KATHRYN MENNEN, SARAH MENNEN, ALEXANDRA MENNEN, SHAWN MENNEN, and JOHN MENNEN, Plaintiffs,
WILMINGTON TRUST COMPANY, a Delaware corporation, GEORGE JEFF MENNEN, and FIDUCIARY TRUST INTERNATIONAL OF DELAWARE, in its capacity as the corporate trustee of the TRUST ESTABLISHED BY GEORGE S. MENNEN FOR THE BENEFIT OF GEORGE JEFF MENNEN u/a/d/ 11/25/1970, a Delaware trust, Defendants.
REPORT PURSUANT TO DELAWARE SUPREME COURT RULE
Travis Laster Vice Chancellor.
March 22, 2013, plaintiffs Kathryn Mennen, Sarah Mennen,
Alexandra Mennen, Shawn Mennen, and John Mennen filed a
complaint in the Delaware Court of Chancery naming as
defendants Wilmington Trust Company, George Jeff Mennen
("Jeff Mennen"), and the Trust established by
George S. Mennen for the benefit of George Jeff Mennen and
his issue by agreement dated November 25, 1970 (the
"Jeff Mennen Trust").
July 25, 2013, Owen Roberts, then the individual trustee of
the Jeff Mennen Trust, was substituted as a defendant in
place of the Jeff Mennen Trust.
November 1, 2013, Roberts moved for summary judgment on the
claims against the Jeff Mennen Trust.
January 17, 2014, the Honorable Abigail M. LeGrow of the
Superior Court of the State of Delaware, then serving as a
Master in Chancery, issued a draft report which recommended
that this court grant Roberts' motion for summary
Trial took place before then-Master LeGrow on February 12-14,
December 8, 2014, then-Master LeGrow issued a draft report on
April 24, 2015, after considering the plaintiffs'
exceptions to her drafts, then-Master LeGrow issued (i) a
final report on the motion for summary judgment and (ii) a
final report on the merits. The Delaware Supreme Court has
referred to the final report on the motion for summary
judgment as the "Spendthrift Ruling."
April 27, 2015, then-Master LeGrow issued a revised final
report on the merits (the "Merits Report").
June 10, 2015, this court entered an order holding that the
plaintiffs' exceptions to the Spendthrift Ruling were
untimely and adopting the Spendthrift Ruling as a decision of
this court. The Delaware Supreme Court has referred to this
order as the "Strike Order."
August 18, 2015, this court entered an order adopting the
Merits Report as a decision of this court.
December 8, 2015, this court entered its Order and Final
Judgment. The plaintiffs appealed and the defendants cross
opinion dated October 11, 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court
reversed the Strike Order. Pursuant to Rule 19(c), the high
court remanded the matter and instructed this court "to
consider the merits of the Beneficiaries' exceptions to
the Master's Spendthrift Ruling." Mermen v.
Fiduciary Trust Int'l of Delaware, ___ A.3d___. 2016
WL 5933966, at*l (Del. Oct. 11, 2016). Pursuant to Supreme
Court Rule 19(c), the Delaware Supreme Court retained
jurisdiction to consider the implications of this court's
report. The Delaware Supreme Court "impose[d] no
specific time period for the Court of Chancery to act,
recognizing that this matter involves issues important to the
parties, is no longer expedited, and that ...