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VIRGINIA S. JONES, ET AL. v. REESE STUBBS and JOHN EMBREY STUBBS

JULY 27, 1983

VIRGINIA S. JONES, ET AL.
v.
REESE STUBBS and JOHN EMBREY STUBBS, Joint Administrators of the Estate of William Tandy Stubbs, Deceased Intestate



BEFORE BROOM, ROY NOBLE LEE AND BOWLING

BROOM, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Half-blood sister's asserted right to inherit from an intestate and share in the estate along with the deceased's full-blood nieces and nephews is highlighted by this cause appealed from the Chancery Court of Tippah County, the Honorable Anthony T. Farese chancellor. Upon a petition to determine heirship, the lower court ruled that the nieces and nephews (children of the deceased's whole-blood brothers) succeeded to the entire estate of the deceased intestate to the exclusion of appellant, Virginia S. Jones, surviving half-blood sister of the intestate. *fn1

The issue is: Who shall inherit the estate of William Tandy Stubbs who died intestate April 16, 1981. Stubbs was unmarried and left no spouse, children or descendants of children, or mother or father. His whole-blood brothers predeceased him, but they were survived

 by children who thus are the nieces and nephews of intestate Stubbs. Stubbs was survived by a sister of the half-blood, Virginia S. Jones, who is the appellant here.

 Stipulations made leave no factual dispute.

 Pertinent are Mississippi Code Annotated 99-1-3 and 91-1-5 (1972), which are:

 91-1-3. Descent of land.

 When any person shall die seized of any estate of inheritance in lands, tenements, and hereditaments not devised, the same shall descend to his or her children, and their descendants, in equal parts, the descendants of the deceased child or grandchild to take the share of the deceased parent in equal parts among them. When there shall not be a child or children of the intestate nor descendants of such children, then to the brothers and sisters and father and mother of the intestate and the descendants of such brothers and sisters in equal parts, the descendants of a sister or brother of the intestate to have in equal parts among them their deceased parent's share. If there shall not be a child or children of the intestate, or descendants of such children, or brothers or sisters, or descendants of them, or father or mother, then such estate shall descend, in equal parts, to the grandparents and uncles and aunts, if any there be; otherwise, such estate shall descend in equal parts to the next of kin of the intestate in equal degree, computing by the rules of the civil law. There shall not be any representation among collaterals, except among the descendants of the brothers and sisters of the intestate.

 91-1-5. Half-bloods.

 There shall not be, in any case, a distinction between the kindred of the whole and halfblood, except that the kindred of the wholeblood, in equal degree, shall be preferred to the kindred of the half-blood in the same degree.

 The litigants agree that the two quoted statutes are applicable and they agree that Scott v. Terry, 37 Miss. 65 (1859), is factually similar. Appellant Jones argues that

 Scott v. Terry was erroneously decided and should be overruled as "contrary to the overwhelming trend of modern authority with regard to half bloods and inheritance rights."

 With a single change which is not applicable in the present situation, 91-1-3 and 91-1-5, supra, have been the controlling law in Mississippi concerning intestate succession and half-bloods since 1848. In Scott v. Terry, supra, this Court construed these two statutes together in an identical fact situation and reasoned that, because the children of the intestate's brothers and sisters took by representation (in the place or shoes of the whole brothers and sisters), they were entitled to all of the rights and privileges as though they stepped into their deceased's parents' shoes. Scott v. Terry, supra, states:

 [T]he children of the brothers and sisters he whole blood occupy the same position as their parents, by right of representation; and hence that they are entitled to the estate to the exclusion of ...


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