Florida basketball fans have been watching the Donald Sterling debacle unravel. The latest installment in the scandal is that his wife has entered into an agreement to sell the Los Angeles Clippers that is owned by the family trust without his consent. She is making plans to go to probate court in order to resolve the situation and have him declared incapacitated.
Shelly Sterling is seeking an emergency order to receive an expedited hearing in the case. While the family trust does not require a separate court order to show that an administrator is incapacitated, she is seeking one anyway due to Donald Sterling’s clear statements that he does not intend to sell the team. Shelly Sterling made the sale on May 29 after two neurologists declared him unfit to conduct his business and legal affairs. However, having the matter go through probate court may delay the sale if either the buyer or the NBA does not accept Shelly’s role to act as the sole trustee of the trust.
Donald Sterling had previously indicated that he would consent to the sale and his attorney had even sent a letter to this effect to the NBA. However, his attorney said that other factors may have influenced him to change his mind. First, his wife attempted to find him mentally incompetent. Second, the NBA commissioner declared that he would not take back Sterling’s lifetime ban or the $2.5 million fine previously assessed against him, potentially taking away the man’s dignity. He plans to respond to Shelly Sterling’s motion.
If a person’s legal competence is in question, a court hearing may need to take place to reach a decision on the matter. Each party may want to retain an attorney with experience in these types of proceedings.
Source: ABC 13, “S. Sterling’s Attorney Heads to Court“, June 11, 2014