FILE PHOTO: ROSA PARKS
Paul Warner  /  AP file
Rosa Parks is shown in a Dec. 1, 2001, file photo.
updated 10/15/2004 10:46:11 AM ET 2004-10-15T14:46:11

A judge has asked former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer to serve as a guardian to 91-year-old Rosa Parks amid questions over whether those representing the civil rights pioneer are doing an adequate job.

U.S. District Judge George Steeh appointed Archer to intercede in two lawsuits filed on behalf of Parks against the record companies of the popular hip-hop duo OutKast.

Last month, a doctor said Parks has dementia and should not be forced to answer questions in the lawsuit.

In his order, Steeh named Archer as a temporary, independent guardian who is to meet with Parks and review all litigation files to determine whether she is being fairly represented. The trial is set to start in January.

Archer, a former Michigan Supreme Court justice and past president of the American Bar Association, said Thursday he could not comment on the case because of his involvement.

“He’s a person of high integrity and skillful expertise that may bring about and facilitate a settlement of the case,” Parks’ attorney Gregory Reed said.

In a separate hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Magistrate Donald Scheer issued a $1,000 fine against Reed for failing to produce documents related to the Parks lawsuit.

Reed said he has released all the documents he has and is asking the magistrate reconsider his order.

In the 1999 lawsuit, Parks said that OutKast and the record label BMG Entertainment violated her publicity and trademark rights in the 1998 song “Rosa Parks.” OutKast was excluded from the lawsuit this summer.

In a separate lawsuit filed in August, Parks’ lawyers are seeking damages from record companies including LaFace Records, BMG Entertainment and Arista Records in claims that they misappropriated Parks’ name.

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