Louisiana Record

Monday, February 17, 2020

Court grants stay of judgment pending appeal in Marshall Heritage Foundation annuity battle


By Takesha Thomas | Jul 7, 2019

Law money 06

A district court has granted a stay of judgment request by the beneficiary of The Marshall Heritage Foundation after a trustee for the foundation sued. 

On June 10, Judge Eldon Fallon for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana granted Preston Marshall's motion to stay judgment pending appeal after a lower court ruled that Marshall's other trust, The Peroxisome Trust, owed funds to Stephen D. Cook, a trustee of The Marshall Heritage Foundation (TMHF). TMHF had been divided by Preston Marshall and his brother, Pierce Marshall, forming The Peroxisome Trust. Cook argued that, "as a result of the split, the Peroxisome Trust became obligated to pay half the total original annuity amount (3.323563%) to TMHF and the other half to the Marshall Legacy Foundation", court papers state.

Fallon granted Marshall's request, finding that "Preston has presented a substantial case on the merits and that the balance of equities weighs heavily in favor of granting a stay pending its resolution." 

Cook, arguing that based on the Louisiana Trust Code, TMHF was due the funds. He had originally sought an annuity amount "equal to 6.647126% of the initial fair net market value of all property transferred to the trust, in quarterly installments for twenty years," court papers state.

Fallon found that the court “recognizes that this appeal raises a significant legal question," adding Preston “presents a substantial case in support” of his position.

Attorneys for Preston had argued the Peroxisome Trust Agreement "was never amended to name any entity other than the original Marshall Heritage Foundation." He added that his refusal to authorize distributions is "justified."

Attorneys for Cook contended that Marshall "failed to demonstrate either a likelihood of success on the merits or irreparable harm absent a stay, and that the charitable beneficiaries of TMHF and the Peroxisome Trust will be harmed if the payments are not made."

Fallon, however, ruled that a stay during appeal be granted since the funds remain in a trust, gaining interest.

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