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Lewis M. Lynn v. Pleasant Valley Country Club

October 3, 2012

LEWIS M. LYNN APPELLANT
v.
PLEASANT VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB, A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION, ORGANIZED AND EXISTING UNDER PENNSYLVANIA LAW; THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS: GEORGE "HUCK" RATTAY, PRESIDENT; DONNA E. MALESKY, SECRETARY/TREASURER; RICHARD C. JOBAN, SR.; THOMAS A. HAVADICH; AND, DANIEL R. HARRER, MEMBERS APPELLEES



Appeal from the Judgment Entered on November 7, 2011 In the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County Civil Division at No(s): 2349 of 2009, G.D.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wecht, J.:

BEFORE: OLSON, J., WECHT, J., and PLATT, J.*fn1

OPINION BY

Lewis Lynn ["Appellant"] appeals from the November 7, 2011

judgment entered pursuant to a September 20, 2011 order denying posttrial relief. We affirm.

Appellant, a senior life member of Pleasant Valley Country Club ["Pleasant Valley"], requested to add his granddaughter to his membership pursuant to Article IV, Section 4, Subparagraph (f) of the club's bylaws. Pleasant Valley's board of governors ["Board"] denied the request. On December 2, 2009, Appellant filed a complaint requesting an injunction and/or declaratory judgment.

The trial court detailed the factual history as follows:

Lewis M. Lynn is an adult individual who resides at 1201 Isabella Road, Connellsville, Fayette County. Pleasant Valley Country Club is a non-profit corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with facilities at 440 Pleasant Valley Road, Connellsville, Fayette County. The remaining Defendants are officers or members of the Board of Governors of the Country Club.

According to the bylaws, Stockholders elect the Board of Governors, who are then responsible for the operation of the Country Club. All the affairs conducted for the Country Club are the responsibility of the Board of Governors, unless otherwise stated in the bylaws.

Lynn is a Senior Life Member of the Country Club pursuant to Article IV, Section 4[,] Subparagraph (f) as he is more than eighty years of age and has retained his membership with the Country Club for more than 20 contiguous years. Lynn is an "unmarried" member.

The bylaws of the Country Club, Article IV, Section 4, Subparagraph (f), provide:

SENIOR LIFE MEMBER -- A member who has retained a membership for at least twenty (20) contiguous years and attained eighty (80) years of age, is entitled to all club privileges without incurring any dues, but is required to meet all fees and assessments related to the type of membership that the member was listed under originally. In the event a member is not married, such member shall be entitled to designate someone of the opposite sex who shall be entitled to the same privileges as the member provided however that before such designated person be permitted to use club facilities such designated person must be approved by the Board of Governors.

This provision was adopted on November 20, 2000. Previous versions of this provision did not require Board approval to designate another person under the Senior Life Membership.

On April 15, 2009, Lynn made a request to the Board of Governors to add his granddaughter, Jordan Craig, to his senior membership in accordance with the bylaws. On that date, the Board of Directors met and denied Lynn's request to add his granddaughter onto his membership pursuant to the Senior Life Member provision. At the next regular meeting, on May 20 2009, a motion to reconsider Lynn's request was made, and the Board of Directors declined to take any action. ...


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