Mitchell v. Moore (Mississippi 2017)
The dismissal of a paternity complaint is not a jurisdictional bar to the refiling of the complaint. In this heirship action, relatives of the deceased challenged his child’s status as his heir, arguing that the paternity order was void. The Department of Human Services filed the initial paternity complaint in 2007 and then dismissed it for lack of service. The Department filed again in 2008 using the same cause number. The relatives argued that the second action was an extension of the first action, and the order was void for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court disagreed. It found the first complaint was dismissed without prejudice and that a second complaint was properly filed. It didn’t matter that the complaints had the same cause number.