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Bank of California Nat. Ass'n v. Superior Court

Supreme Court of California
106 P.2d 879 (Cal. 1940)


Bank of California (Bank) (defendant) was named executor of the will of Sara Boyd. The will left most of Boyd’s estate to St. Luke’s Hospital (St. Luke’s) (defendant) and the rest to various other beneficiaries, some of whom lived far away, in foreign countries. Boyd’s niece, Bertha Smedley (plaintiff), brought suit to enforce an alleged contract with Boyd that gave Smedley the entire estate. The suit was brought against the Bank and all of the beneficiaries under the will. Summons was served only on the Bank and St. Luke’s. The Bank and St. Luke’s filed a motion for a writ to have summons served on the other defendants to bring them into the case, arguing that they were “necessary and indispensible” parties. The Superior Court denied the motion. The Bank and St. Luke’s then filed a motion for a writ of prohibition to suspend the trial until the other defendants were brought in.

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Holding and Reasoning (Gibson, C.J.)

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