Columbian Financial Corp. v. Stork, No. 14-3274 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Amidst the 2007–2008 financial crisis, the Office of the State Bank Commissioner of Kansas declared The Columbian Bank and Trust Company insolvent, seized the bank’s assets, and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver. The FDIC then sold many of the bank’s assets. Columbian Financial Corporation, the bank’s sole shareholder, sued the state bank commission and four commission officials (Judi Stork, Deryl Schuster, Edwin Splichal, and J. Thomas Thull). Columbian Financial alleged denial of due process from the seizure of bank assets, and sought equitable remedies and damages. The district court dismissed the complaint. This appeal followed, with the parties raising two issues: (1) whether the district court properly abstained under "Younger v. Harris," (401 U.S. 37 (1971)); and (2) whether Stork and Thull were entitled to qualified immunity on the claims for damages. The Tenth Circuit found that a state court proceeding was ongoing when the federal complaint was filed, and the state proceeding terminated while this appeal was pending. In light of this change of circumstances, the Court vacated the dismissal without prejudice on the equitable claims and remand for further proceedings. The Court also found that Stork and Thull enjoyed qualified immunity on the claim for damages because the alleged conduct would not have violated a clearly established constitutional right.