Judge denied motions by both sides in trial set for May.
The skirmish in federal court over former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura’s military records ended abruptly Wednesday when U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan called off the battle.
Boylan denied a motion to sanction Ventura for failing to produce documentation that he was in the U.S. Navy SEALs Navy reserves.
The sanction was sought by John Borger, an attorney for Taya Kyle, who is being sued by Ventura over a claim in the book “American Sniper,” written by her late husband, Chris Kyle, that he punched a man he later identified as Ventura.
Ventura has denied the account and sued the author for defamation. After Chris Kyle, a former SEAL, was killed in an unrelated incident, Ventura continued the suit against his widow as executor of the estate.
Boylan also denied a motion by Ventura’s attorney Court Anderson to require Taya Kyle to answer many questions she refused to answer in a pretrial deposition. Borger said the questions were “out of line.”
After both sides made their case and answered several questions from Boylan, the magistrate’s decision was brief. “In reference to the plaintiff’s motions, I’m going to deny those in their entirety,” he said. “In reference to the defense motions, I’m going to deny those in their entirety as well.”
Despite a 2012 court order compelling Ventura to produce all service records confirming the nature and dates of his military service, Borger said Ventura supplied only one military record that consisted of a one-page record of discharge, effective Dec. 10, 1973. Ventura produced no records of military service from December 1973 to September 1975. His attorneys said Ventura lost those records.
Borger asked that Ventura be prohibited from offering evidence or testimony “of alleged military service after Dec. 10, 1973” during the coming trial, scheduled for May.
Asked how he will handle Ventura’s military service given Boylan’s decision not to sanction, Borger said, “We’ll deal with that at trial.” He also said, “I’m pleased Mrs. Kyle won’t be subjected to any further questions from Ventura’s lawyer.”
Ventura’s lawyers had no comment.
Randy Furst • 612-673-4224