Private's Milton Wins Temporary Stay Over Contempt Charges

Sep 30, 2011 11:00 AM PST

LAS VEGAS — Berth Milton, the embattled Private Media Group CEO who along with several board members face numerous counts of business improprieties waged by shareholders, has won a temporary stay over contempt charges.

The Nevada Supreme Court this week granted the emergency stay over personal jurisdiction that would compel Milton to answer or respond to questions in the shareholders suit. Milton argued  that the Clark County, Nev., judge exceeded her authority in the shareholders suit over the jurisdiction issue.

"Petitioner does not live, work, own property, or otherwise conduct business in Nevada," Milton's counsel said in an earlier motion. "His sole connection to Nevada is his service as an officer and director of Private Media Group Inc., a publicly held corporation that conducts no business in Nevada, directs no activities to Nevada, and maintains no offices in Nevada. Its principal place is in Barcelona. Private's sole connection to Nevada is that it is incorporated here."

Last week, in a motion to Nevada justices, Milton's attorney said that the Private CEO faced "the untenable position of having to choose between making a general appearance in the district court to oppose this contempt motion and possibly waive his jurisdictional defenses."

Or, his counsel says, he could "decline to make an appearance in the district court to oppose the contempt motion and possibly subject himself to the panoply of contempt sanctions available to the district court."

The justices made their decision on the emergency stay after Private's litigating shareholders filed a motion on an order shortening time at Clark County Court seeking an order to show cause why Milton should not be held in contempt. A hearing over contempt charges had been slated for yesterday at the lower court.

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