Judge denies request to move Prince vault away from CA fires

A judge has denied a request from Prince's siblings to move the contents of his vault back to Paisley Park. The contents are currently in Hollywood, California, where wildfires have been burning for several days. 

Attorney William Skolnick, who represents Sharon and Norrie Nelson and their brother, John R. Nelson, filed an informal, emergency petition last Friday asking the contents of his vault be moved. 

In his letter to the judge, Skolnick said his clients are “deeply concerned about the safety of the Vault, which we understand is at Iron Mountain’s Hollywood facility.” 

“These fires, particularly the Skirball fire and the Creek fire, are not yet controlled and are very close to Hollywood,” Skolnick said in the filing, asking that the contents be immediately moved to a more secure facility. 

Skolnick has asked that the contents be moved immediately because, “Time may be of the essence with regards to these fires, and the contents of the Vault obviously are irreplaceable.” 

In his filing, Skolnick said his clients have almost no information regarding the actual location of the vault or its physical safety protocols. the court filing asks that the contents be moved because, "the court is well aware of the security at Paisley Park."

The judge denied the petition after Comerica Bank & Trust countered with a letter of their own stating the Skirball Fire, the closest fire to the vault, is eight miles aware and is 85 percent contained. The fire would have to pass through the UCLA campus and all of Beverly Hills before threatening the vault's location, the letter says. 

In the court's decision, the judge called the issue a "non-story." He said the two parties should talk to each other about the issue before involving the courts next time. 

"The Court strongly condemns bringing this matter before the Court without adequate discussion between the parties and will sanction a party for doing so in the future," the judge wrote. 

In October, Prince’s sisters were angered that the contents of the vault, including master tapes of unreleased music, had been moved to California. Court papers estimate they are among the most valuable pieces of his estate, which is worth around $200 million.