The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation v. Carvel, 2008 Del. Ch. LEXIS 142 (Sept. 30, 2008), read opinion here. This Chancery Court decision has a factual background that spans 20 years and includes related litigation in other states and other countries. For purposes of this short blog summary, I only intend to highlight several issues that may be of interest to business litigators generally in addition to those involved in trust or estate litigation.
In this decision, the court granted a Motion for Summary Judgment by a non-profit foundation to remove the administrator of an estate whose domiciliary administration was elsewhere but where an ancillary administration was commenced in Delaware based on the assumption that at least some Delaware assets of the estate existed. Based on decisions of a Florida court and a British court, the Chancery Court applied principles of issue preclusion and collateral estoppel to support its decision. In addition to principles of comity, as well as Full Faith and Credit, the Chancery Court relied on Sections 1541(a) and 1572 of Title 12 of the Delaware Code to support its removal of the administrator. The Chancery Court also denied the request for additional discovery. See generally Chancery Court Rule 56(f).