Richards was taken into custody by police at the Beverly Hills Hotel on accusations of trespassing, resisting arrest and public intoxication after security personnel complained that she was bothering hotel guests about 1:30 a.m.
A police representative said Richards was asked to leave but refused and then entered a restroom and wouldn't come out.
Hotel security made a "private persons arrest," then police entered the restroom and took Richards into custody.
"Ms. Richards was displaying symptoms of alcohol intoxication including slurred speech and belligerent insolent behavior, cursing at the officers and passively resisted arrest," police said in a statement. "After being transported to the station for booking, Richards kicked one of the officers in the leg; however the officer was not injured."
Richards is expected to face misdemeanor charges, according to Lt. Lincoln Hoshino of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
She has been released from custody.
A call to Richards' representatives has not been returned.
Richards reportedly entered rehab in 2011
for "serious issues" after what watchers deemed erratic behavior on the reality show, which also features her sister Kyle Richards. The Richardses are the aunts of former TV star Paris Hilton.
Kim Richards appeared in Disney's "Escape to Witch Mountain" and "Wonderful World of Color" as a child and was a frequent guest star on television series, though her acting career later stalled. She had a significant role in the 2006 film "Black Snake Moan."
Bravo, the network that airs the "Real Housewives" franchise, declined to comment on her arrest.