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Ventura wins one battle, loses another in defamation case

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A U.S. Magistrate ruled Wednesday that former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won't be sanctioned for failing to produce military records in his defamation suit against the widow of late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, the Star Tribune reports.

The attorney for Tara Kyle, who was substituted as defendant in the case following her husband's death earlier this year, asked for the sanctions after Ventura produced only one document confirming his service.

He reportedly was only able to provide a record of discharge, effective Dec. 10, 1973, but said he lost the other records.

Ventura's suit against Tara Kyle stems from a claim that his reputation was damaged following the publication of Chris Kyle's book, "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History."

Chris Kyle wrote in the book that he punched a man identified as “Scruff Face” in a California bar in 2006. He later acknowledged the man he was referring to was Ventura.

Ventura claims the punch never happened. He also says that Chris Kyle's claim in the book has affected him emotionally.

In a separate ruling, the U.S. Magistrate, Judge Arthur Boylan, said Tara Kyle will not have to testify in a second deposition as requested by Ventura's lawyers.

The lawyers claimed that Tara Kyle's refusal to answer numerous questions during a six-hour question-and-answer session last month made the initial deposition "useless."

The Pioneer Press says Boylan became frustrated in Wednesday's hearing after Ventura's lawyers kept referring to their client as "Governor Ventura."

Boylan reminded attorney Court Anderson of a U.S. District Court hearing last month, when the judge told Ventura's lawyers that governors aren't entitled to use the title after they leave office.

"You keep referring to him as 'governor'. You've said it about a dozen times. It's 'Ventura' or 'Mr. Janos,' take your pick," Boylan said, referring to Ventura's real name, which is James Janos.

The trial is scheduled to begin in Minnesota in May 1, 2014.

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