SANTA MONICA, Calif. - A judge ordered the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department on Friday to set a date to auction the rights to O.J. Simpson's book, "If I Did It."
The book, in which Simpson explains how he might have committed the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, is the subject of a legal battle between the former NFL star and Goldman's family.
Initially planned to be published by HarperCollins, a division of News Corp., the book and companion TV interview were never released amid public outrage.
Goldman's family has been trying to collect a $33.5-million civil judgment from Simpson in a decade-old wrongful death lawsuit.
Earlier this month, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered the book rights to be auctioned off with proceeds from the auction and any subsequent book profits turned over to Goldman's family. Judge Gerald Rosenberg also ruled the rights of Lorraine Brooke Associates, a Florida-based company that struck the book deal with HarperCollins, be included in the auction.
The judge ordered the auction be held by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department since HarperCollins' California offices are located there. But after his March 13 ruling, the sheriff's department raised concerns over whether it had jurisdiction over Lorraine Brooke since the company was in Florida.
Rosenberg ruled Friday that he considered the company a Simpson "surrogate" and ordered the sheriff's department to set a date as soon as possible for auction.
A call to a sheriff's spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, said he planned to appeal the judge's order.
Goldman's father, Fred, had accused Simpson in a separate federal lawsuit of creating Lorraine Brooke so he could hide money from the book and TV deal and not allow the Goldmans to seize the profits. The suit was dismissed and is under appeal.
Galanter contends the company is owned by Simpson's four children.