Supreme Court officials in Georgia have unanimously authorized Clark Atlanta University to move forward with a lawsuit against Morris Brown College, to reclaim land sold by the embattled campus a development deal with the City of Atlanta.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a deed executed in 1940, which donated three properties to Morris Brown to be used for educational purposes and reverted back to CAU if they could not be used for those purposes, may have been violated when MBC brokered a 2014 property deal with Invest Atlanta and nearby Friendship Baptist Church to satisfy terms of the college declaring bankruptcy. From the court’s decision:
“As noted, the restriction provides not only that the property be used for ‘educational purposes’ but then lists the fields of study which qualify as such ‘educational purposes,’ ” reads Monday’s opinion from the Court. And the reverting of the property to Clark Atlanta “is triggered when grantee Morris Brown College itself ceases to use the property ‘for the particular educational purposes set forth’ in the deed.”
“Consequently, in the present circumstances, sale of the property to Invest Atlanta does not qualify as Morris Brown College’s ‘use’ of the property as contemplated in the deed,” the opinion says.