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70 years of inheritance litigation and no end yet

Inheritance law

70 years of inheritance litigation and no end yet

The slowness of the Italian judiciary has repeatedly been the subject of the Client Letter; it is not uncommon for legal disputes to drag on for more than ten years. The following case, however, is:

The testator died in 1952, leaving ten children, including the plaintiff, who was to inherit a piece of land. Although she has since been able to collect 18 non-appealable decisions in her favour, she is still denied access to her inheritance. The Regional Court of Crotone had ruled on the division in 2005 after 14 years of proceedings, the Higher Regional Court of Catanzaro then also confirmed the first-instance decision; however, the Court of Cassation referred the case back to the Higher Regional Court in its decision of 21.10.2021. The costs of the legal dispute incurred so far would not only exceed her share of the inheritance, but also the value of the entire inheritance. The plaintiff, who was 14 years old at the time of the inheritance, is now 87 years old. (Source: Il Dubbio of 01.09.2022).

Goethe reported similar cases from his time as a trainee lawyer at the Reichskammergericht (Imperial Chamber Court).