Jacko ordered to turn over financial information within 25 daysDecember 13th, 2007 - 5:05 pm ICT by admin
Washington, Dec 13 (ANI): Michael Jackson has been issued a court order, which gives the former king of pop 25 days to return financial information to a law firm that previously won a 256,000 dollars judgment against him in July.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled on Dec 12 that if Jackson refuses to turn over the records requested by the firm of Ayscough & Marar, he instead has the option of paying his unpaid legal fees.
The singer appointed the firm during his 2005 child-molestation trial to perform such tasks as obtaining court orders to block information from being publicly released and delaying finding in several civil cases.
The firm also represented him in a lawsuit brought by former business associate Marc Schaffel, who eventually won a 900,000-dollar verdict against Jackson.
Ayscough & Marar won a second judgment against the singer in October, ordering him to pay the 175,000 dollars in attorneys’ fees, which the firm spent in hiring outside lawyers in the original case.
Currently, the singer is appealing the 175,000-dollar ruling, implying the firm can only pursue the 256,000-dollar award for the time being.
Judge James C. Chalfant said that Jackson had agreed to return the records requested by Ayscough & Marar in October but had yet to meet the terms.
“While the court has no reason to doubt the sincerity of the representations of his attorneys, the fact of the matter is that under law, Jackson must provide further responses to the [law firm's] request, particularly since he agreed to do so through the meet-and-confer process,” E! Online quoted Chalfant, as stating in his order.
Jackson’s legal team has claimed that the funds he plans to use to clear up his debt with the law firm have been tied up, partly because he has not yet completed a planned refinancing of his Neverland Ranch.
The singer’s spokesperson, Raymone K. Bain, dismissed reports last month that Jackson had failed to pay on a 23 million-dollar loan and was in danger of losing the property.
“Contrary to published reports, Mr. Jackson was never in default of the loan,” Bain said, adding that the 49-year-old singer was “in the final stages of [a] refinance.”
Jackson’s attorney, Marshall L. Brubacher, told the judge that his client could pay up within nine days.
He added that arranging Jacksons financial records for the information requested by Ayscough & Marar could take longer than the 25 days allotted by the court.
“I went to Neverland last week, and it’s a mammoth amount of work, because there are 30,000 boxes of financial documents,” Brubacher said.
“It’s going to take a tremendous amount of time, he added.
However, Michael McCarthy, a lawyer for Ayscough & Marar, refused to accept Brubacher’s description of Jackson’s so-calling filing system.
“Thirty-thousand boxes, that’s not even credible,” McCarthy said. (ANI)