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James P. Ryan


Interesting statutory approach, for sure. Most domestic relations actions cannot survive the death of a party. See Tiedman v Tiedman, 400 Mich App 571; 255 NW2d 632 (1977). Some domestic relations actions (such as annulment and affirmation) may survive the death of a party (i have no citations for you on that statement). See MCL 600.2921 (injury/death), and MCR 2.202(A). If the action survives, a substitution of parties must be prepared.

The Texas statute seems to clarify only that such an action can continue after the death of a party. It also appears to be continued as a probate court action (which may be a family court action there; I do not know). I think that the approach should be considered in Michigan, but I do not know if a pending action should continue in our family division, or should be "transferred" to probate, nor do I know whether a post-death action should be filed in family or probate court.

I suspect our probate courts have more experience with the actual issues these actions would raise, and it might be better for them to be filed and heard there.

/s/ Jim Ryan, Plymouth

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