Judge denies Hobbs request to sanction Lake over Arizona election claims

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On Tuesday, an Arizona judge dismissed a request for sanctions in a lawsuit challenging her defeat against Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a Republican.

Maricopa County and Katie Hobbs (Democrat), in her capacity as both governor-elect and secretary of state, demanded that the judge pay Lake and her team of attorneys for all parties’ attorneys’ fees, and the lawsuit was groundless. , malice.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson reiterated in Tuesday’s ruling that Lake has not fulfilled her responsibility to provide the clear and compelling evidence of her case necessary to win the case, but her case said it did not meet the criteria for imposing sanctions.

“There is no question that both sides are very confident and firmly believe in their positions,” Thompson said on Tuesday. “The fact that plaintiff failed to meet the required clear and persuasive evidence burden … does not equate to a finding that her allegations were or were not baseless or presented in bad faith. Decisions must also be based on law and fact, not on subjective beliefs or partisan opinions.

However, Thompson’s ruling requires Lake to reimburse Hobbs $33,040.50 for certain costs incurred during the proceedings, subject to other applicable state laws, because Lake did not prevail in the lawsuit.

These costs included $28,351 in fees for expert witnesses called by Hobbes and $4,689.50 in compensation paid to Hobbes’ attorneys who attended ballot inspections before trial.

Lake’s campaign backed the unproven allegations of wrongdoing, opposed Hobbes’ push for sanctions, and vowed to appeal the judge’s denial.

Maricopa County and Hobbes also noted Lake’s refusal to commit to accepting the election results before the midterm elections, and that Lake and her lawyers lack evidence to successfully challenge the election. He argued that he should have known.

“Courts were established by the Arizona Constitution and law to settle actual disputes between parties,” the motion states. “They do not exist so that candidates for public office can make political statements and attempt to raise funds. These are all things that happened in this case.”

The motion also accused a founding partner of Elias Law Group, the company representing Hobbs as governor, improperly emailing a judge “what to say” in his removal from office. It also took aim at a tweet posted by Lake.

There was no evidence to support the allegations, and Lake deleted the tweet after being cited in a sanctions request.

“@katiehobbs wants full compensation for helping Mark Elias destroy a free and fair election in Arizona. It’s an attack. Who’s against it?” Lake’s campaign tweeted Monday night.

This article was updated at 14:58

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