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By: Scott Grossman on October 15th, 2016

Asking the Court for Damages During Trust Lawsuits: Prayers

When pursuing a trust litigation matter, the first stage is known as the pleading stage. During this stage, a petition is filed with the probate court wherein the petitioner states his claims. If the matter is pursued in civil court rather than probate court, the petitioner is known as a plaintiff and the petition is referred to as the complaint. Then, the petitioner states facts supporting the causes of action laid out in the petition. A “prayer” concludes the petition or complaint.

Seven Examples of a Prayer in a Petition

What is a prayer? A prayer is a statement where the petitioner or plaintiff requests certain monetary or other damages. Examples of common prayers used in lawsuits involving trusts or estates include the following:

  1. Attorney’s fees and costs.
  2. Double damages under the applicable California law.
  3. A court order directing the defendant, respondent, or objector to return all assets wrongfully taken from a trust or estate.
  4. A judgment in favor of the plaintiff on all of the causes of action in the complaint or petition.
  5. Punitive damages.
  6. Actual damages.
  7. Any other relief that the court deems fair and proper.

With trust or estate litigation, these are common prayers. However, you may need to take more drastic action if the issue at hand involves suspected theft. Our article, “What Should I Do If I Suspect an Executor Is Stealing From a California Probate Estate,” outlines the seven steps that you should take in these situations.

Consequently, understanding the trust litigation process is difficult for anyone who has never had to navigate the complex world of estate issues in the past. We are here to answer any additional questions. Contact us today!