CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman is suing the county sheriff claiming he was unlawfully appointed the administrator of her family member's estate.

Frances Ann Keiffer filled a lawsuit on Sept. 11 in Kanawha Circuit Court claiming Kanawha County Sheriff John D. Rutherford was unlawfully appointed as administrator of the estate of her deceased family member.

Keiffer claims on March 6, 2013, Charles F. Hailer signed his last will and testimony in front of two witnesses and had the document notarized. Keiffer goes on the claim all who participated have under oath asserted this claim. Keiffer alleges that following Hailer's death on Sept. 13, 2013, the document was not admitted to probate, and his estate was appointed to the sheriff on Dec. 9, 2013.

Keiffer is requesting the court declare the document to be the last will and testament of Hailer and be entered into probate, as well as an award of attorney fees and costs incurred in prosecution. Keiffer is being represented by Thomas H. Peyton of the Peyton Law Firm in Nitro. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 15-C-1709

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