Bankruptcy judge gives Aldridge lawsuit go-ahead in Lee County

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

ABERDEEN – Aldridge versus Aldridge will return to chancery court in Lee County, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Houston decided Monday.
In a brief morning hearing, Houston said that for the “sake of judicial economy” the interrupted lawsuit can be resolved before Chancellor Michael Malski, although distribution of assets cannot occur without the federal court’s permission.
Florence Aldridge of Tupelo sued her relatives Louis and Janice Aldridge, their son Brian Aldridge and Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc., claiming they spent more than $550,000 of her estate without any benefit to her.
In 2003, Florence gave her brother-in-law, Louis, her power of attorney while she was ill. When she recovered in 2008, she asked for an accounting of her assets and discovered they were spent by the Aldridges and the charity.
Her lawsuit began in Lee County in August, only to be halted on the first day when the court learned that Louis and Janice Aldridge filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, which put an automatic stay on proceedings against them.
Monday, Judge Houston agreed to her request to lift the stay and allow her lawsuit to continue.
Last month, Judge Malski said he would prioritize the lawsuit on his schedule, if the bankruptcy could agreed to let him proceed.
It wasn’t known Monday what the lawsuit’s status is yet with the chancellor.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com