Anna Nicole Smith's manager boyfriend Howard K. Stern is facing a court return after a California judge ruled he can be retried on conspiracy charges relating to the model's death.

The reality Tv star died in 2007 after suffering an accidental overdose and her prescriptions subsequently became the focus of a criminal investigation involving Stern and two of Smith's doctors.

In 2010, Stern was found guilty on two charges of conspiracy, for giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions for Smith, but he fought the convictions and a judge overturned the counts in early 2011.

However, on Monday (03Nov14), officials at the California Supreme Court decided that the case will go back to a criminal judge in Los Angeles - although it does not necessarily mean Stern will be retried.

The ruling only paves the way for prosecutors to ask a judge for a new trial, and if the request is granted, Stern would face a retrial on two conspiracy charges relating to obtaining the prescription drugs.

In the 2011 ruling, Smith's psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, who was accused of conspiracy charges and unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance, had all but one of her convictions quashed, while the remaining count was reduced to a misdemeanour. She was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $100 (£67).

Another medic, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, was previously acquitted of all charges.

Monday's ruling does not affect Eroshevich's case.