Burnett v. MaddocksAnnotate this Case
In 2006, a Colorado court entered a decree for adult adoption making Plaintiff, who was fifty-eight years old at the time, the heir of Merrill Maddocks under the intestacy laws. In 2014, Merrill died without leaving any surviving children. Plaintiff subsequently filed a complaint to quiet title to a section of farmland, arguing that he was the owner of the property because he was the “eldest son” of Merrill under the will of Merrill’s great-uncle. Defendant, the person who takes the property if Plaintiff is not Merrill’s “eldest son,” argued that Plaintiff was not Merrill’s eldest son under the will because “it was not legally possible to adopt an adult” in Nebraska when the great-uncle died. The trial court quieted title in the property in Plaintiff, concluding that Plaintiff was Merrill’s eldest son because the Colorado decree was entitled to full faith and credit in Nebraska. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Merrill and Plaintiff did not have a parent-child relationship, Plaintiff was not Merrill’s “eldest son” under the great-uncle’s will. Remanded with directions to quiet title to the property in Defendant.