California Notice of Appeal May be Filed on Behalf of Trust by Non-Attorney Trustee

The Second District of the California Court of Appeal holds that a trustee may sign and file a notice of appeal on behalf of the trust even though the trustee may not represent the trust in court.  Indyway Investment v. Cooper, case no. B192944 (April 24, 2007).  The opinion first explains the rationale for why a trust may not appear in propria persona by a non-attorney trustee, then provides a range of  decisions in which notices of appeal were filed by non-attorney representatives and found valid based on a recognized “distinction between the capacity of a person acting in propria persona to sign and file a notice of appeal and his capacity to execute and file pleadings, papers, and briefs in both the trial and appellate courts.”  It is an excellent starting point for research by any attorney considering challenging the validity of a notice of appeal on the basis that it was filed by an unauthorized person and by any attorney assuming representation of an appellant after such a notice has been filed.

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