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Delaware v. Florida First National Bank of Jacksonville

381 So. 2d 1075 (1979)

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Delaware v. Florida First National Bank of Jacksonville

Florida District Court of Appeal

381 So. 2d 1075 (1979)

Facts

Alfred DuPont’s will established a testamentary charitable trust benefitting the Nemours Foundation. The trust was administered in Florida. The trust directed that if the net income of the trust estate exceeded the amount necessary to support the Nemours Foundation in a particular year, then the excess income was to be used to support charities benefitting the people of Delaware. The Delaware attorney general (Delaware) (plaintiff) filed suit to enforce the terms of the trust, alleging a wide variety of violations from conflicts of interest to failures by the trustees to prudently administer the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Delaware argued that it had standing to enforce the terms of the trust because the people of Delaware were primary beneficiaries of the trust. The trustees of the charitable trust (defendants) challenged, arguing that (1) Delaware did not have standing because charitable-trust beneficiaries did not have standing to enforce the terms of a charitable trust and (2) Delaware’s complaint failed to state a cause of action. The trial court held that Delaware did not have standing and dismissed Delaware’s complaint. Delaware appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mills, C.J.)

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