This case is a complex proceeding to determine the heirs of Albert Gardner in Yazoo County. In a February 2012 order, the trial court found that the Appellants’ claims for establishment as children of their putative deceased father are barred by Mississippi Code section 91-1-15 (Supp. 2012). Because the chancellor’s order was not certified under Rule 54(b), it is not a final, appealable judgment. Therefore, we lack jurisdiction to consider the merits of this case and must dismiss.
Albert Gardner, whose estate consisted mainly of a parcel of real estate in Yazoo County, Mississippi, died intestate in 1924. The following year, his estate was opened and his heirs were adjudicated to be his wife, Francis; their five living children; and ten grandchildren, the offspring of a deceased child. More than eighty-two years after his death, on December 16, 2009, two of his grandchildren filed a petition to reopen his estate for determination of heirship, stating that his heirs were owed oil, gas, and mineral royalties.
The Appellants in this action are the putative children of Albert Clayborne, a great-grandchild of Albert Gardner. Albert Clayborne, the divorced father of eight legitimate children, died in 1998. No action was initiated to adjudicate his heirs until 2009.
Kashonna Young and others joined in the pending Yazoo County proceedings, claiming to be children of Albert Clayborne. They opened estate proceedings in Humphreys County, Albert Clayborne’s residence when he died, seeking the same determination of the same issue: that Albert Clayborne is their father and they are entitled to a portion of his estate. The two actions were consolidated by the trial courts. From a finding that the claims of heirship by the thirteen putative children of Albert Clayborne were untimely and without standing, eight of those claimants have appealed and seek reversal of the chancellor’s decision.
Judge(s): Eugene Fair
Jurisdiction: Mississippi Court of Appeals
Related Categories: Civil Procedure
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Court of Appeals Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Ronald Stutzman Jr.|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|