ORDERED TO PAY ACLU $38,000 Even Though He Won Against Amber

So, this is ironic ... Amber Heard lost Johnny Depp's defamation case in no small part

because she lied about donating half her divorce settlement to the ACLU ... and now a

judge has awarded the ACLU $38,000 ... and guess who has to pay -- NOT AMBER.

Here's the deal ... Johnny's legal team subpoenaed documents from the ACLU to prove

Amber never anted up the cash.

According to the ACLU, they had to produce 1900 documents and that took a lot of time.

The org asked the judge to order Johnny to pay

$86,000 for the time and expenses associated with the document production.

Johnny's lawyers called BS, saying the tab was "exorbitant and unreasonable."