IN RE: the ESTATE OF Earlene F. BRENNER.

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Supreme Court of Kansas.

IN RE: the ESTATE OF Earlene F. BRENNER.

No. 113,288

    Decided: May 26, 2017

Keen K. Brantley, of Wallace, Brantley & Shirley Law Firm, of Scott City, was on the brief for appellant Beverly D. Goodman. Fred J. Logan, Jr., of Logan Logan & Watson, L.C., of Prairie Village, and Joseph B. Bain, of Cure & Bain, P.C., of Goodland, were on the briefs for appellee Danny R. Brenner.

This court accepted this case on the petition for review filed by Danny R. Brenner, the appellee and respondent below. Review was granted for the specific purpose of deciding whether, under facts specific to this case, the district court properly denied the petition filed by the appellant and petitioner below, Beverly D. Goodman, seeking letters of administration in the intestate estate of her mother, Earlene F. Brenner. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals reversed the district court in In re Estate of Brenner, 52 Kan. App. 2d 71, 362 P.3d 30 (2015).

After this court granted review, it came to light that Beverly had passed away in December 2016. This court issued an order directing the parties to prepare to discuss at oral argument the effect that Beverly's death might have on any further proceedings in the case. In response to that and a subsequent order of this court, the parties filed a statement explaining that they had reached an understanding that they had no interest in further prosecution of this case, either in district court or on appeal. They stipulated to vacating the opinion of the Court of Appeals and dismissing the appeal.

This court is not obliged to dismiss a civil appeal that is being reviewed simply because the appeal is moot. See Rule 8.03(i)(5) (2017 Kan. S. Ct. R. 53). Similarly, parties may not stipulate to vacating a decision of the Court of Appeals once it has been entered. We hold that because both parties have no interest in further prosecution of this matter and the issue to be addressed is specific to the peculiar circumstances of this case, it is unnecessary to reach a decision on the merits of the appeal.

We conclude the petition for review was improvidently granted. This decision is identical in effect to a denial of the petition for review in the first instance, and a “ ‘denial of a petition for review imports no opinion on the merits of the case.’ ” State v. Eisenhour, 305 Kan. 409, 411, 384 P.3d 426 (2016) (quoting Supreme Court Rule 8.03[g] [2015 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 81] ).

Petition for review dismissed as improvidently granted.

Per Curiam:

BEIER, J., not participating.

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