Southington probate court v. Smoron cows: government attempts taking the cows’ home (CT)

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We’re not going to post the story about a new regional children’s probate court being opened in Hartford, but call it to your attention as context for the following.

While Judge Paul Knierim, Connecticut Probate Court Administrator, and his “probate system” enjoy attaboys and high fives for a job well done with their new children’s probate court, let’s not forget that a few miles outside Hartford is Southington, home to the Smoron farm – the target of an egregious estate looting action which serves as another important testament to the Connecticut probate system’s effectiveness, credibility and integrity.

How wonderful that the children’s probate court facility will be equipped to “connect with the services they need to meet the conditions of a court order.”  Court order, legal order — the legal industry purports that court orders and other legal documents have meaning.

Josephine Smoron had an order.  It was called a will, a will that was legally executed and, if one believes the legal industry, should have provided undisputed direction for the final distribution of her assets.  It should have been legally enforceable and legally enforced.  And with it, Josephine Smoron believed she had ensured her longtime caretaker Sam Manzo’s inheritance of Smoron’s 80-acre farm and cows valued at more than $1 million.

Instead, shortly before her June 2009 death, Southington Probate Judge Bryan F. Meccariello approved a change in Smoron’s will designating all property be given to three area Catholic churches.  The property was divided between two trusts, Manzo was not notified of being disinherited and there appeared no evidence this change reflected Smoron’s wishes.  The change was per an application by John T. Nugent, the court-appointed conservator and a deacon at one of the named churches.  Meccariello was reportedly the only hearing attendee.

There is so much more to the story.  Check out these articles:

Is Probate Court Injustice So Rare? I wonder.

Estate planning, size no deterrent to probate looting actions

Connecticut estate case exposes inheritance rights realities

With the new children’s probate court, “what’s most advantageous about this court are the resources that will be available to local judges from the standpoint of expertise and the highest quality of work possible.”

Manzo would like local judges with expertise, he’d appreciate the “highest quality of work possible” to correct the estate looting action which has denied Smoron’s final distribution of assets and Manzo’s rights of inheritance.  But instead, Josephine Smoron’s clearly stated wishes remain hijacked, Sam Manzo’s inheritance functionally stolen.

At Estate of Denial®, we’re hardly anti-children, but we are anti-bureaucrats who want to hide behind a “looks good” project while just miles away, an egregious estate looting action continues.

Busted.  That’s the accurate description for all involved with the effort to steal Josephine Smoron’s farm.  And though Smoron’s heir, Sam Manzo, should be on a fast-track to justice, his efforts are stalled out.

Only the immediate restoration of Sam Manzo’s rightful inheritance would correct the wrong committed with complicity (if not by instruction) of the Southington Probate Court.

You don’t have to be real smart to understand this one.  Read the above links.  The community of Southington wants Smoron’s land for a sports complex.  Smoron wanted her land as a home for Manzo and her cows.

A troubling conflict of interests exists as supporters of a town’s desired economic development seem intent on subverting two private citizens’ basic property rights.  And one side doesn’t seem to mind cheating.

The Town of Southington’s Economic Development Office lists its “vital objective” as “to enhance our future stability and to maintain the high quality of life of each of our citizens.”  Wow!  Josephine Smoron was a citizen.  They didn’t do so well by her.  Sam Manzo, another citizen, isn’t faring so great either.

But those two aside – and don’t forget that great Hartford children’s probate court – time will tell if the Southington probate court in concert with other local officials prevail in turning the Smoron dairy farm into its own “cash cow.”

We’ll keep you posted!

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