Auction House Receives Hearing Notice from Jackson Attorneys – MiniB#38

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Auction House Receives Hearing Notice from Jackson Attorneys – MiniBullet #38 MAY 11 2007 – The auction house planning to sell Michael Jackson’s memorabilia — allegedly sold illegally by Henry Vaccaro — has received a hearing notice to appear in court early next week. According to a press release from Universal Express, both it and the auction house Guernsey’s have received word that Jackson intends to fight for property belonging to him which was supposed to be excluded from an original court proceeding which caused this mess in the first place. How did this happen? Other members of the Jackson family, excluding Michael and Janet, got involved in a bankruptcy issue years ago with the storage of number of family items and memorabilia at a storage facility. Among those items was property belonging to Michael and Janet Jackson. Vaccaro was “a creditor of one or more members” of the Jackson family “who were previously subject to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding”. However, Vaccaro is not and has never been a “creditor” of Michael Jackson’s. Again, Michael and Janet were not part of the bankruptcy proceeding. Did that matter to Vaccaro? Hell no, because he up and sold it all; particularly the items belonging to Michael and Janet probably because those items fetched a higher price. What’s worse is that he reportedly sold it after being ordered by the judge in that proceeding not to sell items belonging to third parties. Woops! Jackson sued Vaccaro in 2004 and it’s through some of those court documents (docs) that the public learned Vaccaro is alleged to have defied the original order from the judge in the bankruptcy proceeding. The bankruptcy judge in that initial case split the baby, so to speak, giving Vaccaro the right to sell items only belonging to parties involved in the bankruptcy proceeding. According to court documents, any property belonging to people NOT involved in the bankruptcy proceeding (namely Michael and Janet) could not be sold or transferred to anyone else. Excerpt from the lawsuit:

The Court Order specified that the property of third parties could not be transferred… The Court Order did not include the transfer of any rights to any separate personal and private property of [Michael] Jackson, which was evidently also stored in one of the two Storage Facilities. Nevertheless, Defendant’s knowingly and in violation of the Court Order also took possession of Jackson’s personal property and are now attempting to sell and otherwise exploit that property (see Michael J. Jackson vs. Henry Vaccaro et. al. , page 4)

So to humorously paraphrase: Vaccaro got his hands on a bunch of stuff because some of the less popular Jackson’s didn’t pay their damn bills. Some of that stuff belonged to Michael Jackson. Woops! Vaccaro was ordered by the Judge in a bankruptcy proceeding to keep his grubby little hands off of stuff belonging to people who had nothing to do with the bankruptcy. But Vaccaro let out a big ‘screw you’ to that order and sold the stuff anyway. The allegedly illegally sold stuff then ended up at an auction house, which in turn also wants to generate money partially with Michael Jackson’s stuff! Geez! Why don’t some of these people stop beating around the bush and just start selling tickets to screw Jackson over? It would be much simpler that way, don’t you think? So now that you are up to speed, this brings us to the current situation: Jackson’s continued quest to get his stuff back! Jackson’s lawyers are trying to stop an auction planned for the end of this month where Universal Express will sell off the property to the highest bidder. One excuse will be that Universal Express and Guernsey’s bought the items legally. Well if someone stole my TV and sold it to some else, who then sold it to someone else, who then sold it to someone else who acquired it legally, it still doesn’t mean that the TV isn’t ‘hot’. Not that I’m accusing the auction house or Universal Express of anything ‘illegal’. I’m not. But the issue still remains whether or not they acquired property which may have been initially illegally put out onto the market. In their press release, Universal Express refers to Jackson’s claims of ownership as “frivolous”. Sure, sure. They also seemingly threatened legal action against Jackson if he succeeds in stopping or delaying the auction and causing them to lose money. From their forgettable press release:

“We own the property definitively, and this unwarranted interference may result in substantial damages. “Any damage, delay, lost momentum or anticipated lost revenues will result in several legal actions for this auction’s full potential. (see Universal Express Re: Jackson Memorabilia auction)

They may as well have said ‘Your $hit is ours now and we’re going to use you and your family to make money from it, so screw you. And if you try to stop us, we’re gonna sue you for the money we think we would have generated anyway’. I sure wish I had the gall to profit financially off of Michael Jackson’s name, image, likeness and property, AND be arrogant about a situation where the aforementioned property may not have been legally put into the market in the first place! I’m being a smart-ass with that remark, but BOY, does that take guts! They didn’t say ‘We want to work with Mr. Jackson in getting this situation rectified’. Or ‘We hope to have Mr. Jackson involved in the process.’ They didn’t even try to get off with a sly compliment like ‘We understand that without the hard work Mr. Jackson has dedicated to the music industry, the potential for success of this auction would be greatly diminished’ or anything like that. For all they know, Jackson might have turned around and donated that property, and more, to them in order to raise more money from the auction. If that weren’t bad enough, in the press release Universal Express threw out the names of a hand full of children’s charities who are supposed to somehow “participate in the results of the auction”. Awww! So if Jackson pursues legal remedies to get back property which rightly belongs to him, he’d be taking money out of the pockets of these sick and helpless children…or such is the assumption. This may have worked pre-2003 when the words ‘helping children’ didn’t almost become synonymous with ‘false accusations of child molestation’ in Michael Jackson’s world. Will Jackson succeed? Will he be reunited with his belongings? Why didn’t the auction house try to work with Jackson? How will they succeed in selling off parts of Jackson’s legacy? Why are our troops still in Iraq? Will I ever lose these pesky 5 pounds? Will you still love me tomorrow? Why do fools fall in love? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? Hell if I know the answer to any of the above questions! But I do hope Jackson gets his stuff back. I mean, come on. Being snippy with someone else’s stuff is ludicrous. By the way, I wonder if those dirty, old draws (underwear) tabloid reporter Diane Dimond was pawing on camera back in 2004 will be auctioned off too? What’s more, I wonder if she’ll show up at the auction to bid for them?(see Newsflash: Unidentified, Old Underwear is not ‘Evidence’ – MJEOL Bullet #137) I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. [img][/img]

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