Attorneys representing the late model's estate have again taken the now 14-year-old case to the U.S. Supreme Court, this time to lift the nearly three-year-old stay on the eight-figure inheritance Smith was awarded in 2002 from the estate of her late husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.
Marshall died in 1995 at the age of 90 after barely a year of marriage to the Playboy Playmate.
Smith's stepson, E. Pierce Marshall, had led the family crusade against Smith getting a penny of their patriarch's reputed $1.2 billion fortune. He won the first leg of the battle when a Texas probate court granted Smith nothing, while a federal bankruptcy judge in California promptly awarded Smith $474 million.
A U.S. District Court judge in California halved the judgment in 2002, awarding Smith $44 million from Marshall's estate, plus $44 million in punitive damages.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals then tossed out Smith's share altogether. But the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2006 that the appellate court had overstepped its bounds and that Smith still had the right to pursue the inheritance in federal court.
Pierce Marshall died in 2006 and the appellate court's stay on Smith's money was never lifted.
"Vickie's estate will undeniably suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not vacated, as Pierce's executor claims there is no money to pay the district court judgment, and Vickie's estate cannot pursue Pierce's missing billions unless and until the stay is vacated," state court papers filed Monday on behalf of Smith's estate.