The long legal battle between the Express’ cross-bay rivals is heating up again, as the Bay Guardian attempts to take money directly from the SF Weekly’s parent company, Village Voice Media. According to the Chron, the Bay Guardian has asked a San Francisco judge to issue a financial lien against the Phoenix-based chain and collect money from it until a jury verdict that has ballooned to $21 million is paid off. But lawyers for the Weekly and Village Voice contend that such an action should be put off until the appeals process is over.
The Guardian won a judgment against the Weekly for selling ads below cost in an alleged attempt to put the Guardian out of business. The Weekly has maintained that it was merely trying to gain market share. The Weekly is owned by Village Voice Media, which also owned the Express until it went independent in May 2007.
Frustrated that the Weekly has refused to pay the jury verdict as the appeals process drags on, the Guardian recently won court approval to confiscate the Weekly’s two delivery trucks. The Guardian then sold the trucks for just $2,500. The move didn’t affect the Weekly’s circulation because the alternative newsweekly uses subcontractors who have their own vehicles to deliver papers. The Guardian also has gone after the rent that the Weekly collects from subtenants in its South of Market offices.