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Saturday, November 6, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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No Joint Custody: Beanie Baby Collection Is Divided

AP

LAS VEGAS - A divorced couple couldn't agree on how to split their Beanie Baby collection, so a judge ordered them yesterday to divide up the babies one by one in a courtroom.

"It's ridiculous and embarrassing," said Frances Mountain, moments before squatting on the courtroom floor alongside her ex-husband to choose first from a pile of dozens of stuffed toys.

Maple the Bear was the first to go, as a few people in the gallery snickered.

Frances and Harold Mountain divorced four months ago.

According to the divorce decree, they were supposed to split their Beanie Baby collection, estimated to be worth between $2,500 and $5,000.

But they failed to do so, and after Mountain filed a motion to get his share of the litter, the judge said he had had enough.

"Because you folks can't solve it, it takes the services of a . . . judge, a bailiff and a court reporter," Family Court Judge Gerald Hardcastle told the ex-couple.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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