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A$AP Rocky Defamation Suit: Judge Booted by Rapper's Alleged Shooting Victim Returns to Preside Over Legal Battle

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Source: MEGA

A$AP Rocky's defamation lawsuit took a u-turn in court this week as a judge who was removed at the request of the rapper's alleged shooting victim returned to preside over the case.

Jun. 21 2024, Published 7:00 p.m. ET

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A$AP Rocky's defamation lawsuit took a u-turn in court this week as a judge who was removed at the request of the rapper's alleged shooting victim returned to preside over the case, documents obtained by revealed.

The maneuver marked the fifth time judges have been shuffled around in the legal battle — and it may not be the last.

Terell Ephron, AKA "Relli," filed the suit last September, alleging his former pal A$AP and the rapper's attorney, Joseph Tacopina, labeled him an extortionist and a liar. He had accused A$AP of pointing a gun at him and firing twice, allegedly injuring his hands with bullet fragments. The rapper pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges in August 2022.

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Source: MEGA

A$AP and his lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, are being sued by the rapper's former pal, Terell Ephron,

As this outlet reported, Judge Randolph Hammock agreed to step down from the case on April 30 in response to a request by Ephron, who argued he would not get a "fair and impartial trial" under Hammock. The matter was then handed over to its fourth official, Judge William Fahey, but Tacopina filed his own challenge to this judge.

Fahey recused himself on May 31, and the matter was sent back to the court for reassignment. On June 6, the case was reassigned to Hammock because the court said in a tentative ruling that Ephron's objection to this judge was not filed on time.

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Source: mega

The court's reassignment of Randolph Hammock marked the fifth reshuffling of judges in the civil case.

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The decree stated that after the case was assigned to Hammock on April 10, "any party who still had a right to file a peremptory challenge to that assignment" had to do so by April 30 — the same day Ephron's request was filed.

Terell claimed that Hammock was "prejudiced against the party (or his or her attorney) or the interest of the party (or his or her attorney), so that declarant cannot, or believes that he or she cannot, have a fair and impartial trial or hearing before the judicial officer."

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Source: mega

All parties still have the chance to challenge the court's decision to bring Hammock back to the case.

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But the court noted that "the critical legal issue is whether [Ephron's] recent peremptory challenge ... was timely, since Judge Hammock had already been previously assigned to that case for "all purposes" on September 11, 2023.

"This Court’s tentative decision is to DENY that particular challenge as untimely," the order read.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Hammock will remain the presiding judge, because another court order on June 20 stated that each party would still be allowed to submit a written argument regarding Ephron's objection. They must file their briefs by June 28, and the issue will be discussed further at a hearing on July 5.



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