Legal Proceedings

by vixenSBC

legal-proceedings

On March 30, 2015, the Amherst County Attorney, Ellen Bowyer, filed a Complaint against Sweet Briar College on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Read the Complaint.

Read the Supporting Documents to the Complaint.

On April 6, 2015, the College Responded to the Complaint, filing a Special Plea and Motion to Dismiss and Demurrer

Read the Defendant’s Special Plea and Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing and Demurrer

Read the Plantiffs Objection to Defendants Motion to Continue Hearing

On April 7, 2015, the Amherst County Attorney, Ellen Bowyer, filed a Motion for a Temporary Injunction that would

a) Prevent the college from using any funds solicited to operate the college to close it;

b) Prevent the college from taking any further steps to close the college and order it to continue to operate pending a final determination in the case;

c) Remove President Jones and the current SBC Board of Directors, with the court appointing a fiduciary to oversee the assets of the college as well as continue to operate of the college, including the appointment of a new President and Board of Directors

Read the Letter to the Amherst County Circuit Court regarding the Motion for Temporary Injunction.

Read the Motion for Temporary Injunction.

Read the Memorandum in Support of Amherst County Attorney’s Motion for Temporary Injunction.

Read the Exhibits to the Memorandum of Support of Amherst County Attorney’s Motion for Temporary Injunction.

On April 8, 2015, the Virginia Attorney General filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of the College arguing that theAmherst County Attorney lacked standing to bring a case on behalf of the Commonwealth under the Virginia Uniform Trust Code.

Read the Amicus Brief Filed by the Attorney General

On April 15, 2015, the parties were heard by Bedford County Circuit Court Judge Updike. At the hearing, Judge Updike issued a 60 day injunction preventing the college from using funds solicited to operate the college to close it. Judge Updike did not issue an injunction under the Uniform Trust Code.

Read the April 15 Hearing Transcript

On April 29, 2015, Amherst County Attorney, Ellen Bowyer, filed a Petition for Review at the Virginia Supreme Court arguing that an injunction under the Virginia Uniform Trust Code is warranted because “Sweet Briar Institute is both a charitable corporation and a trustee.” 

Read the Petition for Review to the Virginia Supreme Court 

Amici Curiae briefs were filed in support of Bowyer’s Petition for Review

Read the Amicus Brief filed by Virginia Professors of Law

Read the Amicus Brief filed by Fundraising Experts

Read the Amicus Brief filed by Virginia Legislators

Read the Amicus Brief filed by the Students, Parents, and Alumnae

On April 30, 2015, the Attorney General wrote a letter regarding communication between all parties involved in litigation. 

Read the Virginia Attorney General’s Letter Regarding Sweet Briar and Responses

On May 4, 2015, the College filed a Motion to Dismiss the County Attorney’s Appeal

Read the Motion to Dimiss

On May 5, 2015, the College filed a Brief opposing the Petition for Review (the Appeal)

Read the Brief in Opposition to Petition for Appeal

On May 8, 2015, the Amherst County Attorney filed a Response to the Motion to Dismiss

Read the Response to the Motion to Dismiss

On May 8, 2015, Amherst County Attorney filed a Reply Brief supporting the Petition for Review (Appeal)

Read the Reply Brief in Support of the Petition to Review

On May 8, 2015, the College filed a Response Opposing the Filing of the Amici Curiae Briefs filed by professionals in support of the Appeal

Read the Response in Opposition to the Filing of Amicus Briefs

On May 8, 2015, the Virginia Supreme Court issued an order on all the preliminary motions, rejecting the College’s Motion to Dismiss and ruling that the Amherst County Attorney’s appeal CAN proceed and that the amici curiae briefs in support of the appeal ARE ADMITTED into the record for consideration. The Court also accepted the Amherst County Attorney’s reply brief for the record. The Court allowed the College to file a 10-page brief in response to the briefs of the Amici Curiae.

Read the Virginia Supreme Court Response to Motion to Dismiss and Motion to File Amici Curiae

On May 14, 2015, the College filed a Response in Opposition to the Amici Curiae filed by professionals in support of the Appeal

Read the Omnibus Response in Opposition to the Amici Curiae

On May 15, 2015, the Virginia Supreme Court scheduled oral argument before the entire court on June 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.

Read the Virginia Supreme Court’s Order Scheduling Oral Argument

On June 9, 2015, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled on the issues presented to it in the June 4, 2015, hearing.

Read the Ruling.

On June 20, 2015, all parties reached a Settlement in the case to KEEP SWEET BRIAR OPEN.

Read the Memorandum of Understanding.


Saving Sweet Briar Timeline

March 3, 2015 - Sweet Briar College announces Spring 2015 will be final semester, school will close on August 25, 2015.

March 3, 2015 - Sweet Briar College alumnae galvanize on Facebook, creating working groups to work to halt closure.

March 4, 2015 - SavingSweetBriar.com launches in the early morning hours. Website begins accepting pledges midday.

March 6, 2015 - SavingSweetBriar.com pledges exceed $1 million (with additional unconfirmed $1 million pledge that will later be confirmed).

March 6, 2015 - Troutman Sanders retained to fight closure. Read More

March 9, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. formally incorporated as a non-profit with seven alumnae appointed to serve as board members. Read More

March 11, 2015 - Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen sends letter to state Attorney General regarding the legality of closing the college. Read More

March 11, 2015 - Sweet Briar faculty join alumnae in fight to keep college open. Read More

March 18, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. begins accepting donations in the fight to save the college.

March 23, 2015 - Troutman Sanders sends letter requesting President and Board resign. Read More

March 26, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. hires Certified Fraud Examiner. Read More

March 30, 2015 - Amherst County Attorney, Ellen Bowyer, files suit against Sweet Briar College.

April 6, 2015 - Initial Financial Analysis concludes financial condition did not warrant closure Read More

April 12, 2015 - $5 million pledged to Saving Sweet Briar.

April 13, 2015 - Amherst Mayor sends letter opposing closure. Read More

April 15, 2015 - Judge Updike issues a 60 day injunction preventing the college from using funds solicited to operate the college to close it.

April 23, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. launches Alumnae Angels program to help students with financial concerns during transition and uncertainty.

April 29, 2015 - Judge Updike issues another injunction in one of the other legal cases preventing the college from selling assets for six months.

April 29, 2015 - Amherst County Attorney files Petition to Review with Virginia Supreme Court.

May 19, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. granted 501(c)(3) status, with tax exempt status applying to all donations made from the incorporation date of March 9, 2015.

June 9, 2015 - Virginia Supreme Court rules that Sweet Briar College can be a trust.

June 19, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. announces $21 million total pledged over 5 years.

June 20, 2015 - Settlement reached, keeping Sweet Briar College open. Settlement terms include 3 payments to college with the first $2.5 million due on July 2.

June 23, 2015 - Amherst CountyBoard of Supervisors names Sweet Briar Day.

June 30, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. delivers $5 million ahead of schedule to Sweet Briar College.

July 2, 2015 - President Stone assumes new position, new Board of Directors appointed.

September 2, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. delivers final settlement payment to Sweet Briar College, exceeding $12 million total.