Kari Lake Judge Rejects Sanctions, Award $33,000 in Legal Fees

A judge in Kari Lake’s election challenge on Tuesday rejected a request for sanctions and about $700,000 in attorney fees, but granted $33,000 in payment for expert witnesses hired by Katie Hobbs.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson said in his ruling that Lake did not provide the “clear and compelling evidence” necessary to win her case, but that it was against the Arizona governor’s outcome. It was not the same as stating her lawsuit, wrote that the race was “unfounded and maliciously presented”.

His decision came a day after lawyers on both sides of the lawsuit debated whether Hobbes and Maricopa County officials were seeking about $700,000 in attorneys’ fees and other costs.

The discussion took place amid a flurry of subsequent holiday weekend applications Thompson on Saturday rejected Lake’s challenge announced the results of the gubernatorial election and declared Katie Hobbs the winner of the gubernatorial election.

Defendants’ attorneys filed a motion seeking $695,975 in attorneys’ fees and other costs related to the lawsuit from Lake’s camp, following Thompson’s order to make demands by December 26.

Defendant attorneys representing the Maricopa County Oversight Board, Governor Hobbes, and Hobbes in his position as Secretary of State said the sanctions were justified because Lake presented a frivolous lawsuit that lacked evidence to support her claims. claimed to be. A series of administrative and printer issues at Maricopa County vote centers were intentional and led to her loss.

“In fact, the entire purpose of this lawsuit was to plant the seeds of unfounded doubt in the minds of voters about the integrity and safety of the 2022 general election in Maricopa County,” county attorneys said. I wrote in my allegations against Thompson.

“It’s one thing to do that on TV or a social media site, and it’s another to try to use the court’s permission to achieve that end.”

Among the many examples they cited was a tweet Lake commented on the day after she lost the lawsuit. Linked to report on TownHall.com. Lake’s comments were accompanied by a tweet by lawyer and conservative author Rachel Alexander, who said a “legal expert” said Thompson’s ruling was “ghostwritten” by the lawyer representing Hobbes. Lake has since deleted the tweet and comments.

Lake’s attorneys said late Monday that their case was valid. Thompson took two of Lake’s claims to trial, but dismissed the other eight. The ruling dismissed Lake’s case and declared Hobbes the winner of the gubernatorial race.

In their arguments against the sanctions, attorneys Brian Brem and Kurt Olsen used the same reasons Hobbes and county officials cited when fighting Lake’s lawsuit.

“Trust in the electoral process is not fostered by punishing those who make valid claims, as plaintiffs have done here,” Brem and Olsen wrote. will have the opposite effect.”

They disputed the county’s claim that there was no evidence in the case, pointing to the numerous witnesses they presented.

Thompson, however, said the election fraud alleged in the case had not been proven to be intentional and was intended to deny Lake victory.

Thompson said Hobbes’ margin of victory — 17,117 votes — exceeded the threshold for automatic recounts and said he was not going to overrule voters’ will.

In his Dec. 24 judgment, Thompson wrote, “As far as the court can determine, no court has set aside such margins in the history of the United States.”

He said he would make a ruling on the sanctions after the request was filed. The defendant’s attorneys provided details showing the cost of his two-day trial, which took place on December 21 and he on the 22nd. They said they need more time to organize other litigation-related costs if the court accepts them.

But on Tuesday, Thompson limited the compensation ruling to expenses paid to expert witnesses by the legal team representing Hobbs in his role as Arizona’s secretary of state.

This is the first election challenge in which a sanctions request has been filed, but the judge in Mark Finchem’s case has allowed his attorney to file a similar request.Finchem’s bid for Arizona’s secretary of state defeated by the court dismissed his lawsuit Failure to prove evidence of wrongdoing. The deadline for these submissions is his first week of January.

Attorney General-elect Chris Mays asked permission to file sanctions request In the case of Mr. Abe Hamadelost to Mays in the AG race.

Lake said he will appeal the lower court loss.

Finchem skipped the state court of appeals and appealed directly to the state Supreme Court.

Hamade indicated that he would wait for the results of the race’s automatic recount before deciding what to do next.

The recount results will be announced on Thursday morning.

Please contact the reporter at [email protected] follow her on twitter @maryjpitzl.

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This article originally appeared in the Republic of Arizona. Kari Lake must pay $33,000 in fees after rejecting election challenge