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  1. #1

    Default Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: WA

    My issue is complicated but I'll do the best to simplify it. I purchased my mothers home but she ended up having a massive stroke and brain aneurysm. She recovered some, but is fully disabled (can't walk) but she gets around with a wheel chair and uses a computer, writes emails, etc. Anyway, the transaction was done before her medical problems, and the deed was transferred after using a Power of Attorney. My mother signed off on the PoA, fully coherent and under no duress with a notary public present so that I would assume her assets but let her live and stay in her own house with full time care (I was the one taking care of her). This was all fine and well, I registered the PoA and Quitclaim with the state Recorder and assumed all was legal.

    Now, I have a mentally ill brother who has always lived his our mother and he went absolutely insane over this, tried to kill me, my sister, my aunt and my mother! Most charges were dropped but my aunt wouldn't back down. Eventually he moves back into the house with just my mother, myself, and my brother. My brother ends up calling the police about a dozen times over petty little things demanding I be arrested. The police mostly ignored him, but were giving him advice on how to have me arrested if "whatever" happens again. So, the whatever incident happens, the police come out, I'm handcuffed and arrested for assault because while I was vacuuming, the phone rang, and my mother couldn't hear the phone, and so my brother leaped at me and I pushed him out of my way because I had absolutely no idea what he was doing. Then he immediately calls 911 and said I attacked him, and of course, my mother backed up his story, and off I go to jail for assault charges, not only from my brother, but my own mother, who was only a witness, but she did not understand the incident.

    I end up in jail for a very very very long time. During this time, the PoA is revoked, all my finances are drained, my sister stole about 100K out of my brothers Social Security Savings (which my sister and mother were joint account holders). My mother didn't want to deal with it. And, my sister drained the $350,000 I gave to my mother for the house. So all this money is now gone and I find this out in jail. I have zero support, my state appointed attorney told me she didn't believe anything I said and called me a liar and said I couldn't fire her because she was the only attorney for this area who could represent me. So I'm stuck. Months go by. I keep finding more and more things out. Like how my sister and brother had been writing the judge and prosecuting attorney, using every tactic to demand that I'm put in prison for life. In the end and after 6 months of jail (the judge yelled and screamed at me for all the unkind things my brother said I had done to him and my mother that were not true) and imposed some pretty stiff penalties and requirements.

    In the end, I get handed down a permanent restraining order, am never allowed to contact my brother or mother again, go within 1000 feet of them, and I can't go back to my own house because that's where the both of them live. I was literally screwed.

    Then, comes the reversal of the Quitclaim. My sister hired an attorney who got to have his way in court because I was no longer anywhere near the state of Washington. I left that life behind. The attorney won a default judgement because I never knew about it, couldn't be reached, couldn't be found they claim (though my sister and family have my email, phone number, facebook, linkedin, etc, etc). The attorney representing my mother claimed I forced my mother under duress to sign over the PoA and house (yet a notary was present) and also argued squatters rights to get the house back. So, it is over turned, the Quitclaim deed is reversed and I lose the house.

    Do I have any legal recourse? Is there a time frame? Should I contact the notary who was present to see if I can get a letter from her because clearly she would not have had this done if she felt there was any wrongdoing, duress, etc, etc. Or am I just screwed and should I just give up on it all? It is a complicated mess that was all over money and my greedy sister and crazy clinically schizophrenic brother.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,480

    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    It sounds like the original purchase/deed and the POA were done without the assistance of an attorney. You certainly need one now if you want to have a hope. Are you saying you as the attorney in fact deeded the property to yourself? Yeah, that's likely to be fairly suspect.

    A notary is not going to refute duress. All they do is attest to the identity of the signatures.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    In Washington state, most appeals have to be filed within 30 days of entry of the decision of the trial court. So if you have an argument that the default judgment should not have issued, or if you otherwise think the trial court got the matter wrong, you can appeal but you'd have to move quickly to start that process.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,610

    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    Reality:

    Quote Quoting ajmcello78
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    Do I have any legal recourse?
    Possibly. But do you have the tens of thousands of dollars that protracted litigation would cost?


    Quote Quoting ajmcello78
    View Post
    am I just screwed
    Yes


    Quote Quoting ajmcello78
    View Post
    should I just give up on it all?
    Yes.

