(l-r) Attorney Joseph Liburt representing opposing trustees and attorney Peter Tracy of Bishop, local counsel for Deep Springs, in Inyo Superior Court.

(l-r) Attorney Joseph Liburt representing opposing trustees and attorney Peter Tracy of Bishop, local counsel for Deep Springs, in Inyo Superior Court.

Inyo Superior Court Judge Dean Stout has officially signed a Preliminary Injunction to stop Deep Springs College from going co-ed, pending further court action on this issue.

The Preliminary Injunction says all Deep Springs entities and officials are prohibited from soliciting or accepting applications from women and from admitting women as students at Deep Springs College.

This injunction came about in the legal action initiated by a majority of Deep Springs trustees to ask the Court to interpret the language of the Trust established by L.L. Nunn in 1923 to create Deep Springs College. That Trust refers to the “education of promising young men.”

Most trustees reason that ninety years later, society now demands inclusion of women. Two of the trustees disagreed and challenged the court action. Last month, Judge Stout ruled that the Deep Springs Trust “can not be construed as giving the Trustees discretion to admit female students.”

The next development involves the trustee’s request to legally modify the Trust to allow female students. Until Judge Stout makes that decision, he has ruled in the injunction that Deep Springs can do nothing toward co-education. He has forbidden them to use assets or change faculty in relation to transition to co-education.

The Judge also ordered that Deep Springs post a copy of his order on the Deep Springs College internet web site on “the same web page on which the College has been posting updates about the coeducation issue and posting certain court filings.”

Both sides have a court call with Judge Stout on March 8th. Joe Liburt, the attorney who represents the two trustees who oppose interpretation of the Trust to allow women in the College, said his clients are not against co-education or women. He said it’s about Trust law and protection of a specific purpose. Dave Hitz, Chair of the Deep Springs Trustees had stated that times have changed and that women now play a significant leadership role in society. He said, “Most trustees believe that effective training must include women and men working together.”