MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CN) - Thanks to a judge's ruling, it appears the late Whitney Houston's possessions from her recently sold house will be returned to her family.
Marion Houston, the late singer's manager and sister-in-law, filed a lawsuit
in Morris County Court this month claiming that after the Mendham, N.J., mansion was sold, the buyers "changed the locks on the house and chained the gates to the property," denying the family access to her possessions.
Houston claimed that the contract "provided for the sale of the property only, and did not include any provision for, or make any reference whatsoever to, the sale of any of the personalty."
She also claimed that "despite defendants' initial agreement to allow the personalty to be removed from the property ... defendants have repeatedly refused to allow the Estate to enter the property and recover the personalty."
Morris County Judge Donald Coburn issued a writ Thursday afternoon, directing the county sheriff "to take possession of all personal property owned by Houston's estate and turn it over to the estate."
Coburn wrote in the order that "If the property is not openly visible or agreeably obtainable, the court hereby orders the sheriff to break and physically enter any building where it is located."
He attached a list of 91 items that Houston's estate wishes returned.
According to the original lawsuit, items include "a baby grand piano, a jukebox, valuable paintings, and home furnishings and other items that belonged to Whitney Houston."
The defendants, a Jersey City investment firm called CPMG Mendham LLC and Diego Cevallos, have relisted Houston's home for $1.5 million. The 12,561-square-foot home on 5 acres was the site of Houston's 1992 wedding to Bobby Brown.
The timeline for getting the estate the property back is not clear. Undersheriff Staci Santucci told the Star Ledger on Thursday that Morris County's Legal Services Division "has indicated that we have not received anything on this matter from the court at this time."