Decide in Kari Lake case rejects sanctions, awards ,000 in authorized charges

Decide in Kari Lake case rejects sanctions, awards $33,000 in authorized charges

The decide in Kari Lake’s election problem on Tuesday rejected requests for sanctions and almost $700,000 in lawyer charges however was granted $33,000 to pay for professional witnesses employed by Katie Hobbs.

In his ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court docket Decide Peter Thompson wrote that though Lake did not present the “clear and convincing proof” wanted to prevail in her case, that was not the identical factor as saying her lawsuit over the outcomes of the Arizona governor’s the race was “groundless and introduced in dangerous religion.”

His resolution comes a day after attorneys on either side of the lawsuit made their arguments on whether or not a request for almost $700,000 in lawyer charges and different bills sought by Hobbs and Maricopa County officers had benefit.

The arguments got here in a flurry of holiday-weekend filings after Thompson on Saturday rejected Lake’s problem of the result of the governor’s race and declared Katie Hobbs the winner of the governor’s race.

Attorneys for the defendants filed motions in search of $695,975 in attorneys’ charges and different prices associated to the case from Lake’s camp, complying with Thompson’s order to make their requests by Dec. 26.

The defendant attorneys, who signify the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Gov.-elect Hobbs, in addition to Hobbs in her capability as secretary of state, argued that sanctions are warranted as a result of Lake introduced a frivolous case that lacked any proof to assist her claims that issues with the chain of custody and printers at Maricopa County vote facilities had been deliberate and led to her loss.

“Certainly, the whole function of this case was to plant baseless seeds of doubt within the citizens’s thoughts in regards to the integrity and safety of the 2022 Normal Election in Maricopa County,” attorneys for the county wrote of their argument to Thompson.

“And whereas it’s one factor to take action on TV and social media websites, it’s one other factor fully to attempt to use the imprimatur of the courts to attain that objective.”

Among the many many examples they cited was a tweet Lake commented on the day after shedding her case. She linked to a TownHall.com report which stated Lake’s case exhibits voter disfranchisement not issues. Lake’s remark was connected to a tweet from lawyer and conservative author Rachel Alexander that claimed “authorized specialists” believed Thompson’s ruling was “ghostwritten” by attorneys representing Hobbs. Lake has since deleted the tweet and her remark.

Lake’s attorneys late Monday responded that their lawsuit was reputable, partly as a result of Thompson superior two of Lake’s claims to trial, at the same time as he dismissed eight others. The trial resulted in a Christmas Eve ruling rejecting Lake’s case and declaring Hobbs the winner of the governor’s race.

In arguing towards sanctions, attorneys Bryan Blehm and Kurt Olsen used the identical reasoning that Hobbs and county officers cited as they fought Lake’s lawsuit.

“Belief within the election course of isn’t furthered by punishing those that convey reputable claims, as Plaintiff did right here,” wrote Blehm and Olsen. “Actually, the sanctioning Plaintiff would have the other impact.”

They disputed the county’s rivalry that the case was evidence-free, pointing to the quite a few witnesses they introduced.

Nonetheless, Thompson dominated that the electoral misconduct alleged within the case was not confirmed to be deliberate and supposed to disclaim Lake a win.

Thompson famous Hobbs’ margin of victory — 17, 117 votes — was past the edge for an automated recount and stated he wouldn’t reverse the need of the voters.

“A courtroom setting such a margin apart, so far as the Court docket has been in a position to decide, has by no means been performed within the historical past of the US,” Thompson wrote in his Dec. 24 rulings.

He stated he would concern a judgment on sanctions after the requests had been filed. Attorneys for the defendants introduced particulars that confirmed their prices over the course of the two-day trial performed Dec. 21 and 22. They stated they would want extra time to compile different litigation-related bills if the courtroom would settle for them.

On Tuesday, nonetheless, Thompson restricted the award of charges to the prices of the authorized crew representing Hobbs in her function as Arizona secretary of state paid for professional witnesses. That got here to $33,040.50, with a 7.5% annual rate of interest.

Whereas that is the primary election problem by which sanctions requests have been filed, the decide in Mark Finchem’s case has allowed attorneys to file the same request. Finchem misplaced his bid for the Arizona secretary of state and a courtroom dismissed his case for failure to show any proof of misconduct. These filings are due the primary week of January.

Attorneys for Lawyer Normal-elect Kris Mayes have requested for permission to file a sanctions request within the case introduced by Abe Hamadeh, who misplaced the AG race to Mayes.

Lake stated she would attraction her decrease courtroom losses.

Finchem took his attraction on to the state Supreme Court docket, skipping over the state Court docket of Appeals.

Hamadeh indicated he would anticipate the outcomes of the automated recount in his race earlier than deciding what to do subsequent.

The recount outcomes will likely be introduced Thursday morning.

Attain the reporter at [email protected] and observe her on Twitter @maryjpitzl.

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This text initially appeared on Arizona Republic: Kari Lake should pay $33,000 in charges after rejecting election problem

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