The trustee handling Casey Anthony's bankruptcy case wants to sell her life story, like intellectual property or an asset, and use that money to pay back some of the people to which she owes money. Stephen Meininger continued his quest in a Tampa courtroom Tuesday afternoon, to make his case before a federal judge.
Anthony owes $790,000 to creditors and filed for chapter seven bankruptcy early this year. Late Tuesday afternoon, a federal bankruptcy court judge indicated that he is skeptical of the trustee's plan, although he has not issued a ruling yet.
Meininger and his attorney, Allan Watkins, tried to convince Judge K. Rodney May that Anthony's life story is an asset that could pay off debts if sold. The buyer would get the exclusive worldwide rights to Casey Anthony's life story. Watkins said the trustee already has two bids to buy her life story and a third person who is interested. The trustee wants to auction off her life story inside the federal bankruptcy court room. Judge May said at the end of the hearing that he is skeptical of the plan.
"I think he is leaning against my plan," Watkins said when asked about his reaction to the judge's comments. "We will explore all options to monetize her estate."
Judge May asked the trustee to explore other ways to monetize Anthony's estate to help pay back her debts. Judge May said the bids that have come in so far to buy her life story represent a small fraction of the debt she owes.
Anthony's attorneys argued that Meininger's plan is an invasion of Anthony's rights and even her private thoughts. They argued in court that her life story has not even been written down, so it is not part of her estate in the bankruptcy case, and the trustee cannot sell it at this point
Anthony's attorneys argued that letting someone else buy the rights to her story would give that person some control over her for the rest of her life and it would deny her a fresh start. They also argued the trustee's plans would violate her constitutional rights under the first, firth and fourteenth amendments.
"I am sure the Judge will make the right ruling," said Anthony attorney Debra Ferwerda.
Judge May said that he will rule on the motion in 30 days.
On a separate motion, the judge ruled that attorneys for Zenaida Gonzalez and Roy Kronk, who are suing Casey Anthony, will not have another chance to question her under oath to ask her questions they have about her assets.
Gonzalez's attorneys wanted to put Anthony under oath again. They want access to a computer that was given to her by her attorneys so she could communicate with them throughout her legal proceedings. Attorneys also have questions about whether Anthony listed all of her assets when she filled out income disclosure forms. Anthony's attorneys said she will make two changes to those documents within the next month to give more information. One question pertains to the 3,400 dollars her defense attorney Jose Baez reportedly gave her to help with living expenses. Another question centers around how much money Anthony may have received for some photos in 2011 and whether those photos are part of her estate in the bankruptcy case.
Judge May suggested that attorneys for Gonzalez and Kronk should settle their defamation lawsuits against Casey Anthony in state courts first and then determine if they still have bankruptcy claims against her in federal bankruptcy court after the state cases are resolved.