Judge finds Ja Morant's self-defense claim fair.

Ja Morant won a lawsuit filed by a teenager he struck in July 2022 when a Tennessee judge determined Monday that he fairly raised self-defense. ESPN obtained a court filing.  

At a December 2023 civil immunity hearing in Memphis, Morant testified that he "swung first" at Joshua Holloway, then 17  

to protect himself during an encounter that led to Holloway's September 2022 assault lawsuit.  

The fight occurred during pickup basketball. Holloway, irritated by losing multiple games, was accused of firing a one-handed pass at Morant during a check-ball situation.  

After the ball hit Morant in the face, he alleged Holloway approached him and he punched him.  

After that strike, Morant's companion Davonte Pack attacked Holloway, resulting in his minor assault arrest. The charge against Pack was dropped.  

Shelby County Circuit Judge Carol Chumney decided Monday that Morant "enjoys a presumption of civil immunity" under Tennessee's self-defense immunity statute and that Holloway and his legal team must establish he didn't act in self-defense.  

A trial slated for late April may be postponed. "We're disappointed, and we'll continue to protect and advocate for Joshua," Holloway's attorney Rebecca Adelman told ESPN.  

Morant's lawyers didn't respond to a request for comment. Morant, 24, was suspended for 25 games by the NBA for conduct detrimental to the league during the 2023-24 season.  

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