CO - Suzanne Morphew, 49, did not return from bike ride, Chaffee County, 10 May 2020 #12

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Feistyomi

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I'm very curious who has to be noticed in Indiana. Suzanne's grandparents are, I believe, deceased, as is her mother. So there's her father, siblings, and children - if that's the case in Indiana. Where I live, there's a form of public notice (to anyone with an interest) that can be published in a newspaper. It has to be a certain number of times. My parents used to skim those notices - and, well, so did I when I used to pick up a newspaper.

The notice would normally include the time and day of the hearing. Naturally, personal service would be more...ethical, but is there a legal way around it in Indiana?

There can also be "attempts at service." My aunt's brother evaded service for more than a year, so that he could show up in court and say she had made no effort to serve him. Her attorney had of course proof of all the attempts, both at the brother's home address and at his business address. The judge had the bailiff take a copy of the paperwork to the brother, told him he was now "served" and that the matter would be heard in 10 days. And it was. Sister was challenging his Conservatorship, and Brother was frankly hoping Old Dad would die before the matter was ever settled or reversed.

Anyone know who has to be served in the case of a husband seeking conservatorship/guardianship over his wife?

What if, at a later date, someone (say a minor child) takes issue with what happened? My guess is that it would be remedied as best the Court could order. If the estate is exhausted, there would be no viable remedy.

Blood out of turnips, or something.
SM signatures may have been on all papers relating to listing this property, contract, even up until the day before her disappearance. Is the action taken to preserve her assets as well as BMs? IANAL, JMO if BM did not allow sale to go thru, would adversely affect SM and her heirs.
Thus, if BM were charged wouldn’t their assets be frozen?
 

mom2chloe

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BM also doesn't seem to be doing much business, given that he reportedly has been messing around in the woods, spends a lot of time pacing, scripts a video plea, and has had time for defensive conversations on several occasions. I wonder if he's been trying to sell his biz equipment....
He does seem to have lost his work ethic. Odd that he’s not out searching with no ability to work lately. IMO
 

oviedo

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Gotcha - as in I really do now get what the conversation was about. I know that states can have very peculiar laws about marriage. In fact, if anyone ever asks my advice about marriage, I tell them to research the marriage laws in both the state they're in and in any state they might move to. Some of it is downright scary to someone with more progressive views about marital property.

There has to be a legal procedure, though, for a spouse to carry on with joint family financial matters, in the case that the spouse is unable to show up and do their part. I would think the Court would be highly specific about what it allowed. I would hope. Not everyone has a durable PoA (my DH and I do not, and we have some other legal matters regarding my parents' estate that we'll take care of first - but it's on our to do list). With CoVid, it jumped way up the to do list and I have a Facetime meeting with an Estate Planning attorney next week. We do have wills.

If my husband just went missing, I have no idea what I'd do legally.
Well if he went missing .... make sure all your accounts are joint - and smart getting your POAs - funny -(not really) but we’ve been doing a lot of revocations of POAs - divorce makes people very aware of that power the soon to be ex has as long as it is in effect LOL - covid and stay home has had a sad affect on marriages for some
JMO
 

Tate123

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Indiana Code Title 29. Probate § 29-3-5-1

(snipped)
(d) A person alleged to be an incapacitated person must be present at the hearing on the issues raised by the petition and any response to the petition unless the court determines by evidence that:
(1) it is impossible or impractical for the alleged incapacitated person to be present due to the alleged incapacitated person's disappearance, absence from the state, or similar circumstance;


(7) The names and addresses, as far as known or as can reasonably be ascertained, of the persons most closely related by blood or marriage to the person for whom the guardian is sought to be appointed or the protective order is issued.

Indiana Code Title 29. Probate § 29-3-5-1 | FindLaw
 

KLM6

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The docket shows at least one interested person consented - my guess ? The adult child or the dad /siblings ? We serve via certified mail return receipt it’s what is recognized in my state and we serve any and all interested parties - siblings, parents, adult children etc - better to serve all than miss one and have the proceeding stalled
IMO

regarding the Petition to sell property - have we found any real estate listings because this would help determine if there really is a pending sale to finish up so he isn’t in default of an already executed contract / I haven’t found any for sale yet
IMO
BBM, Or his mother.
 

