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Garrity v. State Board of Administration

 Kansas Supreme Court
162 P. 1167 (Kan. 1917)


In 1911, the assistant curator of mammals for the museum of the state university of Kansas went onto Garrity’s (plaintiff) property without permission and took a fossil to be displayed in the museum. The fossil belonged to Garrity and was worth $2,500. The curator was a member of the Board of Regents (Regents) of the university. Then, in 1913, a legislative act put the State Board of Administration (Administration) (defendant) in Regents’ place and provided that Administration had the power to “execute trusts or other obligations now or hereafter committed to any of the [state universities].” As of the passing of the act, Regents ceased to exist. Garrity brought suit against Administration, alleging a number of facts, together sufficient to establish a tort claim or a contracts claim. Garrity stated that Administration was a successor to Regents and was liable for Regents’ debts and contracts. Administration demurred, claiming that the action arose in tort and the two year statute of limitations had run. Garrity argued that he had the right to waive the tort claim and bring the suit based on contract theory, specifically an implied promise to pay for the fossil. The lower court sustained Administration’s demurrer. Garrity appealed.

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