Justia Mississippi Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Estate Planning
David "Junior" Kimbrough died in 1998, leaving his entire estate to his long-time girlfriend, Mildred Washington. Matthew Johnson was named executor of the estate. Johnson petitioned the court to probate Kimbrough's will. Contestants filed to contest the will, and no other entries were filed during the next ten years. In September 2008, an entry of appearance was entered on behalf of four remaining contestants, which was followed by an entry of appearance on behalf of Johnson. In 2009, the chancery court denied Executor's Rule 41(b) motion to dismiss, granted Contestants’ motion to compel discovery, granted Contestants’ motion to remove executor, and appointed the chancery clerk of Marshall County as executor. Johnson then filed his motion to dismiss alleging a violation of Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 4(h), because Washington was served process almost eleven years after the commencement of the action. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss, but it granted a stay of the proceedings pending petition for interlocutory appeal to the Supreme Court, which was subsequently denied. A trial on the matter was held in 2012. After Contestants rested their case, Proponents moved the trial court for dismissal, and the chancellor ultimately granted their motion and dismissed the case. Contestants appealed to the Supreme Court, raising nine issues all pertaining to the validity of the will, and whether the trial court erred in granting Proponents' Rule 41(b) motion to dismiss. After review of the matter, the Supreme Court concluded the chancellor did not abuse his discretion in granting Proponents' Mississippi Rules Civil Procedure 41(b) motion to dismiss. Therefore, the Court affirmed the decision of the chancery court.View "Kimbrough v. Estate of David Kimbrough" on Justia Law