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Columbus Cheer Co. v. City of Columbus

Supreme Court of Mississippi

October 23, 2014

COLUMBUS CHEER COMPANY
v.
CITY OF COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI, MAYOR ROBERT SMITH, SR., COLUMBUS, MUNICIPAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, DR. DEL PHILLIPS, DR. MARTHA LIDDELL, TOMMY PRUDE, ALMA TURNER, CURRIE FISHER, BRUCE HANSON AND GLENN LAUTZENHISER

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/14/2013.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES T. KITCHENS, JR.

FOR APPELLANT: RICHARD SHANE MCLAUGHLIN, NICOLE H. MCLAUGHLIN.

FOR APPELLEES: MICHAEL D. CHASE, JEFFREY JOHNSON TURNAGE, CHRISTOPHER D. HEMPHILL.

BEFORE RANDOLPH, P.J., LAMAR AND KITCHENS, JJ. WALLER, C.J., DICKINSON, P.J., LAMAR, KITCHENS, CHANDLER, PIERCE, KING AND COLEMAN, JJ., CONCUR.

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL -- CONTRACT

Page 745

¶1. Columbus Cheer Company (" CCC" ) entered into a rental contract for the use of school facilities. Subsequently, CCC was informed that Columbus Municipal School District (" CMSD" ) would not honor the contract with CCC. Thereafter, CCC filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Mississippi.[1] The complaint is styled CCC as plaintiff. The first sentence of paragraph I, Parties, reads verbatim, " [p]laintiff Columbus Cheer Company is a profit corporation licensed to due [sic] business in the state of Mississippi . . . ." The prayer seeks judgment for plaintiff, i.e., CCC. Defendants filed their motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, asserting that CCC was an administratively dissolved corporation; therefore, CCC could not have entered into a valid contract with CMSD, and CCC did not possess the requisite legal status to initiate suit. The trial court entered an order granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

¶2. Aggrieved, CCC filed an appeal with this Court. The following issues are before this Court on appeal:

I. Whether a dissolved corporation may pursue a legal action; and if not,
II. Can the corporation's shareholders pursue the same action in their own name?

¶3. We conclude the answer to both inquiries is no.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶4. When reviewing the trial court's grant or denial of summary judgment, this Court employs a de novo review. Lee v. Golden Triangle Planning & Dev. Dist., 797 So.2d 845, 847 (Miss. 2001) (citation omitted). Summary judgment is appropriately granted when the movant is " entitled to judgment as a matter of law" because no genuine issue of material fact exists. Id. (citing M.R.C.P. 56(c)); Cothern v. Vickers, Inc., 759 So.2d 1241, 1245 (Miss. 2000)). All evidentiary materials are considered, which includes " admissions ...


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