The judge overseeing Prince’s estate has partly reversed an earlier ruling sealing the filings of purported heirs to the megastar’s fortune, which has been valued at $100 million to $300 million before taxes.

Filings by people claiming to be the children of Prince shall remain under seal, but filings by siblings and more distant relatives will be made public, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide said in a ruling made public Thursday.

Eide said he received submissions from 15 claimants on June 17 and eight more on June 24. At the time, he ordered that documents filed electronically be labeled confidential until further notice.

“Based upon the review of relevant statutes, case law and rules adopted for MNCIS [the electronic court records filing system], the Court continues to believe that documents submitted by a claimant in an attempt to be determined the child of Prince Rogers Nelson are confidential and will be sealed by the Court,” Eide wrote in the new ruling. “However, the Court declines to extend the same protection for documents filed by claimants who are claiming that they are a parent, a sibling, a half-sibling or other relative of Prince Rogers Nelson. Those documents will be deemed public and will be filed in MNCIS as public documents, except for attachments, or information contained within the documents, such as social security numbers, bank account records, genetic testing records, death certificates, or, in some cases birth records, which will continue to be considered confidential.”

Eide stayed his order until July 11 to allow for comments by parties who may be affected, and said he might modify it further if they persuade him to do so. Alternatively, he said, they could withdraw their previous filings from consideration by the court.

In a separate order, Eide scheduled a hearing for July 28 to consider a motion filed by the Star Tribune and other news media seeking to intervene in the case for the limited purpose of ensuring public access to court proceedings and records. The media coalition filed the motion after Eide issued several orders without first holding public hearings.

 

Dan Browning • 612-673-4493