Donald Sterling trial sent back to probate court

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(CNN) — A federal judge on Monday said a probate court should decide whether Shelly Sterling had the right to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

Donald Sterling’s lawyers filed a notice of removal in U.S. District Court in central California last week requesting the change of courts.

But Judge George H. Wu said in his ruling it was clear that the case, in which Shelly Sterling acted on behalf of the Sterling family trust to sell the team, is a matter for state probate court.

He wrote that there is also a “probate exception” that “precludes federal courts from endeavoring to dispose of property that is in the custody of a state probate court.”

Donald Sterling’s attorney’s said the case became a federal matter when Shelly Sterling disclosed her estranged husband’s medical records, but Wu ruled that wasn’t cause to change courts.

Shelly Sterling is trying to sell the NBA team to former Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Her husband bought the team, which he says he wants to keep, for about $12 million in 1981.

By Steve Almasy

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