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McCourt hearing on Dodgers ownership put on hold

Frank and Jamie McCourt

August 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Lawyers for Frank and Jamie McCourt were back in court Thursday morning.

A one-day trial had been scheduled to determine if the team is community property or the sole property of Frank McCourt. However, with the team in bankruptcy court in Delaware and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig rejecting a proposed $3 billion television-rights deal with Fox, the hearing was put on an indefinite hold.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon rescheduled a hearing on Frank McCourt's request to lower his spousal support payments to his ex-wife from next Wednesday to Sept. 14.

In the meantime, attorneys were asked to file papers on whether the team's pending bankruptcy proceeding should delay a final decision on whether Jamie McCourt has an ownership interest in the team.

A judge ruled in December that a postnuptial marital agreement that gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers was invalid. That cleared the way for Jamie McCourt to seek possession of half the team under California's community property law.

In June, Frank and Jamie McCourt reached an agreement on the division of their property. Key to the settlement, however, was the 17-year Fox deal, which Frank McCourt valued at $3 billion and would have included a $385 million up-front payment, almost half of which would have gone to the McCourts. Jamie McCourt gave her blessing to the Fox deal as part of the settlement, as did Gordon.

But one day later, Selig rejected the media-rights deal, saying he was concerned that it diverted too much money away from the team and directly to McCourt.

The Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on June 27, blaming MLB for refusing to approve the deal. That case is still pending, but a Delaware judge rejected Frank McCourt's proposed $150 interim financing plan and ordered him to negotiate a deal with Major League Baseball.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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