Logourl black
From our private database of 13,000+ case briefs...

Estates of Donnelly

Supreme Court of Washington
502 P.2d 1163 (1972)


Facts

John and Lily Donnelly had a daughter, Kathleen, and a son. The son died, leaving an infant daughter, Jean. Jean’s mother remarried, and Jean’s step-father adopted Jean. Lily then died, leaving everything to John. When John died, his will left everything to Lily, and did not clarify what should happen to his estate if Lily had predeceased him. Kathleen (plaintiff) petitioned the court to determine John’s heirs, arguing that she should be considered John’s sole heir, and that Jean (defendant) should not be considered John’s heir. RCW 11.04.085 states that an adopted child is not an heir of his or her biological parents, but the law is silent as to whether an adopted child is an heir of his or her biological grandparents. RCW 26.32.140 states that biological parents have no legal rights or obligations with respect to a child who has been adopted, and that an adopted child is the heir of his or her adoptive parents. Under RCW 26.32.080 and RCW 26.32.150, adoptions in Washington are by default closed and the records sealed. The trial court held that Jean was an heir of her biological grandparents Lily and John, and the court of appeals affirmed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Neill, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Hale, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. 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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 128,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,000 briefs, keyed to 176 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.