Justia Oklahoma Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Securities Law
In re: Application of OK Dev. Finance Auth.
In February 2021, the State of Oklahoma endured record cold temperatures. The severe cold weather resulted in a shortage of the natural gas supply and in turn extraordinary natural gas costs for regulated utilities operating in Oklahoma. The cost of natural gas for the Oklahoma utilities during the two weeks of extreme cold exceeded their entire fuel acquisition cost in 2020. As a result, the Oklahoma Legislature enacted the February 2021 Regulated Utility Consumer Protection Act, 74 O.S.2021, ch. 110A-1, sections 9070-9081, to provide financing options to lower the economic impact on the utility customers. Most Oklahomans could not afford a one-time, cost recovery payment imposed by the utility, and the Legislature provided a new mechanism to spread the fuel cost recovery over a longer period to minimize the financial impact on utility customers. The Act authorized the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (Commission) to approve the recovery of costs through securitization. The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority requested that the Oklahoma Supreme Court assume original jurisdiction and approve the issuance of ratepayer-backed bonds pursuant to the Act. The Supreme Court assumed original jurisdiction and held the ratepayer-backed bonds were properly authorized under the Act and were constitutional. View "In re: Application of OK Dev. Finance Auth." on Justia Law
Horton v. Hamilton
Plaintiff purchased a Life Fund 5.1, L.L.C. Capital Appreciation Bond from a company that subsequently filed for bankruptcy. More than two years after purchase, plaintiff sued the defendants for misrepresentations and omissions in the sale of securities, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, ruling that the statute of limitations for each of the plaintiff's claims had run before she brought suit. Plaintiff appealed, and the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed. The question this case presented for the Supreme Court's review was whether the district court erred in granting the defendants' motion for summary judgment based on the expiration of the statutory limitations periods. As a threshold matter, the Court determined when plaintiff's claims accrued and whether the statute of limitations for each claim ran or was tolled from the accrual date based upon the discovery rule. After review, the Court held that defendants did not submit sufficient evidentiary material to support their arguments as to when the statute of limitations began to run on each claim. Therefore the Court reversed the grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Horton v. Hamilton" on Justia Law
Depart. of Securities ex rel. Faught v. Wilcox
This case arose from a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Marsha Schubert, operating as "Schubert and Associates" (Schubert). Defendants Marvin and Pamela Wilcox were among the appellants in an earlier case that appealed summary judgments obtained by the plaintiffs on the theory of unjust enrichment against 158 "relief" defendants who had received more money than they invested in the scheme. Plaintiffs had sought to recover all amounts the relief defendants had received from the scheme in excess of their original investment. On remand, the state Department of Securities and the Receiver (Department) moved for summary judgment against the Wilcoxes on grounds that they were not entitled to the equitable relief provided for innocent investors because they were partners with Schubert and were actively involved in the check-kiting scheme operated by Schubert that supported the Ponzi scheme. In response, the Wilcoxes disputed that they were partners with Schubert. They stated that they were not aware of the existence of a Ponzi scheme in their dealings with Schubert. The trial judge granted partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs on the issue of liability, finding that there was no genuine issue of material fact pertaining to the liability of the Wilcoxes on the Department's unjust enrichment claim. The trial judge found that by virtue of their participation in the Schubert check-kiting scheme, the Wilcoxes were not innocent investors. The trial court found that the Wilcoxes were unjustly enriched by all monies netted from their association with Schubert's Ponzi and check-kiting schemes. The Wilcoxes appealed to the Supreme Court. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the evidentiary material provided by the Wilcoxes failed to raise disputes to meet their burden to overcome the motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's decision. View "Depart. of Securities ex rel. Faught v. Wilcox" on Justia Law