Court threat to America's Cup champions
Threats of both fines and imprisonment against America's Cup defender Ernesto Bertarelli, his skipper Brad Butterworth and the commodore of his challenging club, the Societe Nautique de Geneve are implied in the latest court moves by the Californian challenger Golden Gate Yacht Club and its team, Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle.
The GGYC went back to the New York Supreme Court and persuaded it to issue an order directing the SNG to show why it should not be held in contempt of court after Bertarelli's Alinghi team, in Geneva last week, said it wanted to meet the GGYC challenge in May next year.
"By forcing litigation over our rightful challenge, they [SNG and Bertarelli's Alinghi team] have already managed to delay the match from July 2008 to February 2010," said spokesman Tom Ehman. "Now they seek another three-month delay. Enough is enough."
The hearing is set for 09.30 on 14 May and SNG/Alinghi is expected to argue that other terms of the rules include a proviso that northern hemisphere events shall only be held between 1 May and 31 October.
The front page of the court notice, signed by the Honourable Judge Kornreich, says: "Pursuant to Judiciary Law 756 and this court's inherent remedial authority, please take notice that the purpose of this hearing, inter alia, is to punish defendant Societe Nautique de Geneve for contempt of court and such punishment may consist of a fine or imprisonment or both according to law."
An added warning states: "Your failure to appear in court may result in your immediate arrest and imprisonment for contempt of court."
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