|Fountain Hall Morris Brown College|
The Georgia Supreme Court gave the green light to Clark Atlanta University Monday to pursue a lawsuit claiming ownership of three properties from the bankruptcy of Morris Brown College.
In a unanimous decision, the justices ruled a 1940 deed conveying the three properties owned by Morris Brown to Clark Atlanta for $1 as a charitable gift was “valid and enforceable.” Morris Brown drew up the deed at a time the historically black college was in financial trouble and facing the loss of its campus to foreclosure.
In 2014, again facing bankruptcy, Morris Brown sold the property to Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, for $10.8 million. Clark Atlanta sued, claiming the sale violated the deed’s requirement that the land be used for educational purposes and, thus, the properties should revert to Clark Atlanta.
In Monday’s ruling, the Supreme Court agreed with a lower court decision that selling the properties to Invest Atlanta would not fulfill the deed’s requirements.