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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, center, leaves federal court in St. Paul on July 8, 2014. (AP file photo: Star Tribune)

Judge clears way for Ventura to collect judgment

Notch another victory for Jesse Ventura and his legal team at Henson & Efron P.A.

Last summer, Ventura shocked the world — or at least a sizeable chunk of the legal community — with his successful defamation and unjust enrichment suit against the estate of Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL of “American Sniper” fame.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle granted Ventura’s motion to certify the judgment in U.S. District Courts for Washington, D.C., the Southern District of New York, the Central District of California and the Northern District of Texas.

The order effectively clears the way for Ventura to begin collection proceedings on the nearly $2 million award while the case remains under appeal.

In his order, Judge Kyle noted that Tara Kyle — the widow of Chris Kyle and executor of his estate — never filed a supersedeas bond, nor did she request a stay of enforcement while she seeks relief from the 8th Circuit. (Judge Kyle is not related to Chris and Tara Kyle.)

“Here, it is undisputed Defendant has no assets in this District, and Plaintiff has, in the Court’s view, made at least a colorable showing that assets may be located in New York, California, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Nothing more is required,” the judge wrote. “Defendant protests that she does not have sufficient assets to obtain [a supersedeas] bond, but in the Court’s view this merely drives home why registration is appropriate. Plaintiff runs the risk of being left with an uncollectable judgment.”

In the order, Judge Kyle further added the aforementioned claim of insufficient funds “rings hollow in light of the fact that her insurer has agreed to reimburse her for the cost of obtaining a bond for the entire amount of the Court’s judgment.”

In his best-selling memoir, Chris Kyle recounted the circumstances of a barroom brawl in which he allegedly bested a former Navy SEAL — identified only as Scruff Face — for saying that American soldiers in Iraq deserved to die. In a subsequent television interview, Kyle named Ventura as the ex-SEAL in question.

Ventura insisted the whole story was fabricated, and the jury agreed.


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