Time for another rip roaring edition of the Word of the Month. The word this month is timely and fitting for this time of year - a time of endings and beginnings; a time of renewal and a time for getting off your backside and getting things done.
To wit, our word for this month is FINAL. According to Black's Law Dictionary, FINAL is defined as:
(of a judgement at law) not requiring any further judicial action by the court that rendered judgement to determine the matter litigated; concluded.
To explain this concept, say your dad started all the paperwork to get divorced from your mom. Dad files all the papers, signs all the dotted lines, serves everyone that needs to be served and then waits for the divorce to be FINAL.
Years pass and dad dies. More years pass and it is discovered that while dad filed all the papers and signed all the dotted lines and served everyone that needed to be served, that he never actually paid the filing fee....OOPS! Courts won't process anything without payment (or an excuse not to pay). Now that you've discovered that the divorce was never FINALized, you start looking around to see if you can still collect on dads' estate. A dilemma? You bet it is!
Some resources that can help you determine your ability to collect (or liability against collecting) in such a situation include:
- American Jurisprudence, 2nd (West)
- American Law Reports (West)
- Corpus Juris Secundum (West)
- Title 42 U.S. C. § 402