Stack of Documents

Robson, 32, still needs a judge’s permission to file the probate court claim because it was brought in May 2013, nearly four years after the entertainer’s overdose death at age 50 on June 25, 2009. Robson alleges Jackson molested him between 1990-97, though he testified in the singer’s 2005 child molestation trial that the pop star did not sexually molest him. Jackson was acquitted on all charges in his 2005 trial.

Looks like Michael Jackson’s estate could see another court battle in the near future. But this time, it’s not over estate taxes.

Ordinarily, you cannot sue a dead person. A judge and a court do not have power over the deceased. Instead, you have to sue the deceased person’s estate.

Wade Robson, however, sued two of Michael Jackson’s companies as well as an unknown defendant, listed as Doe 1. It is clear to everyone involved in the case that Doe 1 is Michael Jackson. Robson is perhaps best known for testifying in Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial that Jackson did not molest him, yet in this case he is alleging molestation.

Because you cannot sue a deceased person, Michael Jackson’s estate asked that Doe 1, Jackson, be removed from the case as a defendant. As reported by L.A. Watts Times, in an article titled Judge denies motion in Jackson estate case, the judge ruled for now that Doe 1 could remain as a defendant. However, it appears that the judge would like a clearer statement from Robson regarding what his case is about as the judge has requested an amended complaint. It is not clear why Robson did not sue the estate in the first place. His lawyer claims it was for discovery purposes.

This is just one of many legal issues that Michael Jackson’s estate has had to face. The biggest is a feud with the IRS over estate taxes. Given the high-profile nature of the estate and its immense wealth, the estate will likely be involved in litigation in some form or another for decades.

Reference: L.A. Watts Times (October 2, 2014) Judge denies motion in Jackson estate case

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Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.