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This paper describes a method for nonlinear filtering based on an adaptive observer, which guarantees the local stability of the linearized error system. A fake algebraic Riccati equation is employed in the calculation of the filter gain. The design procedure attempts to produce a stable filter at the expense of optimality. This contrasts with the extended Kalman filter (EKF), which attempts to preserve optimality via its linearization procedure, at the expense of stability. A passivity approach is applied to deduce stability conditions for the filter error system. The performance is compared with an EKF for a co-channel frequency demodulation application.