France v. Shockey

Decision Date18 October 1909
Citation121 S.W. 1056
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Appeal from Circuit Court, Benton County; J. S. Maples, Judge.

Final accounting by J. B. Shockey, guardian of Courtney France, in which the latter filed exceptions. From a judgment confirming the final settlement, Courtney France appeals. Affirmed.

W. N. Carpenter, for appellant.


In 1895 the appellee, J. B. Shockey, was appointed guardian of Courtney Holland, a minor, by the probate court of Benton county. As such guardian he made eight annual settlements of the guardianship thereafter, and each of these settlements was confirmed by said probate court. No appeal was taken from any of said orders confirming said settlements. The last of these annual settlements was confirmed by said probate court in 1903. On January 20, 1904, Courtney Holland married and became Courtney France, and in April, 1904, she arrived at the age of 18 years. In April, 1904, the guardian filed his ninth and final settlement. In this final settlement the guardian took credit for an item of support, education, and money advanced to the ward since last settlement, amounting to $386.25, which was more than the amount of the rents and interest received, the clear income of the estate. According to the final settlement there was a balance of $250 due to the ward, and a number of months after the filing of the final settlement the appellee paid to the appellant the said alleged balance and took the receipt of herself and her husband therefor. During this time the final settlement, although long since filed, was not acted on by said probate court. In March, 1906, the appellant filed in the said probate court exceptions to the said final settlement. In this pleading she incorporates also exceptions to each of the eight annual settlements. Each exception is in the same language except as to the item of amount, so that the exception to the first will indicate the exceptions to the other annual settlements.

The exceptions to the first settlement are as follows: "(1) She excepts to the annual settlement of the said J. B. Shockey filed July 20, 1896, and says there is due her on said settlement $442.99." The amount of the balance actually found due on this first settlement by the order of confirmation was $427.99; but neither in this exception, nor in any of the exceptions, is it alleged that any item of charge, property, or asset is omitted from the settlements, or that any item of credit was allowed which was not set out in the settlements. It would appear from the argument of counsel for appellant that the objections to the annual settlements were based on the claim that certain items of credit were excessive as to amount, and this excessive amount had been allowed; and it is his contention that the probate court has jurisdiction to investigate the annual settlements in that particular, and if found erroneous to correct them. The above exceptions made to each of the annual settlements are incorporated in and made a part of the exceptions to the final settlement, and the specific exceptions to the final settlement are that the balance should be larger in amount. No specific item of asset is alleged or claimed to have been omitted from the final settlement. No item of credit taken is complained of, except the item: "Support, education, money advanced to the ward since last settlement $386.25." The probate court confirmed the final settlement as made by the guardian. From that judgment the appellant appealed to the circuit court, and that court restated the account. It found that it was concluded from investigating any erroneous or excessive allowances of credits in the annual settlements by the orders confirming those settlements. It found that the items of charges in the final settlement were correct. It allowed a credit of $125 on the item of support, education, and money furnished ward, and a credit of $40.75 for compensation or commission to the guardian, and other credits of the allowance of which no complaint is made. It found that there was still a balance due to the ward after the payment of said $250, and that this balance should bear interest at the rate of 6 per cent. per annum from July, 1904, the date when the hearing of the matter on the confirmation of the final settlement could be first entertained in the probate court, and it remanded the proceedings to the probate court with directions to enter in that court an order in accordance with the judgment of the circuit court.

It is urged by counsel for appellant that the probate court has the power to open the settlements of guardians after confirmation thereof and to correct any errors in...

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