Bank of California Nat. Ass’n v. Superior Court case brief
California Supreme 1940
Posture: Trial court denied a motion to bring in necessary parties. Next court up needs to determine whether the parties are indispensable parties and that their appearance is necessary.
Facts: Boyd died testate in June 1937, leaving an estate; in July, her will was admitted to probate and Bank was appointed executor. Money was left to many people. On Oct 14, 1937, Smedly sued to enforce an alleged K that left her all the estate. Sued all beneficiaries and the bank. Summons served on a few people but not all of them. A defendant motioned to bring in rest of defendant’s, alleging they were necessary to the suit. Motion denied; bank filed another motion to stop trial until other parties are in.
Reasoning: If a party is separable from the rest and where their presence cannot be obtained, they are not indispensable parties. This is true even if the parties are so interested in controversy that they should normally be made parties. A party is indispensable if a judgment against someone else will reduce the rights that the indispensable party will have. I.E. a judgment for one creditor reduces the $ another creditor can get.
Some parties are necessary to complete a settlement but are not indispensable, in the fact that a judgment would still be valid without them.
Do not reverse; say that joinder is not necessary in this case.