Michelle Parker wrongful death lawsuit dismissed

Judge says family can re-file suit against Dale Smith Jr.

ORLANDO, Fla. - A judge on Wednesday granted a motion to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit in the case of Michelle Parker, who vanished in 2011.

Parker's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last year against Parker's ex-fiance, Dale Smith Jr., the prime suspect in Parker's disappearance.  Smith, however, has not been charged in the case.

The judge ruled Wednesday that the lawsuit didn't allege clearly enough how Smith was responsible for Parker's death.  The judge said Parker's family can re-file a lawsuit, which the family said it intends to do.

The ruling came after Smith's attorney argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the Parker family did not provide any evidence that she's dead, adding that there isn't a death certificate in her case.

The Parker family said the lawsuit was filed because they wanted Smith to be deposed and say under oath what he knows about her disappearance.

The dismissed lawsuit alleged Smith was responsible for Parker's death, and says, "... on November 17, Smith was negligent or otherwise committed a wrongful act and caused the death of Michelle Parker."

Parker was reported missing after the airing of a pre-recorded episode of the TV show "The People's Court," which featured the two in a dispute over her engagement ring. She dropped off their two kids at Smith's house and hasn't been seen since.

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