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Kari Lake defamation case: Judge says Stephen Richer can request texts, emails

Stephen Richer Kari Lake
Stephen Richer (left) and Kari Lake.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge is asking parties in a defamation lawsuit against Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake to produce private communications, despite Lake’s request for the court to skip discovery. 

Republican Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer sued Lake for defamation. This week, Judge Jay Adleman put out a schedule requiring both parties to finish discovery by the end of August, which means Richer may request Lake’s texts and emails. 

In March, Lake defaulted in the case, meaning she concedes that she defamed Richer — at least in the eyes of the court. 

She told her supporters that the lawsuit was “ludicrous” and would force her to waste her money. 

“By participating in this lawsuit it would only serve to legitimize this perversion of our legal system,” Lake said.

Lake had asked the court to not move forward with discovery. 

“Indirectly the court rejected that,” Richer said. “Obviously, we have a discovery schedule now.”

Richer said his side will argue that the discovery process is necessary to put forward evidence so the court can eventually come to an informed decision on how to award damages.

“Since last November, Plaintiff has attempted multiple times to negotiate with Defendants regarding a proposed Confidentiality Order and ESI Order. … More recently, however, Defendants have changed course and stated that they believe such orders are unnecessary,” Richer’s attorneys stated in a motion filed on Monday.

The court also found that some of the information disclosed to the parties can be kept confidential.

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Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.