Although Safechuck filed a civil case in 2014, his civil case remained silent and inactive until June 2015. On July, 2015 Safechuck identified Doe2 and Doe 3 defendants. This will start the process (demurrer and such) for Safechuck civil case. Why now? In my personal opinion, judge dismissing Robson’s probate claim demonstrated that Safechuck’s probate claim doesn’t stand much chance either therefore they are focusing their efforts on the civil claims.

Safechuck’s civil complaint provides information about why his probate claim most probably wouldn’t be successful. Probate code requires any claim to be filed within 60 days of knowledge of administration of the Estate and the creditor’s actual knowledge of the existence of the facts giving rise to the existence of the claim. Unlike Robson, Safechuck doesn’t claim he didn’t know about the Estate. To the contrary, Safechuck openly admits he heard from news reports that John Branca would be managing MJ’s business affairs and he knew who Branca was. Safechuck similar to Robson doesn’t claim repressed memory. He states he told his mother in 2005 MJ was a “bad man” and he told his mother in “briefest statement that he had been abused” in 2005. Furthermore Safechuck started to see a therapist on May 20, 2013. Given Safechuck hasn’t filed his probate claim until 2014, there’s no way he can satisfy the within 60 days rule of probate. That alone should be enough for the judge to dismiss his probate claim eventually. ( Few rounds of chances to amend a complaint routinely happens).

That brings us to the civil complaint.

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Over the last few weeks, there have been few developments in Robson (civil) and Safechuck (probate claim) cases. First, the hearing date for all active issues (civil demurrer, probate demurrer and motion to quash) has been consolidated to July 20,2015. Previously they were spread out at June 30, July 8 and July 13. Documents show that lawyers for both sides had conflict with some of the dates so they agreed to consolidate it all to July 20.

On July 20 hearing, Judge will hear arguments for 3 matters.

First matter is the demurrer for Robson civil case against MJ companies. I previously wrote a detailed post explaining all the developments for that demurrer. You can find the link here: Robson Civil Case: Demurrer for the Third Amended Civil Complaint.

Second matter is a motion to quash filed by Robson. As I reported previously, Estate has served subpoenas to three doctors (2 treating physicians and a doctor retained to write the required certificate of merit) related to this case. Estate asked: entire file for Robson, billing records for Robson, date of every appointment, any medical records and notes, all communication between the doctors and Robson/Robson lawyers and anything in the possession of the doctor related to MJ. Robson lawyers have filed a motion to quash the subpoena served to the doctor that was hired by Robson's lawyers and provided the certificate of merit. They state they would use that doctor as an expert witness and expert witness depositions/ testimonies are only exchanged before a trial.

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Ruling can be found here:

Before discussing judge’s ruling, I want to remind everyone that during demurrer/ summary judgment judge’s duty is not to determine credibility of Robson’s claims and/or innocence of MJ. This summary judgment is focused on Robson’s late probate claim and if any reason exists to allow the late probate claim. Furthermore during demurrer/summary judgment by law judge is required to accept everything Robson is saying as true and/or approach to everything presented in a way that is most favorable for Robson.

It is undisputed that Robson have filed a late claim against MJ Estate. First judge addresses time limits to bring a creditor claim against an Estate.

Probate rule 9103 (1) states a creditor can file a claim “within 60 days after the creditor has actual knowledge of the administration of the estate”. Robson claimed he did not know about the administration of the Estate until he went and talked to his lawyers. Judge rejected Robson’s argument and in his ruling states that Robson had “actual knowledge of administration of the Estate in February 2011(or at the latest sometime in the last quarter of 2011)”. From previous documents we know this is the time Robson met with Branca – Executor of MJ Estate – to discuss working on Cirque Immortal show.

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** Updated June 26, 2015. Scroll down to read the updated section (title highlighted in red)

You probably heard Robson’s late probate claim against MJ Estate has been recently dismissed. However he also has a civil case against MJ Companies. Civil case has been initially brought against Doe defendants. In his second amended complaint Robson named Doe 2 and Doe 3 as MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. Estate demurred to the second amended complaint. Judge granted that demurrer request of the corporate defendants but gave Robson the chance to amend his complaint. Robson served his third amended complaint on December 16, 2014. However the online court system doesn’t show this document and therefore we don’t know much about the changes Robson made to his third complaint.

Once a complaint is filed, the legal steps to follow are (1) a demurrer motion (by estate), (2) an opposition to demurrer (by Robson), (3) a reply to opposition (by Estate), (4) a hearing and (5) a ruling by the judge. You will find details of each of these steps and I will update this post with more information as it becomes available.

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Some recent confusion about Robson & Safechuck cases prompted me to make a timeline of past and upcoming events so that fans can easily follow the developments in these cases. I will regularly update this post and will try my best to answer any questions you might have.

First some brief information about the case structure and information sources.Robson and Safechuck have both filed a late probate claim and a civil case at LA Superior Court. All four of the cases have been assigned to Judge Mitchell Beckloff. Information about these cases can be gathered from three different sources:

  • “Case Summary” – which is accessible by anyone, however it only lists names of documents filed and basic proceedings information.
  • “Civil Case Document Images” – which requires an account and allows you to buy copies of the documents filed for civil cases.
  • “Probate Notes” – which lists information about upcoming probate hearings a few days before their scheduled date.

