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WRONGFUL DEATH - KIRKSEY V. JOHNSON

Kirksey v. Johnson, [Ms. 1130403, Oct. 17, 2014] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2014). A probate court has no jurisdiction over the settlement of a wrongful-death claim or the distribution of funds recovered. The Jefferson County Circuit Court, in appointing an administratrix for purpose of filing a wrongful-death action, required the administratrix to obtain approval of any settlement and to deposit the proceeds into the probate court for distribution. After a settlement, the probate court approved the settlement and the distribution according to the affidavit of the administratrix as to the heirs of the decedent. The decedent's next of kin who were not included in the list of heirs moved to vacate the order discharging the administratrix and to transfer the case to the Jefferson County Circuit Court, alleging that the probate court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The probate court ruled that it had jurisdiction; the omitted heirs petitioned for mandamus; and the Supreme Court granted mandamus, ordering the probate court to

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