Woodford v. Glenville State College Housing Corp

In Woodford v. Glenville State College Housing Corp., 159 W.Va. 442, 225 S.E.2d 671 (1976), the Court held that a private non-profit housing corporation which constructed a faculty and student housing facility on the Glenville State College campus did not enjoy sovereign immunity because it was not an instrumentality of the State. The purpose of the Housing Corporation was "to borrow necessary funds, to issue securities of the corporation, and ultimately to convey any structures constructed in Glenville to the college." Id., 159 W.Va. at 443, 225 S.E.2d at 672. The Court reasoned that the Housing Corporation was not created or granted authority to perform any function on behalf of the State by specific enactment of the Legislature. In reaching its result, the Court reasoned: Funds for the operation of the Housing Corporation were not appropriated by the Legislature. There was no mandate that revenues received and income produced by the Housing Corporation must or would be paid into the State Treasury rather than expended on its own behalf, and monies available to the Housing Corporation to pay off its debts were not obtainable from a State source. On the contrary, the Housing Corporation was a private, non-profit, corporation with no call upon the State treasury and it was not subject to State control in any way. Its revenues were limited to contributions, income from rent payments from prospective faculty and students, and from borrowed funds. Most importantly, it was not in any regard liable to creditors for amounts in excess of its assets. (Id., 159 W.Va. at 446, 225 S.E.2d at 674.)