Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco v. Sheffield case brief

Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco v. Sheffield case brief summary
93 Cal.Rptr. 338 (1971)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner archbishop, sought a writ to review of a judgment from respondent superior court (California), which held that petitioner was an "alter ego" of the church, the bishop of Rome, and the Holy See. Petitioner asserted that denial of petitioner's motion for summary judgment in suit by real party in interest was an abuse of discretion.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner archbishop challenged a judgment of respondent superior court, which held that petitioner was an "alter ego" of the church, the Bishop of Rome, and the Holy See, asserting that denial of petitioner's motion for summary judgment in suit by real party in interest was an abuse of discretion. The real party in interest purchased a dog while traveling in Switzerland from an order of Catholic monks. The real party in interest ultimately sued in respondent superior court, which denied petitioner's motion for summary judgment. Summary judgment was supported by affidavits that showed petitioner was a separate corporate entity.

DISCUSSION

  • On review, the court issued a peremptory writ, directing the superior court to enter judgment in favor of petitioner. 
  • The court held there was no evidence to support application of the "alter ego" doctrine, because there was no showing that petitioner controlled and dominated the organization with whom real party in interest contracted. 
  • There was also no showing that failure to pierce corporate veil would lead to inequity. 
  • Judgment was entered in favor of petitioner.

CONCLUSION
The court issued a peremptory writ, directing the superior court to enter judgment in favor of petitioner archbishop. The court held there was insufficient evidence to support application of the "alter ego" doctrine, as there was no showing that petitioner controlled and dominated the organization with whom real party in interest contracted. There was also no showing that failure to pierce corporate veil would lead to inequity.

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