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A family squabble turned into a public affair on Friday when Katina Dorton filed a first-ever Duke basketball ticket lawsuit against her sister, brother-in-law, and the university.
At issue is a set of Duke men's basketball season tickets that once belonged to her father, John Dorton.
She claims her sister and brother-in-law, Sophia and Gordon Caudle, with the approval of Duke officials, fraudulently transferred the tickets to themselves without her father's consent.
In July 2008, the Caudles secretly arranged for the tickets to be transferred, reports the Associated Press, according to the lawsuit. Duke University never inquired as to whether other family members had legal claim to the tickets.
Apparently, John Dorton was not pleased with the arrangement, demanding that he have access to the tickets while still alive.
Katina Dorton alleges that the Caudles agreed to transfer the tickets back for her father's lifetime, but that the paper he signed also consented to their overall transfer.
She claims that his consent was invalid, as he was sick at the time, suffering from diminished capacity.
In order for consent to be valid, particularly in the realm of contracts, a signatory must be competent at the time of the signing. Competency usually requires a showing that a person have sufficient mental capacity to understand the implications and consequences of his actions.
Because a lack of competency will render the transfer of the tickets invalid, the Duke basketball ticket lawsuit hinges on John Dorton and his state of mind in July 2008.