Federal marshals seized a grand piano and an aged Rolls-Royce on Thursday from the Encino home of entertainer Michael Jackson's parents to satisfy part of a $1.3-million default judgment.
"This is a tempest in a teapot," said Brian Oxman, attorney for Joseph and Katherine Jackson.
He said the seizure was illegal because the couple were not served with court papers before the default judgment was obtained.
Besides, he said, "the piano belongs to Michael, not his parents. It's always been Michael's. He wrote some of his biggest hits in the '80s on that grand. We want the piano back, and we're going to get it."
As for the confiscated Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, Oxman said it is about 30 years old, doesn't run and would fetch no more than about $3,000.
A bankrupt New Jersey company, HVV Corp., obtained the judgment against Jackson Communications Inc., a firm in which Joseph and Katherine Jackson and several of their children own shares.
HVV's attorney, Robert Sainburg, said Jackson Communications purchased an HVV subsidiary, Keystone Guitar Co., for about $1.5 million but paid only about $200,000 of that amount.
In addition to the entertainer's parents, the 1996 judgment names his siblings Marlon, Tito, Randy, Jermaine and Rebbie Jackson, according to HVV's attorney. Michael Jackson is not named.
Oxman said the Jackson family members were given the shares by a promoter in exchange for allowing him to use the Jackson name when he set up the company. The lawyer said they are not responsible for any of HVV's claims.