Arizona Supreme Court won’t hear Cyber Ninjas’ request to drop $50K per day penalty — for now

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

The Arizona Supreme Court won’t review the $50,000 per day penalties a lower court imposed on the now-defunct Cyber Ninjas, at least not yet.

Cyber Ninjas was hit with the penalty by the Maricopa County Superior Court, and the company’s attorney Jack Wilenchik — who is now working for free because the company isn’t paying him — tried to skip the Court of Appeals and went right to the Supreme Court to seek relief earlier this week.

But for the second time, the Supreme Court told him in an order dated Thursday it won’t take up the issue of whether the company records are public and whether it should have to release them.

Meanwhile, penalties continue to accrue, and are at more than $2 million today.

The Supreme Court already declined to act on an appeal in the case in November when Cyber Ninjas filed a similar petition, before the fines were imposed. Its most recent order said the Arizona Court of Appeals was the proper venue to address whether the records are public.

Cyber Ninjas “has not adequately explained why it cannot initially seek relief from that court,” the Supreme Court wrote in its order.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah hit Cyber Ninjas with the lofty penalties in January because, he said, the company has continued to defy his orders to produce emails, text messages and other documents generated from the unusual “audit” of the Maricopa County 2020 election.

Republicans in the Arizona Senate hired Cyber Ninjas for the job.

The Arizona Republic requested the documents via the state’s Public Records Law. When that request was denied, The Republic sued Cyber Ninjas and the Senate in June. Separately, a left-leaning watchdog group called American Oversight sued the Senate for similar records.

What the Arizona Supreme Court said


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March 2022