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Detroit probate court to settle dispute over Rosa Parks estate

[JURIST] The Wayne County Probate Court [official website] in Detroit, Michigan has scheduled a six-member jury trial for February 19 to settle the disputed estate of civil rights icon Rosa Parks [TIME profile], famously arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat at the front of a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white man. Parks died [JURIST report] in October 2005 at the age of 92. The lawsuit stems from a challenge to Parks' will brought by her only living relatives -- 13 nieces and nephews -- in November 2005, claiming they were unfairly cut out of their aunt's will by her caregiver and longtime friend, Elaine Steele. Parks' will left virtually all of her assets to the nonprofit Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development [official website], but Parks' family members claim they have the right to make decisions about the marketing of Parks' image and likeness, rights that are potentially worth millions of dollars. The Detroit Free Press has more.

In April 2006 Alabama Governor Bob Riley [official website] signed [JURIST report] into law legislation [JURIST document] authorizing pardons for Parks and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [King Center profile] as well as other civil rights activists convicted of violating Jim Crow laws in Alabama during the US civil rights movement.

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