DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/06/2012.
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MARSHALL COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. EDWIN H. ROBERTS JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: MOTION TO DISMISS DENIED.
FOR APPELLANT: R. BRADLEY BEST, EDWARD RUSSELL MCNEES.
FOR APPELLEE: WILLIAM F. SCHNELLER JR.
BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING, P.J., ISHEE, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. BARNES, J., CONCURS IN RESULT ONLY. CARLTON, J., DISSENTS WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. ROBERTS, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES
¶1. Kathleen Elmore Jamison, the administrator of the estate of Boyce Elmore, appeals the chancellor's decision that found Cedric Williams to be an illegitimate son and heir of Boyce. In this appeal, Kathleen argues that the chancellor erred in his application of the statute of limitations. We find reversible error and render
a judgment in favor of Kathleen. We also remand for further estate proceedings consistent with this opinion.
¶2. On November 5, 2000, Boyce died intestate in Marshall County, Mississippi.
¶3. On March 13, 2002, Kathleen filed a petition for letters of administration. In the petition, Kathleen alleged that she was the sole heir-at-law. On August 15, 2003, Kathleen filed an amended petition, adding Tekeyia Elmore Eaton as an additional surviving heir-at-law. On August 21, 2003, the estate was opened and the chancellor appointed Kathleen as the administrator for the estate. On August 25, 2003, letters of administration were issued to Kathleen, and she filed the affidavit of creditors. On August 28, 2003, notice to creditors was published. On September 25, 2003, proof of publication of the notice of creditors was filed.
¶4. On March 2, 2011, Cedric filed a motion for removal of Kathleen as the administrator and other relief. Kathleen responded to the motion. She alleged that Cedric lacked standing as an interested party.
¶5. On July 7, 2011, Cedric filed a " Complaint for Determination of Heirs/Paternity." In response, Kathleen raised three affirmative defenses: (1) lack of standing, (2) failure to state a claim, and (3) statute of limitations. On July 22, 2011, Kathleen filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on these grounds.
¶6. After a hearing, on October 11, 2011, the chancellor entered an order that denied the motion to dismiss and permitted Cedric to intervene. A paternity hearing was held on June 19, 2012. On July 11, 2012, the chancellor entered an order finding Cedric to be an illegitimate son of Boyce and an ...