Capital Group, a $1 trillion money manager, wants a judge to designate its records off limits in a divorce case involving Timothy Armour, and his wife, Nina Ritter, The Associated Press reported.
Armour is on the board of trustees at Capital Group, the privately held parent company to American Funds. The request was placed in Supreme Court on Friday.
It's unusual in a divorce case, since third parties are not usually interested in such cases.
Susan Seager, a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in First Amendment cases, said, "Based on what I know, there is no basis to close this trial to the public. Divorce is the ultimate two-party case."
In its request, Capital Group cites a section of the California's family code prohibiting public exposure "in the interests of justice and the persons involved." The law is usually used if there are children in consideration.
At least half of the company's shares, contained in a family trust the couple created in 1991, are at stake, according to Ritter. She believes the stock is worth tens of millions of dollars.
"I want to hold on to the stock," she said. "They have made it clear that they will in fact redeem my half of the stock from me if I get divorced."
Ritter said she believes the divorce trial should be between just her and her husband.