By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 13, 2002 12:05 PM

Winona Ryder’s shoplifting case encountered yet another brief setback Thursday when a document filed under seal was reported missing from the court file.

Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, tells the Associated Press that the missing document, a prosecution motion, was later found in a clerk’s office in Beverly Hills court — but not before officials went public with their search.

Earlier this week, prosecutors had submitted a motion to admit evidence of alleged previous misdeeds by Ryder. Details of the motion “to admit evidence of prior acts,” remained sealed.

The “Girl, Interrupted” actress, 30, was arrested in December at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills for allegedly stealing nearly $5,000 worth of designer merchandise and carrying painkillers without a prescription. She has pleaded not guilty to four felony charges: second-degree burglary, grand theft, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance.

Ryder remains free on $20,000 bail and was not in court for Thursday’s latest session with Superior Court Judge Elden Fox. Ryder’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, also was absent due to a scheduling conflict, says AP.

Because of Geragos’ schedule conflict, the judge postponed a pretrial hearing until next Wednesday, at which time he will be setting a trial date — or, Fox said, “resolving the case,” intimating that both sides may be trying to dispose of the case without a trial.

There was no comment from either side regarding the case or the judge’s suggestion.