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Judge Tells MC Hammer to Pay Up, Despite Typo

(CN) - Stanley Burrell, also known as MC Hammer, can't use the misspelling of his name on a lawsuit and summons as an excuse to get out of paying a default judgment, a federal judge in San Jose, Calif., ruled.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel found the 2003 judgment against Burrell binding, even though his name was misspelled as "Berrell" on the complaint and summons.

The lawsuit claimed that Burrell agreed to market technology being developed by Steven Ristau, one of Burrell's Bible study students. Ristau's company,, folded before the technology could be launched, and was later the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Burrell insisted that he was never more than a shareholder in the company, and that he never tried to line up investors. He said he had "virtually no dealings" with the company's owners, the ruling states, except "in one contentious shareholder meeting" where plaintiff Robert Icho allegedly "flashed a gun," a claim that others disputed.

Burrell said he was never properly served notice, because the lawsuit listed "MC Hammer a.k.a. Stanley Berrell" as the defendant. He also said he didn't understand the scope of the proceedings or that a default judgment had been entered against him on June 10, 2003.

But Judge Fogel, unpersuaded, said the former rapper "obviously had the ability to consult with counsel if he had any questions as to his legal situation."

Fogel denied Burrell's motion to vacate the default judgment.


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