Augusta National gets to hold green jackets pending ruling on ownership

Augusta National green jackets and other items once on the auction block will be held by the club pending a judicial decision about the rightful owner.

 

In an order signed Friday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall granted a request from the Augusta National Golf Club to allow it to hold the items pending the outcome of a civil case the club filed last year.

“…The parties shall not construe the release and transfer of these items as anything other than an alteration of its previous preservation order. The court has not yet made any determinations regarding the disputed issues in this case,” Hall wrote.

Augusta National filed suit Aug. 11 in federal court asking the judge to stop the auctioning by Green Jacket Auctions Inc. of green jackets owned by members or winners of the Masters Tournament, silverware and a belt buckle.

According to statements made in court in August, the club contends the items were either stolen, or fakes which are prohibited by the club’s trademark. The green jackets have never been sold by the club, and the club’s policy is that the jackets are only worn by members during the Masters, according to the club’s attorney.

On behalf of the Green Jacket Auctions, its defense attorney said the items came into the company’s possession through third parties who had owned the jackets and other items, according to earlier report in The Augusta Chronicle. The company had auctioned green jackets in the past, the defense attorney said at the August hearing.

One of the jackets was owned by club member George King, another belonged to a current member, and the third was given to Byron Nelson in 1966.

Hall granted an injunction in August, temporarily stopping the auction, but has yet to rule on ownership of the disputed items.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com

 

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