Summary of Decision March 4, 2014
Justice Golden (Ret.) delivered the opinion of the Court. Affirmed.
Case Name: THE COURTENAY C. AND LUCY PATTEN DAVIS FOUNDATION AND AMY DAVIS, Individually v. COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH FOUNDATION, UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING FOUNDATION AND C.C. DAVIS AND CO., LLC, A Wyoming Limited Liability Company, and GREGORY A. PHILLIPS, WYOMING ATTORNEY GENERAL, in his official capacity.
Docket Number: S-13-0121
Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, the Honorable Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge
Representing Appellants: Steve Miller of Steve A. Miller, P.C., Denver, Colorado; Gay Woodhouse and Tara B. Nethercott of Woodhouse Roden Nethercott, LLC, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Miller.
Representing Appellees Colorado State University Research Foundation, University of Wyoming Foundation, and C.C. Davis And Co., LLC, a Wyoming Limited Liability Company: Michael J. Sullivan and Alaina M. Stedillie of Lewis Roca Rothgerber, LLP, Casper, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Sullivan.
Representing Appellee Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General, In His Official Capacity: No Appearance.
Date of Decision: March 4, 2014
Facts: In 1997, the Courtenay C. Davis Foundation and Amy Davis (collectively “the Davis Interests”) entered into an agreement with the Colorado State University Research Foundation and the University of Wyoming Foundation (“the University Foundations”). Through that agreement, the Davis Interests gifted land and other interests to the University Foundations, subject to the terms of the agreement. In 2011, the University Foundations decided to sell the gifted property. The Davis Interests filed an action in district court seeking to enjoin the sale of the gifted property, and the district court dismissed the action after finding that the Davis Interests lacked standing to bring the action.
Issues: The Davis Interests state the issues on appeal as: 1) Did the district court err in finding [the Davis Interests] lacked standing? 2) [Do the Davis Interests] have standing as a management committee member?
The University Foundations phrase the issues on appeal as: 1) Was the transaction between the Davis Interests (Appellants) and the University Foundations (Appellees) a gift, or, as claimed by the Appellants, did it create an implied trust? 2) In either event, do the Appellants have standing? 3) Is the issue raised by Appellants concerning the Davis Interests’ entitlement to appoint a member to the five member Ranch Management committee and Amy Davis' role as an unpaid consultant a new argument that has been waived? 4) If it is not a new issue, do the Davis Interests’ entitlement to appoint a member to the five member Ranch Management committee or Amy Davis’ role as an unpaid consultant support Appellants’ standing argument?
Holdings/Conclusion: The district court correctly concluded that the donation from the Davis Interests to the University Foundations was a gift, that the MOA did not create an implied trust, and that only the attorney general has standing to enforce the terms of a charitable gift. We thus affirm the court’s dismissal of the complaint and amended complaint for lack of standing.
Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.
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Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Summary of Decision March 4, 2014