Harper Lee Revives Lawsuit Against Hometown Museum

88-year-old 'Mockingbird' author says museum tried to change settlement

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 23, 2014 2:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – The author of one of the most respected courtroom dramas of all time will get her day in court after all. A federal judge has reinstated Harper Lee's lawsuit against the museum in her hometown that she contends illegally profits off To Kill a Mockingbird, the Washington Post reports. The Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville, Alabama, made more than half a million dollars in 2011 selling Mockingbird-related merchandise, the lawsuit alleges.

The 88-year-old and the museum originally reached a settlement in February. But Lee asked a judge to reinstate the case this week, saying the museum was trying to change the deal. The judge agreed yesterday, putting the case back on its original schedule, with a trial set for November, Al.com reports. Last year, the museum said that "every single statement in the lawsuit is either false, meritless, or both," and that it had the right to honor Lee's legacy. The museum is located in the former courthouse where the film version of Mockingbird was shot, and until recently its web address was tokillamockingbird.com. (Lee has also been in a legal fight with a former literary agent.)

In this 2007 file photo, author Harper Lee smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)
Harper Lee reacts to a vocal performance by Birmingham public school students at the State Board of Education meeting, Jan. 11, 2007, in Montgomery, Ala.   (AP Photo/Jamie Martin)
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