trial before this Court was a contest by the [contestants] of Lilly H. Molitor's Last Will and Testament, based in part on the allegation of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence and coercion. These allegations relate to the Will executed by Lilly Molitor[,] the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.