cy pres doctrine


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cy pres doctrine

n. (see-pray doctrine) from French, meaning "as close as possible." When a gift is made by will or trust (usually for charitable or educational purposes), and the named recipient of the gift does not exist, has dissolved, or no longer conducts the activity for which the gift is made, then the estate or trustee must make the gift to an organization which comes closest to fulfilling the purpose of the gift. Sometimes this results in heated court disputes in which a judge must determine the appropriate substitute to receive the gift. Example: dozens of local Societies for Protection of Cruelty to Animals contested for a gift which was made without designating which chapter would receive the benefits. The judge wisely divided up the money.

References in periodicals archive ?
receive a gift made for one purpose and use it for another, unless the court applying the cy pres doctrine so commands."); Lefkowitz v.
Leslie, Time to Sever the Dead Hand: Fisk University and the Cost of the Cy Pres Doctrine, 31 CARDOZO ARTS & ENT.
expanded the cy pres doctrine to permit distributions to charitable
Though courts have used the common law cy pres doctrine to distribute residual funds to some very worthy nonprofit organizations, Glaves says, "Litigants and judges often don't give enough thought to keeping the funds in the justice system." SB 486 will ensure that at least half of any such funds remain in the legal system to facilitate public access to justice and enhance the functioning of the courts, Glaves says.
cy pres doctrine on the theory that it is impossible or impractical to
by use of the cy pres doctrine, and the Connecticut Supreme Court
cy pres doctrine, appoints and regulates the trustees, approves
application of the recovery for the benefit of class members under cy pres doctrines, would fulfill the deterrence objectives of class actions."(19)
The baseline rule is that trustees may not deviate from the explicit trust terms absent a showing of illegality, impossibility, or severe impracticability through the cy pres doctrine. (59) In spite of wide-ranging efforts by trustees and scholars to counter strict adherence to donor intent, (60) courts generally have allowed only narrow deviations from trust terms and, even then, only after proof that those deviations are truly necessary to fulfill the trust purposes.
Rob Atkinson, in his influential article Reforming Cy Pres Reform, points to several proposed ways that cy pres doctrine could incorporate notions of efficiency and public interest.
Relying on this rationale, several legislatures have enacted more liberal versions of cy pres and many courts have construed the cy pres doctrine more expansively, in an attempt to further their view of the public interest.(181)
Moreover, donors should clarify whether their charitable wishes are general in purpose or specific--thus allowing for the proper application of the cy pres doctrine.