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Dream of: 08 April 1987 "Inheritance Trial"

A short, thin, frail, white-haired, old woman who was apparently my grandmother had talked with me about a law suit she wanted to file. One day she drove to the court house, where I met her: I soon found myself sitting with her in a court room where her law suit was in progress.

The law suit involved her inheritance. My grandfather had already died. He had had a daughter who wasn't the daughter of my grandmother. If my grandmother now won this law suit before she died, my grandfather's daughter and her children would receive none of my grandmother's inheritance. Instead, my mother, my sister and I would receive everything.

The actual nature of the lawsuit and its significance only gradually became clear to me as the case began to unfold. My grandfather's daughter was in the crowded courtroom, as well as several of her daughters. My mother and my sister were also there. The judge was a woman probably in her 40s.

The trial began and the opposing side began calling witnesses and giving evidence. I wasn't actually the lawyer for my grandmother; I was simply giving her advice from time to time. She herself was conducting her own case. At one point the judge asked my grandmother (sitting in the front row of the courtroom) a question and my grandmother began talking about her age. She said she was over 100 years old. I hadn't realized she was that old; maybe I should be helping her more; but she seemed to be doing quite a capable job.

The nature of the case slowly became clearer to me. It appeared the law was on the side of my grandmother; however it was also clear that the court might be reluctant to take away the inheritance of my grandfather's children. Obviously my grandfather's daughter and her daughters were deeply concerned about the matter and were going to put up a fight. However, like my grandmother, they were representing themselves and they didn't have a lawyer.

I knew I would also be called on to testify. I noted I was wearing a red and black checked cowboy-type shirt and a red and black tie. I had on black pants. My clothes seemed a bit unorthodox for a courtroom yet appeared satisfactory nevertheless.

Finally my grandfather's daughter offered some evidence; I was unsure what it was it looked like a small bundle of something. My grandmother asked me if she would be able to see the evidence and I told her to go up to the judge and ask to see it. She did so. I likewise became curious and went up. I quickly saw that the bundle consisted of canceled checks of my father. The two top checks were made out to me. One was for twenty-some dollars and the other was for thirty-some dollars. There was also a check to me for over $1,000. The rest of the checks seemed to deal with my father's business. The checks appeared to only extend back for a couple months.

The judge apparently knew and was a friend of my father and seemed to disapprove of his having had to furnish all his canceled checks. But even though my father wasn't a party to the case he was still required to submit the evidence.

Slightly disturbed, I returned to my seat. Apparently the other side had prepared more than I had anticipated if they had gone to the trouble of obtaining my father's checks. My grandmother hadn't obtained any evidence about their finances.

Another subject began to occur to me. If I were called to testify, I might be asked about my income taxes. I knew that could be very detrimental because I hadn't filed income tax forms for two years. If that fact were discovered, it could severely hurt, perhaps destroy, my grandmother's case. I tried to think of how I could avoid having to admit I hadn't been paying taxes. Perhaps I could object because it wasn't relevant.

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