Court holds Complaint should have been amended where Estate, not decedent, named as a party
Lindsay Clark Ross sued the Estates of Robert Van Ornum and Vivian Alice Billings" and their "unknown heirs and devisees." Under Michigan law, property of a decedent goes directly from the decedent to his heirs, so it is never actually owned by the Estate. On that basis, the trial judge held that the Estates were not the proper named parties in this quiet title action and dismissed the case entirely.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that given the simplicity of the naming error (i.e., "the Estate and unknown heirs," rather than the decedent and his or her "unknown heirs") the plaintiff should have been allowed to amend the Complaint, rather than dismissing the case entirely.