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McCourt marital deal on Dodgers not valid

December 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A judge ruled that a postnuptial agreement giving sole ownership of the L.A. Dodgers to Frank McCourt is not valid.The ruling will not affect team operations but it does mean the Dodgers could be shared under California's community property law.

Jamie McCourt's lawyer said his client was pleased with the decision but wants a reasonable resolution of divorce negotiations involving the postnuptial marital agreement.

The tentative decision, which was issued by Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon Tuesday, came after an 11-day trial that focused on whether a signed pact between Jamie and Frank McCourt in 2004 should decide who owns the team.

While Frank McCourt claims that the agreement gives the Dodgers to him, his estranged wife argues that she never gave up her purported stake in the sports team.

The McCourts have been embroiled in a nasty and costly divorce trial, where legal bills alone are estimated to top $20 million.

Frank McCourt had already notified the court that if he loses, he would make another claim to own the Dodgers based on the fact that he bought the team with the company he established before getting married more than 30 years ago.

The dispute has many fans hoping for a quick resolution.

"We need new ownership and we need a new game plan," said Dodger fan Michael Pine. "I think people who care about the team should think that way."

Frank McCourt and his lawyer Marc Seltzer issued the following statement:

"This ruling does nothing to change the ownership of the Dodgers. Even without the marital property agreements in place, Jamie has no rights to the team."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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