DizzyB

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The more I think about this, it’s a lot. Would a judge grant guardianship to Barry in a missing persons case? Would an attorney have to be appointed/hired on Suzanne’s behalf before anything proceeds? I can’t imagine a judge just handing over Suzanne’s assets to Barry without pause.
 

mom2chloe

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What if her family doesn't know? As far as I know, SM only has one parent living, her father, and he's 87. MOO
And SMs siblings are not likely to share this information with him. IMO bless his sweet heart. I wouldn’t have wanted my late daddy to know these circumstances and he thankfully knew nothing of the situation within which we are living. Again IMO
 

mom2chloe

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The more I think about this, it’s a lot. Would a judge grant guardianship to Barry in a missing persons case? Would an attorney have to be appointed/hired on Suzanne’s behalf before anything proceeds? I can’t imagine a judge just handing over Suzanne’s assets to Barry without pause.
And who pays for Suzanne’s (or her daughters) interest in these various court proceedings? Nightmare indeed! IMO
 

FelicityLemon

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Thank you for the article. It's bad enough emotionally when your spouse or partner go missing, but to find yourself trapped and (often) in financial difficulty because of it, I just can't imagine how people's lives are upended completely.
Unimaginable situation to be in. :(

ETA: that article has all kinds of good information. That poor woman had to dissolve her marriage in order to start things rolling.
“At a time when you are emotionally at your lowest ebb, that you would have to contend with all this is a nightmare. The plan is for guardianship to kick in after 90 days in the same way a similar system in Australia works.” and "“When someone goes missing, the emotional stress is so immense it is hard to deal with money-related issues. It is difficult for families to call up financial institutions and talk to strangers about what has happened – but at the same time they want to protect their loved one’s assets, and they worry about them returning to find things in disarray."
 
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Backstroke10

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Sorry missed that. I would still suggest that if it turns out that he killed her, it could potentially devalue any property they owned. At least short term.
I agree with this. IF he killed her inside the CO house or even outside somewhere else, I think the value of that house would depreciate quite a bit. A buyer would want that house for the privacy it offers. People would be driving by all the time trying to get a look at it. Privacy would be gone. MOO
 

al66pine

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Pressures on BM to Close on IN Property Sale?
If that’s the case, those buyers should be ashamed of themselves for making BM go through this right now! I can’t imagine having to deal with trying to find my missing wife and selling property. If BM is innocent, that’s just awful, IMO.
@Gigi3 :)
Yes, it does seem awful (azz-uming IN prop has been under contract/sale pending) for buyer/ agent/anyone to pressure or force a seller in BM's circumstances to file in ct. under these circumstances.
OTOH, if you were this buyer, w closing date of June 1/June 15/July 1/when-ev, and seller was unable to close, what are you/buyer going to do? Say, you sold your house and closed on it at ~ same ^ day. Have moving van hold your furnishings for an undetermined time? A month? Stay in hotel? Rent an apt? Stay w friend?For how long? What if buyer does not just live across town? Lives 100, 500, 1000 miles away, has new job in IN, but no place to go til IN prop closes? Stay in CA or NJ, not start new job?
And the buyer's buyer of 'old house' may have same problems. And if it takes so long that IN home buyer wants to back out to pursue buying a different home, title co holding earnest money does not release $ until all sellers have signed agreeing to release $, and guess what! In this case, SM cannot sign, so title ins co does not refund $ to buyer. Before earnest $ is released, some buyers do not have $ for other home.
When one home closing gets bumped, it cause a chain reaction like series of interstate collisions of vehicles.

{{ETA: I see several other ppl have posted ~ same info as I just did.}}

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(Personal experience: buying & selling real est, 25+ buys & sales, ~ 30 yrs, 3 states. Once made a full price offer on undeveloped land & submitted w it cashiers ck, earnest money for 50% of asking price. One of the owners refused offer to buy, tho otherowners signed to accept. Okay w us, no contract, we'll find another prop, but that one owner refused to sign a form for the title co to refund us the earnest money. Actually no contract for prop, just an offer that was refused. Nearly six months before title co refunded $ to us, without interest of course. Glad there was no house we were planning to move into. One of multiple lessons about what can happen w title co's & other parties in world of real est)
Back to finding SM.
 
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oviedo

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Indiana Code Title 29. Probate § 29-3-5-1

(snipped)
(d) A person alleged to be an incapacitated person must be present at the hearing on the issues raised by the petition and any response to the petition unless the court determines by evidence that:
(1) it is impossible or impractical for the alleged incapacitated person to be present due to the alleged incapacitated person's disappearance, absence from the state, or similar circumstance;


(7) The names and addresses, as far as known or as can reasonably be ascertained, of the persons most closely related by blood or marriage to the person for whom the guardian is sought to be appointed or the protective order is issued.

Indiana Code Title 29. Probate § 29-3-5-1 | FindLaw
Well done ! That’s why it’s filed in IN imo my guess is CO doesn’t have that provision but I’m curious about venue - just because the property is in IN shouldn’t control it - unless she wasn’t living in CO any longer ?? JMO
 

gamma gal

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Well done ! That’s why it’s filed in IN imo my guess is CO doesn’t have that provision but I’m curious about venue - just because the property is in IN shouldn’t control it - unless she wasn’t living in CO any longer ?? JMO

I think that the statute is indicating that the person about which guardianship is being sought needs to be present, but if they have disappeared that may be an allowed reason for them not to be at the hearing. IMO only, and I am not an attorney, this does not make it more likely thay he will get guardianship. See link for questions and answers about guardianship in Indiana:

Guardianship & Alternatives to Guardianship | The Arc of Indiana

I do love it when there are new developments :)
 
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