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Judge seals file in Missouri hotel magnate's case

Judge seals file in Missouri hotel magnate's case

March 20th, 2011 in News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri judge has rejected a request from news organizations for access to documents in the guardianship case of wealthy hotel magnate John Q. Hammons.

Greene County Probate Judge Michael Cordonnier heard arguments Friday from an attorney for The Springfield News-Leader and television station KYTV, then ordered the court file sealed.

The 92-year-old Springfield businessman is a prominent civic leader whose company operates more than 80 hotels in 25 states.

Hammons now lives in a Springfield nursing home. Several friends went to court last year asking probate officials to appoint a guardian to oversee his care. Their petition accuses his company's current CEO of keeping Hammons in involuntary seclusion.

The news organizations argued there is legitimate public interest in Hammons because of his long involvement, including financial commitments, in public and private projects.