FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- An Atlanta-area judge held an emergency hearing on Wednesday in the legal battle over possession of some of Dr. Martin Luther King's historical items.
Dexter King and Martin Luther King III filed a complaint in Fulton County Superior Court on Jan. 31 asking a judge to force Bernice King to relinquish their father's items, which include Dr. King's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and his personal Bible.
None of Martin Luther King Jr.'s children were in attendance in the first court hearing Monday afternoon.
Bernice King says her two older brothers want to sell the Bible and Nobel medallion. In a press conference on Feb. 6, Bernice King said she was disassociating herself from her brothers after the lawsuit.
William Hill, a lawyer for the two brothers, told the judge that there was a "time sensitive opportunity" to sell and lease the property. He said that the funds are necessary to sustain the King estate. Hill did not specify who would receive the medal and the Bible.
When asked by the judge what makes the sale time-sensitive, Hill noted that it took a decade to sell MLK papers.
"That's been the experience of the estate with reference to the sale of the papers or any other memorabilia," Hill said. "That, when there's an opportunity, it has to be taken advantage of, otherwise it may not arise again for quite some time."
The Nobel prize will remain in a safe deposit box with the Bible and the judge will control the key as the issue is debated.
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