A federal appeals court ordered the release Wednesday of a real estate mogul who was jailed last week in Montana after being found in contempt of court over his sale of a Mexico resort.
The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes after onetime billionaire and Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth, 64, was jailed Thursday for not giving U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon a full accounting of a 2011 hotel property sale for $13.8 million.
Blixseth's attorneys argued that the jailing was unconstitutional because Haddon had not given enough details about what he wanted. Attorney Philip Stillman said Blixseth was "elated" with the ruling and hoped to be home in Washington state by Wednesday afternoon.
"This is truly a great Christmas for Mr. Blixseth," Stillman said.
A two-judge panel of the 9th Circuit said that Haddon's incarceration order will be put on hold for 30 days while Haddon gives more specific instructions to Blixseth on how he can comply with his earlier order.
Blixseth sold the property in defiance of a court order. Haddon first demanded answers on where the money went in February.
Creditors are trying to collect on $241 million in judgments against Blixseth stemming from the Yellowstone Club's bankruptcy. The Montana resort he started in the 1990s is now under new ownership.