Previous Next

The Eyes of Justice (Part 2) [MOVED]

Posted on Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 @ 6:16pm by H.G. Mercer
Edited on on Mon Jan 8th, 2018 @ 5:47pm

Episode: The Legacy
Location: Kalispell Municipal Building, Municipal Square, Kalispell, Montana
Timeline: Mid-Morning, July 13, 1875

Carson Tyndall rose slowly to his feet. In Harriet's opinion, he was trying to draw the moment out to emphasize how important his case was. It was also designed to impress and unnerve those in the courtroom. Harriet had already discussed his probable tactics with her clients. Neither man flinched or batted a single eyelash as Tyndall began addressing the court.

"Your Honor," Tyndall's tone wasn't quite obsequious. "Ladies and gentlemen." His voice was definitely contemptuous as he looked at Harriet and her clients. "I contend that the will drawn up by Miss H.G. Mercer violates the terms of the Harper Legacy Trust. The trust was designed specifically to keep the ranch in the hands of the eldest son's bloodline. Mr. Ishmael Harper had some of the best legal minds in the country design it. It cannot be dissolved or replaced by a personal will."

Carson made a slow turn and threw his arms out expansively, "I further contend that Mr. Shade Harper and Mr. Quentin Cantrell are not suitable guardians for the children. I contend that a guardian should be appointed that would have their best interests at heart. The last thing those poor children need is to be raised by a couple of gunslingers if they even stay once they learn they cannot touch the Harper fortune."

Tyndall picked up a sheaf of papers from his table, "Your Honor, I would like to submit the original Legacy Trust documents as proof that the wills of Chance and Regina Harper are invalid." He carried the papers to the bench then returned to his table and sat down, a self-satisfied smirk on his face.

Harriet rose to her feet, "Your Honor, Mr. Tyndall," she began, her voice rich and confident. "While my esteemed colleague's concern for the Harper children is laudable, I feel it is misplaced. The rule of the land and, in fact, the laws of this country favor the relatives of minor children when it comes to guardianship. Even had Chance and Regina Harper not left wills designating Mr. Shade Harper and Mr. Quentin Cantrell as their children's guardians, the courts would have appointed them. Neither man is a gunslinger as Mr. Tyndall contends nor do they have outstanding arrest warrants. Any past legal transgressions have been cleared. Cody and Antoinette Harper could not have a stronger support system. They are surrounded by adults who love them, want nothing but the best for them and will protect them at all costs."

"And the children's wealth, the ranch?" Tyndall spoke up, his voice holding a note of derision. "Are you stating that these men do not have a personal interest in obtaining the rights to the children's inheritance?"

"They do not. I would also point out, your Honor, that the Legacy Trust has not been dissolved. Chance and Regina Harper only requested that it be modified to allow control of who would inherit based on the wishes of the present owners. The courts agreed that the dead should not dictate or preempt the rights of the living. The Legacy Trust was merely appended to allow some latitude in the dispensations of all property and money. The courts also determined that the trust lacked foresight. It did not allow for the possibility of there being no Harpers to inherit or for there being a generation with no male heirs born. While Ishmael Harper desired to protect his legacy and ensure it remained in the hands of his descendants, the trust would have actually left no clear line of inheritance in the event of there being no immediate family living."

Harriet smiled sweetly as she ended her argument, "In summation, your Honor, if anyone has an ulterior motive, it's Mr. Carson Tyndall because he was fired after Chance Harper learned of his conflict of interest." She gave the judge a respectful nod and returned to the table to sit down. Her smile toward Shade and Quentin was definitely reminiscent of the cat who ate the canary.

Oliver Mandrell took off his reading glasses and laid them aside. He shuffled all of the documents into a neat pile and then looked up at the courtroom. "I have reviewed both cases and all the documentation. Mr. Tyndall, Miss Mercer is correct. Regarding contesting the guardianship of the Harper children, you do not have a legal leg to stand on. No one has brought charges of neglect or abuse, and those are the only reasons I would consider removing the children from the care of Mr. Harper or Mr. Cantrell. All of the court documents regarding the Legacy Trust are in order and there is no reason for me to set aside the former ruling or request that the case should be reopened. Mr. Tyndall, your case is dismissed."

Tyndall sputtered, "Judge Mandrell, I protest this in the strongest terms..."

"I'm sure you do, Carson," Mandrell drawled. "And before you protest further, understand that I am dismissing the case with prejudice. You are done. You have not represented the Harpers for many years. You have no legal right to bring suit for how they manage their personal affairs including the dispensation of their property. You are dismissed, please leave the courtroom."

Tyndall gathered his documents and put them into his briefcase, closing its lid with a furious snap. Pausing beside Harriet's table on his way out, he looked at the two men sitting there, a cold, menacing light in his dark eyes, "This is not over." He stalked down the row between the pews and exited, slamming the door behind him.

Mandrell leaned back in his seat and regarded Harriet, Shade, and Quentin solemnly, "Although I found Mr. Tyndall's case to be presumptuous and arrogant, not to mention illegal, I do have concerns which need to be addressed. Please make yourselves comfortable, this hearing will be informal..."

To be continued in part 3.


Previous Next