The fiancé of missing Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth is arguing to have a federal wrongful death lawsuit against him dismissed, claiming that Berreth’s parents do not have legal standing to sue him.
The motion was filed Monday by Patrick Frazee’s legal team in response to a federal wrongful death lawsuit brought against him by Berreth’s parents, Cheryl and Darrell Berreth.
“Under Colorado law, parents can only bring a lawsuit if there is no living spouse or child,” Frazee’s attorney, Jennifer Stock, told ABC News.
“When a decedent has either a surviving spouse or child, the decedent’s parents do not have standing to bring a claim of wrongful death,” Frazee’s motion says. “Here, decedent Kelsey Berreth is survived by her one year old daughter. Therefore, plaintiff parents lack standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant.”
Berreth was last seen publicly on Thanksgiving shopping with the couple’s 1-year-old daughter at a Safeway supermarket in Woodland Park, Colorado. She has not been found. Police say Frazee was the last person to see the 29-year-old flight instructor.
Frazee was arrested on Dec. 21. He is formally charged with two counts of first degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder, though authorities have provided few details about the charges or any possible accomplices.
The civil lawsuit against Frazee, filed on Jan. 4, alleges he “committed and/or collaborated to commit the murder of Kelsey Berreth” and “enacted physical, mental, and emotional acts of violence upon Kelsey Berreth prior to her death.”
The lawsuit also claims Cheryl and Darrel Berreth suffered emotional distress. Frazee’s attorneys reject that claim “because they were not the targets of the alleged actions causing the alleged wrongful death of Kelsey Berreth nor were they physically present or physically injured on the occasion of the alleged wrongful death.”
Investigators recently turned their attention to at least one landfill in Colorado Springs in the search for Berreth’s body.
Frazee has not entered a plea in his criminal case. He is due back in court on Feb. 19.
ABC News’ Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.