From our private database of 31,100+ case briefs...
Estate of Griswold
California Supreme Court
24 P.3d 1191 (2001)
Denis Morris was born out of wedlock. Denis’s birth certificate listed his father as John Draves, and his mother filed a court petition to declare Draves as Denis’s legal father. In court, Draves admitted that he was Denis’s father. Per court order, Draves then paid the mother’s pregnancy-related medical expenses and weekly child support for the first 18 years of Denis’s life. Draves and Denis never had any contact, though. When Denis was a year old, his mother married Fred Griswold. Denis began going by Denis Griswold, and he thought for many years that Fred Griswold was his biological father. Draves married and had two children. Draves never told these children about Denis. Denis’s mother and Draves both died before Denis. When Denis died, he was married to Norma Doner-Griswold (plaintiff) and had no children. Denis did not have a will. Denis’s half-siblings, Draves’s other two children, were still alive and assigned their rights in Denis’s estate to Francis See (defendant), a self-proclaimed forensic genealogist who hunted for inheritances. Doner-Griswold filed a petition to have Denis’s estate distributed to her under the intestacy laws. See objected to the distribution, claiming that part of Denis’s estate belonged to Draves’s other two children under the intestacy laws and that she owned the rights to that portion. The validity of See’s claim turned on whether Draves had a right to inherit from Denis. The trial court found that Draves had no inheritance rights, but the appellate court reversed and found that Draves did have a right to inherit from Denis’s estate. The California Supreme Court granted Doner-Griswold’s petition for review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Baxter, J.)
Concurrence (Brown, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 557,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 557,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 31,100 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.