    Avoid those toxic lunatics and get on with your life as best as you can.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    Yes, that is a correct. An attorney was not present, but the document did allow me to make such a legal transfer. In other words, it was legal, my mother knew about it and so did my family, and they did nothing about it for 2 years. Then bam, when I'm long gone and unreachable, it goes to court with a default judgement because I'm a no-show and was never notified.

    More than 30 days have passed, and I did not find out about it until much later. While under my ownership, I made several upgrades/repairs to the house, the utilities were all in my name, and my mom didn't have to do anything but rest and stay comfortable. When I was out of the picture, my sister made any utility payments under my name with my account numbers and drained my bank account while I was incarcerated for alleged assault. When I get out, I find this all out, she even took my computer and phone home to her house and logged into my E-mail account (gmail) and facebook, and deleted a bunch of stuff and blocked certain people. Thanks to Google, it identified her IP address and devices, and location, so I know it was her. But, it just sucks. There must be some kind of option, I would hope, and I'm certainly willing to spend anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 to resolve this issue, as I guess once I start the process it'll likely go to trial? I don't know the law that well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    Were you convicted of the crime?

    When did you find out all of the civil actions for the property had happened?

  7. #7
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    And now you're in HI trying to go after the state for other issues revolving around disability and malpractice? You're quite busy and you get around.

    None of this makes a whole lot of sense.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    Quote Quoting ajmcello78
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    Yes, that is a correct. An attorney was not present, but the document did allow me to make such a legal transfer. In other words, it was legal, my mother knew about it and so did my family, and they did nothing about it for 2 years. Then bam, when I'm long gone and unreachable, it goes to court with a default judgement because I'm a no-show and was never notified.
    No, it doesn't allow you to either self-deal or act against against the will or best interests of the person who granted it. Washington follows the Uniform Power of Attorney act as embodied in RCW 11.125. If this was deemed an abuse of the POA, they indeed didn't need to involve you in undoing it.

    You made what appears to be a bad POA, acted improperly under the POA, and failed to have a valid contract for the other things you did. Now you're paying the price. You should have had an attorney then, you'll need one now if you want to press the issue.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    [re]
    Were you convicted of the crime?

    When did you find out all of the civil actions for the property had happened?
    [/re]

    No, it was not a crime, regarding the deed/transfer/quitclaim. I wasn't charged nor were charges filed regarding that. It all happened after the fact, when my schizoid brother jumped at me and I pushed him away and he considered that assault and had me arrested. Then the s hit the fan, so to speak, and my sister and brother jumped all over me while I was incarcerated. They both sent so many letters to the prosecuting attorney that he became irritated.

    I have just found out, and now I'm wondering how I should pursue it. Obviously a lawyer, but I did not want to waste my time and money going through this all if I don't have a much chance of over turning the reversal.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    No, it doesn't allow you to either self-deal or act against against the will or best interests of the person who granted it. Washington follows the Uniform Power of Attorney act as embodied in RCW 11.125. If this was deemed an abuse of the POA, they indeed didn't need to involve you in undoing it.

    You made what appears to be a bad POA, acted improperly under the POA, and failed to have a valid contract for the other things you did. Now you're paying the price. You should have had an attorney then, you'll need one now if you want to press the issue.
    It wasn't a self deal, my mother was present and witnessed the whole transaction. If she did not want this to occur, then it would not have. I made sure it was all done legally, certified, notarized, and filed with the county recorder. My mother was in poor physical shape and it was too stressful to drive and move her around, so I brought a notary to the house. It only became an issue once my brother and sister flipped out 2 years after the transfer.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    View Post
    And now you're in HI trying to go after the state for other issues revolving around disability and malpractice? You're quite busy and you get around.

    None of this makes a whole lot of sense.
    Not to you. Please don't make assumptions and jump to conclusions. This is also off-topic and a unrelated matter. You should know better.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Quitclaim Overturned Due to Duress

    It wasn't a self deal, my mother was present and witnessed the whole transaction.
    Anytime a holder of a power of attorney deeds property to him/herself, it is a self deal. If your mother was present, why did she not sign the deed herself?

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