ARIZONA NEWS

Judge rejects Kari Lake’s bid to dismiss Stephen Richer’s defamation suit against her

Dec 20, 2023, 9:11 AM

A judge refused to dismiss Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer's defamation lawsuit against for...

A judge refused to dismiss Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer's defamation lawsuit against former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Dec. 20, 2023. (Getty Images Photos)

(Getty Images Photos)

PHOENIX — A judge on Wednesday denied Kari Lake’s bid to dismiss Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer’s defamation suit against her, noting that the former gubernatorial candidate’s claims of election-related malfeasance are “provably false.”

Maricopa Superior Court Judge Jay Ryan Adleman rejected the argument by Lake’s attorneys that her rhetoric after her 2022 loss to Katie Hobbs was mere hyperbole.

The decision was handed down following a hearing Tuesday. Both sides will meet again prior to Jan. 19 to discuss scheduling.

Why is Stephen Richer suing Kari Lake for defamation?

Richer filed the lawsuit in June and focused on a pair of claims.

The first was that Richer, a Republican, intentionally had 19-inch ballot images printed on 20-inch paper, causing counting problems. Lake, also a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona in 2024, also accused Richer of injecting 300,000 bogus ballots.

“That’s not even an area of the election administration that I have control over,” he said of the image size allegation to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show in June.

The lawsuit detailed nearly three dozen times Lake made the claims publicly on social media or at rallies and news conferences.

Richer is seeking for Lake’s statements to be proven false and wants her to delete them from social media.

Richer is also seeking unspecified monetary damages, saying he has faced death threats and has spent thousands of dollars on home security.

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Judge rejects Kari Lake’s bid to dismiss Stephen Richer’s defamation suit against her