Monday, September 14, 2015

Simon Family Members Still Feuding Over Ownership Of Pacers

Attorneys for Herb Simon have filed a motion under seal in a Hamilton Superior Court handling the probate estate of the late Melvin Simon seeking to declare his sole ownership in the Indiana Pacers. The motion was filed on August 5, 2015 by attorney David Herzog. According to the Indianapolis Star, the motion pertains to an ongoing dispute between his estate and namely, Melvin Simon's widow, Bren Simon, over ownership of the Pacers. The Court's first entry acknowledging the motion filed under seal reads:
On August 12, 2015, the Court reviewed two documents filed in this cause on August 5, 2015, by an interested person in this cause, Herbert Simon: (1) Verified Motion for Leave to File Complaint and Exhibits under Seal, and (2) Administrative Rule 9(G)(5) Notice of Exclusion of Confidential Information from Public Access. Mr. Simon filed his motion on white paper, and that motion therefore was immediately filed in the public portion of the case file. He filed his Admin. Rule 9(G)(5) notice on green paper, however, and that document was not filed in the public portion of the case file. After reviewing the matter, the Court determined that the Admin. Rule 9(G)(5) notice was improperly filed on green paper. The Hamilton County Clerk's office therefore shall copy that notice to white paper and scan it in accordance with the e-filing procedures in this County. Furthermore, the Court noted that Mr. Simon filed his proposed complaint, in triplicate, on green paper and in a sealed envelope. One copy of that complaint shall remain in the confidential portion of the case file pending further order of the Court. The two remaining duplicate copies of the complaint shall be placed in the court reporter's file for this cause. NOTICE ORDERED TO ALL COUNSEL OF RECORD VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
On August 18, 2015, the Court published notice of a proposed hearing in the matter for October 16. That notice indicated that The Star and several local TV stations were copied on the notice of the hearing.
On the date of this entry (August 18, 2015), the Court published notice of the hearing on the Verified Motion for Leave to File Complaint and Exhibits under Seal filed in this cause on August 5, 2015, by an Interested Person in this cause, Herbert Simon. In that motion, Mr. Simon seeks leave to file, under seal, a document styled as a complaint, along with exhibits offered to support that document. By this entry, the Court ORDERS that this motion to file under seal shall come for hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, October 16, 2015, first choice, with three hours allotted for the hearing on that date. The Court has effectuated public notice of this most recent motion to file under seal by posting, near the door of this Court's front office, accurate copies of (1) this entry, (2) Interested Person Herbert Simon's Verified Motion for Leave to File Complaint and Exhibits under Seal (filed August 5, 2015), and (3) the Court's Order Setting Hearing and Directing Notice on Verified Motion for Leave to File Complaint and Exhibits under Seal (entered August 11, 2015). On the date of this entry, the Court further notified the public of the October 16, 2015, hearing on this most recent motion to file under seal by mailing, via First Class U.S. mail, accurate copies of the same three documents to the following six media outlets: The Noblesville Times, The Indianapolis Star, WTHR-13, WRTV-6, WISH-TV 8, and FOX 59. NOTICE ORDERED, WITH EACH MEDIA OUTLET LISTED IN THIS ENTRY TO RECEIVE A COPY OF THIS ENTRY
A recent court entry also indicates the judge handling the case, William Hughes, has filed notice of recusal in the matter.

The dispute may center around an agreement reached between the two brothers in 2009 a short time prior to Melvin Simon's death in which it was agreed Melvin would not be liable for any losses incurred by the Pacers. Following Simon's death, Bren Simon paid $21 million in protest to the IRS, which it claimed was owed as the result of a gift from Herb to Melvin as a result of the 2009 reorganization of the Pacers.

It seems rather dubious that the court filings made by Herb Simon's attorneys would qualify to be filed under seal and hearings regarding the same would be closed to the public. The Star's story does not indicate what its position on the matter is. The newspaper's publisher, Karen Ferguson Fuson, is married to Pacers Sports & Entertainment CEO Rick Fuson.


c. roger csee said...

Because they can't afford to have the public find out how much the Pacers are actually worth, and how much money they make from the Play Palace we built and maintain for them?

Flogger said...

No matter which one of the 1% wins, the 99% will lose as we must continue to provide Corporate Welfare for the Pacers. This is just one more symptom of how compromised our political system is. The press will report on the dispute between the Mega-Billionaire Aristocracy over the Pacer Toy. I suppose the C.I.B. will find a way to pick up the lawyers fees and court costs - we would not want to the 1% to feel the pain.