Dodgers Ownership Hearing Placed on Hold

A lot has happened since the hearing was scheduled in May

Attorneys for Frank and Jamie McCourt met Thursday in a downtown LA courtroom to discuss the couple's divorce case and where the Dodgers ownership saga goes from here.

Special Section: Coverage of the Dodgers Ownership Saga

Jamie and Frank McCourt did not attend the case management conference. Attorneys said after the meeting that it might be a long time before anything is settled.

The court date, originally scheduled as part of a property-division agreement between the McCourts reached in May, was expected to be a one-day trial to determine who owns the Dodgers.

A lot has happened since then to change the scope of discussions Thursday.

"Today has been billed as the day a decision could be made," said NBC4 legal analyst Royal Oakes. "This is a long-running soap opera."

The path toward Thursday's court date began in December when Judge Scott Gordon ruled 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 half the team under California's community property law.

The McCourts had reached a settlement in May that was contingent on MLB's approval of a TV deal with Fox. In rejecting the TV deal, Selig said it wasn't in the best interests of baseball and the money would be used for Frank McCourt's "personal needs.''
Frank McCourt has blamed a cash-flow crisis on MLB's refusal to approve the multibillion-dollar TV deal.

Selig's June 20 decision on the TV deal effectively nullified the McCourts' property-division settlement, which anticipated approval of the TV deal.

Selig's rejection of the deal and developments in the Dodgers bankruptcy case in Delaware are just two of the major events in the ownership saga since the case appeared to be moving forward after the settlement was reached. 

Late last month, a Delaware judge rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers' proposed $150 million bankruptcy financing plan, a decision that likely will force owner Frank McCourt to accept a financing offer from Major League Baseball.

Attorneys Thursday were asked to file papers on whether the  team's pending bankruptcy proceeding should hold up a final decision on whether Jamie has an ownership interest in the team.

And, there's the issue of spousal support.

In court documents last week, Jamie McCourt claimed Frank McCourt has more than $70 million at his disposal and he's using some of his money to fund an "ongoing jihad'' with Major League Baseball. Jamie McCourt filed the documents in opposition to a request by Frank McCourt to reduce more than $600,000 a month in spousal support that she receives from him.

A hearing was scheduled for Aug. 10, but the judge Thursday moved that hearing to Sept. 14.

In April, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the league would assume control of the Dodgers. He appointed former Texas Rangers President Tom Schieffer  as a trustee.

The Dodgers financial woes led to bankruptcy filing in June.

Documents: Dodgers' Bankruptcy Filing | McCourts' Settlement Agreement

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