A city judge ordered Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia to pay $7,050 to a cab driver seeking payment on a 150-year-old Spanish government bond.
"The king of Spain is no different from you and me. If he doesn't pay, he gets sued," said W.T. Hardison, who said he received the 1836 bond, carrying a face value of $940, from a friend.
General Sessions Judge Bill Higgins signed a judgment for $7,050 based on a calculation by Hardison of the accumulated interest.
Court documents show that "King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain," were notified of the suit by registered mail and ordered to appear for yesterday's hearing.
Hardison sued the royal couple April 18 after the Spanish Embassy refused to answer his questions about the bond.
"I thought it was a discourtesy they didn't elect to take the matter further, so I told them I'd sue the sovereign," he said. "They said, 'You can't sue the sovereign,' so I thought, 'We'll see about that.' "
The palace will have 10 days to file an appeal after receiving official notice of the judgment.
"I'm going to be in Spain later this summer, and you can be sure I'll show up at the front gate of the palace with a copy of the judgment, and ask for my money," Hardison said.