In re Estate of Brown

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
2014 IL App (1st) 122857
Decision Date: 
Friday, June 20, 2014
1st Dist.
Cook Co., 6th Div.
Reversed and remanded with directions.
Granddaughter of co-songwriter filed petition for citation in probate court, where record company's son made competing claim of copyright ownership in the blues song "On the Road Again". Prior federal litigation addressed primarily whether two record companies had infringed on the two decedents' copyright interests in the song. Issues at hear of this petition for citation were not and could not have been presented in prior federal action because co-writer was alive at time of federal case settlement, when stipulation to dismiss with prejudice was entered. Thus, collateral estoppel and res judicata do not bar this action. Six-week delay in Petitioner filing citation, after publication of notice, was not unreasonable and does not give rise to defense of laches. (ROCHFORD and REYES, concurring.)