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Matter of Estate of Sroczek

Decided: October 30, 1956.

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF OTTO SROCZEK, DECEASED


On order to show cause why lands should not be sold to pay debts.

Waugh, J.c.c.

Waugh

[42 NJSuper Page 432] This matter having come before the court on an order to show cause why lands should not

be sold to pay debts, the court permitted the administrator to take tentative bids for certain real estate owned by the decedent Otto Sroczek, who died without any known heirs or next of kin. The State, having orally indicated that it would file the certificate required under R.R. 4:109-8, that is, that it would not interpose its objection to an order authorizing the sale, finally concluded that the best interests of the State would not be served by consenting to the proposed sale.

The administrator then applied to this court for an order relaxing or dispensing with the above rule.

I have come to the conclusion that this court should not order the sale of lands in this estate unless the State files the certificate required by R.R. 4:109-8.

The court has the power to relax or dispense with this rule only "where it shall be manifest * * * that a strict adherence * * * will work surprise or injustice." R.R. 1:27 A. Despite the subsequent change in course taken by the State respecting this proposed sale, the record is barren of any showing of surprise or injustice justifying a relaxation of the rule.

The administrator here was appointed under N.J.S. 3 A:6-14 because the decedent's body was found in his apartment and there were no known heirs or next of kin. He owned over 30 parcels of real estate, many of which were rented, requiring heating, janitor service and the like. It was necessary that his body be given decent burial. It was not possible to comply with R.R. 4:99-8. The temporary administrator was thereafter appointed general administrator in accordance with N.J.S. 3 A:6-4.

The administrator subsequently was appointed receiver of the real estate by the Chancery Division. As stated, the decedent left no known heirs capable of inheriting his real estate. Subject to the action in the Superior Court, provided for in N.J.S. 2 A:37-1, title passed to the State of New Jersey on his death.

The administrator has been diligent in his duties and his application to the court to be allowed to sell certain parts

of the real estate is consistent with his opinion that the market is ripe and, considering the condition of the property and the general cash position of the estate, a sale is for the best interests of the estate.

However, administration is temporary, insofar as the real property is concerned. Title to the property passed to the State of New Jersey, subject to the action provided for in N.J.S. 2 A:37-1. No creditor will suffer if ...


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