Hooper v. Stokes

Citation107 Fla. 607,145 So. 855
PartiesHOOPER v. STOKES[*]
Decision Date09 January 1933
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida

145 So. 855

107 Fla. 607


Florida Supreme Court

January 9, 1933

Rehearing Denied Feb. 7, 1933.

En Banc.

Suit by George T. Hooper against H. D. Stokes, as executor of the last will and testament of George C. Hooper, deceased, to revoke the probate of decedent's will. From a decree of the circuit court, which reversed the decree of the probate judge granting the prayer of the petition, petitioner appeals.

Affirmed. [145 So. 856] [107 Fla. 608] Appeal from Circuit Court, Marion County; W. S. Bullock, judge.


R. L. Anderson and D. Niel Ferguson, both of Ocala, for appellant.

W. E. Smith, of Ocala, for appellee.



George C. Hooper died testate December 12, 1928, leaving an only son, George T. Hooper, surviving his wife having divorced him May 11, 1926. The senior Hooper executed his will July 10, 1926, in which, after providing for the payment of his debts and funeral expenses, he divided the remainder of his property equally among two friends living in Baltimore and a half-sister living in Washington, D. C. He provided the following legacy in favor of George T. Hooper:

'To my son, George T. Hooper, I bequeath a transcript of the divorce proceedings of Maud G. Hooper against me. This transcript contains the false testimony that he gave against me. I trust that on occasional perusal of same will recompense him for any pecuniary loss that his act has caused him. Furthermore I direct that the Executor of my estate procure from each legatee, as named above, an affidavit that he or she will under no circumstances render any financial aid to the above mentioned George T. Hooper The share or shares of any legatee who refuses to make such an affidavit shall revert to the Childrens Home Society of Florida, at Jacksonville.'

This suit was instituted December 7, 1929, by George T. Hooper to revoke the probate of the will of George C. Hooper on the ground that the testator was suffering from monomania or an insane delusion at the time the will was executed. The probate judge, after taking testimony and hearing argument of counsel, entered his decree granting the prayer of the petition to revoke the probate of the will, [107 Fla. 609] which decree was, on appeal, reversed by the circuit court. The instant appeal is from the decree of the circuit court.

The ultimate question brought here for our determination is whether or not the evidence shows that the testator was suffering from, and was dominated by, monomania or an insane delusion at the time be executed his will.

Monomania, sometimes designated paranoia, has reference to a craze or mania for a single object or class of objects. The subject of it may be perfectly sane as to all other objects. As with an insane delusion, monomania presupposes a species of mental disease. A mere belief in a state of facts, however imperfect or illogical, will not support an insane delusion. It must be the offspring of an unsound or deranged condition of the mind. Any belief which arises from reasoning from a known premise, however imperfect the process may be, or how illogical the conclusion reached, is not an insane delusion. If one of normal faculties can put himself in the place of the subject of an insane delusion and conceive how he could believe that which he is charged with believing, and still be in full possession of his faculties, an insane delusion is not established; neither will such a delusion be supported on undue prejudice, if based on any kind of reasoning.

An insane delusion has been defined as a spontaneous conception and acceptance as a fact, of that which has to real existence except in imagination. The conception must be persistently adhered to against all evidence and reason. It has also been defined as a conception originating spontaneously in the mind without evidence of any kind to support it, which can be accounted for on no reasonable hypothesis, having no foundation in reality, and springing from a diseased or morbid condition of the mind. Numerous other definitions might be cataloged, but the ultimate test...

To continue reading

Request your trial
27 cases
  • In Re Donnelly's Estate, in Re
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 15, 1938
    ...... proof has been misapprehended or there is a lack of evidence. to support the findings. Hooper v. Stokes, 107 Fla. 607, 145 So. 855, 146 So. 668; Parker v. Penny, 95. Fla. 922, 117 So. 703. . . The. right to dispose of ......
  • Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children v. Zrillic
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 31, 1990
    ...Florida Statutes (1985), which pertains to charitable devises. 1 The other alleges an express and direct conflict with Hooper v. Stokes, 107 Fla. 607, 145 So. 855 (1933); Milam v. Davis, 97 Fla. 916, 123 So. 668, cert. denied, 280 U.S. 601, 50 S.Ct. 82, 74 L.Ed. 646 (1929), and In re Estate......
  • Beacher's Estate, In re
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 17, 1965
    ...the appellant but by more than a dozen witnesses living in the community. The burden then shifted to the appellees. In Hooper v. Stokes, 107 Fla. 607, 145 So. 855, 857, 146 So. 668, this Court held: '[W]here the probate judge misapprehended the legal effect of the evidence as an entirety, h......
  • Kelly v. Militana, 91-00242
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 3, 1991
    ...253 So.2d 697 (Fla.1971); Zinnser v. Gregory, 77 So.2d 611 (Fla.1955); In re Wilmott's Estate, 66 So.2d 465 (Fla.1953); Hooper v. Stokes, 107 Fla. 607, 145 So. 855, petition to recall mandate denied, 107 Fla. 607, 146 So. 668 (1933); Mathieu v. Schnitzer, 559 So.2d 1244 (Fla. 4th DCA), rev.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Trusts & estates
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Causes of Action
    • April 1, 2022
    ...applied by all is that the aberration must be such as indicates a diseased or deranged condition of the mind.” citing Hooper v. Stokes , 145 So. 855, 856 (Fla. 1933)). 4. In re Kiggins’ Estate , 67 So. 2d 915, 918 (Fla. 1953) (“The burden of overthrowing a will on the ground of lack of test......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT