Photog Sues Debbie Rowe

11/18/2009 7:24 PM PST

Photog Sues Debbie Rowe

A photographer who had a physical run-in with Debbie Rowe back in July is now suing Michael Jackson's ex-wife in small claims court.

It's all over an incident that went down in front of a Chinese restaurant in Lancaster, California right after MJ died -- in which a swarm of paparazzi swarmed Rowe asking about the kids. Rowe lashed out at one photog, "Are you ready to have your butt kicked?"

Now, that photog, Ed Frommer, wants $7,500 in damages from Rowe -- claiming she lied to police, telling them he scratched her face, pulled her arm and struck her in the back.

Frommer tells us, "You can see from the video, I didn't touch her face" adding, "anything that happened was not intentional."

Frommer claims his reputation has taken some serious hits from the incident and he can't get work. The hearing is scheduled for January.