Lee Graham Shopping Ctr. v. Estate of Kirsch, No. 13-2348 (4th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Diane Z. Kirsch assigned her limited interest in the Lee Graham Shopping Center Limited Partnership to the Diane Z. Kirsch Family Trust where the interest was to pass to the Cullen Trust. The Partnership filed suit after Kirsch died, seeking a declaratory judgment that the Partnership Agreement forbids the transfer of the interest to the Cullen Trust. The district court granted summary judgment to the Partnership on all claims. The court affirmed, concluding that the probate exception does not preclude federal court jurisdiction in this case and the case was properly before the district court, and that the Agreement prohibits the transfer of the interest to the Cullen Trust, which benefits a non-family member. The court found that the Agreement unambiguously prohibits gift transfers of interests to non-family members.