As long as the documents aren’t sealed, Robson and Safechuck civil case documents become available at “Civil Case Document Images” system for purchase. (2016 Note: Since Judge Beckloff's move to Santa Monica courthouse documents aren't available at the online system. You can still get the hard copies by making an in person request at Santa Monica courthouse.) However probate case documents aren’t available online so it makes getting information about probate claims a little more challenging. Furthermore under the probate case number multiple issues and claims (as of now Robson, Safechuck, Tohme, El-Amin/ Morris, Estate management etc.) related to Estate is handled so everything listed under “Case Summary” for probate case is NOT related to Robson/Safechuck.

Here’s the past and future events information about the four cases (Recent/upcoming events and final rulings are highlighted in different color):

Robson Probate Claim – (under BP117321) - Dismissed

  • May 2013 - Robson files his late probate claim
  • June 2013 – Estate files an objection to Robson’s late probate claim
  • February 2014- Robson sends interrogatories to MJ Estate
  • February 2014 – Estate asks dismissal (summary judgment) of Robson’s late probate claim
  • May 2014 – Robson makes a request for criminal files (depositions, testimony, and discovery from 1993 and 2005 allegations)
  • September 2014 – Judge grants most of Robson’s discovery requests.
  • November 6, 2014 – Initial date for the summary judgment hearing. Robson lawyers wants to reschedule this hearing to go over the discovery and prepare their oppositions to Estate’s summary judgment. Hearing is taken off calendar.
  • March 24, 2015 – Robson files his opposition to Estate’s summary judgment Estate will file their reply to Robson’s opposition A hearing will be set for the summary judgment motion
  • April 21, 2015 - Hearing date for summary judgment motion
  • May 26, 2015 - Judge ruled on summary judgment and dismissed Robson's probate claim.

Note 1: Although judge dismissed Robson's probate claim, this is far from over. Robson lawyers have previously stated they would appeal the decision. An appeal would take 1-2 years. I will post updates about the appeal (if filed). Plus there's still the civil case against MJ Companies. (2016 Update : No appeal was filed.)

Note 2: As of April 2015 one media source claimed a final status conference on April 15, followed by a 15 day trial to determine if Robson can proceed with his claim. This is wrong. April 15 final status conference and 15 day trial is scheduled to happen in 2016 and it’s for Tohme’s Neverland finder’s fee claim.

Robson Civil Case – ( BC508502)

  • May 2013 - Robson files his civil complaint
  • April 2014 – Robson amendes his complaint to name Doe2 and Doe 3 defendants as MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures
  • June 2014 - Estate filed a demurrer
  • October 1, 2014 - For MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures Judge sustained the demurrer with leave to amend. Judge decided to keep Doe1(MJ) as a placeholder for the time being pending the outcome of the probate claim.
  • December 16, 2014 -Robson filed third amended complaint
  • April 10, 2015 - Status hearing - taken off calendar
  • March 10, 2015 - Estate filed second demurrer
  • June 17, 2015 - Robson filed his opposition to Estate’s second demurrer. (Estate will file a reply)
  • June 17, 2005 - Robson files a motion to quash for a subpoena Estate served to one of the doctors.
  • June 23, 2015 - Estate filed their reply to Robson's opposition
  • June 30, 2015 –Hearing date for second demurrer - matter continued July 13, 2015 - Hearing for motion to quash - continued to July 20
  • July 20, 2015 - Hearing for demurrer & motion to quash
  • September 21, 2015 - Judge overruled Estate’s demurer, Robson’s case proceeds to the next phase of discovery and summary judgment.
  • November 23, 2015 - Estate appeals Judge’s ruling on demurrer.
  • February 17, 2016 – Estate’s appeal has been denied.
  • March 3, 2016 – Case schedule including a tentative date is set.
  • July 13, 2016 – Robson changes lawyers. Manly, Stewart, Finaldi are his new lawyers. 
  • August 10, 2016 - Discovery disputes in regards to Robson deposition and mental examination.
  • Upcoming: September 2016 - Deposition of Wade's family members
  • Upcoming: October 2016 - Deposition of Wade
  • Upcoming : November 2016 - Summary judgment

 Safechuck Probate Claim – (under BP117321) - Dismissed

  • July/August 2014 - Safechuck files late probate claim
  • September 2014 - Estate files a demurrer
  • December 16, 2014 - Demurrer hearing held
  • December 30, 2014 - Judge sustained the demurrer with leave to amend
  • March 18, 2015 - Safechuck filed the second amended complaint Date unknown - Estate filed their second demurrer
  • June 24, 2015 - Safechuck filed his opposition Soon Estate to file a reply to Safechuck's opposition
  • July 20, 2015 - Hearing date for second demurrer (according to case summary)
  • July 21, 2015 – Hearing date for second demurrer (according to a declaration filed)
  • September 2015 - Judge ruled on second demurrer and dismissed probate claim.

Safechuck Civil Case – (BC545264)

  • July / August 2014 – Civil case filed and probate case is listed as a related case.
  • June 2015 - Civil case started to show some action. Judge reviewed initial filings and allowed the start of the civil case.
  • July 2015 - Safechuck have filed his civil complaint. Then amended his complaint in October 2015.
  • December 2015 - Estate have filed their demurrer against Safechuck civil case.
  • March 22, 2016 - Hearing date for demurrer motion
  • August 23, 2016 - Judge grants Estates demurrer but gives Safechuck chance to amend his complaint