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IN RE WHITE'S ESTATE

DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


November 27, 1940

In re WHITE'S ESTATE

The opinion of the court was delivered by: LAWS

LAWS, Justice.

There is pending before me for determination, a petition filed by Noel R. White in this cause by which petition he "objects and excepts" to the first account of the administratrix, widow of decedent, insofar as said administratrix claims credit and allowance to herself individually for a sum of $3,900, representing monthly payments said to be due under contract between the claimant and decedent dated October 9, 1920, and a further contract made on November 16, 1922. Petitioner maintains there is no basis in fact or law for said claim. No motion or responsive pleading appears to have been filed in answer to said petition.

While the question does not appear to be formally raised, yet at the oral argument the contention was made by counsel for petitioner that the dispute of the aforesaid claim might be disposed of in this cause, and the contention was made by counsel for claimant that the dispute must be decided in a different division of this Court having direct jurisdiction over construction of contracts. Since the oral argument before me, that is to say, on November 20, 1940, a complaint has been filed by the claimant in another division of this Court, seeking to have the alleged agreement construed, said suit being entitled "Mary L. White, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Robinson White, Deceased, v. Noel R. White, et al, Civil Action No. 9144."

 Since both the petition in this cause and the bill to construe the alleged contract filed in Civil Action No. 9144 appear to raise a question as to the validity of the claim of the widow of decedent, it follows that in approving the first account, a reservation should be made by the Court as to validity of the credit and allowance aforesaid until such time as a final judicial determination is made. Beyond this the Court is not now called upon to rule. In the event it is desired to have determined the legal question as whether the validity of the contracts giving rise to the aforesaid claim may be raised in this administration cause and in no other division of this Court, the question should be brought to the attention of the Court by appropriate motion or pleadings in this cause or in Civil Action No. 9144, or both.

 Accordingly, in the absence of other objections, an order will be entered now approving the first account of the administratrix in this cause, except as to the individual claim aforesaid of the administratrix, as to which claim the question of approval will be withheld until final determination of its validity by appropriate judicial proceedings.

19401127

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