Jim Brown sues and gets sued over ’64 ring

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Hall of Famer Jim Brown has sued to get his 1964 NFL championship ring back.  And now Brown has been sued in return.

On Friday, the online auction house that pulled the plug (per court order) on efforts to sell the ring in response to Brown’s lawsuit filed a formal answer to the complaint, denying any liability to Brown.  The document also includes a “counterclaim,” which is fancy lawyer talk for, “Sue me?  Sue you!”

In the counterclaim, Lelands.com and the other named defendants contend that Brown’s former wife, Sue Brown, obtained “valid title” to the ring via the couple’s divorce, or as a result of Brown’s “abandonment” of the ring when he left his family in 1964.  That specific allegation is made based on “information and belief,” which is fancy lawyer talk for, “We don’t know that this is true, but we think it may be.”

The counterclaim then explains that Sue Brown sold the ring to Ray Kling in the early 1980s.  Kling sold it to George Lyons.  Lelands bought the ring in 1991.  In 1992, the ring was sold via auction at the Southgate Tower Hotel in New York City.  At some point, the buyer consigned the ring to Mastro Net, a sports memorabilia auction house.

In 1998, Jerry Adamic purchased the ring through an auction conducted by Mastro Net.  In May 2014, Lelands bought the ring from Adamic.

The counterclaim accuses Brown of falsely disputing Leland.com’s title to the ring, that Brown submitted false affidavits and declarations to the court regarding his ownership of the ring, and that the negative press will discourage potential bidders from pursuing the ring if/when it returns to the auction block.

Lelands.com also alleges that Brown’s behavior has “impugned the honesty and integrity” of the company’s business as a whole, which could prevent others from dealing with Lelands in the future.

As a result, Lelands.com seeks at least $1 million in damages from Brown.  At last check before the item was pulled, the ring had generated a bid of more than $58,000.

The case will now proceed, and things could get ugly.  Or, perhaps more accurately, uglier.  If, in the end, Lelands.com obtains a clear declaration of title to the ring, the thing actually could be worth a whole lot more than $58,000.

 

41 responses to “Jim Brown sues and gets sued over ’64 ring

  1. LOL ….When you get divorced, separate or leave your wife make sure you have all the personal items owned.

    Does any guy ever want an ex wife to be a key witness in a law suit……

  2. The information and belief has a lot of specific particulars. Jim Brown may find himself with a painful set of tooth marks in the backside.

  3. jim brown may go broke after the dust settles. looks like jim is taking bad advice from his lawyer.

  4. Interesting that Lelands started with “Jim Brown gave it to a family member” and now has worked down to “he abandoned the ring when he left his family”. Pretty stinky.

  5. redandgoldhitman52 says:
    Aug 16, 2014 9:27 AM
    jim brown may go broke after the dust settles. looks like jim is taking bad advice from his lawyer.
    +-+-+

    If Brown used lawyers to stay out of trouble rather than after he gets into a crack, he’d be a lot better off.

  6. Brown should just offer to buy it for $40K and immediately settle out both the Original Complaint and the Counter-Claim.

    Yes, it’s less than the current $58K lead bid – but Lelands might bite to just to get out of the dueling lawsuits, where attorney fees quickly ascend into the mind-blowing phase and there is no certainty of either side prevailing.

    From Brown’s side of it, he gets his ring back. It’s even conceivable that sympathetic supporters could offer donations. No one, of course, would be required to give or should even feel obligated in any way. But, Jim Brown is a local legend, arguably the GOAT and Cleveland Nation just happens to be feeling pretty good about itself for a lot of reasons – and some of them might kick in.

    It also demeans Brown’s legend and status to be in this lawsuit, and the mud-slinging is not doing Lelands any favors either.

  7. Why didn’t Jim Brown get involved with the sale and resale of this ring before now. Seems like it’s been legally sold and bought several times and now he just wants to reclaim something that hasn’t been his in a long time.

  8. My opinion is that it is low class for an auction house to sell a piece of sports history that was awarded to a player who earned it with his blood and sweat on the field, unless that player himself sold the memorabilia and pocketed the money. The ring should go back to Jim Brown. It belongs with him. He earned it.

  9. Jim, that shipped sailed a long time ago, without you on it. Not the first time you miss the boat though, is it?

  10. Another “do as I say, not as I do” media personality.

    When abandonment of your family is on your resume your thoughts and stands on issues have lost relevance.

  11. humb0lt says: Aug 16, 2014 11:22 AM

    My opinion is that it is low class for an auction house to sell a piece of sports history that was awarded to a player who earned it with his blood and sweat on the field, unless that player himself sold the memorabilia and pocketed the money. The ring should go back to Jim Brown. It belongs with him. He earned it.

    Your opinion is sexist and dumb.

    If you lose an item in a divorce you cant reclaim it everytime it changes hands.

  12. All I remember about Jim Brown after he retired is him beating up women

    Great player, scummy ex-player

  13. humb0lt says: Aug 16, 2014 11:22 AM

    My opinion is that it is low class for an auction house to sell a piece of sports history that was awarded to a player who earned it with his blood and sweat on the field, unless that player himself sold the memorabilia and pocketed the money. The ring should go back to Jim Brown. It belongs with him. He earned it.

    Your opinion is sexist and dumb.

    If you lose an item in a divorce you cant reclaim it everytime it changes hands.

    Forget that; if they just give him back the ring, who recoups their payment? I mean it cost them a pretty penny to get, they should just give it to him?? Nothing in this world is for free. If he wants it so badly, e should bid

  14. This guys life is pretty much a train wreck.
    And he’s always doing something to embarrass himself, or the browns

    They pretty much washed there hands of him years ago.
    Wonder why no duplicate ring yet???

  15. 50 years go by and now this ring is an issue….. Hey Jim ya had 5 decades ….instead of crucifying Browns players through the years you should have been after this ring….

  16. He has waited till now because he has a new sugar daddy, Haslem and the Browns. He thinks the power of the teams name will coarse the owner of the ring to give it back. I last heard the Browns brought him back into the organization to help him out and gave him a meaningless job title. How many great a Browns are out there, especially how this guy played the game. So supporting him is the right thing to do from the teams historical position. From what I read he doesn’t have a case. Good luck JB.

  17. I think Brown is pulling this stunt so somebody out there will buy this boatload of bs and purchase the ring at auction and gift it back to him. Letting this ring get publicly auctioned this many times is probably now become embarrassing that he didn’t keep it.

  18. 4 of Brown’s domestic abuse charges were dropped or he was acquitted. The last one, in 1999 resulted in his then wife retracting the charge, but Brown was sentenced to jail because he refused to accept counseling. He was charged with vandalism of her car.

  19. If Cleveland had won anything in the past half century people wouldn’t be fighting over the only bling in town.

  20. Considering that, for fifty years, JB didn’t seem to care what had happened to the ring, he doesn’t have much of a case for getting it back now.

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