Judge declines to grant stay of Trump’s $83.3 million judgment in Carroll defamation trial

Written by on February 25, 2024

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(NEW YORK) — Judge Lewis Kaplan has declined to grant a stay of Donald Trump’s $83.3 million judgment in his defamation case and requested a written response from columnist E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers.

“The Court declines to grant any stay, much less an unsecured stay, without first having afforded plaintiff a meaningful opportunity to be heard,” Kaplan wrote in an order filed Sunday morning. Kaplan set a Thursday deadline for Carroll’s response and a March 2 deadline for Trump’s reply.

A lawyer for the former president requested last week that Kaplan temporarily delay the judgment or permit Trump to post a bond for “an appropriate fraction” of the total damages.

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba filed the motion on Friday, requesting a stay until 30 days after the resolution of his post-trial motions filed in early March, or grant a partially secured stay while Trump posts a reduced bond.

“There is a strong probability that the disposition of post-trial motions will substantially reduce, if not eliminate, the amount of the judgment,” Habba argued in the motion.

“Plaintiff failed to offer any evidence that her alleged distress was of any significant severity or duration, or that it resulted in any medical, physical, or clinical consequences—or even any extreme emotional effects,” Habba wrote about the emotional damage suffered by Carroll, who described living in a state of fear following Trump’s statements.

Habba suggested that the court should project a reduction of the total judgment to $22.25 million, for which Trump could post a $24.475 million bond.

“The figure awarded to Ms. Carroll is egregiously excessive,” Habba said in a statement to ABC News. “The Court must exercise its authority to prevent Ms. Carroll from enforcing this absurd judgment, which will not withstand appeal.”

The request comes amid a renewed spotlight on the former president’s finances following two costly New York civil trials. On Friday, New York’s Supreme Court entered the judgment in Trump’s civil fraud case, in which he owes $355 million in fines plus approximately $100 million in interest.

Trump has denied all wrongdoing and has said he doesn’t know who Carroll is.

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